How to Replace a Car's Clutch

by eHow Cars Editor

It seems simple enough: push the pedal and the clutch will disengage, allowing you to shift gears. If your clutch isn't working properly, however, you'll hear grinding noises telling you it's time for a new clutch. If you don't want to take your car to a garage, follow these steps to replace your car's clutch yourself.

Remove the Old Clutch

Verify that your vehicle's clutch is the source of your problems and not the pedal-arm bushings, activating cables or the slave-master cylinder.

Unhook the positive battery cable, the clutch cable or hydraulic slave cylinder to get the transaxle ready for easy removal. Eliminate anything that may hinder your efforts, including exhaust pipes and the speedometer.

Secure your car in a safe position before jacking up the front end.

Stabilize the engine with a jack below the oil pan. Remove the transaxle by undoing at least one engine mount.

Separate the engine from the transaxle by removing the bolts that surround the flywheel bell housing.

Push the transaxle away from the engine until the input shift clears the pressure plate.

Disengage the bolts surrounding the pressure plate and take it and the clutch disc out. Check to see if the flywheel's friction surface is scored, checked or has hot spots. Remove, machine and reinstall the flywheel, if needed.

Examine the pilot bearing (bushing) located at the flywheel's center to be sure the needle bearings are lubricated and that there's no galling. Also look for any oil leaking around the rear main engine seal.

Replace the Clutch

Follow the instructions for replacing your car's clutch carefully to avoid having to remove the transaxle.

Check that the transaxle's input shaft isn't leaking; replace if needed.

Take out the flywheel and the old seal and install a new seal.

Install a New Clutch

Clean the crankshaft flange before putting in the flywheel. With the flywheel on top of the flange, secure the bolts in a star formation to the specified torque for your vehicle.

Install the clutch disc and pressure plate. Prior to putting in the transaxle, attach the new release bearing to the release fork. The fork should move freely.

Hoist the transaxle into position and move it forward until the input shaft glides into the clutch disc's spindled hole. Do not apply force.

Reinstall any bolts or mounts that were removed to replace your car's clutch. Grab the transaxle, release the jack and lower your vehicle.

Consider replacing your car's clutch cable. If you don't replace the cable at least adjust it for the right amount of free-play.

Confirm that your clutch's self-adjusting action is performing correctly by depressing the slave cylinder's piston into its bore.

Drive your car to be sure your clutch is working properly.

Tips

  • check Consult your owner's manual for model-specific instructions for replacing your car's clutch.
  • check Keep the transaxle from dangling unsupported from your vehicle's engine. Dangling can damage pilot bearings, the input shaft and front input shaft bearing.

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