How to Change the Clutch in a Nissan Pickup

by Don Bowman
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Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images

If the clutch pedal on a Nissan pickup comes up inordinately high before it engages, this indicates a worn clutch. Another way to check the clutch is to place the gear shift in fourth gear, hold the engine at a high idle and let the clutch pedal out quickly and depress it just as quick to keep the engine from stalling. If the clutch is good, it will attempt to stall the engine immediately when the clutch is engaged.

Step 1

Raise the truck and support it on jack stands. Remove the driveshaft by removing the C-clamps securing the rear universal joint to the pinion yoke, using a wrench. Place the drip pan under the transmission tailshaft and pull out the driveshaft.

Step 2

Remove all electrical connections on the transmission. Remove the slave cylinder on the driver’s side of the transmission by removing the two bolts with the appropriate socket. Remove the gearshift from the top of the transmission by removing the screws in the chrome cover plate with the screwdriver. Lift the plate and the rubber boot under the plate and pull them halfway up the gearshift lever. Remove the four 10-millimeter bolts that secure the gearshift lever to the top of the transmission. Lift the gearshift out.

Step 3

Remove the two bolts in the transmission mount, using the appropriate socket. Remove the two bolts and nuts on either side of the transmission crossmember. Place the floor jack under the transmission and lift the transmission off the crossmember. Pull the crossmember out from under the transmission.

Step 4

Allow the transmission to drop down slowly a few inches. Remove all of the bolts in the bell housing, using the appropriate socket. Raise the floor jack to support the transmission. Pull the transmission back and lower it to the ground. Remove all of the bolts in the pressure plate, using the appropriate socket. Remove the pressure plate. Be careful--it is heavy and the clutch behind it is going to come off at the same time.

Step 5

Install the new clutch and pressure plate by making sure the springs in the center of the clutch are facing the transmission. Insert the clutch alignment tool through the splines in the clutch. Insert the nose of the clutch alignment tool into the center pilot hole in the flywheel. Place the pressure plate over the clutch, align the dowel pins with the holes in the pressure plate and push the plate down on the dowel pins. Insert the bolts and tighten. Pull the alignment tool out.

Step 6

Install the new throwout bearing into the transmission bell housing. The throwout bearing is a round, smooth-faced bearing with a pair of tangs or metal extensions on the rear. These tangs are purposely installed to allow a solid flexible connection to the throwout bearing control arm. Consider that the pressure plate is spinning and the throwout bearing must contact the center fingers on the pressure plate in order to push the fingers in to disengage the clutch. When the clutch pedal is depressed, the throwout bearing is forced forward, toward the front of the car, where it contacts the pressure-plate fingers. When the pedal is lifted, the throwout bearing is withdrawn from the pressure-plate fingers, engaging the clutch. Pull the old bearing off the throwout bearing release arm. It is held on with two spring clips that ride over the two tabs on the bearing. Install the new bearing under the spring clips.

Step 7

Raise the transmission with the floor jack and align the transmission's input shaft with the center of the pressure plate. Insert the transmission through the pressure plate and clutch. Install the bolts in the bell housing and tighten securely.

Step 8

Install the slave cylinder on the side of the transmission, using the two bolts. Tighten the bolts. Raise the transmission with the jack enough to position the crossmember under the transmission. Install the two bolts and nuts on either side of the crossmember and tighten.

Step 9

Remove the jack and install the two bolts in the transmission mount, using a socket. Install the driveshaft in the transmission tailshaft and connect it to the pinion yoke with the C-clamps.

Step 10

Install the gear shift lever into the gear shift pocket in the top of the transmission. Install the four bolts in the cover and tighten them with a socket. Pull the boot down and place the chrome retaining ring over the boot. Install the screws and tighten with the Phillips screwdriver. Connect any loose electrical connectors and lower the truck.

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