How to Replace a Clutch in Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Parts Bin website explains that the clutch is responsible Ford car transferring power from the engine, through the transmission and driveshaft, to the rear wheels. In an Ford car the clutch produces the substantial amount of torque that is needed in order to pull equipment or move heavy loads. Having a working and efficient clutch is very important. When the clutch begins to wear it will stick or slip which does not allow the power to be transferred correctly. It is possible Ford car an individual to change out the clutch on an Ford car as long as certain steps are followed. A clutch kit will provide the new clutch disc, pressure plate and springs.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Clutch in a Ford Ranger

Remove the Old Clutch

Remove the exterior parts, including the floor shifter inside the cab of your Ranger.

Disconnect the exhaust pipe.

Remove the interior parts--the parts under the hood. This includes the starter, which is attached to the transmission bell-housing.

Disconnect the drive-shaft and the hose for the hydraulic slave cylinder.

Use a jack to raise one side of your truck.

Using a metric socket set, undo the transmission cross-member and bolts, which will allow you to remove the transmission from your Ranger.

Remove the pressure plate and the worn clutch disk.

Inspect the clutch flywheel. If the flywheel shows significant amounts of wear or is damaged in any way, you should replace it.

Install the New Clutch

Install your new clutch disk and pressure plate using a clutch-alignment tool.

Put the transmission back into your Ranger, and reconnect the cross-member and all related bolts.

Reconnect all interior parts under the hood, including the starter, drive-shaft and the hose for the hydraulic slave cylinder. Make sure you bleed the slave cylinder when you reconnect the hose.

Reconnect the exhaust pipe and re-install the shifter inside the cab.

Drive your Ranger slowly in a controlled environment, such as a parking lot, to make sure the new clutch is installed properly and is in good working condition.

Items you will need

  • Clutch kit (includes clutch disk and pressure plate)

  • Clutch-alignment tool (if not included in clutch kit)

  • Screwdriver

  • Metric wrench set

  • Jack

 How to Replace the Clutch in a 1994 Ford F150

Disconnect the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench. Lay the cable aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Raise the vehicle, using the floor jack, then support it with jack stands.

Disconnect the fluid coupling at the transmission using the coupling removal tool. Tug on the tube and slide the white plastic sleeve toward the slave cylinder at the same time. Place the block of wood on the floor jack. Slide the jack under the oil pan and jack it up enough to touch the bottom of the oil pan, thus supporting the engine.

Disconnect the gear shift linkage at the transmission, using the screwdriver and appropriate socket. Disconnect the speedometer cable, using your fingers. Unplug the harness from the backup light switch.

Remove the driveshaft, using the appropriate socket -- unbolt it at the rear, then pull it out of the transmission. Stuff a shop rag in the back of the transmission to keep oil from leaking out. Raise the transmission just enough that you can remove the transmission mount. Remove the mount, using the appropriate socket. Balance the transmission on the jack.

Remove the bellhousing bolts, using the appropriate socket. Pull the transmission back enough so that the input shaft clears the clutch housing, then lower the transmission and move it from under the vehicle. If you are replacing the slave cylinder at this time, remove the dust cover, using the appropriate socket. Remove the release lever and bearing from the clutch housing by removing the dust boot and pushing the release lever forward to release the slave cylinder. Remove the plastic clip that retain the slave cylinder to the bracket, then remove the slave cylinder.

Mark the pressure plate and cover assembly, and the flywheel so that they can be reinstalled in the same position. Loosen the pressure plate and cover attaching bolts in a staggered sequence, and one turn at a time, using the appropriate socket. The pressure plate is under pressure, and could come off and smack you in the face if you remove the bolts too fast. Remove the pressure plate and cover assembly, then remove the disc from the flywheel.

Place the clutch disc on the flywheel and insert the aligning tool in the pilot bearing to align the disc. Mark the new pressure plate and cover assembly with marks in the same place you marked the old one. Install the new pressure plate and cover assembly on the flywheel and install the retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts in an alternating sequence a few turns at a time until you reach the proper torque. For 10- and 12-kinch clutches, torque the bolts to 17 foot-pounds of torque. For an 11-inch clutch, tighten the bolts to 25 foot-pounds of torque.

Remove the clutch alignment tool. Apply a light coat of grease on the sides of the driving lugs. Position the clutch release bearing and bearing hub on the release lever. Install the release lever on the fulcrum in the flywheel housing. Apply a light coating of grease to the release lever fingers and the fulcrum. Fill the release bearing hub's groove with grease.

Reinstall the flywheel housing and tighten the bolts to 45 foot-pounds of torque. Reinstall the transmission and driveshaft. Fill the master cylinder and bleed the system.

Items you will need

  • Set of wrenches

  • 2 Floor jacks

  • Jack stands

  • Clutch coupling removal tool T88T-70522-A

  • Block of wood

  • Drain pan

  • Set of sockets

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change a Clutch on a Ford Probe

Preliminary Checks

Check the level of the brake fluid for the master cylinder in the larger reservoir with black cap near the rear of the engine. If this level is low, fill with DOT 3 brake fluid. However, if it has emptied enough to allow air into the master cylinder, the clutch hydraulic system will need to be bled.

Fill the reservoir with DOT 3 brake fluid to bleed the clutch hydraulic system. Access the release cylinder located under the vehicle on the front of the clutch housing and remove the bleeder cap from the bleeder screw. Fit one end of a plastic tube over the bleeder screw and run it into a clear container with about 2 inches of fluid in the bottom, the end of the tube must remain in the fluid. A second person will be needed to depress and release the clutch pedal. Continue this process until a stream of fluid is ejected, free of air bubbles, from the bleeder screw.

Turn the engine on and allow it to run at normal idle speed with the transaxle in neutral. Disengage the clutch, wait several seconds and then shift into reverse. If a grinding noise is heard, there may be a problem with the pressure plate or the clutch disc. This will check what is known as the 'clutch spin-down time.'

Use the parking break to prevent movement and hold the clutch pedal about a half of an inch from the floor. Shift between first gear and reverse several times, paying attention to how smooth the shift is. Roughness will indicate failure of one or more components, but is not suggestive of what may have failed.

Depress the clutch completely and be sure that the release cylinder push-rod lengthens quite a bit. Check the level of brake fluid in the clutch master cylinder if it does not and fill if needed.

Check the pivot bushing that is at the top of the clutch pedal to ensure there is neither excessive movement nor binding.

Check that the clutch release fork is mounted on the ball stud solidly.

Removal

Support the engine while the transaxle is out of the vehicle. An engine hoist is the most reliable option, but if a jack stand is used a large, square piece of wood needs to be positioned between the jack and the oil pan to evenly distribute the weight of the motor and prevent engine oil starvation caused by the pan bending or distorting.

Insert the clutch alignment tool that was included with the replacement kit through the clutch disc hub to support the clutch disc during removal.

Use the scribe or paint to mark the pressure plate and flywheel for proper alignment during installation.

Loosen the pressure plate to flywheel bolts using the ratchet and appropriate socket 1/4 turn at a time in a criss-cross pattern until the spring pressure has been released completely. Securely hold the pressure plate and remove entirely first the bolts and then the pressure plate and clutch disc.

Inspection of the Components

Check the flywheel for cracks, grooves, heat checking and any other visible defects. Regardless of the surface appearance, it is recommended to have a machine shop machine the surface completely smooth. A medium grit emery cloth can be used to remove light glazing.

Look over the pilot bearing and check for wear or scoring. This bearing is most easily removed with a T58L-101-B or equivalent puller, but there are other methods that will work as well.

Examine the lining on the clutch disc to be sure it is at least 1/16 inch above the rivet heads; check for loose rivets, cracks, broken springs, distortion or any other obvious damage and replace if needed.

Rotate the outer segment of the release bearing while holding the center and applying pressure. If the turning motion is not smooth, or a noise is produced, the bearing and hub assembly needs replaced.

Installation

Clean any surfaces of the pressure plate and flywheel that were machined with clean hands and lacquer thinner or acetone. It is essential that no grease or oil be left on these surfaces or the lining of the clutch disc.

Make sure the damper springs of the clutch disc are facing toward the transaxle, and use the alignment tool to hold the clutch disc and pressure plate in place against the flywheel.

Replace the pressure plate to flywheel bolts and tighten finger tight only, working around the pressure plate.

Wiggle the alignment tool as needed through the splined hub into the pilot bearing in the crankshaft to carefully bottom the tool in the pilot bearing. This will make sure the clutch disc is centered properly.

Tighten the pressure plate to flywheel bolts in a criss-cross pattern and a little at a time to prevent distortion of the cover. Carefully torque these bolts to between thirteen and twenty foot pounds and remove the alignment tool.

Lubricate the inner groove of the release bearing, the release fork ball socket, the ends and contact areas of the release fork, the release cylinder pushrod socket, and the transaxle input shaft bearing retainer generously with high temperature grease. The transaxle input shaft splines and the face of the release bearing where it makes contact with the pressure plate diaphragm fingers will also need a light coat of this grease.

Attach the release bearing to the release fork. Slide the release bearing onto the transaxle input shaft while passing the end of the release fork through the opening in the clutch housing. Push the release fork onto the ball stud until it's firmly seated.

Reconnect the hydraulic line of the release cylinder, tighten the fitting, if needed fill the clutch master cylinder reservoir with DOT 3 brake fluid and bleed the system as described above.

Secure the transaxle to the jack, raise it into position and turn the torque converter to line up the drive studs with the holes in the driveplate, aligning the marks made with the scribe or paint earlier.

Move the transaxle carefully forward until the engine block dowel pins are engaged with the holes in the transaxle mounting flange. Replace the transaxle to engine housing bolts and torque them to between 66 and 86 foot pounds.

Install first the center and then the left transaxle mounts and brackets, tightening the nuts and bolts securely.

Install the crossmember and left lower arm as an assembly, tightening the bolts and nuts securely.

Install the right transaxle mount, tightening the bolts and nuts securely.

Install all other components that were removed during the replacement of the clutch assembly.

Tighten all types of fasteners to the appropriate torque specifications: Master cylinder mounting nuts - 14 to 19 foot pounds; Release cylinder mounting bolts - (All 1989 and 1990 non-turbo four cylinder models) 14 to 19 foot pounds; and (1990 turbo four cylinder and V6 models) 12 to 17 foot pounds

Items you will need

  • Replacement clutch kit

  • Engine hoist

  • Jack stands

  • Clutch alignment tool

  • Scribe or paint

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Medium grit emery cloth

  • Lacquer thinner or acetone

  • Foot pound torque wrench

  • High-temperature grease

  • T58L-101-B or equivalent puller

  • Pilot bearing installer tool

  • Large socket

 How to Change a Clutch in a Ford Escort

Removal

Open the hood and disconnect or remove any components that might interfere with the separation of the transaxle from the engine. Use wrenches, ratchet and socket, screwdrivers and other necessary tools. Label and place bolts, screws, and related components on a shelf for easy reassembly.

Loosen the wheel lugs on the driver side using a lug wrench. Remove the transmission- or transaxle-to-engine upper mounting bolts using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Raise the front of your vehicle using a floor jack and safely support it on two jack stands. Depending on your particular vehicle model, you may have enough room to change the clutch by disconnecting and moving the transaxle or transmission to one side; on other models, you may need to raise the front of your car higher to pull the transmission far enough for access to the clutch assembly.

Remove the tire and the tie-rod end from the steering knuckle from behind the wheel assembly using a steering-knuckle separator.

Remove the brake caliper and the brake disc using a wrench or ratchet and socket. Use a wire to secure the caliper to the vehicle and avoid damage to the brake hose.

Remove the CV joint from the wheel assembly using a gear puller. Support the transmission or transaxle with a floor jack.

Remove the rest of the transmission- or transaxle-to-engine mounting bolts. If necessary, label each bolt to install it in the same place it was before removing. Separate the transaxle or transmission from the engine using a large pry bar if necessary.

Mark the position of the clutch pressure plate in relation to the flywheel using a center punch. It is better to replace the clutch disc and pressure plate at the same time, but if you are only replacing the clutch disc, the match marks are necessary.

Remove the pressure plate by loosening the mounting bolts a little at a time and working in a crisscross pattern. The pressure plate and clutch disc assembly is somewhat heavy; make sure you get a good hold as you remove the assembly.

Installation

Clean the clutch-assembly mounting area using a damp shop rag and brake-parts cleaner, then set the new clutch disc and pressure plate on the flywheel using a clutch alignment tool and drive in the clutch-assembly mounting bolts by hand first. Make sure to align the flywheel dowels with the alignment holes on the pressure plate. Start tightening the clutch-assembly mounting bolts two turns at a time in a crisscross pattern using a ratchet and socket until they are tight.

Install the transaxle, aligning the transaxle input shaft to the center of the clutch assembly. Join the transmission or transaxle to the engine, making sure the dowels on the engine are centered on the transaxle guiding holes; then install the transaxle-to-engine mounting bolts. Remove the floor jack from the transmission or transaxle.

Install the CV joint in the steering knuckle, brake disc and caliper. Install the tie-rod end to the steering-knuckle assembly.

Install the tire, connect or install any components you might have removed in Step 1 and lower the vehicle.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set Ratchet and socket set Screwdriver Lug wrench Steering-knuckle separator Gear puller Large pry bar Shop rags Brake-parts cleaner Clutch alignment tool

 How to Change the Clutch in a Ford F-150

Use a wrench to disconnect the negative cable from the truck battery. Elevate the F-150 using a jack and jack stands. The AutoZone website explains that the fluid coupling needs to be disconnected with a drip pan positioned underneath it.

Remove the gear shift linkage from the transmission using a screwdriver. Disconnect the speedometer and unplug the harness for the rear lights. Unbolt the driveshaft, remove the transmission mount, and balance the transmission on a floor jack.

Use a socket to remove the pressure plate and the cover assembly. The AutoZone website explains that the individual should continue by removing the clutch which consists of the disc and the flywheel. Place the new clutch from the F-150 clutch kit into position and tighten it to the correct torque.

Apply a thin layer of grease to the new clutch once it is in positioned and tightened correctly. The AutoZone website explains that grease should also be applied to the release lever fingers as well as the grooves in the release bearing.

Reinstall the flywheel housing before placing the transmission and driveshaft back into the F-150. Once all of the parts are reinstalled into the truck the master cylinder will need to be refilled with fluid before the system is bled. Lower the F-150 using the jack in order to complete the clutch replacement process.

Items you will need

  • F-150 clutch kit

  • Wrench

  • Screwdrivers

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Drip pan

  • Grease

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.