So the transmission has been getting harder and harder to shift. I have found some metal in the oil so I assumed the transmission was slowly shredding itself. That might still be true but it occurred to me that I have never adjusted the clutch so why not start there?
The clutch on these things is cable-operated and has a less than stellar reputation. This is the business end. That big hex on the end is the adjuster. The nut locks it in place. Not too bad except for being tucked in above the exhaust pipe so you can’t really get a wrench to swing more than 1/8 of a turn on it. I got the lock nut free without much trouble. To turn the adjuster there are flats on the cable that a 1/4″ wrench will fit on. But I could not get the adjuster to turn. So I hit it with a torch. That worked.
Once I got the adjuster turning I loosened it up enough to get the cable out so could work on it. The lock washer is not doing much. I took the adjuster off and cleaned everything up with a wire brush.
I lubed everything up and tried to put it back together. And found that the adjuster was bottoming out. The cable has stretched to the point where there was not enough adjustment. So I whacked an inch of the threaded end of the cable.
Here it is all put together. I thought maybe I had adjusted the cable too tight but when I drove it I was amazed at how well it shifts now. The engagement point moved up quite a bit but it does not slip and the transmission shifts better than ever. I am very pleased.
Current odometer just for the record