Sunday was a beautiful day, the kind that Speedsters are best in-- mid 80s, sunny, beautiful. We drove the car to church in Peoria (about 10-15 minutes down the interstate). The car has been running great with the spare 2110 and the newly regeared transaxle is loosening up nicely and seems to be as good as it can get for a 4-speed in Illinois.
This spring, I had put the car back together with my old throw-out bearing and pressure plate. I had the new bearing in my hand, but the old one felt good and I decided not to be "belts and suspenders" Stan and just reuse it. I regretted it almost immediately after install when I heard it squealing "a bit". My hearing is pretty awful (I wear hearing aids, but I'm still nearly deaf), but it didn't sound that bad, at least to me. Jeanie commented on it a couple of times, then let it drop.
The thing about living where the weather is awful for half the year is that when it is nice, you live with small problems to keep going. This seemed like a small problem.
Last Sunday, it became a "not small" problem.
After church, I started the car and motored through downtown Peoria stop-and-go traffic. The clutch seemed to be not disengaging fully, and became worse with every stop. Shifting was really, really hard. I drove across the river, and had lunch in downtown East Peoria. I tried not to think about it during lunch.
We had a lovely meal on the patio of the restaurant (which is the only thing possible, as per the Lord Governor's decree) and the day seemed almost normal, after 3 months of being anything but. After dinner, I got in the car, pushed the clutch in... and felt a mighty pop. My clutch was now 100% not there. I got the car in 1st, started it in gear with the starter, and drove home (15 miles or so) in 1st gear. It was a leisurely drive. I figured I had broken the clutch cable (and posted so on Ed's thread).
I have a spare cable, and ran it thorough the housing. The old one looked fine, but looks can be deceiving. Still no clutch. I checked the Bowden tube, as well as the tube in the center of the car (no tunnel in an IM). All good. I knew what I needed to do, I just didn't want to do it in the middle of prime driving season.
I pulled the engine last night, and found this:
I knew it would be bad. That's almost as bad as it can be. Flywheel is still good, transaxle case still good (as far as I can see). The hole is non-structural, and I'll fix with an epoxy (recommendations welcome, or I'm just using JB Weld).
Parts (PP, H/D cross shaft, cross shaft bearing, etc.) on order from Kalifornia. I just lost the rest of June, most likely-- all for a $20 throw-out bearing (which I have in my stash!).
It's the small things that become big things. I tell myself I love this car. Sometimes, however...