Category Archives: Clutches

Manufacturing matters

REPXPERT Alistair Mason discusses why manufacturing standards matter.


OEMs design, engineer and produce clutches to the strictest material and quality standards available. Whilst price is and always will be a factor, quality, availability and value-added services also play a crucial part when it comes to technicians selecting the components they choose to fit. Good technicians always want to complete the job first time to ensure their reputation remains intact amongst their customers.

‘Make an informed decision’

Technicians should make an informed decision as to whether they fit an OE standard clutch from an approved supplier, or one from an unapproved source that may not include all of the components required. Schaeffler’s objective is to deliver a ‘complete repair solution’, with everything needed to carry out a professional repair in one box. From an LuK perspective, that means technicians receive a complete clutch kit, including every ancillary component, free technical information, direct one-on-one telephone support, live and online training opportunities, and a range of special tools to ensure each installation is carried out correctly.

Spot the difference

Inferior clutches can affect performance and reliability due to compromises made in both material and manufacturing standards. Below are examples of some of the problems that can occur:

■ Clutch lining compounds can vary in quality, affecting the life of the clutch, clutch friction and clutch lining strength at high rpm.

■ The cushion springs in between the two friction surfaces should be manufactured to exact specifications and tolerances for each unique vehicle application. Generic cushion springs used in some products can affect clutch operation and refinement.

■ In a damped clutch plate, the springs in the centre hub are perfectly tuned for each application, effectively absorbing torsional vibration emanating from the crankshaft. They are designed to protect other components from damage caused by this vibration, giving the vehicle a more refined drive, all of which can be compromised if lesser springs are used.

■ The splines in the centre of the clutch plate need to be made from a precise grade of steel. Too hard, it may wear the gearbox input shaft splines; too soft, the splines may fail.

■ The design of the clutch pressure plate is matched to the vehicle, with the strength of the diaphragm spring accurately calculated to deliver consistent clamp load and pedal weight/feel.

■ The strength of the materials used needs to be exact, as any distortion will affect clutch operation.

Clutches from non-OE clutch producers are primarily designed to replicate the original units; however, without access to the precise material specifications and engineering tolerances demanded and expected by the VM – how can they be expected to achieve exactly the same performance, reliability and durability characteristics of the originally fitted parts?

How to replace the clutch on a Kia Sportage

This month, after the customer reported that the clutch was worn out, Schaeffler REPXPERT Alistair Mason replaced the clutch on a 2013 Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDI diesel, which had covered 94,000 miles.


With a book time of two-and-a-half hours, little workshop equipment is required – a two-post vehicle lift, engine support, a transmission jack and a clutch alignment tool – and full repair instructions with torque settings are available on Schaeffler’s REPXPERT workshop information portal.

Step-by-step procedure

With the vehicle placed on the lift, open the bonnet (Fig 1), and remove the engine cover and the air filter assembly. Disconnect the battery terminals, remove the battery, as well as the engine control unit from its bracket, and then remove the battery carrier, unclipping the wiring looms as required. The top of the gearbox should now be easily accessible.

Next, disconnect the reverse light switch and gear cables (Fig 2), including the cable retaining bracket. Following this, detach the crank sensor and the gear recognition multiplug, which means that the upper bell-housing bolts can now be undone, along with the upper starter motor bolt and earth cable. The last thing to do in the engine bay is to slacken the gearbox mounting, ready for removal later on in the process.

With the vehicle still on the ground, slacken both front hub nuts and wheel bolts, raise the vehicle to waist height, and remove both front wheels and front hub nuts. Then, disconnect the ABS sensor wiring looms, the flexible brake pipe retaining clips and the strut-to-hub assembly bolts, so that the outer driveshaft joints can be eased out of the hub assemblies (Fig 3).

Next, raise the vehicle lift to gain access to the underside, remove the engine undertray and then drain the gearbox oil. Whilst draining, remove the lower gearbox pendulum mounting, then, once the oil has drained, refit the drain plug and torque to the manufacturer’s specification.

Remove both driveshafts, the lower intercooler hose that runs under the bell housing/sump area (Fig 4) and the lower flywheel cover back plate.

On the front of the gearbox, detach the clutch pipe bracket and the slave cylinder assembly. The clutch pipe remains connected to the slave cylinder, which should be stowed away to allow for easy gearbox removal. Next, undo the lower starter motor bolt.

Disconnect the lower bell-housing bolts, leaving two easily-accessible to support the gearbox until it is ready to be removed. Using two transmission jacks, support the engine and gearbox, then remove the gearbox mounting that was slackened earlier. Once removed, lower the engine to aid gearbox removal; once lowered, undo the final bell housing bolts and ease the gearbox away from the engine. When the input shaft is clear from the clutch, lower the gearbox on the second transmission jack and move it to a safe area.

Clutch and gearbox inspection

Disconnect the nine clutch retaining bolts and remove the clutch assembly from the flywheel (Fig 5); on inspection of the clutch plate, it was easy to see it had reached the end of its service life, as the clutch plate lining had worn close to the retaining rivets.

The next job is to remove the glaze from the flywheel using an Emory cloth, and the clutch dust using brake and clutch dust cleaner, before inspecting the flywheel for any cracks (Fig 6) and the back of the engine for any oil or coolant leaks, rectifying as required, so as not to contaminate the new clutch.

Attention now turns to the gearbox. First, remove the release bearing and fork (Fig 7), inspecting the latter closely for wear. If any wear is evident, it must be replaced.

Clean the bell-housing area with brake and clutch dust cleaner, then inspect the release bearing guide tube for any wear (Fig 8). A new release bearing can catch on worn areas and not allow it to return fully (Fig 9); if this occurs, it can cause release problems and/or lead to ‘over-stroke’ problems, which will damage the new clutch and/or even the gearbox.

If wear is evident on the release bearing guide tube, the bell-housing casing will also need to be replaced. Also, check the pivot point for any wear and replace if required.

Once satisfied, lubricate the pivot points on the release bearing fork, fit it and the new release bearing and, by hand, check that the operation feels correct and smooth. Next, lightly smear some high-melting point grease onto the splines on the input shaft and mount the clutch plate onto the input shaft, achieving two things: it evenly distributes the grease, and it also confirms correct fitment of the clutch plate. Finally, remove the clutch plate and wipe off any excess grease.

The next part of the process is to mount the new clutch assembly onto the flywheel. Using a clutch alignment tool, mount the clutch plate, ensuring the clutch plate is facing the correct direction – ‘Gearbox Side’ – then mount the clutch cover/pressure plate, screw in the retaining bolts and tighten evenly and sequentially, torqueing to the manufacturer’s specification.

Gearbox installation

Before installing the gearbox, ensure that the alignment dowels are inserted into the back of the engine, and that all cables are clear of the gearbox area, so as to not get trapped or pinched.

Mount the gearbox onto the transmission jack, align the gearbox to the engine and ease it into position. Once the gearbox has located on the dowels, insert two easily accessible bolts and tighten. Reinstall the gearbox in reverse order of removal, and once the battery has been connected, reset all affected electrical consumers. Refill the gearbox with the correct quantity and grade of oil, before carrying out a road test to ensure a quality repair.

How to replace the clutch on a Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi

This month, REPXPERT Alistair Mason replaces the clutch assembly in a 2014 2WD Nissan Qashqai, which had covered more than 88,000 miles.


In the lead up to this clutch replacement, the customer had complained that the clutch bite point was very high and it slipped on hills, which was confirmed during a road test.

The repair time for this procedure is four-and-a-half hours, with the following workshop equipment required: two-post vehicle lift, engine support, transmission jack, clutch alignment tool, and vacuum brake and clutch bleeder. The workshop instructions were obtained from REPXPERT, Schaeffler’s workshop information portal.

Step-by-step procedure –gearbox removal

Place the vehicle on the lift and open the bonnet (Fig 1). Remove the engine cover, the air filter assembly and ducting (Fig 2), then disconnect the battery, battery carrier, multiplugs and remove the engine control unit, which will provide good access to the gearbox area.

Next, remove the crank position sensor located at the top of the bell housing, reverse light switch multiplug (Fig 3) and gearbox earth cable. The gear change cables can now be disconnected from the gearbox by compressing the retaining tabs on the ball joint and lifting up.

Disconnect the outer cables by removing the locking pins and stowing them in the bulkhead area. The upper bell housing bolts can now be removed. Detach the wiring loom from the gearbox, disconnect the hydraulic clutch pipe at the bell housing and seal to stop the fluid running out.

Before raising the vehicle, slacken both front wheels and hub nuts, and then raise the vehicle to gain access to the underside and remove the undertray. At this point, drain the gearbox oil, then lower the vehicle to waist height and remove front wheels and hub nuts, the N/S/F plastic splash guard and N/S/F chassis leg (Fig 4).

Next, undo both bottom ball joint pinch bolts; it can be very difficult to pull the bottom arms down far enough to release the ball joints and if this is the case, lower the sub-frame slightly to gain additional movement. Remove the N/S driveshaft, detach the O/S driveshaft centre bearing (Fig 5) and the driveshaft itself.

Disconnect the gearbox to sub-frame pendulum mount (Fig 6), then the exhaust front pipe bracket/mounting (Fig 7), before unscrewing the lower bell housing bolts and leaving two easily accessible ones as support until ready to remove the gearbox.

Support the engine from the underside and the gearbox using a transmission jack. Access the engine bay, remove the gearbox mounting, lower the transmission jacks slightly to gain clearance, undo the final bell housing bolts, ease the gearbox away from the engine, then, once clear, lower the transmission jack, remove the gearbox and place it in a safe area.

Clutch replacement

Remove the clutch assembly from the dual mass flywheel (DMF). In this case, evidence of clutch slip was present by the ‘blueing’ on the DMF face (Fig 8), so a flywheel replacement was advised and authorisation given.

First, remove the DMF and check for any leaks on the back of the engine, rectifying if required, and then clean the back of the engine with brake and clutch dust cleaner. Mount the new flywheel, using new bolts, then tighten and torque to the manufacturer’s specification – Schaeffler’s REPXPERT app provides a quick reference for this information. Once torqued, degrease the flywheel face.

Back to the gearbox

After removing the concentric slave cylinder (CSC) and ensuring there are no oil leaks from the input shaft oil seal, clean the bell housing using brake and clutch dust cleaner, and position the new CSC, confirming the mounting face is clean. When fitting and torqueing the retaining bolts, ensure they torque correctly, as they can sometimes bind on old thread lock.

Apply a very light smear of high-melting point grease on the gearbox input shaft and mount the clutch plate, as this will confirm fitment and will evenly distribute the grease – wipe off any excess grease.

Using a clutch alignment tool (Fig 9), mount the clutch plate onto the flywheel, ensuring the centre hub is facing the correct component, usually marked ‘Gearbox Side’. Degrease the surface of the pressure plate, mount the pressure plate aligning on the flywheel dowels, tighten the bolts evenly and sequentially, before, finally, torqueing to the manufacturer’s specification.

Before refitting the gearbox, allow the old clutch fluid to drain out of the hydraulic system and flush through with new fluid, as this will ensure the new CSC does not become contaminated and cause the seal to fail. Next, ensure all cables are clear of the bell housing area and that the gearbox alignment dowels are installed correctly.

Gearbox replacement

Place the gearbox on the transmission jack, ease it into position and ensure it locates on the alignment dowels. When in position, fit two easily accessible bell housing bolts and tighten, before refitting all other components in reverse order of removal and torqueing all bolts to the manufacturer’s specification.

When bleeding the clutch, the pipe to CSC connection has two positions; the first clip position is the bleed position and the second clip is the closed/operating position. In this instance, Alistair ‘vacuum bled’ the clutch hydraulic system (Fig 10). After the battery lead has been reconnected, reset all electrical consumers. Always carry out a road test to ensure a quality repair.

How to replace the clutch on a Vauxhall Movano

This month, Schaeffler REPXPERT Alistair Mason replaced the clutch on a Vauxhall Movano 2.3 D, which has covered more than 140,000 miles.


As is the norm with light commercial vehicles, the first job is to check the ramp’s weight capability and how much equipment is in the back of the vehicle. With little workshop equipment required – a vehicle lift, engine support, transmission jack, clutch alignment tool and cable ties to secure removed items – along with a scheduled time of seven hours, this is a straightforward job and is a great repair for any independent garage.

Step-by-step guide

The Movano has an ‘over gearbox harness’ encased in plastic trunking. This can be fiddly to remove, but taking it away provides access to the gearbox bell housing bolts.

Whilst on the floor, disconnect the gear change cables and stow them away safely. Unclip the slave cylinder hose and blank it using an old and modified extension pipe. Disconnect the reverse light switch, then slacken the front road wheel nuts and driveshaft nuts.

Then, raise the ramp to a convenient height and remove the front wheels. Unclip the ABS lead and brake hoses on both sides of the vehicle. Undo and remove the two lower strut bolts, and carefully swing back the knuckle to release the drive shafts on both sides. Support the knuckle to ensure the hoses and leads aren’t damaged.

Next, raise the vehicle further and drain the gearbox oil into a suitable receptacle, then refit and tighten the drain plug and remove the centre tie bar (Fig 1).


Swing the engine forward to improve access. Remove the RH driveshaft centre bearing clamp (Fig 2) and both driveshafts, then unclip and disconnect the cable on the rear of the gearbox support bracket. Unbolt the rear bell housing bolts and unclip the drain hose.


With the engine supported from above, remove one of the gearbox support bracket bolts and lower the gearbox and engine slightly. Unbolt and remove any pipes attached to the gearbox mount (Fig 3).

Now remove the mount altogether, and stow and secure the A/C pipes clear of the gearbox. Cut the cable ties, securing the over gearbox harness lid, ready for removal. Unclip and disconnect the gearbox, breather pipe, then remove the two bolts securing the harness box (Fig 4) to the gearbox and remove it to allow access to the bell housing bolts, whilst leaving the harness in-situ.


Remove the starter motor bolts and the rest of the bell housing, leaving the two nuts on special studs at the top (Fig 5).


Release the A/C hose front bracket (Fig 6) to allow the pipe to be moved further out of the way. Support the gearbox with a transmission jack and remove the gearbox mounting bracket (Fig 7), then the remaining bell housing nuts and the special studs.


Lower the gearbox safely, and clean any debris from the bell housing. Then, check for oil leaks, the condition of the input shaft bearing, and the shaft itself for damage.


Unclip the concentric slave cylinder (CSC) extension pipe, which may be useful for a future blanking plug. Unbolt and remove the CSC, carefully noting the gearbox seal (Fig 8) condition.

Refit the new CSC, taking care not to compress it prior to fitment. Make sure to use the original or new and correct bolts – don’t be tempted to replace them with something ‘similar’! Once completed, fit the new extension pipe, making sure the clips locate correctly.

Remove the clutch and test the dual mass flywheel (DMF) to see if it can be re-used or not. The maximum values for rock and freeplay can be found on the REPXPERT website or app. This vehicle is fitted with a self-adjusting clutch (SAC), so the clutch needs to be fitted with the LUK SAC tool to pre-compress the pressure plate assembly to the DMF. The tool kit also contains an alignment tool. Not using the tool is a common cause of clutch judder or premature de-adjustment, which can lead to the job having to be repeated. Gearbox replacement is the reverse of removal, and clutch bleeding is straightforward.


How to replace the clutch assembly on an Audi 2.0 TDI Quattro

REPXPERT Alistair Mason replaced the clutch assembly and dual mass flywheel (DMF) on a 2009 Audi TT 2.0 TDI Quattro, which has covered more than 85,000 miles.

The customer reported that the clutch was slipping when accelerating, and a short road test confirmed that the clutch had reached the end of its service life and that a replacement was needed.

With a recommended book time of seven hours and all repair information available through Schaeffler’s information portal, REPXPERT, this is a great repair for any independent workshop.

Before starting the job, ensure that you have the following workshop equipment to hand; a two-post vehicle lift, engine support, transmission jack, clutch alignment tool and brake/clutch pressure bleeder. Technicians might also need a locking wheel bolt key and radio code.

Gearbox removal

With the vehicle placed on the lift, open the bonnet and boot, disconnect the battery located in the boot, obtain the locking wheel bolt key and then slacken the locking wheel bolts on both front wheels.

Working in the engine bay, remove the engine cover, disconnect the air mass meter and vacuum pipe, and then remove the air filter assembly and carrier, which will provide good access to the top of the gearbox.

Remove the gear change cables, selector lever weight assembly and cable retaining bracket (Figs 1 and 2), clamp the flexible hydraulic clutch pipe, and then disconnect the pipe from the concentric slave cylinder (CSC) connection (Fig 3).

Next, disconnect the wiring from the starter motor and detach the earth lead from the starter motor top retaining bolt. Then undo the top starter motor retaining bolt, disconnect the reverse light switch multiplug, and remove the top bell housing bolts.

Raise the vehicle to gain access to the underside, and remove the engine undertray. Then lower the vehicle to waist height and remove both front wheels as well as the inner wheel arch liners. Following this, raise the lift and remove the alloy under guard framework (Fig 4).

Remove the front driveshafts by unscrewing the hub nuts and spline bolts retaining the inner CV joints, and then release both bottom ball joints.

Take away the transfer box from the gearbox and mark the position of the propshaft on the transfer box. Unclip the oil level sensor wiring loom from the retaining clip, disconnect the exhaust front pipe sleeves, and remove the rubber mounting assembly.

Next, undo the three 12-point bolts from the transfer box to cushion drive assembly (Fig 5) and remove the lower gearbox pendulum mounting (Fig 6). Ease the engine and gearbox forward and disconnect the propshaft from the transfer box and support as required.

Drain the gearbox oil and then undo the O/S/F driveshaft flange using a long 6mm Allen key. Disconnect the transfer box retaining bracket bolts, and then the four main body securing bolts. At this point, the transfer box can be removed and secured.

Then undo the lower bell housing bolts, leaving two easily-accessible bolts in position to retain the gearbox, and remove the starter motor. Support the engine using either a brace bar, sub-frame support, or second transmission jack. Then remove the gearbox mounting, lower the engine/transmission assembly to aid gearbox removal, support the gearbox using a transmission jack, undo the final bell housing bolts, and ease the gearbox away from the engine. Once clear, lower the transmission jack and place the gearbox in a safe area.

Clutch replacement

Undo the six clutch retaining bolts (Fig 7) and remove the clutch cover and plate assembly. Upon inspecting the clutch plate, it was confirmed that the clutch had reached the end of its service life – the friction material had worn close to the rivets.

In this case, the DMF was replaced upon the customer’s request. With the DMF removed, inspect the back of the engine for any oil leaks and rectify as required. Clean the back of the engine with clutch and brake dust cleaner before mounting the new DMF.

While doing so, insert the new bolts and tighten to the manufacturer’s torque specifications – available via both the REPXPERT website and app – and finally de-grease the clutch surface on the flywheel.

Focusing on the gearbox (Fig 8), remove the CSC, inspect the bell housing area for any oil leaks and rectify as required. Clean the bell housing area, confirm that the CSC mounting surface is clean, mount it, and ensure the retaining bolts have been tightened correctly. However, do not operate or squeeze the CSC, as this could damage it.

Apply a light smear of high-melting point grease to the gearbox input shaft splines, mount the new clutch plate onto them, and evenly distribute the grease. Remove the clutch plate and wipe off any excess grease.

De-grease the clutch pressure plate surface, then, using a clutch alignment tool, mount the new clutch onto the DMF. Next, fit the clutch bolts and torque to the manufacturer’s specification.

Before re-fitting the gearbox, it is always good practice to flush out the old clutch fluid and replace it with new fluid. Also ensure that the gearbox alignment dowels are located correctly.

How to: Replace the Clutch on an Audi A1

How to: Replace the Clutch on an Audi A1

This month, the resident expert Alistair Mason replaced the clutch on a 2016 Audi A1, fitted with a 1.6L TDI engine that had covered more than 85,000 miles.

Audi launched the A1 into the UK market back in November 2010, and sales have reached close to 200,000. It is built on Volkswagen’s PQ25 platform, which is also used for the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza.

Being Audi’s popular Supermini, with a repair time of just five hours and a requirement for only minimal workshop equipment – a two-post vehicle lift, engine support, transmission jack, clutch alignment tool and locking wheel bolt key – this repair is a good one for an independent workshop.

Step-by-step procedure

First, place the vehicle on the lift, open the bonnet and boot, and disconnect the negative lead (see below) from the battery in the boot well, but do not close the boot whilst the battery is disconnected. Before proceeding to the engine bay, slacken the front locking wheel bolts and both front hub nuts.

In the engine bay, remove the plastic engine cover and air box assembly (see below), then disconnect the battery connection to the air box carrier, and then remove the carrier itself. That provides good access to the top of the gearbox and bell housing area.

Disconnect the gear change cables, and remove the clutch slave cylinder, leaving the hydraulic pipe connected. Detach the starter motor cable and unscrew the top starter motor bolt, before disconnecting the reverse light switch multiplug and removing the top bell housing bolts.

Next, raise the vehicle lift to gain access to the underside and slacken the inner driveshaft joint bolts, then lower the lift to waist height and remove the front wheels and hub nuts. In addition, remove the N/S plastic wheel arch liner to give better access to the gearbox.

Raise the vehicle lift once more and unscrew both bottom ball joints. The outer driveshaft joints can then be detached from the hub assemblies by pushing the hub assemblies outwards, before undoing the inner driveshaft joint bolts, removing the heat shield for the O/S driveshaft and driveshafts themselves.

To aid the removal of the gearbox, it is best practice to remove the O/S driveshaft flange from the gearbox that is retained with an Allen bolt in the centre of the flange (see below).


Once removed, unscrew the lower starter motor bolt, remove the starter motor and disconnect the gear recognition multiplug (see below).

Next, detach the lower bell housing bolts, leaving two easily accessible bolts to support the gearbox, before removing the bottom pendulum gearbox mount. Alistair used two transmission jacks to support the engine and gearbox respectively, before using a ladder to gain access to the engine bay and remove the gearbox mounting bolts.

Now, lower the gearbox and engine slightly, removing the gearbox mounting from the gearbox accessed from the N/S wheel arch (see below). Finally, undo the last of the bell housing bolts and ease the gearbox away from the engine. Once clear, lower the transmission jack holding the gearbox and move it to a safe area.

Clutch replacement

Remove the clutch assembly from the flywheel and inspect the back of the engine for any leaks, rectifying if required. Clean the back of the engine and flywheel with brake and clutch dust cleaner, and as a solid flywheel is fitted, remove the glaze from the flywheel face using an Emory cloth and clean again with brake and clutch dust cleaner.

Remove the release bearing from the gearbox and the release arm, closely inspect it for any wear, along with pivot point and release bearing guide tube (see below), replacing if required, and clean the bell housing area with brake and clutch dust cleaner.

Fit the release arm and bearing. If plastic/nylon runs on metal, no lubrication is required; if metal runs on metal, lubrication is required and a light smear of high melting point grease is best practice.

Apply another light smear of high melting point grease to the gearbox input shaft splines, before mounting the new clutch plate onto them. This will confirm the clutch plate is the correct fit, and it will also evenly distribute the lubrication on the input shaft. Remove the clutch plate and wipe any excess grease.

Ensure the clutch plate faces the correct component (see below), and using a universal clutch alignment tool, align it with the clutch pressure plate and secure.


Mount the clutch assembly onto the flywheel (see below), before inserting, tightening and torquing all clutch bolts evenly and sequentially. Once torqued, remove the clutch alignment tool.

Before refitting the gearbox, ensure all wiring etc. is clear of the bell housing area, so as not to get trapped, while also checking the gearbox alignment dowels are fitted to the engine and that the release mechanism in the gearbox is fitted and functioning correctly.

Gearbox replacement

Place the gearbox on the transmission jack, bring it close to the engine and ease into position, ensuring it locates on the alignment dowels. When in position, fit two easily- accessible bell housing bolts and tighten, refit all other components in reverse order of removal and torque all bolts to the manufacturer’s specification. After the battery lead has been reconnected, reset all electrical consumers.

It is worth nothing that new hub nuts will be required, if the locking tabs break off during removal. Finally, as always, carry out a road test to ensure a quality repair.


How to: Replace the Clutch on a Peugeot 206

How to: Replace the Clutch on a Peugeot 206

Schaeffler Expert Alistair Mason inspected a 2005 1.1L petrol Peugeot 206, which had covered more than 75,000 miles.

It was difficult to get the vehicle into gear, as the clutch was not fully disengaging and there was a ‘scraping’ noise emanating from the bell housing area, so a gearbox removal was advised and authorised.

For this repair, Alistair needed a two-post vehicle lift, transmission jack, engine support and clutch alignment tool. A gearbox removal should be a straightforward task for an independent technician.

Step-by-step procedure

With the vehicle placed on the ramp, open the bonnet and remove the air filter/box assembly, the battery and carrier, which gives good access to the top of the gearbox and bell housing area (see below).

Pictured: Top of Gearbox Area

Detach the multiplug from the reverse light switch, remove the earth lead connection from the top of the gearbox, and disconnect the clutch cable from the gearbox by pulling the cable forwards and unhooking from the arm. Next, undo the upper bell housing bolts and top starter motor bolt, then, at the rear of the gearbox, disconnect the three gear change linkage rods.

Before raising the vehicle lift to gain access to the underside, slacken the hub nuts for both front driveshafts.

Next, raise the lift and drain the gearbox oil, release both bottom ball joints from the front hub assemblies, pull the hub assemblies outwards and remove the outer CV joints. On the O/S/F driveshaft, the centre bearing also needs to be released, before removing both driveshafts from the vehicle and storing them safely.

Remove the starter motor retaining bolts and the engine speed sensor from the front of the bell housing and lower bell housing bolts, leaving two easily-accessible bolts to retain the gearbox until it can be removed.

With two transmission jacks, support both the engine and the gearbox. Use a ladder to reach the topside of the engine, and then remove the gearbox mounting. Lower the engine and gearbox assembly slightly, remove the final bell housing bolts, ease the gearbox away from the engine, and, once clear, lower the gearbox with the transmission jack and store safely.

On this occasion, with the gearbox removed, the fault was easily identified: some of the clutch diaphragm fingers had been ground away and snapped off (see below).

Pictured: Clutch Diaphragm

The release bearing was also inspected and was deemed unserviceable, as it had damage to the contact area and no lubrication in the bearing (see below).

Pictured: Release Bearing

There could be a few reasons for this fault:

  • The bearing coming into constant contact with the clutch, causing the bearing to get hot and seize, which can eminate from the driver resting their foot on the clutch pedal.
  • The release system’s alignment is not correct; the release fork lever bushes are worn and the release fork is twisted/bent.
  • The release bearing guide tube is worn, not allowing the release bearing to return correctly.

Clutch replacement is needed

Remove the old clutch, and remove the glaze from the flywheel by using Emory cloth and clean it with brake and clutch dust cleaner. Next, mount the new clutch plate onto the gearbox input shaft to ensure correct fitment (see below).

Pictured: Clutch Plate

Next, using a clutch alignment tool, mount the new clutch assembly onto the flywheel (see below).

Pictured: Flywheel

Next, ensure the clutch plate is facing the correct way, indicated by ‘Gearbox Side’ (or ‘Getriebe Seite’), then tighten the bolts evenly and sequentially, and finally, torque to the manufacturer’s specification.

The next task is to examine the release system. On this job, the release bearing was replaced, as it is part of the clutch kit. On closer inspection of the release fork, excessive wear was evident in the nylon bushes, as was slight wear on the fork itself. Therefore, the release fork and bushes were replaced, as was the release bearing guide tube (see below).

Pictured: Release Bearing Guide Tube

Apply a light smear of high melting point grease to the gearbox input shaft splines and wipe off any excess – in the areas where metal is running on nylon, no lubrication is required. Ensure both engine to gearbox alignment dowels are installed in the engine.

Ensure the clutch cable is operating smoothly, but be aware that it is always best practice to change it. In this instance, the self-adjusting clutch cable was replaced.

Using the transmission jack, ease the gearbox into position, locate the gearbox input shaft into the clutch plate, and then ease it onto the alignment dowels. Once in position, secure it with a bell housing bolt.

Installation is in reverse order of removal. Torque all bolts to the manufacturer’s specification and refill the gearbox with the correct quantity and specification of gearbox oil. Once the battery lead has been connected, reset all electrical systems. Finally, carry out a full road test to ensure a quality repair.

Job Done!

How to fit a Clutch on a Toyota Rav4

How to fit a Clutch on a Toyota Rav4

A full clutch replacement guide for a Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4D from the experts at Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket. 


In this month’s article, we are replacing the clutch and Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF) in a Toyota RAV4 2.0 D4D with permanent four-wheel drive, which has covered more than 130,000 miles. The customer reported that the clutch slips under full load, which a quick road test confirmed, and clutch replacement was advised.

Toyota released the first generation RAV4 in 1994 – RAV standing for Recreational Active Vehicle. Design features included increased interior room, higher visibility and the option of permanent four-wheel drive, along with good manoeuvrability and good fuel economy, all in a compact vehicle.

Toyota’s current RAV4 is the fourth generation. The RAV4 is available in short or long wheelbase with petrol or diesel engines, in either two-wheel drive or permanent four- wheel drive, and it also shares the same platform as the Toyota Carina and Corolla.

For this repair, we used the following workshop equipment: a two-post ramp and two transmission jacks.

If the vehicle is equipped with locking wheel bolts, ensure you have the key/tool prior to starting the repair.

With the vehicle placed on the ramp, disconnect the battery, then disconnect the multiplug from the air flow meter and remove the complete air filter assembly (see below) and disconnect the reverse light switch multiplug and the gearbox earth cable.

Now remove the gear linkage assembly and then unbolt the clutch slave cylinder that is located on the front of the gearbox, retained by 2 x 13mm nuts, and stow safely (the hydraulics do not have to be disconnected). You’ll also need to remove the plate that is mounted with the slave cylinder. At this point, we can remove the top bell housing bolts and then slacken the top gearbox mounting ready for removal later.

With the vehicle on the floor, slacken the wheel bolts and the O/S/F hub nut, raise the ramp to waist height and remove both front wheels, the O/S/F hub nut, the N/S/F wheel arch splash guard (see below) and the N/S/F under tray.

 

Raise the vehicle. Now we need to remove the front sub-frame, so disconnect the anti- roll bar clamps, remove the front gearbox mounting, disconnect both bottom ball joints, and take out the two bolts that hold the steering rack to the front sub-frame (see below) and secure the steering rack to the engine bay to hold in place.

Support the front sub-frame with a transmission jack and remove the sub- frame retaining bolts, lower the transmission jack and remove the front sub-frame (see below) and then remove the gearbox cross member/cradle.

Now drain the oil out of the gearbox and transfer box and, once the oil has drained, remove the O/S/F driveshaft by sliding out of the transfer box and store in a safe and clean area (see below).

It is advisable to plug the driveshaft holes when the driveshafts have been removed, to stop any excess oil dripping and to stop anything going into the transfer box, then the support bracket for the transfer box to the engine can be removed (see below).

The engine and gearbox can now be eased forward to release the front prop shaft joint from the transfer box. Next, pull the bottom of the N/S/F strut assembly outwards which will release the N/S/F driveshaft from the transfer box and the driveshaft can then be positioned conveniently.

From under the vehicle, we can now remove the gear linkage bracket and the speedo cable, which are located towards the top rear of the gearbox. Disconnect the starter motor from the front of the engine and leave in position. Support the engine using an engine brace or transmission jack, from the top, and disconnect the top gearbox mounting from the gearbox.

Now remove the remaining bell housing bolts, leaving one to hold the gearbox in position. Support the gearbox with a transmission jack and cradle, remove the final bell housing bolt and ease the gearbox away from the engine. You might find that the gearbox has seized on the dowels, so if this is the case, work the gearbox up and down until it has released from the dowels and then remove the gearbox (see below).

With the clutch now accessible, it was removed and inspected, with evidence that it had reached the end of its service life and that ‘slipping’ had taken place. The customer also requested that the DMF be replaced at the same time.

With the clutch and flywheel removed, clean the back of the engine to remove any clutch dust that could contaminate the new clutch and flywheel assembly, check all parts are correct and then fit the new flywheel.

With the flywheel torqued, clean the bell housing of the gearbox and clean and check all moving parts and pivot points for wear, and replace if required. Apply a small amount of high melting point grease to pivot points and contact areas and re-assemble removing any excess grease.

Install the new release bearing (see below), then lightly lubricate the gearbox input shaft splines with high melting point grease and slide the new clutch plate onto the input shaft to evenly distribute the grease, and to ensure the clutch plate is correct, wipe off any excess grease.

Fit the new clutch to the flywheel using a clutch alignment tool, ensuring the clutch plate is positioned correctly with ‘Gearbox Side’ or ‘Getriebe Seite’ facing the gearbox and then tighten the clutch bolts in an even and sequential manner and torque to the manufacturer’s specification (see below).

Re-fit the gearbox in reverse order of removal, refill the gearbox and transfer box with the correct quantity and specification of oil and, after connecting the battery, reset all electrical items as required and carry out a road test to ensure the repair is complete.

How to Fit a Timing Belt on a Volkswagen Beetle

 In this month’s article, Schaeffler replace the timing belt and water pump on a 2008 Volkswagen Beetle 1.9 TDI (BSW engine) that has covered just over 66,000 miles.


Volkswagen released the new Beetle in 1997. Prior to that, two concept cars had been designed and a strong demand had been noticed for a new Beetle, which went into production and was based on a Golf platform. Assembly took place in Mexico and it was available in petrol and diesel, with two body types; coupe and convertible.

This engine has been identified as an interference type, so in the event of a timing belt failure, the likelihood of engine damage is extremely high. It is always important to install a new timing belt system on an engine at ambient room temperature. Always adhere to turning the engine in direction of rotation unless otherwise advised by the installation instructions. Recommended torque values should always be used. It is also recommended that all the tensioners, idlers and fixings are replaced at the same time as the timing belt.

For safety reasons, it is best practice to disconnect the battery earth lead. The vehicle may also be fitted with locking wheel bolts, so make sure the key is available before starting the repair.

For this repair, the workshop equipment used was a two-post ramp, crank and camshaft locking tools, two pin tensioner wrench, engine support and a stud extractor.

All workshop repair information and repair times are available from www.repxpert.co.uk.

With the vehicle placed on the ramp, start by removing the engine cover, then remove the top intercooler hose, coolant expansion tank, fuel filter and fuel filter mounting bracket (see below).

Remove the tension from the auxiliary drive belt and lock the tensioner with a pin (see below), remove the auxiliary drive belt, check the auxiliary drive belt for wear and cracking/perishing and replace if required. Also, check the Over Running Alternator Pulley (OAP) for correct operation and then remove the auxiliary belt tensioner.

Raise the ramp, remove the o/s/f wheel, the lower intercooler hose, the engine under tray and then the o/s/f wheel arch liner, o/s lower engine cover (see below), and lastly remove the metal mounting bracket and the crankshaft front pulley. At this point, we need to support the engine as the engine mounting needs to be removed. This can be done with either an engine brace beam, a support that is located on the front sub-frame or, in this instance, we supported the engine with an axle stand, as most of the work is carried out from above.

Support the engine, then remove the engine mount and disconnect the mounting bracket from the engine block. This cannot be removed as there is not enough clearance, but can be manoeuvred to allow belt replacement. Now remove the upper timing belt cover, and then with access through the o/s/f wheel arch, take off the two lower timing belt covers, rotate the engine in a clockwise direction and align the timing marks. Then insert locking tools into the crankshaft (see below), and the camshaft (see below).

Once the cam and crank have been locked, slacken the tensioner nut, remove the tension from the belt and then take out the timing belt and the tensioner. A crucial point of this repair is to replace the studs for the tensioner and the idler (see below). They were removed easily with a socket type stud extractor and replaced and torqued with the same stud tool (the torque procedure of these studs is very important, so always refer to the latest information).

Now take out the water pump by removing the three retaining bolts and easing the pump out of the engine block, and then drain the engine coolant into a tray placed under the vehicle. Once drained, ensure the mounting and sealing faces for the pump are clean and dry, install the new water pump and tighten to the manufacturer’s specification. Remove and dry any remaining coolant in the timing belt area and fit the new idler and tensioner.

Using a counter-hold tool, slacken the three retaining bolts on the camshaft pulley and rotate the camshaft pulley in a clockwise direction until it is against its stops (see below). Now fit the new timing belt, starting on the crank pulley, then the idler, tensioner, camshaft pulley, and finishing off at the water pump.

How to Fit a Clutch on a Suzuki Alto

This month’s article documents a clutch replacement in a 2010 Suzuki Alto, fitted with a 1.0L, three-cylinder K10B engine, which has covered more than 70,000 miles. The customer reported clutch slip, which was confirmed by a short road test, and clutch replacement was advised.

The Suzuki Alto is quite a popular car on today’s roads – its initial cost being relatively low and with a good return on fuel. Suzuki launched the Alto in 1979 and it has been on the UK roads since 1981. The latest Suzuki Alto is the eighth generation.

When opening the bonnet and carrying out an initial inspection, working space is at a premium, but with a little guidance, this is a good repair for any garage with a book time of 5.1 hours.

For this fix we used the following workshop equipment: a two-post ramp and a transmission jack. With the car placed on the ramp, starting in the engine bay, disconnect and remove the battery, battery case and battery carrier. The wiring loom retaining clips need to be unclipped from the battery carrier when removing.

Now remove the air box/induction noise damper (see below) allowing more access to the gearbox and bell housing area. Slacken the clutch cable and then remove the cable from the clutch release arm, open the plastic retaining clip to release the cable and then slide the outer cable away from the support bracket (light lubrication may help the rubber slide out of the bracket) and stow in the bulkhead area. Remove the clutch cable support bracket as this gives a little extra room.

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Disconnect the reverse light switch multiplug and stow the loom in the inner wing. Disconnect the gear change cables from the selector mechanism by removing the ‘U clip’ from the front cable (see below) and then detaching from the ball pivot. Disconnect the rear cable by removing the bolts from the pivot point bracket and removing the assembly (note – there is a small nylon bush located in this assembly that can fall out). Slide the outer cables upwards and out of their support bracket and stow in the bulkhead area, then disconnect the gearbox earth wire and bracket.

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Now remove the upper bell housing bolts whilst the vehicle is on the ground and the bolts are easily accessible, storing in order and location. Next, slacken both driveshaft hub nuts and raise the vehicle to waist height. Remove both front wheels and hub nuts and the plastic shield in the N/S/F wheel arch area (see below), raise the vehicle to access the underside, drain the gearbox oil and then remove the locking pins from both bottom ball joint nuts and then take out the nuts and release both bottom ball joints. Both driveshafts can then be released from the respective hubs.

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Then, using a lever, ‘snap’ the inner driveshaft joints out of the gearbox, as these are retained by spring-loaded retaining rings, and remove the driveshafts and stow safely. Now take out the rear gearbox mount which is done by releasing the mounting from the bracket, and then the bracket from the gearbox – it is worth mentioning that the mounting and the bracket cannot be fully removed, but moved to give enough room to work.

Remove the rear bell housing bolts, which are now accessible, and support the engine (we used a transmission jack in this instance) close to the bell housing area. Next, remove both the front gearbox mounting and the mounting bracket from the gearbox, lower the transmission jack about 50mm to aid gearbox removal and remove the final bell housing bolts. The gearbox can now be taken from the vehicle, either by lifting it out by hand or using a second transmission jack.

With the gearbox gone (see below), the clutch can be removed from the flywheel and, as suspected, the clutch had been worn out. This vehicle is fitted with a solid flywheel, so inspect for any damage or heat cracks, confirm the flywheel is serviceable and remove the glaze from the flywheel face with some Emory cloth and clean the flywheel area with some clutch and brake dust cleaner. Finally, remove the release bearing from the release arm in the bell housing.

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At this point we noticed that the release fork/arm had restricted movement due to the build-up of clutch dust at the pivot points and would not return to its rest position (see below), so we cleaned out the area with clutch and brake dust cleaner, and inspected the release system for any wear and carried out a check for correct and full operation (see below).

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Fit the new release bearing, applying a very small amount of high melting point grease to the pivot areas as these are all metal. Apply a small amount of high melting point grease to the gearbox input shaft splines, then mount the clutch plate, confirming its correct position, and remove the clutch plate, wiping off any excess grease. Now mount the new clutch assembly onto the flywheel (see below) using a clutch alignment tool, ensuring the clutch plate is installed correctly so that the ‘Gearbox side’, or ‘Getriebe Seite’, markings on the clutch plate are facing the gearbox, tightening and torqueing the bolts evenly and sequentially.

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Re-fit the gearbox in reverse order of removal and refill the gearbox with oil. Before fitting the clutch cable, check the cable for free operation and when adjusting always remember to leave a little free play at the top of the pedal to ensure a full release. Once the repair is complete, carry out a road test to ensure the clutch and gear change operation is correct and that all electrical items have been reset after re-connecting the battery.