The clutch is the vital component that transfers an engine's power to a vehicle's transmission through the gearbox. Though it features hard-wearing parts, the clutch and its associated components need replacement when they start wearing out. Installing a clutch kit is a time-consuming, expensive, and difficult task that requires care and expertise.
Before Fitting a New Clutch
First, ensure a replacement is necessary by checking for air in a hydraulic clutch or a maladjusted cable. Moreover, if a clutch has failed prematurely, determine the cause and correct any issues before installing a new kit. Finally, ensure the replacement clutch kit, whether it is a factory replacement or a performance one, matches that of the car.
You can use a car jack instead. Floor jacks help increase safety by stabilising the car. A set of socket spanners allows removal of various bolts. Moreover, a hand winch helps roll the transmission away from the engine on a floor jack. Other tools that may be required include a pilot bearing removal tool, torque spanner, and clutch alignment tool.
Clutch replacement involves the replacement of the following parts, even if some of them do not appear worn: cover assembly, pressure plate, clutch disc, and release bearings. Experts recommend replacing cables and hydraulic fluid as well. First, disassemble the clutch assembly. Access requires the removal of the transmission on rear wheel drive vehicles or the transaxle on front wheel drive cars. When disassembling the clutch, check for signs of oil leaks in the bellhousing and repair as necessary. Thoroughly clean the bellhousing and all other components to avoid damage to new components. Either resurface and balance the engine flywheel or replace it before installing the new kit. A worn or unbalanced flywheel causes chatter, vibrations, or rapid wear.
After replacing the flywheel, place the friction disc over it, holding it in place with the clutch alignment tool. Then install the clutch pressure plate and bolt it into place using manufacturer recommended torque values. After reinstalling other components, such as the release bearing, reinstal the transmission. Proper alignment is very important in this step. Do not force the transmission into the disc, or use the bellhousing bolts to force it into place. Support the transmission with a jack. Once engaged, tighten all bolts while keeping the jack in place to avoid bending the clutch disc.
Adjust the new clutch cable to reduce free play and bleed hydraulic systems to remove trapped air. Lastly, operate smoothly and carefully for the first few hundred kilometres to ensure the clutch plate beds properly against the flywheel mating surface area.