Anyone seen a clutch arm for a '73 ES with welded in bracing? It's not factory, from what I can find. The bell housing was cracked and welded at some point so I don't know if the arm was bent, straightened and reinforced.
Cracked release arms have occurred. I purchased a clutch kit for my B20 from IPD and it came with an instruction sheet with advice to check for cracks / bending in the release arm and recommendations on reinforcing the arm. It also said to check for wear on those two pins that engage the release bearing. I can't remember whether it identified specific years as problematic.
The cracked bell housing is something I have never heard of. I am not sure how you crack a bell housing. Your bell housing is doubly interesting because mine (1971 B20E) has a relatively pebbled finish on it - presumably from whatever medium it was cast in (sand?). Your bell housing looks like somebody has taken a grinder and sandpaper to it to produce a smooth finish.
If a close inspection does not show that the Throwout Fork was cracked and that the reinforcement was a repair, I would say the reinforcement (impressive and effective!) was done as a preemptive strengthening to address the known weakness (See: https://www.sw-em.com/Clutch_-_cable_actuated_Notes.htm#two_failure_modes )...and the Bellhousing repair was as a result of possible crash forces...so the two areas of interest are only associated in location, but likely not cause.
Bellhousing is indeed a sandcasting, so maybe when it was cracked, and they needed to repair or replace it, they supercleaned it in order to be able to inspect closely, and polished it while they were at it...
Great info. Thanks, guys. This car was ridden hard and put away wet, as the saying goes, so as I go through it, I'm finding lots of little things that need repaired or replaced. It's now down to the bare tub, except that I can't figure out how to remove the hand brake bearing anchorage (662268-2). The screws are off and it rotates a bit but it won't come loose. I'm worried about bending it with too much force. Any thoughts?