The pilot bearing is located in the end of the crankshaft and supports the end of the transmission input shaft to keep it in alignment. If the pilot bearing seizes, the clutch will not disengage properly and the transmission will grind when placed into gear or not shift into gear at all. Sometimes what are thought to be transmission problems can be cured with a new pilot bearing, if the bearing is found to be seized or sticking. It is always a good idea to replace the pilot bearing along with the clutch and release bearing.
If the pilot bearing is a sealed roller bearing, it cannot be serviced. If defective, damaged or worn, it must be replaced.
With the clutch pressure plate and clutch disk removed, the pilot bearing's inner race is easily accessible. Grasp the inner race and check for excessive play. Rotate the inner race and check for any roughness or binding. The inner race should move freely with a slight bit of resistance. If no resistance is felt the grease in the bearing has most likely exceeded its useful service life or its ability to lubricate has broken down through a combination of time and heat, and the bearing should be replaced. Replace the pilot bearing if any one of the following symptoms are noticed:
Removal & Installation
- Remove the transmission and clutch assembly as outlined in this section.
- Use a small bore inside bearing puller attached to a small slide hammer to remove the bearing from the end of the crankshaft. If installed, note the order of washers and spacers during removal.
- Clean the bore in the crankshaft of the old grease and debris.
- If the bearing is not sealed on both sides, to reuse, clean with brake cleaner and inspect the bearing. Replace as necessary. Before installing the cleaned or new bearing, lubricate it with 1 gram of an approved grease.
- Drive the bearing into the end of the crankshaft using a suitable bearing driver, or, install a socket that is slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the bearing backwards onto a 6 inch (150mm) extension. Drive the bearing evenly into the crankshaft bore using a soft faced hammer.
- If equipped, install the washers and spacers onto the crankshaft. Clean any excess grease from the surrounding area.
- Install the clutch and transmission assemblies.