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Thread: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

  1. #1
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    [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    Hello to all VW Beetle gearbox and clutch experts! (hint)

    I'll try and keep this as simple as possible. Basically I'm in a bit of a pickle...

    I have a VW Beetle IRS gearbox with special COGBOX modified internals, heavy duty side plates etc etc. I have an Alfa Boxer engine. I also have a GB Engineering adaptor plate kit bought 10 years ago and used to good effect with my old swing axle set up (the special input shaft that came with the kit was taken out and put into the IRS one). Since the IRS conversion was done the Nova was never driven and as you know I'm now re-building it.

    The GB Engineering kit comprised of:

    - Input shaft that goes into the VW gearbox.
    - A sliding spacer which fits between the VW clutch release mechanism and the Alfa clutch mechanism.
    - An adaptor plate
    - A set of bolts

    Note: The application retains the Alfa clutch, flywheel and starter motor.

    When the Nova was carted off to the garage about 2 months ago I forgot to remove the sliding spacer from the input shaft and on route it slid off and dissapeared into a bush somewhere in Surrey.

    This is what the sliding spacer looks like:

    (THIS IS NOT MY NOVA, IT'S JUST AN EXAMPLE OF THE SLIDING SPACER)





    I now need a new one.

    I phoned GB Engineering but they don't make these kits anymore. I did some pleading and they are willing to make me a new spacer "IF" they find the original drawings. But before they start hunting they need to know the answer to this question:

    "Does your input shaft have a 'guide sleeve'?".

    A guide sleeve looks like this:



    I looked into the Nova's gearbox bellhousing and this is what I see:



    As you can see there's not only no guide sleeve but also no Thrust Release Bearing which I definately need.

    OK let's start with the clutch release bearing. There seems to be two available but I'm not sure which one I need. Here they are:

    http://www.machine7.com/section.php?xSec=358

    Help!

    Next...

    Should my gearbox also have a 'guide sleeve' or not? If so then which one? I have the 3 tapped holes for fixing it to the bellhousing but maybe that doesn't mean anything. Here are the available guide sleeves:

    http://www.machine7.com/section.php?xSec=363

    Once I've established these things and had the spacer made up then I can fit the engine which was supposed to be this weekend

    Cheers guys

    G.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bushboy's Avatar
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    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    Giles,
    I have an IRS. below is a pick of mine without the V6 attached. You can see that mine has the slider thing watsit and the thrust bearing attached. I have a new, not needed thrust bearing in the shed. I think it is for the older style bearing forks so may be of absolutely no use to you. I'll attach a pic tomorrow.

    No slidyadapter on the V6 install as the kit came with a new fly wheel.







    bushboy
    "Always do what you are afraid to do"
    "I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying"

  3. #3

    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    OK Giles having now seen the photo of your bell housing and spacer it becomes a lot clearer. Your gearbox appears to retain the old forks and original beetle thrust bearing, except that the new spacer collar simply acts as an extension to the thrust bearing to press on the clutch plate. It seems that this design doesn’t make use of the original VW collar as the new spacer keeps the thrust bearing vertical. So my guess now is the original collar isn’t needed as the CB Engineering spacer serves both purposes.

    So bottom line is a new Spacer needs to be machined. Even if they don’t have the original drawings all is not lost as you can tell a lot from your photo. The diameter of both ends of the new spacer are the same diameter as a standard thrust bearing. The length can be determined by fitting the forks and thrust bearing first then measuring to the start of the thrust bearing to the beginning of the splines on the input shaft (as per the photo). The middle length is machined down to a narrower diameter simply to shed some weight I guess.

    Most machine shops given the photo and some measurements from the gearbox with forks and thrust bearing fitted would be able to do this I think.

    Good Luck.

  4. #4
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    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    Thanks for your replys. Islandman - Sorry I should have made a note (just done it) that the first photo showing the bellhousing with all the bits on it is not my Nova, it's a photo from the web probably of a VW. It's the second close up photo that is mine. Would you be able to edit your answer based on this?! Sorry
    G

  5. #5
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    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    Bushboy thanks for the reply and photos. What type of forks does your gearbox have? Are they the same as mine shown in the close up photo of my bellhousing? If so then I presumably should be buying the 'guide sleeve'.

    Also I presume that you are using a new type of thrust release bearing as you pointing out that you spare was an old one, right?

    All these clues will help me work it out.

    p.s. let's stick to the right termanology otherwise it's going to get more confusing than it is already. I'm getting a headache over this!

    G

  6. #6
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    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    I found this on the web but I think it only confuses me more...



    It's interesting though as the Alfa clutch plate more resembles the bottom drawing.

    I'm still no wiser if to have a guide sleeve fitted and what thrust release bearing to have.

    G

  7. #7
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    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    Just about to go down to the garage but I've had a thought...

    Surely this is the way to go about this:

    1/ Get official confirmation of what type of forks I have as these I don't want to remove/replace. I've got a feeling that these must be the "Steel Forks" that COGBOX fitted as part of the mod. It's written on the receipt. Anyone in agreement with me there or is there another gearbox part called "Steel Forks"?

    2/ Look at the drawings in the previous post and work out which thrust bearing I need. This will also tell me if I need a guide sleeve or not.

    3/ Buy the correct thrust bearing. Buy the guide sleeve if needed.

    4/ Tell GB Engineering if I have a guide sleeve or not.

    5/ GB Engineering comer up with the goods, or I get a fabricators to make one up for me as Islandman suggested.

    So, I still need help with identification

    G

  8. #8

    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaF4
    I found this on the web but I think it only confuses me more...



    It's interesting though as the Alfa clutch plate more resembles the bottom drawing.

    I'm still no wiser if to have a guide sleeve fitted and what thrust release bearing to have.

    G

    Actually this diagram tells you and awful lot. Just take a look at the Alfa clutch, if it is just "fingers" with no ring as per the "71 on most models" second diagram then this is the thrust bearing to go for. If memory serves me this is the one.

    p.s. and yes my earlier statements on making a new thrust bearing still stand

  9. #9

    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    The clutch system with no sleave is used for the older engines/gearbox, my swing axle uses that type.
    The other clutch system uses the sleave and a different thrust bearing aswell as a different fork, its used on the more modern vehicles.
    For some weird reason people upgrade the old gearboxes to accept the newer clutch system by drilling three holes into the gearbox.
    Your gearbox has the three holes so orginally it is supposed to have the newer clutch system.
    As you are using an alfa engine and clutch I would put some plastacine on the clutch plate and bolt up the engine, you can then remove the engine again and you should have the approximate dimension of the sleave you need to make or atleast the distance between the bearing and the plate.
    Might be a good idea to put the plastacine into a sandwitch bag so it doesnt stick to your gearbox components.

  10. #10
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    Re: [IRS GEARBOX] Clutch Release Bearing & Guide Sleeve - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by islandman
    Actually this diagram tells you and awful lot. Just take a look at the Alfa clutch, if it is just "fingers" with no ring as per the "71 on most models" second diagram then this is the thrust bearing to go for. If memory serves me this is the one.
    ... I would be inclined to agree with you and ChrisBailey (thanks Chris) but look at the forks on the two drawings. They are pointing towards the clutch in different directions! Is this an error or deliberate? The first says "Bearing sits in this recess", the second one says "Bearing site on this bump". My forks are pointing in the same direction as the first drawing which would suggest the earlier type, contrary to what you and ChrisBailey have suggested. Would you be so kind as to take another look?

    Also bear in mind that whatever the answer I still need the 'spacer' that I lost, so although my Alfa clutch plate has just fingers with no ring, maybe the spacer acts as the 'ring' at the clutch end?

    Giles.

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