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kshacklett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 54
Clutch going?

I think my 35 year old clutch might finally be on its deathbed. Out of the blue the other night I had a nasty gear grinding episode while driving around trying to find a parking place in downtown Reno. Now my clutch (I think) is behaving eractically.

Sometimes it seems normal, but after I drive for awhile something slips when starting from a stand still, and makes an awful noise that I've never heard before. It's quite different from the standard grinding noise that happens that happens occasionally when trying to get into first gear. The noise sounds kind of like a hand saw going through a piece of plywood. It's worst under the most stress, as when starting up a hill. Once it engages everything seems fine.

This seems pretty cut and dry, but any comments would be appreciated. How big a can of worms is replacing the clutch? I've driven this car into the ground. It's been my snowmobile, my truck, etc. I'm waiting for it to disintegrate into a pile of rust, but it won't stop running! The motor's really stong.

By the way, I checked my gear oil, which leaks, and it was quite low. But filling it didn't seem to help...if that has anything to do with anything.
Old 01-13-2008, 10:00 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1969
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Clutch replacement is relatively easy, at least compared to many other cars.

You can remove the trans without removing the engine, and now I am a believer that this is the easier way to go. You will have to remove the muffler to do this, but that's hopefully not a big deal. Rusty bolts are the worst part of that, and you can get at both ends of the bolts...

Remember that the one starter bolt is removed by removing the nut from the engine bay side! (You'll understand that when you come to that part. ) Also remember to loosen up the engine mounting bolts so the engine can pivot down without tearing the rubber mounts, and support the rear of the engine with something solid (like a jack stand).

Lining the trans up on installation can be a challenge. Took a couple of tries for me to do it, plus I had to rotate the input shaft to get it to slide into the clutch disk nicely.

My torque wrenches don't fit the transmission-to-engine bolts, so I had to torque those by guess.

It's easier if you are strong enough to bench-press the trans (~75 lbs), but it's still not bad even if you're using a jack for support.

--DD
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:10 AM
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Hey thanks Dave. That was fast! So you agree that my clutch is history? I don't think I've ever replaced a clutch before....or did I replace the clutch in my El Camino many years ago...what a shame I can't remember.

With the internet and my two AM shop manuals I should be able to figure it out, but of course any more tips would be appreciated. The muffler's no problem and come to think of it, I've had the starter off before...wait, that was my other 914 with the '89 3.2...but it was the original tranny and starter, and I remember the weird bolt arrangement.

I imagine I'll come crying back to this site once I commence the endeavor.

I'm confident that Pelican will have a clutch for me. Does it come with instructions? ....just kidding.
Old 01-13-2008, 10:42 AM
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It sounds like the clutch is going, yes. You can try adjusting it, though. The noise is probably not a good sign; be prepared for the possibility of needing to resurface or replace the flywheel once you get that far in and look at it.

Check around first for other stuff that could be rubbing, particularly as the drivetrain moves around in the car while you are trying to accelerate.

--DD
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:22 PM
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Location: chula vista ca usa
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I just finished the clutch replacement in my race car and it can be done in a couple of hours by someone that has done it in the past. For a first timer figure a weekend possibly? The major steps are:
- Gather all the parts including new shift bushings, two shift set screws, new engine tin seals, clutch disk alignment tool, exhaust gaskets and a new trans ground strap possibly.
- Clean the underside very well, possibly twice.
- Unhook the batt neg cable.
- Unfasten the bolt Dave mentioned as it is easier to get to with the car on the ground.
- Put the car on stands as high as safely possible.
- Unhook clutch cable
- Unhook shift linkage
- Remove muffler
- Loosen front engine mount bolts so engine can pivot slightly
- Loosen rear trans mount bolts, insert jack at rear under trans
- Lower trans from rear slightly and set rear of engine case on a jack stand
- Unhook starter wires
- Unbolt bell housing and tilt front of it upwards as you...
- Slide trans back far enough to remove clutch disk and pressure plate. You do not need to unhook CV joints
- Assembly is reverse.
Old 01-14-2008, 05:54 PM
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Changed the clutch in my 74 when I bought it. First time changing a clutch. Set aside the weekend, got it done by Sunday night. Some things I did:

Removed tranny for more room, also to change the throwout bearing, clutch arm ball bushing and front tranny seal while I was there.

You'll also need the alignment tool to get the clutch in the right position.

Since the old clutch was really worn, the flywheel was all gashed and would have needed resurfaced. Luckily I had an extra flywheel in good shape from an extra engine.

So addition to previous items to buy:

Throwout bearing

Clutch arm ball bushing

Front tranny seal

CV joint gaskets.
Old 01-19-2008, 10:24 AM
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