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I'm going to be looking at a friends M21 that makes a noise when driving and no noise if shifted into neutral. I suspect the bearing in the input shaft (not the needles), or it could be the middle bearing (main shaft rear). Fluid level is fine. Shifts fine. Besides looking at the obvious for wear and tear, if a non needle bearing is bad will it wobble or is just checking for wear marks the only thing to go by?
Thax in advance.

Mark
 

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Without hearing the noise in question and "feeling" it, it is hard to say. But you seem to be on the right track by suspecting the input or main bearing. If, after you tear it down, you discover either or both of these bearings have considerable wear and/or the races are pitted somewhat, then, for sure, jerk the cluster out and check the cluster bearing surfaces and cluster shaft for wear/pitting. If I do not find noticeable bearing wear and the customer is on a tight budget, I just leave the cluster in and wash it thoroughly with solvent/HOT detergent and reassemble. One thing. If and when you replace the input bearing, ALWAYS buy the more expensive bearing with 11 balls, not the one with 8 balls.

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Tom Parsons
 
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