How to Change a Clutch

Learning how to change a clutch takes some mechanical skill, some help and the right tools. Changing a clutch involves removing the transmission. The best way to do this is if you have a lift, but it can be done on the ground with the use of a floor jack and jack stands. Before you start, order the clutch from your auto parts store. You want to make sure it is in stock and available before you start to work.

  • Step 1: Raise the vehicle with the floor jack. Place the jack stands on a solid part of the car-preferably the frame. Place a drip pan under the tailhousing of the transmission to catch any fluid. Remove the driveshaft by unbolting it on both ends and sliding it out of the transmission.
  • Step 2: Unplug any electrical connectors on the transmission. Remove any cables, including the shift linkage and the clutch linkage or the hydraulic slave cylinder, if the slave is located outside of the transmission.
  • Step 3: Remove the negative battery cable from the battery. Remove the starter. If you are using a lift, put a transmission jack under the transmission. If you are attempting this on the ground, put the floor jack under the transmission. Remove the bolts in the bellhousing. Carefully pull the transmission back away from the bellhousing.
  • Step 4: Remove the old clutch.
  • Step 5: Align the new clutch. Alignment tools will be included with the new clutch. Put the new clutch and the pressure plate up against the flywheel. Slide the alignment tool through the center hole of both the clutch and the pressure plate to line the clutch up properly. Bolt the new clutch and pressure plate to the flywheel.
  • Step 6: Slide the transmission back up to the bellhousing. Bolt the transmission up.
  • Step 7: Replace all other parts, cables and linkages in the reverse order of their removal.
  • Step 8: If the clutch is hydraulic, you will need to bleed the slave and master cylinders. Fill the master with DOT 3 brake fluid. Loosen the hose on the master cylinder. Have someone press the clutch all the way to the floor. Tighten the hose on the master. Top off the master with DOT 3 brake fluid if needed. If any air remains, repeat the process, starting by loosening the hose on the master cylinder, until the clutch works properly.
  • Step 7: Check the fluid in the transmission pan. In most cases you will not have lost enough to matter, but in the event it is low, you will need to add some 90-weight gear oil. Remove the bolt on the side of the transmission pan. If the fluid is level with the bottom of the bolt hole, there is enough gear oil in the transmission pan. If not, add enough gear oil to reach the bottom of the hole, then replace the bolt.
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