CHECK THOSE PILOT BUSHINGS
by Tim Palmer
I recently bought a 62 coupe with four speed. After driving the car for 60 or so miles, the clutch started sticking disengaged. I found this most unsettling and I decided to pull the drive train and see what was going on. What I found was that the pilot bushing had worn so bad that the clutch input shaft had flopped around enough to bell the end of the clutch release shaft. I had to break off the end of clutch release shaft in order to remove the throw out bearing.
The moral of the story is check pilot bushing anytime you are in the area and save yourself the expense and time of having to fix a clutch release shaft. The shaft should be snug with little or no play. Use a GM bushing or one you are sure is oil impregnated. Polishing the input shaft with emery cloth will help extended the life of the bushing. When you replace the bushing, drive the bushing past the end of the crankshaft. I have noticed on several bushings that a groove was worn in the bushing from the turned down part of the shaft. Driving the bushing in further will allow the input shaft's bearing surface to be have full engagement.