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Hm... If the drive gear grinds at the filament, the motor seems to have enough torque. Otherwise the stepper would stall and loose steps. Did your last extruder have a MK8 drive gear, too? If you push on the idler, it moves some more and then stops. Does the motor stall in this case?
Could you post a picture or two of your extruder loaded with filament (e.g. as a make) for further inspection?