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Need a new clutch? Considerations for older cars or high mileage ones....

Joined
25 April 2005
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Location
Western PA
After only 7-8k miles, I'm removing my old SOS twin carbon clutch on my '92 5-speed with ~128k miles due to the shudder from a stop. Otherwise, I love the clutch.

Anyways, one of the reasons for shudder may be from worn transmission input shaft bearings (ISBs). A quick google search shows this to be the case for many old Honda's once they get around 100k miles on them.

Since I'll have the transmission out for the clutch replacement, I may as well rebuild the axles and change the transmission ISBs.

Thought I would give some pointers for those that have higher-mileage NSX's (over 100k miles)....

Study the applicable Service Manual (SM) sections.

First, on the clutch change, there are a few tutorials on here with pics. My recommendations are as follows though:
1) Clean your engine bay and underneath the car before you begin working. Nitrile gloves are great when wrenching, but it's still nice not to have to deal with excess grime.
2) Buy a transmission jack. I didn't get the cheapest HF one - Mine was the hydraulic gray one for a little more money. Just followed the hydraulic bleeding/fill instructions, tightened up the adjustable saddle, and did a 100lb load test for 24 hours before placing it in use. Worked great.
3) Pull out the front beam (while supporting the engine obviously as there will only be one passenger-side mount holding the engine. It really opens up that space when trying to maneuver around the transmission, and also makes it easier to access other stuff when taking the tranny in/out.
4) You need to pull the clutch fork out of the way before you can separate the transmission from the engine.
5) Once the transmission is out, and old clutch removed, clean all tranny/engine block mating surfaces and the end of the crankshaft thoroughly.
6) Replace the rear main crankshaft seal. If you have over 100k miles, or the car is around 25YO, it will leak soon. Might as well do it now instead of dealing with a puddle or clutch contamination later.
7) Replacing the RMS means you'll be removing the oil pan and replacing the gasket, which is also another must on the older cars. You should have unbolted the front bank exhaust from the cat/muffler before removing the transmission. With the front beam out, it's not that much more work to remove the front bank header and therefore the pan.
8) Once you've cleaned everything, replaced the RMS and oil pan gasket, then you can begin installing the new clutch. When untorquing the old clutch, you are potentially rotating the engine in a safe direction (clockwise when viewed from timing belt side of the engine (passenger side). However, when you torque the bolts for your new clutch, you may potentially spin the engine backwards, causing the timing belt to skip over camshaft teeth. When torquing the flywheel bolts to the crankshaft at 76 ft-lbs, I use this setup so the engine can't spin backwards. For the pressure-plate, I screw in a transmission housing bolt and wedge a screwdriver in against the starter ring teeth. Alternatively, you can spend money on the nice Honda tool... just don't let the engine spin clockwise when viewed from the clutch side.
9) Due to my previous shudder issues, I wanted to measure flywheel runout like the SM does. Spec for a new flywheel is less than 0.002 inches measured at the diameter shown in the SM. My new Exedy (NSX OEM clutch supplier) measured 0.001".

My RMS was replaced when I rebuilt my engine a few years ago. This area just needed a quick wipe-down:
View attachment 148329

Torquing the flywheel bolts:
View attachment 148330

This step isn't necessary, but I'm not taking any chances for a shuddering clutch!
0_001in Runout.jpg


The rest of the clutch install is just standard stuff. Before opening the transmission however, I rebuilt the CV joints and intermediate shaft....

With 128k miles, my intermediate shaft bearing felt fine. However, I don't like pulling axles, and thought now would be a great time to replace it. Buy a new Honda bearing and seal. After some cleaning, I took this to a dealership and had them press out the shaft from the old bearing, press out the old bearing, remove the old seal, and then reinstall the bearing, shaft, and seal.

The CV axles took some work removing. A Harbor Freight 900 ft-lb impact gun and 36mm socket took care of removing the axle nuts. Sprayed some PB blaster on them the night before, and it took a minute or two on each side with the impact gun. Once the nuts are removed, use a brass punch to tap out the axles. Please don't use a hammer or a hammer on top of another hammer.

Clean the hub and splines, then coat the hub splines with anti-seize compound.

The axles weren't difficult - just time-consuming.
Kaz has a great section dedicated just to axles. One of them is here: http://www.nsxcb.co.uk/entry.php?2034-Eng-Refresh-LMA-etc-39

* Mark the location of the axle shafts and ends before removing, and then mark the locations of the roller bearings as you pull away the cups.
* The outboard cups have a lock ring that has to be unclipped before you can pull out the axle.
* You only need to remove one spider hub from each axle (using your brass punch again). It takes some patience removing the locking rings (and reinstalling them).
* It's very messy. I used a lot of old newspapers, paper towels, and gloves.
* None of my joints showed wear, but I went ahead and took all of the roller bearings apart for further inspection. There are 53 pins for each roller bearing, so don't loose any.
* Degrease everything very well and keep it all clean. Contamination is the source of most wear (besides significantly lowered cars)
* Clean/inspect the ABS trigger in the hubs, and also the trigger teeth at the outboard cups.
* Now is a good time to sand, degrease, and paint the axles and cups.
* Use electrical tape over the splines to protect the new boots when sliding them on the axle (you only need to remove on spider from each axle, so you slide both boots on from one end). Install the big lock ring, then the spider with the correct offset relative to the other spider per the SM. Again, installing new lock rings takes some practice.
* I used Redline CV-2 grease. You can proportion the amount of grease in each cup per the SM, but I just eyeball it. I like the little plastic 14 oz containers vs. the tube. You'll need one 14 oz container for each axle (two containers total).
* If you're rebuilding these for a street car - DO NOT VENT THE BOOTS. Moisture will reduce the load-carrying capability of the grease, and any contaminants from the road/track will further ruin the precision surfaces. Don't vent unless you are only using on the track and frequently rebuilding axles.
* The rest of reassembly is pretty straight-forward per the SM.

Before:
View attachment 148327

During Cleaning:
During.jpg

Finished:
After.jpg


That's where I have stopped for now. Next up is taking apart the transmission.

In summary, for cars that are over 100k miles, around 25 YO, and you need a new clutch, consider:
1) A new oil pan gasket,
2) A new rear main seal,
3) New front and/or rear engine mounts. These do crack with age/abuse. Mine have been beefed up with 3M Windoweld in the past. You'll have these removed for the clutch change.
4) New transmission ISB's
5) New intermediate shaft bearing
6) New shift clutch fork, clutch fork holder, and throwout bearing guide on the transmission. These are wear items. My bearing guide is in great shape, but I needed a new clutch fork and fork holder. You'll also need new transmission seals. They're cheap insurance.


Big thanks to [MENTION=10201]goldNSX[/MENTION], [MENTION=25737]Kaz-kzukNA1[/MENTION], and [MENTION=3729]Larry Bastanza[/MENTION] for all of their informative posts over the years.

Once I'm finished, I will list all of the Honda parts numbers for the stuff I used.

I've never opened a transmission before :smile:
 
I love this DIY threads. :)

- What did the clutch fork look like?
- What did the spider roller bearing inner surfaces look like? On older axles the surface can show some wear on the hardened area.
- What is the advantage over Redline CV-2 grease over OEM grease for a street driven car? I just recall that you have to transfer some grease from one OEM tube to the other as the outer joint requires more greese than the inner one and the amount in one OEM tube is not sufficient for the outer one.
- Not sure what you meant by NOT VENTING THE BOOTS. Do you mean to keep an overpressure in the boot compared to the atmosphere so dirt/moisture can't get in there while the boot ages?
- nice substitute for the OEM Honda flywheel holder tool.
- those axles look very nice.

Happy wrenching!
 
Thanks. The reason for this thread was to inform others of the maintenance to consider on these older cars once you're in there changing a clutch. For example, when I bought my car at ~60k miles on it about 14 years ago, I immediately had the transmission snap ring fix performed, the axles rebuilt, and a new OEM clutch installed by one of the best NSX technicians in the country. At that time, he started to see signs of the rear main seal developing a leak.

Furthermore, when I did my engine rebuild a few years ago, I changed the clutch to the SOS twin carbon for my 450 ft-lbs of torque and replaced the tranny seals, but I didn't replace the intermediate shaft bearing, rebuild the axles, replace the ISB's, or replace the clutch fork. In hindsight, I should have done that. Doing this stuff is a lot easier when the engine and tranny are already out of the car.


- What did the clutch fork look like?

The clutch fork is pictured below. I never thought about replacing this as a wear item, and you don't hear anything about it on Prime. It wasn't until I was reading your thread and others on nsxcb.co.uk that it was frequently mentioned to replace this, the holder, spring, and the throwout bearing collar due to wear.

Your thread over there has a lot of valuable information and pictures in it - Thank you!
http://www.nsxcb.co.uk/showthread.php?14344-My-gearbox-revision-thread

Just the release fork and hanger are about $200, but it makes sense to replace them due to my specific wear. It should make engagement/disengagement smoother than what I have now. The throwout bearing collar on my transmission looks great and there's no need to replace it.

View attachment 148335

- What did the spider roller bearing inner surfaces look like? On older axles the surface can show some wear on the hardened area.

I didn't take any close-up pictures as everything looked in great shape. The roller inner wall for each roller looked just like the photo below (courtesy of Kaz). All inner ball rose joints also looked just like Kaz's photo (a little blury in the left part of the picture, but no wear marks at all).
1v2on3OIFyGG8LabXAnGCBG5dnC9AGAIARspDVSXREj9-Ers5E2vwXTsRNHh9c4DMhJ1r2flmM2dilJ0o5uSBgBJb1Uo3m3NXPfv-Gr4ns_yTGv1woGLYK9GWrOYD5382CrIv0aYW1FHGcsy1zrTra0JWwsNPzZoKceSrFHnCowWoWHBn_FO3LcX4ChQK_rEtRoJIfFSp5NpNfz0yuEf7m3evK2kunFpvxyhHzjQXdSsuyM0_AoK9PIM2CQbe3TBJlOzbwQYGjM4OFrmhBa2ltgLukIO2DY8GLUr3l5Fq8ySl5_sgkvh_lvH1oXJcjdBGbZeRw3W_mjys-6rDjdSX10Ws-jV1rqmkYYDuHtiXMkuN8Y-AFJwgjsKWM0v0R7GDxmP9kUWNTfDLq75fnOA1Q8jSfshupiB3g4-1d3sAicUIQC6lM8UaQl2n4QkgbzEmsvZHIRcxVTiDgxoSayyQQYTVfMNvI0Cd8y2wu7a-aciqMueBSVNgs6o7093Y5sVe2bPqPGgsoTV1EpKBoXHH-azEWuc6H3bcmvdmGS3-LY915koJh9j_77PbYmhehzCuW-hdr2d-2jwcg66WvTxIQSmdbOmlD8W3zoH2aNlUeQLk7mlhq0kwM9YnsP90Ue6btBzgTWeF8jHNt-Sw-ZKI5fJITmS0MY1fDPap12P5eE=w1080-h608-no


I was really happy with the lack of wear considering there are about 130k miles on them. But, my car isn't lowered much, I know how to heel/toe when downshifting (surprisingly, a lot of abuse is due to this), and I rebuild the axles about every 30k miles.

- What is the advantage over Redline CV-2 grease over OEM grease for a street driven car? I just recall that you have to transfer some grease from one OEM tube to the other as the outer joint requires more greese than the inner one and the amount in one OEM tube is not sufficient for the outer one.
- Not sure what you meant by NOT VENTING THE BOOTS. Do you mean to keep an overpressure in the boot compared to the atmosphere so dirt/moisture can't get in there while the boot ages?

For a street-driven car? Not much advantage. The real advantage is the heat tolerance of the synthetic grease over the Honda stuff. The Honda grease will liquefy at around 300 degrees-F. The Redline is good to about 600F. Yes, the outer housing is larger than the inner housing and will take a bit more grease. With one 14 oz jar of Redline grease, I probably put 6 oz in the smaller inner housing and 8 oz in the larger outer housing. The SM will give the ideal ratio of grease. Also, the grease just costs an extra $30. Small price to pay in my opinion....

I should have been more clear on the venting. Some members have suggested venting boots if the car is used on the track. You can also read about it here at the bottom of the page:
http://driveshaftshop.com/blog/?p=567
If you use the car on the street, don't vent.

I set my axle lengths according to the SM. Before tightening the boot strap on the inner side, I lifted the boot to equalize pressure before tightening it down.

My rebuilt intermediate shaft:
WP_20171022_11_07_02_Pro.jpg
 
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Just the release fork and hanger are about $200, but it makes sense to replace them due to my specific wear. It should make engagement/disengagement smoother than what I have now. The throwout bearing collar on my transmission looks great and there's no need to replace it.
I got wrid of an seldom but annoying noise/chatter with changing the new release fork which showed a little bit more wear than yours. The throwout bearing collar/guide on my car showed groves.
I'm glad I've replaced it. I've also never heard of the broken/redesigned shift fork of the 5th gear here on prime.
 
May as well continue with the mild transmission rebuild....

The transmission housing was replaced at 60k miles for the preventative snap ring fix. At the time, I had the 1, 2, and 3rd gear synchros replaced as a preventative measure (not knowing the ISBs were also a weak part). Oh well.

Anyways, at this point, I could go crazy with the transmission rebuild (short gears, de-burr, REM, LSD, etc), but I'm not. An aftermarket sequential is the way to go and I would rather put money for that someday.

With that in mind, here's what I'm doing:
* Cleaning everything
* Check the shift fork clearances per the SM
* Replace the necessary seals
* Replace the two large mainshaft bearings
* Probably take apart the LSD and measure the clutch disc thicknesses. I have no interest in going to the Type-R spec. This works fine for my usage.

So, onto the rebuild:

First, clean the case well before opening. Again, it's nice to work on somewhat clean parts.

I don't have enough bench space at this garage, so I'm doing it on the floor. Highly recommend a big piece of cardboard.

Case cracked open. Shift fork wear was within spec. Don't see any glaring issues:
View attachment 148492

Most everything pulled out:
View attachment 148491

Magnet was relatively clean....
View attachment 148493

Now it is onto cleaning the cases and replacing the housing seals. Then, I need to pull the two bearings off the mainshaft and replace. Then probably take apart the LSD case and measure the discs.

Some of the stuff has already been cleaned:
WP_20171027_22_04_10_Pro.jpg

Here's a better comparison of the old clutch fork with ~130k miles on it and the new one. Didn't feel bad before, but it should feel like butter after this:
WP_20171027_19_52_16_Pro.jpg

The release (throwout bearing) collar after a mild polish. Mine was in really good shape with just a few minor wear marks and and can be re-used.
WP_20171027_20_17_10_Pro.jpg
View attachment 148494
 
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Reminds me of my last major work done on the car...

Did you check the input shaft if there's excessive play which can be related to the shudder of the clutch you've experienced?

Are you planning to checke the clearance of the mainshaft according to the manual as you're going replace both bearings (specs 0.14-0.21 mm)

Parts look fine from what I see. Do you also have pics of the gear/synchro/hub/sleeve areas?
 
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Reminds me of my last major work done on the car...

Did you check the input shaft if there's excessive play which can be related to the shudder of the clutch you've experienced?

Are you planning to checke the clearance of the mainshaft according to the manual as you're going replace both bearings (specs 0.14-0.21 mm)

Parts look fine from what I see. Do you also have pics of the gear/synchro/hub/sleeve areas?

You're the inspiration for this! I was not scared of rebuilding my first engine ever (and on a NSX too), but transmissions have intimidated me for some reason. I'm still a bit intimidated and that's the major reason I'm not doing more than I am. :redface:

I did not detect any play in the input shaft, but since I have the new parts already and it does seem to be a common problem on high-mileage Honda's, I thought I would go ahead and open the case.

I was going to measure the mainshaft clearance using the method you did in your thread (total installed measurement like Kaz recommended).

I don't have pictures yet of these areas, and am especially curious what the synchro clearances measure.

For now, I cannot find my bearing puller :)mad:), and will need to borrow one or buy another one. I hate it when I can't find tools I know I have. Moving a few times in the past five years hasn't helped. I miss my old garage where I had plenty of well-lit workbench space:

View attachment 148498
 
Wow, the ISB near the splines is held on there REALLY tight. I already gave it to my friend to have it professionally pressed out. My gear/bearing puller was strained. The bearing on the opposite end came off easily with my puller.

The synchro teeth are not rounded and the thicknesses are within spec. I'm going to leave them alone.

Removed the old Hondabond and cleaned up the mating surfaces. Pulled the oil pump strainer (no debris - looked good). Used about a can of carb cleaner on the housings and internals along with some compressed air. Installed new seals. Next up is take apart the diff and measure the thicknesses. Then I will make a decision on whether or not to put the GM Synchromesh in :wink:
 
There's a press needed for the ISB. Watch the orientation of the bearing on the other end.
 
There's a press needed for the ISB. Watch the orientation of the bearing on the other end.

Before opening the transmission, I was hoping it would be like other Honda's and the bearing would be simply tapped out from the case. Guess Honda wanted to do something different for the NSX.

Thanks, but is there a bearing orientation? On the spline side, the bearing manufacturer markings face inside. On the opposite end, the bearing manufacturer markings face outside. It doesn't look like there is a difference to me, or do you mean watch the orientation of the beveled washer?


please send me that Smart Shopper Coupon when you're done. 2 Days Only!!!

Don't tell my wife I took the coupon pages! What a messy job. I think I've used up all the newspapers we've had in the recycling bin, as well as a few rolls of paper towels.


Great thread!

Will come in handy one day.

Those axles look so good.

Thank you!
 
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Thanks Thomas - I still don't have my mainshaft back from my friend, so I haven't looked at the replacement instructions in detail yet.

I've started thinking however about how to measure the mainshaft clearance. That looks kinda tricky.

The end of the video below says you can check it by hand. However, the first comment in the video says he made a mistake and you cannot check it by hand when you have the spring washer installed - the tool is preferred:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEjwISEuyPU

I need to read the SM in more detail.
 
One nice thing about taking apart your transmission when doing a clutch replacement is that you can use the mainshaft splines to line up the clutch discs and pilot bearing much better than the plastic thingy. Should make it a lot easier sticking the tranny back on.
 
Great diy MAC. Curious to know what you think of the exedy twin organic.
 
I've started thinking however about how to measure the mainshaft clearance. That looks kinda tricky.

The end of the video below says you can check it by hand. However, the first comment in the video says he made a mistake and you cannot check it by hand when you have the spring washer installed - the tool is preferred:
I also took this video as a reference. When you measure the mainshaft clearance WITH the shim installed AND the shim is TOO THICK you can't measure the mainshaft clearance as near to no clearance will be seen. The targeted value for the mainshaft clearance is pretty low (0.14-0.21 mm). That's the reason to measure WITHOUT THE SHIM FIRST, note down the measured clearance and calculate the shim needed according to the manual. The standard shim is 1.00 mm. But this is just an approximate value. In the factory, they've adjusted it to the correct value in each individual gearbox. Whenever you change parts on the mainshaft or the tranny case its clearance has to be re-measured.
In my case there were two shims installed from the last gearbox revision, total of 1.65 mm. My measurements resulted in a 0.95 mm shim. So my last installer choose a shim too thick (ruining the bearing as they were 0.7 mm under load!). If I started with 1.65 mm I would have seen no clearance at all.
For the measurement make sure the mating surface of the gearbox cases are clean, torque the bolts according to the manual and measure at around 20 deg. C room temperature with only the mainshaft installed (no countershaft).

Clutch alignment: even with the clutch alignement it's a hard task to mount to gearbox back to the engine. Engine and tranny have to be 99.9% in line but it's a satisfying moment when it's finally attached, believe me. :)

Read the SM carefully and take your time. Good luck!
 
Clutch alignment: even with the clutch alignement it's a hard task to mount to gearbox back to the engine. Engine and tranny have to be 99.9% in line but it's a satisfying moment when it's finally attached, believe me. :)

When I rebuilt my engine I attached the transmission with it out of the car. That alignment was tricky enough. I'm not looking forward to doing it in the car. BUT, this time I have the mainshaft I can use to align everything before tightening down the clutch pressure plate. Using the mainshaft should align everything much better than the cheap plastic alignment tool supplied with most clutch kits. At least I'm hoping it does :wink:

I'm still waiting for the mainshaft bearing to be pressed off. Hopefully I'll get that back tomorrow. In the meantime, I finished cleaning everything else and have begun placing the new seals and stuff.

Also, I removed the LSD case to inspect the clutch discs and intermediate plates. See below.

WP_20171103_18_13_46_Pro (1).jpg

I measured a few. New clutch discs measure between 0.061" to 0.071" with a service limit of 0.01" per the SM. Mine measured ~0.065".
New intermediate clutch plates measure between 0.1" to 0.104" with no service limit given. Mine measured ~0.097".

Like I've said in other threads, I bought the car with 60k miles on it. Immediately had the snap ring preventative fix performed (new transmission case half), and 1-3 synchros replaced at the same time. The Acura dealership put in Honda white cap MTF and while everything felt "OK," it was a tad notchy from 1-2 when cold so I went with the GM Synchromesh blend after about a thousand miles. Used that for a good ~35-40k miles then went with Amsoil MTF for about 20k miles. Then I went back to Honda white cap for the past 5k miles after my engine rebuild. No grinding or mesh issues with any of the fluids, but I liked the GM Synchromesh the most.

Obviously, it doesn't cause any premature wear or damage to the synchros, gears, or LSD clutch discs, so it's going back in when the transmission is re-assembled :smile:
 
Got the mainshaft back today. All bearings are installed per the SM (like GoldNSX says above, watch the orientation of the bearing opposite the splines), and it was tested for mainshaft runout.

SM spec is 0.0055" to 0.0083" after the tapered shim is installed and you're measuring it with the Honda tool (compressing the tapered shim).

Like GoldNSX notes, I just installed the mainshaft without the tapered shim and measured the thrust. Then, I just subtracted the thickness of my tapered shim, and it was 0.0045" clearance. Well, that is just 0.001" shy of the minimum recommended clearance so I'm going to make an executive decision and run it like this :biggrin: Tonight and tomorrow are relatively warm, so I'm not going to wait another 5 days to gain a measly 0.001" clearance. Time to get this thing back together and get one last drive in before there's no traction through my summer-only tires!

thrust clearance.jpg


And here's where I wish I had taken better picture closeups during disassembly....

The mainshaft seal. I don't know which way it's supposed to go in. The SM says this:
View attachment 148612

If you drive it in from the inside of the transmission case per the picture above, that means the flat face of the seal is on the inside of the transmission. The spring part of the seal would be exposed to the clutch side.

However, the SM is inconsistent. The lower part of the picture above would have the flat face of the seal on the clutch side based on the housing cut view. The top picture obviously has it opposite.

I think it is correct to place it with the flat face pointing to the clutch like GoldNSX did in his thread. Two reasons:
1) These seals usually have the retaining spring facing inside towards the fluid they are trying to keep in.
2) These seals have a fine arrow picture on the face. If you look at the diff seals, you'll notice the arrows point in the direction of the shaft forward rotation. The seal for the transmission input shaft would be rotating correctly with the engine if the face is placed on the clutch side.

That means the mainshaft has to be carefully inserted into the seal so you don't dislodge the spring when putting everything together. It would probably be helpful to at least have another helper to drop in the mainshaft, countershaft, and fork guides when putting all this in the housing at once.
 
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Mainshaft shim: From your picture I think you've measured the clearance while the gearbox or the mainshaft was horziontal. It should be vertical. I can't see with which tool you lifted the mainshaft. It needs quite some force to lift the mainshaft (ok, when vertically) to overcome its weight. You stop lifting it when there's no further movement on the gauge.
With the next lower (less thicker) shim it will be in specs. I guess you're ok with using the existing one. But for some reason Honda choose the existing spread of shims (0.05 mm).

However, the SM is inconsistent. The lower part of the picture above would have the flat face of the seal on the clutch side based on the housing cut view. The top picture obviously has it opposite.

I think it is correct to place it with the flat face pointing to the clutch like GoldNSX did in his thread.
I also ran into this incosistancy. The picture is far from being clear.
Yes, I've installed the flat area of the seal facing towards the clutch. My argument is that in every similar seal (axles, oil pump, crankshaft) there is a small lip (in the picture above you see it contacting the special tool) which acts as a dust barrier for the actual seal (spring) and the only dust to be expected is from the clutch side. The actual fluid seal (spring) is facing towards the inside of the gearbox as you mention. Make sure you mount it dry, not lubricated. Before mounting the mainshaft again clean the mainshaft area where the seal contacts and coat it with a small amount of oil. Putting the mainshaft, countershaft, forks all together back at the same time is a job where 4 hands are preferred. :)
Fiddling with the reverse gear while lifting the mainshaft is also funny. Lift the reverse gear NOT at the gear itself, just lift the top of the shaft and CHECK the position of the reverse gear synchro afterwards. This is a critical step. I've had to do it more than once as the synchro was messed up while installing the reverse gear while lifting it at the gear itself. You MUST lift it at the top of the shaft.

Before applying the Hondabond/liquid gasket it's highly recommended to exercise the mounting of the trans case to the clutch case with fiddling in the shift piece (the manual talks about it). If the shift piece on the outside of the gearbox feels loose you're wrong. When doing this exercise with no Hondabond applied the 4 guide sleeves between the two case halfes have a tendency to stick in the upper case or fall out when you take the case off again. Make sure you don't loose any of them IN the tranny itself.
Also the shift forks inside the gearbox have to be pushed towards the mainshaft to be able to close the tranny. This needs some exercise as some people needed more than 30 minutes for this time and nerve consuming task.

Happy wrenching.
 
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Thanks for the re-assembly tips. I'll do that tomorrow, and will be sure to make a dry run first without the Hondabond.

On the mainshaft clearance, yes, I did this with the mainshaft horizontal. I pushed and pulled both ways quite forcefully by hand while watching the dial indicator as to accurately tell the clearance.
 
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