Replacing your clutch? Here are some great tips

November 3, 2021
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Taking a car from a broken hulk to driving down the road is a fulfilling experience. One of the simpler, but still intimidating, jobs that a car might require is a clutch replacement. Luckily ChrisFix has created a very in-depth half-hour long video detailing just exactly what you are in for if you decide to take on a job like this.

This is an even deeper dive into the process of replacing a transmission, as replacing or servicing the clutch, pressure plate, and flywheel are best done while the transmission is already out. You have to be careful pulling this many parts out of your car, as it’s easy to catch “while-I’m-in-there” syndrome. From the look of the parts coming out of this Mustang though, this was needed work.

The first tip worth calling out is using a block of wood to keep the pressure plate from rotating while removing the bolts holding it to the flywheel. It is possible to use an air or electric impact, but those are pricey and not everyone has the need. He also mentions a second method that works well—using two bolts, one in the crankcase and the other on the flywheel and bracing a wrench between the two.

Next is one that I have used personally and was surprised how well it worked. To remove a pilot bearing (or bushing in many classics), rent the tool from a local parts store. Just kidding, that is a good reminder about tool loaning, but using grease or bread (he mixes the two which seems odd) is a great way to get the part out with no damage to surrounding parts. Using the bearing puller comes with the risk that it pulls out at an odd angle, or doesn’t grab the bearing correctly and leaves just the outer shell, or spreads too wide and scores the inside of the crankshaft. None of those are cheap to repair. Packing grease in and using an extension or appropriately sized piece of round stock to hydraulic the bearing out is truly a great option.

Last is one that most that even those who have replace a clutch might need. Getting the splines of the input shaft to line up with the splines of the clutch disk can be a real headache. His tip for marking the clutch alignment tool so that there is one spline at 12 o’clock allows rotating the input shaft to match, speeding up the process significantly.

These are just three of the tips that stuck out to me. If you have done a clutch replacement, let us know your favorite tip for this process in the comments below. It just might help someone get their car back on the road.