|Lakewood Bellhousing - Installation|
ue to the
manufacturing process for the bellhousing, the centerline of the
bellhousing bore may not be aligned with the centerline of the crank.
Lakewood recommends that you check this alignment and make any corrections
if necessary. Installing a bellhousing that is not centered with the crank
can result in poor shifting, clutch engagement problems, worn pilot
bearing, as well as accelerated wear on the transmission bearings and
|The hardest part about the whole procedure is actually mounting
the dial-indicator and stand!
The commonly available magnetic stands, with all their arms and clamps, are bulky and interfere with the bellhousing as you attempt to rotate the flywheel. We spent a good hour trying to figure out how to mount the indicator so that it fits in the bellhousing without interfering with anything. We found that the best way was to mount the gauge on the stand using only one of the clamps, as shown in the photo to the right. We tried using the flexible "snake" type of indicator stand, but it doesn't bend tight enough, as you can see here the gauge needs to be at a 90 deg. angle on the stand.
We found that the best way to mount the magnetic base to the flywheel is to remove two flywheel bolts directly across from one another. This allows the base to sit flat on the flywheel and gives you room to position it as close to the crank centerline as possible. Be sure to install the Lakewood blockplate behind the flywheel, and secure the bellhousing with all six bolts before you measure the alignment! We tried measuring the alignment without it and found our numbers to be way off.
The most important thing to check for when setting up the dial-indicator is to ensure the tip makes contact with the bore lip for the full 360 degrees! The bore of the T5 bellhousing turns out to be just about the same diameter as the length of most dial indicators. Thus while it may look like the indicator tip is contacting the lip, it may not be and you'll get false readings. We ran into this problem at least a half-dozen times. You should watch the top of the plunger, if it looks bottomed out the other end is most likely not making contact.
Once the gauge is mounted correctly, set the bezel to zero and slowly rotate the crank (or have a friend do so.) As you can see in this photo you wont be able to always read the gauge as it rotates, so use an inspection mirror. If you rotate the crank and find that you're getting high-readings through half the travel, then the indicator goes back to zero for the remaining 180 degrees, it means the indicator is not contacting the lip. We'd see as much as .030" runout at the halfway point, then the indicator would come back to zero. The activity of the indicator needle should emulate a mirror image, where for example, you get 0.010" travel above zero and 0.010" below zero. In this example the total travel would be 0.020", divided by two, indicats 0.010" misalignment.
Measure until you get repeatable results! On our first attempts we were seeing numbers all across the board, from 0.010" to as much as 0.040". We found that if you only installed two of the six bellhousing bolts, while it may seem secure, the bellhousing is not flush with the block, which gives a false misalignment. We recommend that when measuring alignment you install both the bellhousing and blockplate and use all six bellhousing bolts, torqued properly. Also make sure the dowels in the block and mating surfaces are clean and free of any crud or paint. Once we went through these precautions the runout for both our bellhousings were within specifications. We removed the bellhousing and remounted it three more times to ensure we could reproduce the same reading each time. Only then can you be confident you have an accurate measurement. If you are not sure and you install corrective dowels, you may make the problem worse.
If you have between 0.005" - 0.025" misalignment, you can correct it with either offset dowels or welding on washers over the dowel holes in the bellhousing itself. The offset dowels come in 0.007", 0.014" and 0.021" offsets. Insert them in the block, and use a screwdriver to 'clock' them in the right spot. You'll need to measure again to make sure you're within spec.
If you're bellhousing requires more offset than this to correct the problem, or you want a permanent fix (the dowels need to clocked every time you remove the bellhousing) you can weld on alignment washers over the dowel holes in the bellhousing. However we would be very skeptical of any misalignment over 0.020", this would indicate to us that perhaps the measurement is incorrect or there is a problem with the block or bellhousing. Before welding any washers we'd advise that you obtain another Lakewood bellhousing and recheck, or check your bellhousing on another block. To weld the washers you'll have to slightly enlarge the dowel holes in the bellhousing, then bolt the bellhousing to the block using the supplied longer dowels. Take a measurement, then carefully tap the bellhousing into position with a mallet, re-measure, and do this until it is centered. Finally torque the bolts, re-measure to make sure you didn't disrupt the alignment, then slip the washers over the dowels an weld them in place.
Because of the larger than stock size of all Lakewood bellhousings, it is inevitable that you will have some sort of clearance problem, be it with headers, clutch linkage, exhaust, etc. The solution for most of these interference problems is to grind material off the bellhousing to gain the needed space. Technically the manufacturer, the NHRA and SFI consider any modifications as voiding the SFI certification. However the reality is very few cars can fit a larger bellhousing without slight modification. We had to drill two holes to mount our clutch fork fulcrum because we're using the early style mechanical clutch linkage. (The Lakewood T5 bellhousing is set up for the cable clutch mechanism.)
In addition, because the 302 in Project 11.99 is a 1990 block, there is no mouting location for the block pivot for the clutch equalizer bar. We'd been using a Windsor-Fox adapter designed for the stock bellhousing, so we had to adapt it to the Lakewood. This required some clearancing of the flange and also cutting some standoff spacers as seen in the photos.
The Mr. Gasket Performance Group
10601 Memphis Ave., #12
Cleveland, Ohio 44144