Name That Part – I Don't Know Either!

Ford Country Sedan Wagon
It came from underneath…
…but I can tell you where they came from. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been spending a bunch of time (and money) sprucing up the Country Sedan. It’s been mostly sitting for most of the last year, so a round of tune-up parts was in order. After a distributor cap and rotor, new plugs and wires, valve cover gaskets, front wheel bearings and a cooling system flush-out, it was time to hit the road again. Specifically, the plan was to take it camping this weekend. Unfortunately, road testing post spruce-up revealed a tick-tick-CRUNCH noise from under the car, but only under hard braking… The first thought was something (a loose tool?) hitting the fan, but the engine bay was clean. Second thought was a faulty wheel bearing, so I ended up re-doing one side. No dice. Every lap around the block, it’d crunch from the bottom-front of the car under hard braking. It wasn’t until I parked the car running nose-down on my sloped driveway and looked underneath that I ID’ed the noise as coming from the transmission. (queue the FFFFFFUUUUUUU) Pulling back to the garage, I (unwisely) assumed pulling the transmission’s pan was the best bet. 10 minutes and a hot tranny fluid bath (…sigh…) later and there were no signs of trouble. Then it occurred to me to check in the flywheel area…a check that requires removing four bolts and looking. Should’ve done that first, because hiding behind the flywheel were the two little buggers you saw earlier. Judging by the scar, the pin had been catching between the flywheel and the bellhousing. Sort of makes sense that under hard braking, it would roll forward and get kicked around.

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Per the the wise, helpful people over at FordMuscle, the pin might be one of the block-to-trans alignment pins…but it seems a little small for that (1/4″ diameter). The spring is another issue entirely. As best anyone can figure out, it looks a lot like the springs that sit on a drum brake adjuster. Why the hell a drum brake adjuster spring is rattling around in my bellhousing is a complete mystery. In fact, this whole thing’s a bit of a mystery as in the 3 years and roughly 5,000 miles (told you it had been sitting) that I’ve owned this wagon, I’ve never pulled the transmission, and never heard this noise before. Also, aside from the crunching, the car starts, runs and drives just fine. So, if anyone here has a good idea, feel free to weigh in in the comments. It seems unlikely that parts are falling out of the front of the transmission into the bellhousing. The next most obvious source of springs and pins in the area is the starter. Perhaps part of the starter gear engagement mechanism came loose? All this wrapped up at about 1:00am last night, and I may or may not get to it tonight to figure out what’s going on. Now I’ve got to get the Jeep and utility trailer ready as the backup camping vehicle.

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