As for running the truck without a pilot bushing (or bearing)......I once owned a 1958 Chevy Impala Convertible. It had a hulking 348 Chevy V-8 in it, and the infamous TurboGlide transmission (Slip & slide with TurboGlide! No gears, no waiting). Unfortunately, the transmission wasn't up to the abuse inflicted on it by the 348 and failed. Being resourceful, I replaced the trans with a PowerGlide 2-speed transmission, but the rear trans mount wouldn't line up, so I just left it resting on the crossmember. Not long after, I had the opportunity to sell it to a fellow who had apparently seen "American Graffiti" and....even though my Impala was red, he decided he had to have it....cash money. Some time later, he was cruising Van Nuys Blvd. with it, and got into a "street race" with some clown. As they passed the funeral home, he launched the car across the railroad tracks....about 4 feet in the air. On touchdown, most of the bellhousing bolts sheared off, dumping the transmission on the ground. After some heated explaining to Van Nuys City Police, he had the car towed home, and somewhere along the line, decided to have his mechanic friend replace the PowerGlide with a Muncie "Rock Crusher" four-speed manual transmission.
I suppose his buddy had the usual problems doing the conversion (I never heard about most of it....he was still mad at me because the transmission fell out, and he got a ticket)
Anyway, when it came time to put the transmission in, the mechanic discovered that it stopped short about an inch before it seated properly. A quick investigation revealed that in GM's infinite wisdom, only manual transmission 348's had the pilot bushing bore machined into the crankshaft....the auto trans models were blank. Since the guy who owned the car and the mechanic didn't want to pull the engine, and remove the crankshaft to machine the correct bore, they did the next best thing.....They used an oxy-acetylene torch to cut the pilot off of the transmission. The transmission fit, everything worked, end of story.....Well, it wasn't all puppy dogs and rainbows... Without the support of the pilot bushing on the end of the shaft, the clutch disc would wear out at an alarming rate....about once every two months. And, once in a while, the front bearing in the transmission would fail, making a costly mess. I guess some pilot bushings (bearings) are there for a purpose.
Last edited by saltmine; 04-20-2013 at 10:17 PM.
No good deed goes unpunished.