1. Tim at RX-Motors came up trumps and I picked up a replacement clutch release fork from him when passing his place in Salisbury recently.
2. Cause of the broken fork discovered - the release bearing had corroded onto the guide shaft
Combination of poor choice of grease (copper grease) and lack of use of clutch, standing idle for several years. Was a big job to remove, a puller wouldn't budge it, so cutting grinding required to remove. Luckily, some fine emery paper removed the corrosion on the guide shaft, so it can be reused. Ian and I had to remove the transmission front bearing cover place to get access to do this, only to discover a very mangled end-float shim fall out! I guess that must have been caused when (re)-assembled at some point in the past.
Corroded on clutch release bearing;
Inner bearing surface after removal
After clean up;
I have the service manual which describes the method to measure for the required shim thickness (depth gauge on order to do this). The Mazda parts list shows two thicknesses of shims that can be used to take up the end-float. Trouble is, Mazda only have the thicker of the two available, the thinner one being obsolete. Fingers crossed.....
3. We had a new pilot bearing and oil seal in the new Exedy clutch kit, so decided to remove the old oil seal and bearing. The seal came out OK (and certainly needed replacing) but the pilot bearing was a right pain to remove. Even with a "blind" internal puller it took ages to shift it, but it came out eventually. Problem was the old one had an o/d of 20mm, the new one was 21mm, so no way was it going to fit. Cue visit to Mazda dealer and ordered new seal and bearing from European warehouse - £21.04. Should arrive next week
. Apparently, this not an obsolete Mazda part - is the same bearing used in the RENESIS engine? Just curious.
4. Three areas of the car required some welding, so we arranged for a local mobile welder to do the work today. Nice chap, job done, but not as neat as we would have liked. Ah well, at least it's done and functional, and all areas are hidden when the doors and rear hatch closed. Now prepped and painted with POR15 for protection, but some further fettling required later.