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Maybe I’m out of sync here, but if initially hearing a grinding noise is likely due to clutch not stopping the pinion gears enough fir them to mesh with the flywheel gear. The ATF I think is better suited to make its way between the clutch discs (I think). The clutch is also a brake.
You may need to work the clutch /brake handle forward and backward just a bit and lightly pull up on the pinion lever at the same time to let the pinion gear turn into alignment with the flywheel gear so they can mesh. When you do this, pull the clutch handle back toward the operators seat to be sure to brake the pinion, which assists with the mesh of gears. If you look in the inspection port on top of the case over the pinion you will see the pinion stop turning if the clutch discs are grabbing during braking.
After after my D42T clutch / pinion repairs l think I learned that if the pinion disengages too quickly the latches need adjusted by the adjustment screws 1/2 turn each at a time , or latches are worn and need replaced. If pinion is not stopping clutch discs are not properly contacting one another to attain the proper friction to stop the turning for gear mesh. If ATF and latches adjustment aren’t solving, you will likely need to dig into it, inspect l, clean etc. Squatch in his vids shows how to “cone” the discs. I attempted this but seemed to run out of stacking height so I put them back flat. I use ATF. I did not replace my latches fyi.
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