Whenever the clutch is being replaced, it is a good idea to not only replace the clutch throw-out bearing but also the small pilot bearing located in the end of the crankshaft. The pilot bearing or bushing is inexpensive and does an important job. It keeps the input shaft to the transmission in perfect alignment with the crankshaft. If it is worn, it can cause vibration in the drive line and if it is of the ball bearing type it could become very noisy. It is easy to replace but unfortunately it requires a special tool to pull the bearing out of the end of the crank shaft and most do-it -yourselfers do not own the tool. But there is another way! Mechanics have, for over fifty years, used this method without the use of special tools.
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Remove the transmission and clutch assembly. Once you have removed the transmission, the throw-out bearing fork, the clutch and plate look at the end of the crank shaft to see the bearing or bushing. Yes it can be a ball bearing, a needle bearing or a bronze bushing. It is simply pressed into the end of the crank shaft. Without the aid of a special puller, you can pop it out with just a small amount of thick grease, a wooden dowel and a hammer.
Insert grease. Using a flat blade screwdriver or other utensil, insert the thick grease, like that used on wheel bearings, into the cavity behind the pilot bearing. Make sure that the space is completely full of grease without any air gaps.
Use a wooden dowel to remove the bearing. Make or buy a wooden dowel that is the same diameter as the opening in the center of the bearing. It must fit snuggly or this trick won’t work.
With the cavity behind the bearing filled completely with grease, place the dowel into the opening keeping it perpendicular with the bearing. Using a hammer or mallet strike the wooden dowel with a quick hard blow. The bearing should have moved outward a noticeable amount and in some cases will have popped out completely.
You may have to add more grease to the cavity and repeat the operation, but it will come out. This is because the grease will not compress and the pressure exerted on the wooden dowel is transferred through the grease to the back of the bearing pushing it out.
Remove all the grease from the cavity. Press in the new bearing or bushing, reassemble the clutch system and install the transmission.