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That is cool! This is giving me an awesome idea for putting a Chrysler 440 infront of the T98 in my M715!
 

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Discussion Starter #62 (Edited)
So, I got rebuild kits from Novak for the D18 and T-90. I started on the D18 first and I am running into some issues.
First of all, I had a heck of a time getting the endplay set up right on the main shaft, which turned out to be due to not driving in the bushing in the end of the shaft far enough. By the time I finally got it all set up right I had only about .003" of endplay, but I had taken the front and rear caps off so many times (including once where I had already applied sealant and had to try and clean it up), that I will be shocked if it doesn't leak like crazy.

My current issue though is with the intermediate gear. It fits REALLY tight between the 2 thrust washers and was difficult to get it in the case. The thrust washers wanted to move around a bit and I had to pursuade them back into place before installing the shaft. The intermediate shaft went in easily except for the last 1/2" through the front of the case of course. Nothing appears to be bound up. However I cannot rotate the gears by hand. If I put a block of wood on the gear and hit it with a rubber mallet I can make it rotate. Doesn't seem right to me.
Is that normal, maybe the thrust washers require some breaking in or something? Or should it spin easily?
I'm reusing the factory intermediate gear, but all new Novak bearings, thrust washer, and shaft. It really seems to be the thrust washers creating the tight fit. I verified that the 'keys' on them were lined up properly with the slots in the case, I don't think I installed them wrong.
Any ideas? I hate to disassemble it again if I don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Did you check out the sticky about rebuilding the dana 18--it's the first item in our forum...
Yep, I've read every page. I was also following the Willystech rebuild instructions alongside the Novak rebuild instructions. None of them mention the issue that I'm having and so far I haven't had any luck Googling either.
 

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Discussion Starter #67 (Edited)
So I called Novak about my thrust washers. I found that the new washers measured about .0940" thick, and the old ones I took out are .0875". Multiply that x2 and it is a pretty significant difference. The guy at Novak pulled some washers he had, both old and new, and they were all in the .094-.097 range.
It would seem that mine has some oddball dimensions from the factory. The only suggestion they could make, since all their new washers were that same thickness, is to try and sand them down.
 

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Discussion Starter #69 (Edited)
 Not a whole lot new to report on my build, my progress is slower than many here. I keep getting derailed by a daily driver that won't stop having problems that need fixing.
I've been rebuilding the T90 and D18. I ordered some new shifter rails from Army Jeep Parts in PA, and to my surprise they are NOS. Pretty amazing to me that they packaged things back then in such a way that they would still be around today.

This is the later model 1 1/8" shaft D-18 I salvaged from my CJ5 parts jeep:


Lots of new goodies from Novak:


NOS!


Just wanted to bolt something together to feel like I was making progress:


Next up is installing one of my new pilot bushings in the engine and test fitting the trans now that I have the input shaft installed. I'm also thinking about doing some more welding on my bellhousing, my original welds weren't great so I have ground them down some and I may run some new beads on it. Right now I just have the bearing retainer bolted to the trans with no gasket, I'm still trying to decide what I want to do about the clutch situation.
 

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Date packaged 10/52. Now that is cool. When I had my M715' the previous owner bought an NOS T98 that was packaged to parachute drop for needed field repairs.

Your project looks good.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
The slowest build on the planet continues... I decided the welds on my bellhousing were not very good so I welded it inside as well, and ground down the outside. I also discovered that the motor plate side of the bell was no longer flat but warped a bit. It was also not perfectly parallel with the transmission side plate. I ended up having to take it back to the machine shop where they put it on a blanchard grinding machine and got things nice and flat. That took nearly 1/8" of material off in the process though.

Custom pilot bushing installed in the Ford 2.3:



Bolted up, before I had it machined. This ain't quite right.


After machining... much better, but a tad on the short side now.


Think the input shaft is too far in? It seems to turn freely. I don't think it is jammed up against the pilot bushing, but it's close. When I add the thin motor plate behind the bellhousing, that should give me a little more clearance.


For possibly the first time in the history of the world, I present to you a T-90 bolted up to a 1990 Mustang 2.3:

 

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Discussion Starter #75 (Edited)
It's been a long time since I updated, but progress is still slow and I was waiting until I had something worth posting.
Anyway, I've been working on the frame and trans crossmember.
After removing all the grime I discovered I have an original F-script GPW crossmember, so I decided to keep it and reinforce it. Not pictured, I cut some 10 guage metal and welded it in behind the ragged mounting holes, filled the holes in with weld, and ground it down smooth. I'll drill new holes later.
An aside note, plain white vinegar and steel wool works wonders for removing light rust and grime! I dip the steel wool in the vinegar, and it takes surprisingly little effort to remove the rust.



I had the frame sandblasted and I've been working on strapping and boxing.
After a lot of reading conflicting opinions on this, I believe I have settled on an approach.
I plan to strap the entire thing, but only box in from the spring hangers to the end, leaving the mid section open. I plan to do a cage that will be tied to the frame, and that should provide extra rigidity. It's a compromise to try and get good road manners, adequate flex on the trail, and not create crack points in the frame.

To prevent rust between the straps and the frame I plan on using seam sealer such as what is used on new cars to seal gaps. After it is all finished and painted it should look fine. I didn't see a need to weld the straps solid.

I think the front frame horns from the front X-member forward just need to be cut off and replaced with some rectangle tubing, the only cracks in the frame were in that area and the front horns are somewhat bent up.
After that, I need to weld back on shackle hangers, then locate the trans crossmember on the frame and make engine mounts.

Strapping underway:




During this process I got my welder (Millermatic 175) dialed in right, and I think my welds are starting to look pretty decent. When I'm doing this I try to hold the puddle over the gap between the frame and strap material long enough for the molten metal to flow down into the gap, hopefully creating a very strong weld. I wish my welds on the bellhousing looked like this, but I suppose that's what a grinder is for :)
 

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that's quite a difference! what changed? I had assumed those previous welds were fluxcore. Were you not getting enough gas flow?
 

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Discussion Starter #78
that's quite a difference! what changed? I had assumed those previous welds were fluxcore. Were you not getting enough gas flow?
I did get a new gas tank between welding the bellhousing and the frame, the other one was running low. Also replaced my tip on the gun. I may not have been getting good gas flow. I also fiddled with the knobs on the welder a bit and worked on my technique. I think I was just doing a little bit of everything wrong.
 

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Not to sound stupid but whats different about the mustang 2.3 that the pinto bellhousing won't work? I'm in the process of collecting parts for a 65 Cj5 build and I have the right bellhousing for a Pinto 2.3 to t90 swap with novak adapter. The mustang and ranger 2.3s are easier to come by.
 
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