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Old 06-09-2008, 10:37 PM   #111 (permalink)
Red
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A guide on how to change your clutch

First let me say I've never done a clutch on a FWD prior to this. I have done a clutch on the Jeep, so I did go into this with a basic idea of whats what. That said only attempt this if you have the mechanical background necessary to complete the job. The IMA motor and sensors are located in this area and breakage would be one very very expensive lesson. As usual, I'm not responsible if you die following what I write here.

That said, it sucked. But not bad enough that I'd pay someone to do it. So it was your standard clutch job.

First off you want to turn off power to the IMA system. The IMA motor and cabling runs right across the trans. So you want to pop the back hatch and remove the carpet covering the battery pack to expose this plate

You'll need a 10mm socket to remove it. Underneath is the battery pack switch. Remove the red lockout tab and turn it off.

It looks and feels like a big circuit breaker.

With the IMA off, disconnect the battery. You need a 10mm socket here as well.

Next up remove the air cleaner assembly. A 10mm socket with a 3" extension will work some magic. You have 6 bolts around it and 3 on its side



Once the air cleaner is gone this is what you should see


In order of easiness (and removal)
Disco the ground cables. (10mm socket)
Unplug power and sensor leads to the starter (12mm)
Wire harness clip that bolts to the start (10mm)
Unbolt the starter (2x 14mm)
Pull the pins out of the shift tower for the cables. (Pliers or dikes do the trick)
Unbolt the shift cable mount (3x 12mm)
Remove another harness hold down. Its on top of the diff next to the VSS (10mm)
Unplug the 4 sensors. 3 on the top of the trans housing, one on the side in the back close to the IMA cable hold down
Remove the clutch slave (2x 12mm)

Some pics of what I'm talking about






Now physically the only thing that should be attached to the trans is the drive shafts. Which we are now going to remove. Pop the nut cover on both front wheels and you should see the hub nut

As you can see, part of the nut has been smashed into the slot on the axle. You need to unsmash it. Best way is a small chisel that fits inside the slot and just bend the nut out. Its fairly soft. Once unkeyed just use an impact gun to blast it off.

Do the same for the other side.

Once that is done, put the Insight up on stands. If you have regular 3 tonners, put them up about 4 clicks or so. You want it up. Since the Insight does not have a front cross member, you have to jack the car up one side at a time. Its perfectly normal for the back end to go up with the front, just be careful. Make sure the car is secure and that the back wheels are stopped. You will be working underneath the car for a while, and its not cool to have it fall on you. Be careful.

Once up, remove the front tires. Place them in a position to save yourself in case your jackstands fail. Always good to have redundancy.

Remove your engine under panels if you still have em. I haven't installed mine yet so no pics or tips here.

Once thats removed, pick a side and grab a 10mm impact socket and a hammer. Ideally a small sledge. Mines a California car and the axles were rusted to the hubs. It took some PB Blaster and a few good wacks to get them free. You want to place the socket directly on the stub and hit it dead on. It should pop loose after 2 or 3 wacks. Do the same for the other side.

Now here is where I differ from most ways and the FSM. The FSM and conventional methods say pop out the lower ball joint to get the axle out of the hub. Since I didn't have a ball joint splitter and I didn't want to mess with the ball joint cause I didn't have anything that would fit, I instead unbolted the knuckle from the strut. Worked out the same way for me.

To unbolt the knuckle, 2x 19mm socket big bolts.

With the knuckle free, wiggle the axle out of the hub. Be careful that you don't over extend the joint on the transmission end. Best way to prevent that is to support the axle with a bungie cord or something.

Once the joint is out of the hub, take a pry bar and pop the transmission end out. Do the same with the other side. On the passenger side, because its longer its even more important to support the shaft while you are removing it. Else you will pop that one out.

So now the only thing holding that tranny in would be the motor mounts. The engine is primarily supported by the trans, so its going to need a temporary replacement while the trans is out. Using either the stock jack or another jack you have handy and a block of wood, support the engine.


Now place either a buddy or another jack under the trans as you are going to be unbolting the mount. I'd recommend a jack since it could take awhile.

Now you want to remove the drivers side motor mount and the mount bracket that bolts to the trans. You'll need a 14mm deep for the mount and a regular 14mm for the pass through bolt.

Crawl underneath and remove the rear mount from the frame. Its held on with 2 bolts. A 17mm socket will pop these off.

Now all thats holding the trans in is the 6 bell housing bolts. 1 bolt is accessible from the trans side, the other 5 on the engine side. The bottom bolts need a 14mm socket, the top 4 use a 17mm. A word of warning, the bolt by the coil packs is in a really really bad location. Unless you socket is dead on it you can easily strip the head. And even if you are on it, you've got maybe an inch or two to swing your ratchet. Best way is with a real cheater bar and a helper to hold the socket on the bolt and just pull away till it breaks free. The rest are easy.

Double check to make sure nothing is hooked up to the trans, and with a mix of pulling and messing with the jack, you should be able to pull the trans right off.

It is a pretty sight. Now drag that sucker out of the car.

As you are going to find, changing the actual clutch takes all of 10 mins. Most of the work is getting to the clutch.

The pressure plate is held on to the flywheel with 6 bolts. You'll need a 10mm 12pt to remove them. Use a prybar to hold the flywheel in place as you remove the bolts. Remove the bolts in a criss cross fashion to prevent warpage. Once the bolts are removed it should just drop right off.

Inspect the flywheel, resurface or sand if needed. It was Sunday and I was tired and lazy so I sanded. Started with a 150 grit then a 220. My flywheel was jacked up due to the PO.


My clutch




My pressure plate




My throw out bearing was crunchy as well


The only thing that was still good was the pilot bearing.

New parts





Cleaned up flywheel


When reinstalling the clutch, the big raised plate points towards the trans. Use a clutch alignment tool to prevent the clutch from falling out of place. Reinstallation is reverse of removal. Tighten everything in a crisscross pattern to prevent warpage. Torque to 29 ft-lbs



To replace the throwout bearing go back to the trans and look behind the release fork. There is a little clip you need to release by pinching it and sliding it towards you.

Then pop the fork off with the throwout bearing.

While its out, be sure to lube the shaft which the throwout bearing slides on and the release fork pivot



New bearing

Lube up the new bearing as well

Remount it back to the release fork and remount that to the trans.

Now do everything backwards to reinstall everything.

Some tips, when reinstalling the trans, just use the jack to get it roughly in position, don't try to finesse it in with the jack, just man handle it back in. If the splines aren't lining up, use a screw drive to turn the flywheel a bit to get it to line up. Once in, just rock the trans in place, it should slide in without any problems.

CV joints are evil, they know when you are tired and cranky and like to hyperextend and pop out of their sockets. If that happens, use a pair of pilers to remove the metal clip that holds the rubber boot on and reassemble the joint. Watch out for all the grease in the boot.

Whilst everything is apart check your motor mounts, found out mine are kinda torn.

As soon as you have the trans docked and bolted in, mount the clutch slave first then depress your clutch pedal a few times, you can get some kind of heads up if stuff is binding. Better now when its still more or less in pieces then when its all done.

The hub bolts gets torques to 134 ft-lbs
Lug nuts 80 ft-lbs
Case bolts 43 ft-lbs

Total time 1 weekend
Clutch kit: Exedy $255 shipped from Clutch City. Their PN 0008-043-KIT

Totally doable.

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Old 06-09-2008, 10:57 PM   #112 (permalink)
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So hows it drive? Pretty sweet. The vibe I when the IMA kicks in has been reduced. I can actually drive uphill now from a stand still. Both forwards and backwards. I can almost shift into 2nd normally. Good call on that ttoyoda! My old clutch was totally shot, the springs were worn down both physically and springy. You could actually compress them a fair amount by hand. So net result I can drive it almost normally. 2nd grinds very briefly, before you could barely get it in, now its almost normal. I think I'll give the Penzoil a shot and see if that helps if the MTL I'm running now doesn't do any good.

If I need to rebuild it, I'm more in favor of spending 12 bucks for a new syncro ring than $800 on a new trans.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:02 PM   #113 (permalink)
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So while I had stuff apart I mentioned that I needed a new PCV valve. I couldn't find a new one locally and didn't want to order one from the stealer so figured I just fix mine. The PCV valve is a one way check valve which uses a little ball to either stop or vent crankcase vapor. Over time it gunks up and plugs. So your crank case then vents into the intake which is bad. On the Insight the PCV valve lives under the engine cover. (1 bolt, 2 nuts, 10mm socket. And its bright pink. Not hard to miss. It lives in this hole




So how do you fix it? Since its just plugged with oily gunk, spray the heck out of it with either brake cleaner or intake cleaner. Whatever is handy. You'll know know its clean when the fluid coming out of it is clear and when you shake it it rattles. Once done, just stick it back in and you are good to go
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:17 PM   #114 (permalink)
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Thunderbird - '96 Ford Thunderbird
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I'm glad to see your not putting the project on hold. I take it she's going with you in the fall?

I'm impressed with your ability to fix everything. How did you learn? A service manual and a "bonzai!" attitude or what? I'd like to learn, but man...that seems a little overwhelming.

Good job. You're...almost...there.

EDIT: Isn't a PCV valve meant to release crankcase pressure to the intake? I say that because I remember people installing catch cans to collect the stuff before it (re)entered the engine.

- LostCause
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:34 PM   #115 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostCause View Post
I'm glad to see your not putting the project on hold. I take it she's going with you in the fall?

I'm impressed with your ability to fix everything. How did you learn? A service manual and a "bonzai!" attitude or what? I'd like to learn, but man...that seems a little overwhelming.

Good job. You're...almost...there.

EDIT: Isn't a PCV valve meant to release crankcase pressure to the intake? I say that because I remember people installing catch cans to collect the stuff before it (re)entered the engine.

- LostCause
Yeah. Looks like she'll be coming up the Grapevine. Which is probably going to be a very slow trip. She can climb just not very fast. Plus $250 a month on gas just isn't in the cards anymore. Heep can be a weekend plaything if I can afford to keep it long term.

Bonzai pretty much sums it up. If someone else in the world can do it, why can't I?

Yep, it vents back into the intake. Thats where the gray hose goes. There is another port on the top that runs over to the intake box. Before, thats where its been puking oil vapor and gunking up the throttle body. Now it will just gunk up the intake tract. Which I need to clean out somehow.
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:34 PM   #116 (permalink)
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Lowering the car and struts:
You might want to look at what some of the guys are doing on their Pontiac Fieros to lower them.
They're using a modified McPherson strut and a coil-over kit. Allows for individual height/pre-load adjustment.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/046456.html
Read the whole thread so that you see the incremental progress made.

I'm envious of your junkyard find! Good luck driving the Grapevine! I'm not too fond of it in a traditional ICE vehicle.

Kendall
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:02 PM   #117 (permalink)
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Quote:
That said, it sucked. But not bad enough that I'd pay someone to do it. So it was your standard clutch job.
I take it then you have never had to change the clutch in a 1980s?? vw rabbit? With those idiotic double hex socket screws to take off the halfshafts? And a gaggle of identical looking but subtly different pieces of round tubes with the ends smushed flat bolted in all over the place as braces? Lucky You!

Beautiful job documenting what you did. It seems like the springs in the friction plate were rubbing on something just because the friction surface was worn down? But the old friction plate is not worn down to the rivets yet? If thats correct, this is a crazy design for a clutch.

Also, to remove tapered ball joints or tapered tie rod ends, remove the cotter pin, unscrew the nut until the castles on the nut are just out past the end of the stud. I mean just barely. Now put a hammer head into your air hammer, press it hard against the end of the stud/castle-nut, and give it a quick burp. It will separate in less than a half second.
hammer head is here:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog
It has to be cheaper somewhere else.

All that said, the manual on my alltrac wagons says to normally unbolt the balljoint plate, so I usually only use this on tie rod ends, and on the ball joint when changing out wheel bearings.

Last edited by ttoyoda; 06-10-2008 at 08:22 PM.. Reason: Add content
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:36 PM   #118 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttoyoda View Post
I take it then you have never had to change the clutch in a 1980s?? vw rabbit? With those idiotic double hex socket screws to take off the halfshafts? And a gaggle of identical looking but subtly different pieces of round tubes with the ends smushed flat bolted in all over the place as braces? Lucky You!

Beautiful job documenting what you did. It seems like the springs in the friction plate were rubbing on something just because the friction surface was worn down? But the old friction plate is not worn down to the rivets yet? If thats correct, this is a crazy design for a clutch.

Also, to remove tapered ball joints or tapered tie rod ends, remove the cotter pin, unscrew the nut until the castles on the nut are just out past the end of the stud. I mean just barely. Now put a hammer head into your air hammer, press it hard against the end of the stud/castle-nut, and give it a quick burp. It will separate in less than a half second.
hammer head is here:
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog
It has to be cheaper somewhere else.

All that said, the manual on my alltrac wagons says to normally unbolt the balljoint plate, so I usually only use this on tie rod ends, and on the ball joint when changing out wheel bearings.
lol, can't say I have. Sounds like an experience though.

Thanks

huh gotta give that a shot next time I need to take it apart

Yeah on the Camry it was the same deal, unbolt the ball joint plate, with the Honda it was just pop it off the stud since it doesn't use a plate. The plate is much easier.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:07 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Danger Will Robinson

Quote:
Yep, it vents back into the intake. Thats where the gray hose goes. There is another port on the top that runs over to the intake box. Before, thats where its been puking oil vapor and gunking up the throttle body. Now it will just gunk up the intake tract. Which I need to clean out somehow.
Do I understand correctly that you changed where the pcv hose is connected? If so I would advise against that. The pcv hose is located where it will have the most suction. The "muck" that is coming out is byproducts of combustion that are vapors when they are first created. These vapors must be sucked out before they condense.

IF the vapors are allowed to condense in the engine, they will in time form a surprisingly hard and tenacious sludge (like dirty furniture varnish really) on every interior surface of the engine. You might think this is an unimportant cosmetic issue, but not quite. The sludge will build up on the wire mesh screen that covers the oil pump oil pickup tube, which is submerged in the oil sump. The openings in the screen will get smaller and smaller, starving the engine for oil more and more.


Your oil pressure light will not light up in time to save you, it only indicates when pressure is not even enough to lubricate the engine at idle speed.

If you have the time and energy, and if it is an easy job, you might even consider removing the oil pan (on my cars an easy job with the engine in the car), cleaning it out inside, and inspecting and cleaning the screen for the oil suction tube.

To clean this muck off of PLASTIC or STEEL parts, when these parts are removed from the car, you can use inexpensive spray on oven cleaner, the kind with sodium or potassium hydroxide. Let it sit in the sun. Hose off. Repeat as needed. This also attacks all paint and some platings. Follow all the precautions, but especially wear goggles.
My *opinion* is that bases are much more dangerous for eyes than acids.

To clean the muck off of parts that are made of ALUMINIUM or STEEL, out of the car and removed from the engine, you can use the spray on paint remover that contains methelyne (spelling?) chloride.
With this method I put the part in a plastic bag after spraying, (otherwise the paint remover evaporates too soon) let sit in sun, rinse, etc.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:21 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttoyoda View Post
Do I understand correctly that you changed where the pcv hose is connected? If so I would advise against that. The pcv hose is located where it will have the most suction. The "muck" that is coming out is byproducts of combustion that are vapors when they are first created. These vapors must be sucked out before they condense.

IF the vapors are allowed to condense in the engine, they will in time form a surprisingly hard and tenacious sludge (like dirty furniture varnish really) on every interior surface of the engine. You might think this is an unimportant cosmetic issue, but not quite. The sludge will build up on the wire mesh screen that covers the oil pump oil pickup tube, which is submerged in the oil sump. The openings in the screen will get smaller and smaller, starving the engine for oil more and more.


Your oil pressure light will not light up in time to save you, it only indicates when pressure is not even enough to lubricate the engine at idle speed.

If you have the time and energy, and if it is an easy job, you might even consider removing the oil pan (on my cars an easy job with the engine in the car), cleaning it out inside, and inspecting and cleaning the screen for the oil suction tube.

To clean this muck off of PLASTIC or STEEL parts, when these parts are removed from the car, you can use inexpensive spray on oven cleaner, the kind with sodium or potassium hydroxide. Let it sit in the sun. Hose off. Repeat as needed. This also attacks all paint and some platings. Follow all the precautions, but especially wear goggles.
My *opinion* is that bases are much more dangerous for eyes than acids.

To clean the muck off of parts that are made of ALUMINIUM or STEEL, out of the car and removed from the engine, you can use the spray on paint remover that contains methelyne (spelling?) chloride.
With this method I put the part in a plastic bag after spraying, (otherwise the paint remover evaporates too soon) let sit in sun, rinse, etc.
No I badly worded that post. On the valve cover there are two ports. One centrally located, the other is off to the side close to the trans. The central one is where the PCV valve plugs in. From the PCV there is that gray colored hose which then runs over to the intake manifold. On the port by the trans side, there is just a hose that runs to the air box. I didn't change the placement of anything, just cleaned out the valve and stuck it back in.

Cause it was clogged, I believe that the engine was venting crank case vapors through the side port instead of through the PCV.

Yeah, that would be some very very bad mojo........

Hmmm when I was under there it didn't look like that big of a deal to drop the pan, might do it closer to the end of summer before I go. Peering through the oil filler hole the head looks pretty clean, no idea on the bottom end.

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