With the lift empty for the first time in ages we got the Mustang up in the air and set about getting the box off so we could have a look at the badly slipping clutch. By the time I got there Russell already had the exhausts and the prop off. We brought the car down so I could climb in and undo the gearknob surround. While that sounds really easy, it is anything but - the high sides of the racing bucket seats combined with the roll cage and the ramp upright made it a right old faff. My 60 year old worn out body somehow wiggled it's way in there though and the parts all came off very easily. While the car was on the floor we whipped the bonnet up and took out the upper bell housing bolts - it was easier than trying to get them from under the car. We then sent the car back skywards and took out the rest of the bell housing bolts, removed the gearbox rear mount, loosened the gear selector quadrant bracket and attempted to remove the box.
It had all been going so well until this point when we suddenly realised that we should have removed the right hand headers - they were non standard and it was going to be a mare to get the box out with them in place. Sadly because the box was now half out and resting on the trans jack we would have had to put the box back, lower the car, take off the headers and then do the whole song and dance again. When I suggested this to Russell the look on his face dictated that I should run away very fast. We decided to go with his plan of rotating the box and carefully levering the header just enough and after about 10 minutes of magnificent manual manipulation the box was out.
It didn't take long to spot the problem, bits of broken clutch plate cascaded out of the bell housing - things were clearly amiss. Just 6 bolts hold the pressure plate in place, with that removed we finally had access to what little remained of the driven plate. I have never seen one quite as bad as this, there was no friction material at all left on the pressure plate side and only very little left of the flywheel side. Both the flywheel and pressure plate were blued from the heat, the flywheel was worn and had hundreds of little cracks in it.
Malcolm left the decision to me as to whether we replaced the flywheel, it was a complete no brainer - the whole lot is getting done. It was then that he gave us a clue as to why the thing had probably let go so suddenly. Apparently he had lit the tyres up to see how long he could do an 11 - turns out it was quite a distance.
We are going to a local supplier tomorrow to see if they have or can get one, if not we have found one on line. Once it is here I should think it will be in and up and running in about 3 hours. We have taken off the header to make refitting much easier.
Before I forget, I found out that the signatures on the glove box are those of Dan Gurney, Phil Hill and Bob Riggle - the man that nearly killed Jay Leno in his Hemi Under Glass 2500hp wheelie car.
Bit of an update, we tried to keep it local but nobody round here could supply a clutch or order one in so we had to buy on line. Although the prices in the USofA were a fraction of any UK supplier the cost of postage and import duties soon wiped out any savings. One US supplier could supply both the clutch kit and the flywheel for about 120 quid but that rose to nearly 380 with all the extras and would have taken a week or more to arrive. We have a Broadspeed Anglia to sort next so it would be good to get it done a bit quicker than that. In the end we bought the whole shooting match from Real Steel down in Uxbridge. Hopefully we will get it in the next couple of days and get the job cracked.