Finding a simple solution to a problem that has been driving you crazy forever.

Ever since I got my truck running, I’ve been chasing this intermittent shake/noise in the engine/transmission at idle. At first I thought the issue was caused by the P.O. using a 350 flywheel (internally balanced) on the 400 small block (externally balanced) he installed, so I replaced the flywheel and clutch assembly, adjusted everything and the shudder/noise sort of went away, but then came back in time. Since I don’t drive the truck all that often, I sort of dealt with it. Until today.

Thinking that I either screwed something up, like not installing the pilot bushing in the crank, or that the throw out bearing in the clutch kit I picked up from NAPA a couple years back, I started poking around underneath. After consulting the shop manual, I started by loosening up the adjustment on the rod that connects the clutch fork to the rest of the clutch linkage. Started the truck, and the shake and noise are both gone. So I went through the process of readjusting the clutch, and noticed that every time I tried to turn either of the lock nuts on the push rod, the rod moved around. That’s when I noted the washer.


The rod is supposed to be held in place in that v-notch by (what they describe as) a nut. At some point in the past that nut must have been lost, so someone stuck a washer in there, so the rod would move around, and the free play would never be the same twice.

After digging through the coffee cans of nuts and stuff that came with the truck, I don’t have the missing nut, so I had to order one. Still, that is a lot better than having to pull the transmission back out to discover the damage that a bad throwout bearing or pilot bushing would have cause. Win.