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Old 02-11-2015, 09:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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VX Clutch Install/How to Avoid Headaches

Hello Everyone:

Just this past December, the clutch went out on my 94 Civic Vx, whereas thankfully, I still had my 98 Cx that I'd almost donated. Given that I have the other car, I decided to garage the Vx until the end of May, when the weather is considerably warmer.

Since then, I've been reading the tech manual, in addition to watching videos on Youtube, in preparation for my pending task. If experience has taught me anything, it's than whenever it comes to working on cars, there's always some unexpected hitch that neither the manual or the guy making the video never seems to mention.

With that said, what are the issues most common to replacing a clutch that I should be aware of to avoid any headaches?

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Old 02-13-2015, 06:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Okay, maybe I should add that I'm not asking anyone how to replace my clutch. I think that with the tech manual and videos on Youtube, I'm quite capable of managing the task on my own...so far, that's how I've managed all of my automotive projects.

To clarify, I'm asking for the suggestions & advise of those who have done this job before, in accordance any hidden pitfalls, so that I can prepare for them in advance.
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Replace the rear main seal on the engine while you're in there. The hardest part is getting the transmission back on. You have to get it lined up just right. I've found it somewhat helpful to take some extra transmission-to-engine bolts, cut the heads off, screw them into the engine and use them to help guide the transmission on straight.
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasoline Fumes View Post
Replace the rear main seal on the engine while you're in there. The hardest part is getting the transmission back on. You have to get it lined up just right. I've found it somewhat helpful to take some extra transmission-to-engine bolts, cut the heads off, screw them into the engine and use them to help guide the transmission on straight.
Thanks for getting back to me. Another thing that I should ask is if a jack for the transmission is worth the expense.
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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IMHO it's not really worth the $$ for the specialty transmission jack. You can make do pretty well with a regular floor jack and some wood and creativity. Make sure to have lots of wood scraps on hand.

A few things I remember vividly from replacing the clutch in my CRX:
- The axle nuts are a bear. Make sure you're pushing down on your cheater bar rather than pulling up; I applied enough torque to the wheel to make the tire slip against the ground when pulling up. (The upward pull decreased the weight pushing the tire down, decreasing the friction, yadda yadda.) There was less room on one side for pushing down, but it worked much better.
- Check lots of procedures for separating the lower ball joints. Some of them may not work. Use the pickle fork as a last resort, as it is very easy to damage the ball joint.
- If you simply cannot get something unbolted, look for how to remove the thing that is fastened to. I was unable to remove the "b*tch pin" in my shift linkage, so I unbolted the other end of the linkage and dropped it out with the trans.

-soD
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by some_other_dave View Post
IMHO it's not really worth the $$ for the specialty transmission jack. You can make do pretty well with a regular floor jack and some wood and creativity. Make sure to have lots of wood scraps on hand.

A few things I remember vividly from replacing the clutch in my CRX:
- The axle nuts are a bear. Make sure you're pushing down on your cheater bar rather than pulling up; I applied enough torque to the wheel to make the tire slip against the ground when pulling up. (The upward pull decreased the weight pushing the tire down, decreasing the friction, yadda yadda.) There was less room on one side for pushing down, but it worked much better.

- Check lots of procedures for separating the lower ball joints. Some of them may not work. Use the pickle fork as a last resort, as it is very easy to damage the ball joint.
- If you simply cannot get something unbolted, look for how to remove the thing that is fastened to. I was unable to remove the "b*tch pin" in my shift linkage, so I unbolted the other end of the linkage and dropped it out with the trans.

-soD
Towards the middle of December, I'd recently replaced both half-shafts on my 98 Civic Cx. The most effective tool that I found for separating the lower ball joints came from Harbor Freight at an expense of $20.00 and it was quick, simple and easy to use...man did that thing pay for itself.

I understand what you're saying about the b*tch pin in the shaft linkage, which is the just the sort of "heads-up" advise that I'm hoping to get from other members. Information like that gives me time to anticipate & prepare for the task at hand. I'm hoping that more members are willing to contribute their experiences with me.

So with said, what other potential problems lie in wait, and what are some suggestions towards getting around them?

Last edited by Davo53209@yahoo.com; 02-15-2015 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Get some kind of bar ABOVE the engine to support it.

That way when you're wrestling the transmission from under the car you don't have to worry about the engine falling off the blocks, jack, whatever you have holding it up.

Do NOT force the transmission onto the engine. If it doesn't slide all the way onto the engine you are doing it wrong.

I will say if you get the transmission all the way onto the engine except ~1/4" all the way around you are doing ok. At that point you can use 2 transmission bolts to gently guide it in.

The dreaded ****** pin* is way over rated. The proper size punch will drive it out very easily.
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Old 04-13-2015, 12:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk618 View Post
The dreaded ****** pin* is way over rated. The proper size punch will drive it out very easily.
It's a lot harder if you don't get the car up high enough in the air to get a good swing at it with a hammer.

-soD
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk618 View Post
Get some kind of bar ABOVE the engine to support it.

That way when you're wrestling the transmission from under the car you don't have to worry about the engine falling off the blocks, jack, whatever you have holding it up.

Do NOT force the transmission onto the engine. If it doesn't slide all the way onto the engine you are doing it wrong.

I will say if you get the transmission all the way onto the engine except ~1/4" all the way around you are doing ok. At that point you can use 2 transmission bolts to gently guide it in.

The dreaded ****** pin* is way over rated. The proper size punch will drive it out very easily.
I just started working on the car as of yesterday and I've gotten as far as removing both half-shafts from each side.

Incidentally, I just happen to have a thick piece of lumber from another project that's long enough to reach across the engine bay and that should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the engine. My only question now is where I should hook my chains up to the engine.

There's this guy on Youtube who does a pretty decent tutorial, with exception that he's suspending one part of the engine to the distributor. Frankly, I don't like that idea, whereas I'd rather not create additional work for myself if something were to go wrong.



Up to this point, I've been reading tech manuals and watching videos on youtube
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just loop a chain around the #4 runner on the exhaust manifold, fold a towel up and stick it between the chain and valve cover to prevent gouging and scratches.

The engine is very light and there's no chance you'll damage anything by using that runner to hold the engine up.

If you didn't already figure it out all you have to do to pull the axles is:

1. Remove the wheels.

2. Remove the axle nut.

3. Remove the two 10mm brake hose support screws.

4. Undo the lower ball joint castle nut and get the ball joint out of the lower control arm.

At that point you can pull the spindle off the axle shaft and have plenty of room to pop the shaft out of the transmission and just let it hang there on the lower control arm. Use a zip tie if you're concerned about the axle getting damaged.

You don't need to actually pull the whole shaft out of the car but if you decide to do that the inner CV will actually fit between the wishbone / lower control arm with some creative wiggling.

Before you re-install your transmission make sure you clean all the grease off the input shaft collar where the throw out bearing slides. Make sure that shaft is smooth. Apply a small amount of new grease to it so the bearing slides smoothly.

Also pull out the clutch fork, clean the pivot ball / fork and re-grease.

I also put a VERY light amount of grease on the transmission input splines so the clutch disc can slide freely on it also.

Once you've done the D-Series transmission R&R a few dozen times it goes pretty fast and easy. They honestly don't get much easier.

We don't have a sub frame in the way and all the bolts are freely accessible without any special tools.


One last pointer, IMO it's MUCH easier to pull the CV axles out of the way prior to removing the 3 bolts that are on the back of the engine. If you still have your intake manifold support bracket in the way, removing it will really help with room.

I personally never put them back on my own Civic and have not had any issues. I think it's there to help with NVH but I'm sure someone will completely disagree and say that bracket is super critical.

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Last edited by firehawk618; 04-14-2015 at 03:29 PM..
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