Originally Posted by Tin Woodman
Thanks for the kick in the butt, Plaka. I shall get on with it. Checked with a magnet tonight when I got home - yep, it's steel alright. Good advice about marking the seal with a Sharpie to check for clearance - will try that tomorrow. Checked end play with existing washer - almost imperceptible and not measurable without a dial gauge, but it's there nonetheless.
I'm positive the inner thrust bearing is back on its pins, SS. Got it back on before I torqued or forced anything. Thing spins like a top with the flywheel back on (but without seal).
As always, grateful for the input.
You must have some clearance of there is no way for oil to get to the thrust edges of the bearing (behind that spacer). And that bearing will wear. it doesn't rotate but does take some hammering. There are longitudinal forces on the crank. Worth measuring.
I've been trying to think of some ways around the dial indicator. most of them are elaborate and not that accurate.
There is always dropping by a local mechanic or machine shop with the block and a cold 6 pack. The measurement only takes a moment and can be done on the counter if you hold the indicator base for the guy.
Or just buy an indicator. $50 will get you a decent one. Fowler is a good mid quality brand. You don't need a really good one, you don't use it enough. The mag base is used for all kinds of things, like checking wheel run out (make yourself up some indicator pointers for it out of rod) . You also do things to check fork alignment and fork tube run out with the dial indicator. Other wise it is not critical for the stuff you get into. You can set your valves with it to an unbelievable level of accuracy---but you got a chain cam drive so that's moot.
I take back what I said before, looking at your picture again. The rear bearing and both "spacers" are stationary and the crank shoulder bears on one end of the stack, the flywheel shoulder bears on the other. Babbit bearing. Replace it. It'd be worth looking at the inner one.
Look closely at the surface of the flywheel that bears on that piece. It should be nice. if not, that must be dealt with. Numerous options, none costly.
Assembly lube on that when you build.
A piece of crud might have gotten in there and tore it up, or it could just be failing. usually crud in a babbit leaves long grooves. You could run it in a pinch but you have a couple of months of snow left...