Notchy gear changes and engine rev's rising without an increase in speed are a sure sign of a worn and slipping clutch.
A clutch replacement can be completed at home using car stands to raise the vehicle and a trolley jack to remove the gearbox. A clutch alignment tool is highly recommended, otherwise you could spend a great deal of time attempting to line up the clutch plate and input shaft spline. It will take you approximately 5-6 hours to complete the job.
Here's how to go about it.
NOTE: The vehicle used for this demonstration is a rear wheel drive Ford Falcon - your vehicle may require different techniques to complete the change.
What You'll Need
- Replacement clutch
- Clutch alignment tool
- Brake & clutch fluid
- Brake & clutch bleeder
- Various screwdrivers
- Various size 6-point sockets
- Breaker bar
- Trolley jack
- Jack stands or ramps
- Wheel chocks
Step 1 - Disconnect Battery, Unbolt Shifter & Raising the Vehicle
First steps involve disconnecting the battery, unbolting the shifter within the cabin (two bolts), and with the car off the ground, undoing the clutch cable from the fork lever within the dust cover on the side of the gearbox. The clutch cable needs to be slackened by loosening the adjustment nuts at the firewall in the engine bay
Step 2 - Disconnect Sensor Wires
Next, disconnect the sensor wires from the gearbox and loosen and then disconnect handbrake cable so the gearbox can be removed.
Step 3 - Remove Tailshaft
The tailshaft has to come out, which is a straightforward removal of four nuts and bolts.
Step 4 - Section off Exhaust
A section of the exhaust has to come out to help with access. Bolts located on the exhaust are generally difficult to remove due to dirt, rust and the constant expanding and contracting of the hot exhaust pipe. A penetrant, such as WD40, can help loosen difficult bolts.
Step 5 - Remove Starter Motor & Bellhousing Bolts
With everything out of the way, remove the starter motor and begin removing the bellhousing bolts. Some bolts may be difficult to access and require extra tools such as long extensions, swivel joints and breaker bars.
Step 6 - Remove Gearbox
Next remove the gearbox.
If it is only you, then you could use a gearbox jack or similar, or if you are on the ground, then you could also use a trolley jack. It really is a two person job, however.
Step 7 - Remove Pressure Plate
Remove the old pressure plate and flywheel. To keep the engine from rotating while removing the flywheel bolts, use a large screwdriver slotted into the teeth and locked against the body.
Step 8 - Inspect Flywheel
A second-hand flywheel was purchased from a wreckers and machined up so it was ready to go.
Step 9 - Clean Bellhousing
Clean the inside of the bellhousing throughly.
Step 10 - Fit Flywheel & Pressure Plate
Fit the new flywheel and pressure plate and tightened to the manufacturers specified torque.
A dab of locknut was used on all flywheel and pressure plate bolts
Note the use of the clutch alignment tool.
Step 11 - Refit Gearbox
Refitting the gearbox is largely a reverse process including reconnecting all the cables and wires.
Step 12 - Clutch Cable Adjustments
Clutch cable is adjusted at the firewall by turning the two bolts (the second locks off against the first). The clutch telemetry should find the friction point after about an inch of pedal movement.
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