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Technical Replacing a clutch

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 53 hemi, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 492

    53 hemi
    Member

    OK - the time has finally come when I need to replace a clutch. I've never done it before. What do I need to buy and any advise would be appreciated. Nothing to it, right?
     
  2. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 546

    3spd
    Member

  3. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 492

    53 hemi
    Member

    That's a pretty lame answer. Thanks 3spd. I'll file that away.

    Apparently I need to be a little more clear. I'm not an idiot; Google search is pretty much for modern stuff. I'm dealing with an original clutch. I don't think its ever been apart. I have the tools and the shop manual - just looking for tips and such so the car isn't down to long.
     
  4. damnfingers
    Joined: Sep 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,287

    damnfingers
    Member

    There's not a lot to it. Pull the transmission, unbolt the pressure plate from the flywheel, remove/replace the clutch plate, bolt the pressure plate back to flywheel using a clutch alignment tool to keep the clutch centered, reinstall the transmission.
     

  5. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 492

    53 hemi
    Member

    Thanks. I can reuse a pressure plate? Are alignment tools sorts universal?
     
  6. damnfingers
    Joined: Sep 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,287

    damnfingers
    Member

    Normally you can reuse the pressure plate...replace it if it's cheap though (mine aren't so I reuse). Alignment tools aren't universal - your transmission input shaft is splined and the clutch slides on to the splines. You'll need the alignment tool that matches the number of splines on the clutch plate (if you have the clutch plate take it to the parts store and get the alignment tool that fits - they're plastic and cheap). https://www.google.com/search?q=clutch alignment tool&es_sm=119&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=TFzmVMv3IcWagwTW5oOICw&ved=0CEQQsAQ&biw=1278&bih=604

    If you look at that page above you'll see several types of alignment tools and more importantly several photos of them in use. Without one it's almost impossible to get the clutch plate centered with the pressure plate and equally impossible to get the transmission bolted up. After you've tightened the pressure plate you remove the tool.
     
  7. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 492

    53 hemi
    Member

    Thanks a lot.
     
  8. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,154

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    My alignemnt kit has varying sizes without splines so they are universal and you need to check the face of the pressure plate to see if it is OK for reuse.
     
  9. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    Member

    Once you are in there I think it would be a good idea to change the old pressure plate. You need an alignment tool that fits your disk and pilot bearing. Maybe not to easy to find. Or something quickly made from wood or aluminum without splines that fits the minor dia. of the disk and fits the pilot bearing. easy for anyone with a lathe.
     
  10. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,265

    Cosmo49
    Member

    If you buy a complete clutch kit they include an alignment tool in the box. Otherwise got another input shaft lying around? That's all the tool is. I replaced my pressure plate. They can warp, get scored, easier to go in one time and replace all, now you're good for the long haul.
     
  11. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 492

    53 hemi
    Member

    You guys are great; thanks a ton!
     
    lawman likes this.
  12. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 546

    3spd
    Member

    These are questions we can answer.

    Turns out clutch technology hasn't changed much over the years so a Google search 100% relevant.

    Its generally a good idea to buy a clutch kit (if you can find one, not sure what car you are working on) which will come with a friction disk, a pressure plate, throwout bearing, and an alignment tool. If you are looking for the fastest turn around get a second flywheel and have it surfaced before you start the job so when you are ready to start pulling parts you don't have to wait for yours to come back from the machine shop. If you choose to skip facing the flywheel you can expect a shortened clutch life and some chatter.

    Ryland
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
    73RR and Cosmo49 like this.
  13. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 871

    fsae0607
    Member

    I'll add... buy lots of booze to calm you down after all the cussing you'll do! :p

    Take your time. It's a PITA but not impossible!
     
    lawman likes this.
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,257

    squirrel
    Member

    Well, what did you expect? you didn't even tell us what you're working on.
     
    73RR and 270dodge like this.
  15. Been there done it on my brothers 57 chevy several times .He had an old trans shaft we used worked great.Bruce.
     
  16. Gene Boul
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 805

    Gene Boul

    Replace the pilot bearing or bushing. I would try to reuse the pressure plate because it will generally be better than one from Hi-Lo. Replace the throw-out bearing or:
    Drill a small hole above the balls wash it out with lacquer thinner or gasoline replace the grease. You will need a injector type grease gun adapter (relatively easy to find). Looks like a needle for injecting a turkey. Don't overfill use a small screw or RTV to plug the hole.
     
    Viking Bastard, lawman and smoked1 like this.
  17. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 546

    3spd
    Member

    Here is a trick that still blows my mind:
    To pull the pilot bearing get a newspaper, a bucket of water, a socket and extension (or bolt or whatever you can find) that fits through the bearing, and a hammer and start packing wet newspaper into the bearing. Keep adding more wet paper and packing it in. Before too long the paper will push the bearing out. No fussing with pullers and has never failed me.
     
    lawman likes this.
  18. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,578

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    You will want to inspect the flywheel. It should be fairly smooth and not discolored. If it shows cracks, has turned blue from heat, or is rutted and chewed up looking it will have to come off.

    An auto machine shop can smooth out a worn flywheel. But if it is blued, cracked, or shows signs of overheating it must be replaced.

    It is not mandatory to replace the pressure plate and throwout bearing but it is a good idea especially on a car that old. Sometimes you can get a deal on the combination of pressure plate, clutch plate, and throwout bearing.
     
    lawman likes this.
  19. 53 hemi
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 492

    53 hemi
    Member

    Thank you all!
     
  20. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,310

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you are lucky (I was) there will be a business in your area that rebuilds clutches and pressure plates as well as turning flywheels, probably a "hole in the wall" sort of place. The place in Omaha Nebraska moved since I had work done on the 49 in my avatar, hope I can find it when I need it:)
     
  21. smoked1
    Joined: Sep 19, 2010
    Posts: 123

    smoked1

    a piece of bread will do the same thing! pack the bread in there and hammer away.
     
  22. flathead4d
    Joined: Oct 24, 2005
    Posts: 888

    flathead4d
    Member

    If you going to go to all that trouble do it right. Get a clutch disc and pressure plate from Fort Wayne clutch. No Chinese junk there. Replace the throwout bearing and pilot bearing. Check the flywheel for heat or stress cracks. If it has them get it resurface. Note: If you remove the flywheel mark it's position with the crank shaft and replace it back in the same position. That's for balance purposes. Also you might get the resurfaced flywheel and pressure plate balanced. I had a bad vibration until I had mine done so do it right and you won't have to take everything apart again like I did. Live and learn. You can get a pilot shaft at most parts stores or Harbor Freight Tools.
     
    lawman likes this.
  23. 270dodge
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 742

    270dodge
    Member
    from Ohio

    I see all good advice here, especially Squirrel's. The one bit that I can add is to mark the clutch cover and flywheel with chalk or spray paint so that you can reinstall it in it's original location (we still don't know what your working on and there could possibly be a balance issue).
    When you remove the bolts from the cover do it one turn at a time in a circular pattern. Tighten the replacement the same way. You'll avoid warping the cover that way.
     
  24. ol55
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 485

    ol55
    Member
    from Virginia

    Suggestions in addition to above:
    - Using a lift or not, be sure it is safe. Have someone else look at it too. Also go ahead and wear the safety glasses unless you want fluid, rust, dirt, and grease in your eyes.
    -Do a thread here for questions as you go
    -You may want to put a jack and a board under the engine to hold it in place and remove dist cap if it is going to get crunched. The jack may help you tilt the engine to get to hard to reach bellhousing bolts
    - If I'm saving on labor, I try to buy the best parts I can. How soon do you want to do it again?
    -Consider the "while you are there" things you can do: rear main seal, front trans seal, hoses or fittings that can be reached, changing differential fluid, etc.
    - Take note of anything you see that needs to be done at another time: holes in muffler, floor,etc.
    -Consider using a transmission jack. There are pros and cons. Ditto with a helper.
     
  25. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

  26. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,824

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    When you are installing the tranny put it in gear it will make it much easier to get the clutch lined up with the input shaft.
     
    wandi harry likes this.
  27. your clutch has a front and a backside, there will be a sticker or some kind of marking on it, pay attention to it, put it in backwards and you'll be doing it all over again. also a good time to check and lube your driveshaft u-joints.
     
    lawman likes this.
  28. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 555

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    You may have already thought about this, but a transmission is a handful to wrestle around under a car. If you're working under a car on jackstands, I would suggest a transmission jack, or someone helping you. Good luck.

    Wayne
     
    lawman likes this.
  29. I remember one trick before removing the tranny. Remove to 2 upper tranny bolts and replace with 2 very long bolts (heads removed) bolted thru the tranny into the bell housing to serve as rails. Next remove the 2 lower bolts then slide the tranny out to clear the tip of the tranny spline to the bell housing.
    The reverse install w/b useful as well.
     
  30. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,283

    Kerrynzl
    Member

    My first advice is pay a knowledgeable friend some "Liquid Amber Currency" to teach you [ or guide you through the whole job]
    Most people don't mind helping ,as long as you are eager to learn.

    As for alignment tools , I've never used one ever! [ mainly because they weren't around when I was younger] What I used was a tube socket that fitted snug into the pilot bearing, then wrap masking tape around the other end to enlarge it enough for the spline.

    Now that age and treachery have caught up with me, I don't even bother pulling the gearbox out [especially on FWD ],
    I slide the gearbox back about 3"-4" [enough to drop the clutch out the bottom]

    Now here is the "secret squirrel" part :D
    I use a couple of dabs of contact glue to align the clutch plate onto the pressure plate, then I slide them back in and bolt it up while rotating the engine .[I've never had an alignment issue with this method]
    The fun part is the compulsory "burn-out" trying to remove the dabs of glue
     

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