Friday, April 30, 2010

Clutch removal

With the engine removed from the car, lock the flywheel using a large screwdriver wedged against the flywheel teeth and the starter motor aperture. Loosen the clutch bolts evenly in a diagonal pattern to avoid causing distortion of the pressure plate. Release the pressure from the springs slowly until the clutch comes free.
Examine the driven plate frictional material. If this has worn down so that it is close to the rivet heads then replace the plate. if it shows contamination (oil) then replace it and ascertain whether the oil has come from a leaking crankshaft seal or gearbox input shaft seal and replace the leaking seal before reassembling the clutch. If the driven plate shows signs of burning then renew it and ensure that in future the clutch is correctly adjusted and not slipping.
If the driven plate rivets have become exposed then they can severely score the flywheel and pressure plate, in which case the affected components should be replaced, although minor scoring of the flywheel may be turned off; check with an automotive engineer.
Check the condition of the diaphragm or coil springs and replace the pressure plate assembly if wear or damage are apparent.
When re-fitting the clutch, it is important that the driven plate is gripped exactly in line with the gearbox input shaft, otherwise, the plate could be damaged during engine re-fitting. There are many clutch alignment tools available for this purpose; they hold the driven plate in line with the other components whilst the pressure plate is bolted tight. Some people use a spare input shaft to achieve this: others can assemble the clutch accurately by eye.

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