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During my recent engine-out, I realized that the dash-1 cluch shaft grease zerks could be a classic 'out of sight out of mind' problem.

Once my transaxle was separated, it was obvious the clutch shaft wasn't running free, and warranted more attention than a simple greasing.

Of course removing the shaft requires removal of the clutch fork, which is a pain due to the pins that hold it.  Anyway, once removed, I found that both zerks were packed with crud, and the actuation shaft was rusty at both ends where they run in bronze bushings.  I also found that the original grease seals (INA G16-22-3) were totally shot and needed replacement.  Identical replacements were available on ebay for about $2 ea so at least that was easy.

The zerks ARE almost impossible to see from the top and consequently easy to forget.  A little simple maintenance should avoid all rust & crud issues!!

Fwiw the dash-2 doesn't have the same zerks - -  the entire -2 clutch actuation system is upsized & 'different'.   The dash-2 shaft does has analogous bronze bushings.... not clear offhand how they are lubricated.

For the dash-1 crowd..... good items to hit next time you have a grease gun in hand.  Pics show parts after cleaning...note zerk protruding from the bottom area of the case.  I failed to take any before pics, probably distracted by how bad it looked


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Last edited by nate
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One thing about bronze......oil in pilot shaft bearings.....should be oiled, never greased!   Grease will plug the tiny passages/holes in the bronze and then lube no more.....premature wear is end result.  Made this mistake one time.....wore out the pilot bushing so badly that the trans wouldn't shift gears properly! (NOT a ZF......thankfully!)

Ford (60-70's) door hinge bearings, are another example....oil them, don't grease!

Makes me wonder if the bushings are actually bronze.....or if they should be lubed with a pressurized oil gun of sorts.

Anyone have they ZF service manual handy ......"periodic maintenance" section please! ???  

Perhaps old grease had more oils? Less fillers???

Just my angle on these always over- ignored fittings.....

I'd give them a shot about every 2cnd-3rd oil change as a compromise.....well greased...then can't wear! Can't do that to a pilot bearing!


Steve, I never knew this about bronze bushings and had always used grease before installing the ZF.  Do you have a technical bulletin or article confirming that grease prevents the bushing from lubricating properly?

No offense intended, I have simply never read or heard this before and I have read many books and mag articles on engine rebuilding.

I have gone back to using pilot bearings and don't use bushings anymore.  I believe bushings are less tolerant of the potential misalignment of the shaft in the bearing due to offsets created by line-boring the crank and other manufacturing variances causing a shift in the crank centerline.


I don't have any TSB's only personal experience with my cars over 30 years.  The happiest pilot bearings seemed to be the ones I didn't grease........the worst...were greased!   This was on my daily driver of 30+ years, a 3 spd, a 4 spd, and then a modern T5.      The T5's seem to like the needle bearings so I went that way last...........

It may have been the moly grease????? Did I use synthetic grease in any??  Am not sure, but some wise older mechanic than myself told me of this property with oil impregnated bronze.    Then of course not all pilot bearings are created equal either!!!!   ....just to make things more interesting.....


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