Pontiac renovations, part 22.

I started to strip down the parts of the gearbox I knew how to take apart, having ordered the service manual but still waiting for it to arrive.

Fluid coupling driving torus

The fluid coupling is all held together with a large nut, secured with a tab washer. The tab washer was a good idea by the engineers because the nut, initially torqued to 50 lb/ft, was loose.

Fluid coupling parts

The large drum section connects directly to the engine flywheel (and represents a significant rotating mass to act also as flywheel) and the two torus sections sit inside and drive each other.


The inside of the bellhousing was fairly clean, though it is easy to see where the O-ring has been leaking past the torus housing. The inner part of the torus is kept full of fluid by the pump and at about 40psi by a pressure relief spring. The mainstay of the oil is kept in by two piston rings on the inner edge.

Gearbox, bare

The bellhousing came off easily. I cleaned the machined faces up and inspected the seal.

Side pan

I removed the side oil pan from the gearbox. It was rusty and the previous keeper(s) had painted it gray over rust and dirt. I cleaned it up with orbital sander and wire wheel.

Painted pan

It then received a couple of coats of Solstice Blue paint, as a test. I see no reason why engine parts cannot be any particular color. It won’t last but it’ll start out looking nice.

Ignition timing clamp

I cleaned up the distributor clamp, which has a moderately helpful pointer (which will need to be reset) to show degrees of advance or retard against TDC (Top Dead Center).

Timing marker

There’s a cast vee in the case of the engine to refer against, and the distributor also has a knurled wheel to fine tune the timing.

Service manual

The service manual arrived. It’s in good condition, printed in May of 1951. It gives a good explanation of how the gearbox actually works.

Measuring main shaft endfloat

I clamped my dial gauge to the gearbox and measured the endfloat. This is set by a bronze thrust washer buried deep down at the back end of the gearbox. 19 thou’, slightly over limit. If I can get a replacement shim I’ll fit it, else that’s on the next big service.

Engine, in turquoise green

I decided to finish up something I had started a good while back. I cleaned the engine down and gave it a coat of paint.

Other side

It is meant to be something close to Brunswick Green, but I cannot find that color anywhere, and the nearest green (Hunter Green) is horrible. So, I went slightly out of the box and painted it a color called Deep Turquoise. It’s close to the mid sixties Pontiac V8 color, And goes well with black parts attached.

Harrison 3127575

I brought the radiator to a shop in town, and their main guy took a look, measured it up and said it would need to be recored, at $460 for the core and about 6 hours of labor to total approximately $900. I am going to clean it up and attempt to plug the hole and make do for now. Sometimes these things price themselves out of the market.

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