The job I set out to accomplish back in late October has been achieved this morning!! Got the flywheel off, cleaned up the oily gunk that’s been accumulating back there for who knows how long, scraped off some light surface rust (iron block, but weird place to rust). It only took an hour to get the old brittle one out and the fresh one in.
I’d say now it’s time to button everything up, but it’s not. Turns out the car has had it rougher than I knew. The clutch, pressure plate and their bearings are beyond worn. To put things to numbers, the specs for clutch wear and tolerance state a new clutch should have a thickness of 8.1mm+/-.3mm and the wear limit is 6.3mm: Mine’s at 6.1mm.
So now, I’ll be replacing the clutch and pressure plate including their respective bearings, the clutch fork pin’s needle bearings, resurfacing the flywheel, redoing last year’s oil pan gasket (part of it broke behind the bellhousing and there won’t be an easier time than now), and the shift coupler bushings at the rear for crispier shft-action. I should have this all back together before April, hopefully.