Tranny rebuild, Walcks or Novacs

matty49

Bigger Hammer
Dec 8, 2017
197
Seneca Lake Oh.
First Name
Mathew
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1949
My input bearing cage is broken but all else looks really good. I've got the tranny apart on the bench. Since I'm not a tranny tech. I will also replace my rear bearing and all yellow synchro parts even tho I can't detect any wear on them. This is my question: is Novacs that much better to justify the extra cost. 2 bearings: $95.00 synchro clutch: $ 81.00 pawls and both springs: $16.50 TOTAL: $192.50
WALCKS : 2 bearings : $40.00 syncro (includes all) $83.00 cluster gear shaft: $11.00 tranny gasket, felt seal, and one that I can't remember, came to approx $ 145.00. So, is Novac worth the money or would you go with Walcks. I'm going to go with the majority here. Thanks.
 

WA7OPY

Precision Fit
Aug 1, 2019
709
Missoula, mt
First Name
Phil
Willys Model
  1. Jeepster
Willys Year:
  1. 1947
You can buy the front and rear bearings from a bearing house for less, ( go with a sealed rear bearing), and as I said in other posts most if not all t90 prats come from a wholesaler called Crown, so the price is the only diff between venders...Phil
 

vintagetrk

Precision Fit
All-Star
Apr 28, 2018
734
NW Wyoming
First Name
nathan
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
I bought my small parts kit from Walcks with no issues at all. It's going to be sticky shifting until you get some miles on it.
 

Lookout Ranch

Well Oiled
All-Star
May 9, 2015
5,070
Sierra Foothills
First Name
Carter
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
The kits from Walck’s and Novak use a lot of the same components. The key differences are Novak uses a sealed front (input shaft) bearing system, and they have a cluster gear shaft they are very proud of, claiming it has superior hardness and better sealing at the ends due to its o-rings. I think they also use gaskets from a different source.

The idea behind the sealed front bearing system is that you can supposedly eliminate a source of leakage out the front via the input shaft. I’m a bit dubious of both the need for this and its long-term success, though, as there really isn’t a good way to seal around the bearing itself, where it interfaces with the case. The torque exerted on the shaft will eventually take a toll on any sealant used there.

The main benefit of the sealed bearing, in my opinion, is that it does allow you to eliminate a part from the transmission designed to feed oil to the input shaft bearing. This part complicates the assembly process and limits options for methods of assembly and disassembly.

As for Novak’s super expensive hardened shaft with the o-rings, I’m not really a fan of the o-rings, they tend to get skinned off in the assembly process, limiting their utility, in my opinion. I can’t really speak to the value of the hardened aspect of their shafts. In theory it should allow a longer interval between rebuilds, which could be beneficial if you plan to put on a lot of miles. There may be another source for a hardened shaft if that’s a priority — you could try Herm Tilford, the overdrive guy, who is usually best reached by phone.
 

cafton

Gear Grinder
Apr 26, 2016
16
Grant, Michigan
First Name
Cliff
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
Just don't mention the sealed bearings to Walcks. They don't carry them. "It worked for 70 years, why change." A little harsh when I called to discuss. But an honest answer. Do replace the "yellow" synchro gears. As Novak says - you won't know until it's completely apart.

For the cost definitely worth doing. Just went through all of this last week.
 

matty49

Bigger Hammer
Dec 8, 2017
197
Seneca Lake Oh.
First Name
Mathew
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1949
Yep, I asked Carl that very question. He says the reason they leak is because people use too light of gear lube.

I was reading up on lube and one person said 140w isn't any thicker than 90w, it just holds up better under heat. I guess if the tranny leaks it probably won't be the only one.

Thanks for the input.
 

Herk

Precision Fit
Dec 24, 2011
676
Boise, ID
First Name
Nate
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Yep, I asked Carl that very question. He says the reason they leak is because people use too light of gear lube.

I was reading up on lube and one person said 140w isn't any thicker than 90w, it just holds up better under heat. I guess if the tranny leaks it probably won't be the only one.

Thanks for the input.
I would be cautious of any recommendation from that person. 140 is by definition "thicker" than 90. Or more precisely it has a higher viscosity index (VI) which means resistance to flow. At any temperature 140 will have a higher viscosity than 90. Also, the "w" is not an abbreviation for "weight." The "w" means Winter, or more precisely 0 degrees Celsius and only applies to multi-grade oils. They all have about the same "weight," approximately 6.8#/gal. So an 85w-140 gear oil will flow like an 85 viscosity oil cold and like a 140 viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius.

Thicker isn't better when it comes to oil, that's an old wives tale. Any oil that is too thick to find it's way through a leaky seal is probably too thick to find it's way between a shaft and bushing. Willys recommend 80w-90.
 

matty49

Bigger Hammer
Dec 8, 2017
197
Seneca Lake Oh.
First Name
Mathew
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1949
Thanks for the info on the heavyweight lube. Where do they typically leak from. Where the nose piece butts against the tranny or out the end of the nose cap. Would some gasket sealer on the nose flange help?
 

Herk

Precision Fit
Dec 24, 2011
676
Boise, ID
First Name
Nate
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
The transfer case is usually what leaks the most, and they can built to be pretty leak free (if you are completely disassembling and rebuilding fresh). As for the shielded (no such thing as a sealed bearing) mainshaft bearing, there's no real harm in running one, just remove the shield on the side of the bearing that faces to the inside of the gearbox so it can get sufficient oil. I remember getting a bearing from Crown back in high school that was shielded and the guy at the parts place said to remove the shield on the inside. Same bearing still in the transmission 33 years later, so it can't be too bad.
 

matty49

Bigger Hammer
Dec 8, 2017
197
Seneca Lake Oh.
First Name
Mathew
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1949
I've got to admit I was a little disappointed that he didn't carry the sealed bearing but everyone says they all leak from everywhere and if it's not leaking, you need to add oil. I didn't have plans to rebuild the t case. Just want to clean it as good as I can and let it go. I probably wouldn't have done the transmission if the front bearing wasn't cracked.

I believe Carl Walck is a purist. He's kinda like that Vintage Don guy. You may have read a post of his. He occasionally graces us with a humorous story. He is such a stickler for keeping things stock he reuses the old bent up cotter pins.

Sorry, I couldn't help taking a shot at Don. Metal shaper said the same thing about the sealed bearing. Take the inside seal off and run it like that. Thanks for the information.
 
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