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So if the transmission is in neutral or in between gears (i.e. false neutral) the shafts rotate freely? But when a gear is engaged the shafts become difficult to turn? It appears that the shaft shimming is ok. There should be no drag on the shafts when a gear is engaged.
I measured the drag torque in top gear at 6Nm, which I reckon is about 2hp at 6000rpm. Seems like way too much when the motor only makes 11hp. So it's coming apart again. Nigel's suggestion is to leave the crank out so I can look/feel what's happening with the selector forks. Would have done it today but too much to do in the veg garden this weekend...
Sorted. Almost too embarrassed to say what the problem was....after looking at my stripdown photos I could see that I'd put the 4th gear on the output shaft on backwards and it could then rub on the right-hand case.