Well… I Finally Broke My KM132 Transmission

The other day I was doing a bit of “spirited” driving in my truck.  While in the process of doing a rolling burnout, a slight bit o’ mayhem found its way into my transmission.  It drove & shifted perfectly fine, and I didn’t even notice an issue until I was done driving.  I dropped the transmission into neutral and heard “WHHIIIIIRRRRRRRR” whenever I let the clutch pedal up.  When I pushed the clutch pedal back down, the input shaft on the transmission would slow down, stop, and the sound would go away.  So right off the bat I knew it was input shaft related, probably a bearing.  Sadly, my guess was wrong.

The first step was to pull the already Frankenstein’ed KM132 transmission out, and toss it up on the work bench.  Tada!  Some time ago, I decided that I needed a hydraulically activated clutch, so I cut out the bottom section of the ’87 2.0L bell housing and welded in a portion of a bell housing from a 1983 (?) Dodge Ram 50 Turbo diesel 4wd.  They had hydraulic clutches, and my cable clutch transmission was very similar in size and shape, so it was the obvious choice.  It was by far, one of the best upgrades I have done.  The back half of the transmission is from a Mitsubishi Starion because they had the shifter about 3″ further back than the Dodge Ram 50’s did.  Since my 4G63 turbo engine swap just so happened to be about 3″ forward from the stock engine location, this tail section put my shifter right where it was intended to be.

I immediately dug in and started looked at the bearings for signs of damage.  Oddly, I couldn’t find an obvious signs like I expected.   So I dug further, and began looking at the gears.  It wasn’t easy to spot, but after a few minutes, I found this.

Naturally, I needed to find the piece that was ripped off the gear because I don’t want it hiding inside for when the whole thing is put back together!  So I grabbed my magnet and started searching the bucket of gear oil that I had just dumped out of the transmission.  As if by magic, I found it. Strangely, it didn’t stick to the magnetic drain plug.  Ah well.

By this time, I knew I was going to be pulling the entire transmission apart.  It should be fairly easy to do, other than removing some pressed on bearings, but by 9pm, I was exhausted. I decided to call it quits for the night. I snapped this last picture and walked away.

Much more to come in the days ahead….

P.S. – I guess I should be happy that my transmission didn’t end up like the one in This Twin Turbo Mustang.  Maybe I need to try harder?

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

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