Category Archives: Seat

Timing Belt Replacement on Mk7 Golf 1.0 TSI

Out of Touch, Out of Time – Tips on Timing Belt Replacement on the Mk7 Golf 1.0 TSI.

In this article, our friends over at Gates explain to us why the VW 1.0TSI range has it’s own unique challenges.

VW added the 1L three-cylinder petrol engine to its flagship Golf range in 2015. It’s also a feature of many other VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda models.

The new engine featured non-round pulleys in the Synchronous Belt Drive System (SBDS). The combination helped make significant contributions towards lower overall weights, quieter engines, reduced CO2 emissions and improved driving dynamics.

Now that the new car warranty periods have started to expire, car owners are seeking fresh providers of service and general maintenance work. This means these models are beginning to roll through the doors of many independent garages.

Replacing the timing belts presents new challenges for drive systems specialists. For many, it’s a first encounter with non-round pulleys. For all, it’s a procedure that must not be attempted without the correct set of tools.

Tools required and points to note

As the drive system positioning of the non- round pulleys is extremely important, specific tools are vital to the success of the belt replacement procedure. The Gates timing tool kit (GAT 5140) is required to complete this job correctly. An appropriate camshaft pulley holding tool is required (for example, GAT4844). A crankshaft holding tool is also essential (for example, GAT 5169). When replacing the timing belt, it is good workshop practice to replace the associated metal components at the same time. Gates PowerGrip Kits include belts as well as any appropriate tensioners and idlers.

The water pump is driven by a separate small timing belt without a tensioner. Gates supplies separate belt kits for both the timing belt and the water pump. Note that not all timing belts have a synchronising function.

Twelve-step procedure

1. The first step is to put the engine’s first cylinder at top dead centre (TDC), then lock the crankshaft (locking pin on the side) and the camshaft at the rear.

2. Holding the pulleys in place, loosen the camshaft pulley bolts (right bolt behind plug). Loosen the exhaust camshaft pulley (left) from the conical axle; loosen the belt tensioner pulley bolt while holding the tensioner in place; rotate anti-clockwise (till the retaining lug is situated at the bottom of the slotted hole).

3. Remove the belt.

4. Replace the tensioner and the idler and fit the camshaft pulley locking tool. This will secure the location of the two camshaft pulleys. It is important that they remain in the exact position at which their non-roundness will work to the advantage of the engine (otherwise they will increase belt tension fluctuation rather than reduce it). Note that the dots on both pulleys (at +/- 3 and 9 o’clock (and 12 o’clock) will not line up perfectly.

5. Install the new belt (crankshaft, tensioner, camshafts and idler). Ensure that it is taut on the left side.

6. Remove the little camshaft pulley locking tool. Rotate the tensioner clockwise. The pointer must be 10mm past the notch (window).

7. Bring the pointer back to the middle of the window and torque the bolt to 25Nm.

8. Holding the camshaft bolts in place, lock them to 50Nm. Holding the bolts is a crucial part of the procedure. Install the crankshaft Micro-V pulley. Set a torque of 150Nm and then turn it through another 180 ̊ using the crankshaft holding tool.

9. Remove the locking tools. Rotate the engine, by hand, through two complete revolutions to TDC. Reinstall the locking tools (crankshaft and rear camshaft).

10. If reinstalling the tools proves impossible, restart the procedure from step 1.

11. If this does prove feasible, hold the camshaft sprockets in place and torque a further 90 ̊.

12. Bring the tensioner pointer back to the middle of the notch (25Nm).

Non-round benefits

The non-round pulley design is, initially, difficult to spot. It only becomes obvious when slowly rotating the loosened pulley with your finger or rolling it across a flat surface. The design is vital to the ‘belt dynamic tension optimisation’ process, which is the key to the high performance and low emission qualities of this particular three- cylinder engine. During the intake or suction phase, the piston is moving down, while at the next stroke (compression), it compresses the mixture of air and fuel.

This is followed by strokes three and four – combustion and exhaust. These different strokes cause significant belt tension variation throughout the combustion cycle. This tension variation is countered by means of the non-round pulley design, which delivers a defined amplitude and phasing. The result: optimised belt tension.

VW Golf lV, Bora, Jetta IV; AUDI A3, SEAT Leon, Toledo; SKODA Octavia Front Suspension

VW Golf lV, Bora, Jetta IV; AUDI A3, SEAT Leon, Toledo; SKODA Octavia Front Suspension

Fitting video showing correct fitment of shock absorbers and coil springs to the front of:
Audi A3 2WD (09.96-05.03)
Seat Leon (11.99-06.06)
Seat Toledo II (04.99-05.06)
Volkswagen Golf IV 2WD, Variant (08.97-06.06)
Volkswagen Bora, Variant (10.98-09.05)
Volkswagen Jetta IV (10.98-09.05)
Skoda Octavia, Combi (09.96-06.04)

AUDI, SEAT, SKODA, VW – Front Suspension

AUDI, SEAT, SKODA, VW – Front Suspension

Video to show correct fitment of shock absorbers to FRONT of:

AUDI A3/A3 Sportback (05.03-)
SEAT Leon II (05.05-)
Alhambra II (06.10-);
Altea/Altea XL (03.04-)
Toledo III (04.04-05.09)

Ceramic diesel glow plugs – their function and how to install

Glow plug technology can be divided into two major categories – metal sheathed types and  ceramic types. Ceramic glow plugs utilise a heating element which is encased in a special type of ceramic – Silicon Nitride. Ceramic glow plugs have the ability to heat up more quickly than metal types and in addition can gain higher operating temperatures for an extended period of time. They are also more compact making these features especially advantageous in modern engines.


Insulator – The insulator separates the electrically positive (Connection terminal) from the electrically negative part (Metal shell) of the glow plug.

Thread – The thread of a high-quality glow plug is always rolled and never cut. By this production method fast, accurate threads are formed, eliminating the possibility of damage to the glow plug bore in the cylinder head.

Centre electrode – The supply voltage is applied to the coils via the solid centre electrode.

Heating coil – Contrary to a metal glow plug, a ceramic glow plug uses a ceramic heating element.

Ceramic casing – The heating coil or heating element of a ceramic glow plug is encased in a high performance ceramic material: silicon nitride. It protects the coil from the high temperatures and vibrations created by the combustion process. It is also an excellent heat conductor, allowing the heat energy of the coil to be rapidly released into the combustion chamber.

Connection terminal – The supply voltage is applied at the connection terminal. This may be a threaded post to suit a connector which is secured by a nut or an unthreaded post to suit a push-on connector.

Metal shell – The metal shell of a glow plug usually provides the electrically negative pole (ground connection).

Taper seat – The taper seat provides simple but effective gas-tight sealing of the combustion chamber without the need for sealing gaskets, etc. Its compact form also allows bore sizes to be kept to a minimum. The taper faces also provide an excellent electrical ground (earth).

Contacting ring – The contacting ring provides the electrical connection at the junction of the centre electrode and the heating element.


Particular care must be exercised when installing ceramic glow plugs. When fitted, the ceramic is designed to withstand the arduous events that occur within in the combustion chamber, however they are more susceptible than metal types to damage caused by unsupported side loads or impact. Improper installation can make it unusable or even lead to damage to the engine.

1. Where possible the removal of a glow plug should take place with the engine at operating temperature to assist in releasing the plug.
2. Carefully loosen the glow plug.
3. Remove any loose debris around the glow plug with compressed air.
4. Unscrew the old glow plug.
5. Remove any carbon deposits from the glow plug bore – with a reamer if necessary – then clean and inspect the thread in the cylinder head.
6. Screw the glow plug in by hand until it seats in the cylinder head.
7. Set the torque wrench to the correct tightening torque.
8. Ensure that the socket of the torque wrench is correctly in line with the tightening nut of the glow plug and secure it.
9. Refit the electrical supply connection.

What is DSG clutch technology?

Since 2008, many new VAG models have been equipped with the new seven-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) with an LuK dry double clutch (2CT) system, or – since 2004 – a six-speed wet clutch version which also features an LuK dual mass flywheel (DMF). You will find the six-speed version mostly fitted to larger, high powered vehicles, such as the Passat CC, whilst the seven-speed is being fitted to the ever more popular range of smaller vehicles throughout the range, such as the Polo and Golf.

Best of both worlds
These high-tech state-of-the-art transmissions are designed to incorporate the best advantages of both automatic and manual gearboxes. Automatic transmissions are able to offer superb driving comfort thanks to an automated gear shift and uninterrupted traction, whilst manual transmissions are sporty, fun and economical. A twin clutch system therefore combines the comfort of an automatic with the agility of a manual, along with incredibly smooth and fast gearshifts.

Technically, a DSG is an automated shift gearbox featuring two gear sets which operate independently of each other, thereby enabling fully automatic gear change without traction interruption. There is no clutch pedal and the conventional gear lever has been replaced with a lever with integrated Tiptronic function.

The image below shows a cutaway shot of an LuK Dry Double Clutch

As gear changes are fully computer controlled, it is much more difficult for poor or aggressive drivers to cause damage or premature wear to the system, which should help to optimise the expected service life of the clutch and gearbox components. Like conventional singledisc clutches, the dry double clutch of the seven-speed DSG is also located in the gearbox housing.

There are no drag losses as it is not oilimmersed, increasing engine and fuel efficiency whilst also making repairs less complex. From a technician’s point of view, the gearbox and clutch electronics (mechatronics) are diagnosable, so the system can be read using suitable diagnostic equipment. A full system reset – which puts the mechatronics unit into ‘Learn Mode’ – is required after every clutch replacement, again a simple function as long as you are using the correct equipment.

Since the clutch fitted to the Volkswagen six-speed DSG is oil-immersed (known as a wet clutch) it tends to wear at a much slower rate than equivalent dry clutches. However, there is the possibility that the DMF could wear and require replacement, especially as this transmission has been fitted to Volkswagen Group vehicles for more than 10 years. Fortunately, in a twin clutch transmission – and for the Volkswagen Group DSG in particular – this can be a much simpler task than for a conventional system, as the clutch is not bolted directly to the DMF.

No special tooling or training should be required for experienced clutch mechanics to be able to manage a twin clutch DMF replacement, and as the original equipment manufacturer of the dual mass flywheel for the six-speed Volkswagen DSG, LuK is on hand to supply the replacement DMF unit to the aftermarket as required.

The LuK Dry Double Clutch in-situ

The LuK designed and manufactured seven-speed dry clutch system also features a DMF that is not directly bolted to the flywheel and is just as simple to replace when worn. LuK engineers have also been investigating the potential for a complete replacement twin clutch kit solution for the UK aftermarket.

A range of original equipment components, specific tools and bespoke training programmes have already been designed and developed, and LuK is currently assessing the size of the opportunity for independents to offer the owners of vehicles coming out of the warranty period a viable aftermarket option when it comes to buying a replacement twin-clutch.

Due to its success with the DSG, the Volkswagen Group has already announced that more than 40% of the cars they produce will be fitted with a dual clutch system by 2012, and this has not gone unnoticed in the automotive world. With the improved fuel economy and lowered emission levels it can help provide, many other vehicle manufacturers are now beginning to specify twin clutch transmission systems to help keep in line with ever more stringent Government legislation.

Vehicle producers that are currently using twin clutch systems, or who are developing new versions to use in their range include: Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Seat and Skoda. LuK, as ever, will be at the forefront of this rapidly growing market, thanks to its ongoing commitment to innovation, technology and quality.

The benefits of a dual clutch system

• Combines the ease of an automatic transmission with the responsiveness of a manual gearbox
• Similar to an automatic transmission, but with excellent fuel efficiency
• No power interruption during torque transfer
• Significant reduction in CO2 emissions

Clutch Replacement – VW Sharan 1.9 TDI

The Volkswagen Sharan 1.9 TDi was first introduced back in 1995 and has proved very popular with families. With 47,000 Sharans and the shared platform of Ford Galaxy at 125,000 and the Seat Alhambra having 28,000 on the road, most independent garages will certainly have worked on these vehicles.

This vehicle had been fitted with a 4-in-1 conversion kit by the garage and the customer had returned it after only two miles due to the excessive gear rattle. A clutch replacement on the Sharan can be a little tricky but with guidance from LuK the whole process will become much easier.

Nothing out of the ordinary is needed to complete the job, the only special tools required are a transmission jack, a long axle stand and an engine cradle. A two-post ramp was used in this example, however a four-post ramp may also be suitable. For safety reasons it is considered best practice to disconnect the battery earth lead before commencing work. The vehicle may be fitted with anti-theft wheel bolts, so make sure you have the key before you start.

Open the bonnet and remove the plastic n/s engine cover. Disconnect the battery terminals and undo the battery clamp. Lift out the battery and disconnect the electrical connectors (see picture below) and the earth point.

Unbolt the coolant tank support bracket and the bolts securing the tank (see picture below).

Remove the plastic battery surround, making sure you detach the attached wiring harness and locate the hidden fixing bolt behind the ECU (see picture below). Undo the fuel filter bracket bolts and release.

Undo and release the metal battery undertray and unclip the attached wiring harnesses (see picture below). Disconnect the slave cylinder connection on the gearbox and plug to prevent leakage. Remove the clips on the gearchange cables and lift off the linkages.

Stow these to one side then undo the three bolts securing the gear linkage bracket (see picture below) and remove it. Undo and remove the upper bell housing bolts. Support the engine with the engine cradle and undo and remove the gearbox mounting.

Remove the front road wheels and undo the hub nuts on both sides. Undo and carefully lower the plastic undertray then release and lower both suspension arms. Unbolt and remove the bracket securing the starter motor then remove the electrical connections and stow to one side. Undo and remove the n/s driveshaft bolts to the gearbox and lift out the driveshaft. Undo and remove the o/s driveshaft support (see first image below) and lift out the driveshaft. Undo and remove the rear lower engine steady bracket (see second image below). Release the reverse light switch connector and undo the final bell housing bolts. Using a suitable support you are now able to lower the gearbox to the floor.

With the clutch removed, the solid flywheel was removed easily and the new OE DMF was fitted. Normally you would check the dual mass flywheel (DMF) for signs of heat stress and evidence of grease loss. The DMF should also be tested for freeplay and rock between the primary and secondary masses; LuK tool number 400 0080 10 is specifically designed for this purpose on all LuK manufactured DMF’s. Full instructions and tolerance data for all LuK DMFs are contained on a CD which comes with this special tool.

Clean the first motion shaft splines and any debris from the bell housing (especially important when a release bearing has failed). Remember, if the bearing or sleeve is made of plastic there is no need for lubrication. If both parts are metal then a high melting point grease should be used and not copper-based products.

Put a small dab of grease on the first motion shaft splines and make sure the new driven plate slides freely back and forth. This not only spreads the grease evenly but also makes sure you have the correct kit. Wipe any excess grease off the shaft and driven plate hub. Using a universal alignment tool and checking the driven plate is the correct way round (note “Getriebe Seite” is German for “Gearbox Side”) the clutch can be bolted to the flywheel evenly and sequentially.

Before fitting the gearbox make sure the locating dowels are in place and not damaged. Refit any that have become dislodged and refit the gearbox. Make sure the gearbox bell housing bolts are secured before lowering the jack. Refitting is the reverse of removal.

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla was first launched in 1966 and has undergone several design alterations over its 11 generations. In July 2013, it reached a milestone by selling 40 million vehicles worldwide, so it will no doubt have made its presence felt in workshops throughout the UK.

This helpful guide should, therefore, prove handy for any garage looking to undertake a clutch repair. The clutch replacement is pretty straightforward, with no special tools required for the repair. A two-post ramp, two transmission jacks and an engine support beam were used for this repair.

It is important to note first that if the vehicle has alloy wheels fitted then you need to ensure that the locking wheel nut tool is available to remove them before starting the job.

Lift out the battery

Remove the engine top cover and then disconnect the battery terminals and stow. Undo the battery support clamp and lift out the battery. Remove the plastic battery support seat. Disconnect the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor switch from the air filter box and stow. Remove the air filter and housing compartment, which is secured in place with three bolts.

Unclip the wiring harness – connected to the gearbox by three clips – and undo the bolt for the earth cable bracket before stowing safely. Undo and release the two bolts holding the Clutch Slave Cylinder (CSC) to the gearbox (Fig 1) and undo the bolt that secures the hydraulic pipe on the top of the gearbox (Fig 2).

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

Fig 1

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

Fig 2

Stow towards the rear of the engine compartment. Remove the three accessible bell housing bolts at the top and disconnect the reverse light switch from the gearbox and stow. Remove the one accessible starter motor bolt. Support the engine by using the engine support beam. Undo the four bolts holding in place the top gearbox mount and undo the three bolts holding in place the gearbox support, before removing (Fig 3).

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

Fig 3

Raise the vehicle and remove both front wheels. Drain the gearbox oil. Undo and release the three securing nuts for the lower suspension arm links on both sides and detach the joints. Remove the splash guard and bottom section of the wheel arch liner from the nearside. Undo the driveshaft nuts and remove the drive shafts completely.

Remove the bottom front gearbox mount bolt (Fig 4) and the rear gearbox mount bolt (Fig 5).

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

Fig 4

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

Fig 5

The cross member will need to be removed; this is secured in place by six bolts – two bolts are at the front and four are at the rear (Fig 6).

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

Fig 6

When removing this, take extra care as it could drop suddenly. Remove the two gearbox brackets to allow some extra clearance for the gearbox removal. Undo the remaining starter motor bolts and remove.

Free the cables

Detach the gear linkage cables from the link arms held in by two clips. The clip for the first cable is on the top and the clip for the second cable is to the side (Fig 7).

How to change a clutch on a Toyota Corolla

Fig 7

The cables are then held in place within the bracket by two retaining plates. These were a little tricky to remove but, with a little perseverance, they eventually come loose. Once the cables are free, stow to the side securely. Remove the remaining bell housing bolts and carefully lower the gearbox to the floor.

Remove the worn clutch cover and clutch plate. With the clutch removed, check the flywheel for signs of heat stress such as hair line fractures or cracks. Clean the first motion shaft splines and any debris from the bell housing, which is especially important when a release bearing has failed.

Put a small dab of high melting point grease – not a copper-based product – on the first motion shaft splines, and make sure the new driven plate slides freely back and forth. This not only spreads the grease evenly, but also makes sure you have the correct kit.

Wipe any excess grease off the shaft and driven plate hub. Using a universal alignment tool, and checking the driven plate is the correct way round (note: “Getriebe Seite” is German for “Gearbox Side”) the clutch can be bolted to the flywheel evenly and sequentially.

Before fitting the gearbox, make sure the locating dowels are in place and not damaged. Refit any that have become dislodged and refit the gearbox. Make sure the gearbox bell housing bolts are secured before lowering the jack. Refitting is the reverse of the removal.

How to change a clutch on a Ford Ka

The Ford KA was first introduced way back in 1996 with the second generation being launched in 2008. The small city car is still very popular, with over 400,000 on the UK roads alone today.

In this article the guys at LuK take a look at a 2004 1.3 KA clutch replacement and give some handy hints to help any UK independent aftermarket garage undertaking the repair.

The clutch replacement is pretty straight forward and nothing out of the ordinary is required to complete the job. We used a two-post ramp and two transmission jacks. It is best practice to disconnect the battery earth terminal and stow safely. If the vehicle is fitted with alloy wheel then make sure the locking tool is available before starting the repair.

Remove the air filter housing and pipes. Disconnect the speed sensor plug which is hidden away at the rear of the engine compartment.

How to change a clutch on a Ford Ka

Remove the top two bell housing bolts that also hold in place a bracket for the wiring loom and the earth lead.

How to change a clutch on a Ford Ka

Disconnect the slave cylinder feeder pipe and release the hydraulic hose from its retaining bracket.

How to change a clutch on a Ford Ka

Raise the vehicle and remove the nearside front wheel. Disconnect the reverse light switch and remove the bottom radiator hose from its retaining clip.

How to change a clutch on a Ford Ka

Remove the driveshaft heat protection plate and then release the two bell housing bolts seated just above.

How to change a clutch on a Ford Ka

The protection plate is attached to one of the bell housing bolts. Remove all the bolts from both sides that attach the control arms to the chassis and disconnect the anti-roll bar link only on the nearside. The control arms are easily aligned back in place because they have alignment pins for re-fitment. The nearside control arm can then be swung to the side on the ball joint and supported using a bungee tie to take the weight.

How to change a clutch on a Ford Ka

Support the engine and gearbox using the transmission jacks and remove the front gearbox mount from its position. Release the starter motor bolts and remove the remaining bell housing bolts. Withdraw the gearbox carefully into the wheel arch and make sure it is supported safely; you should now have enough clearance to remove the clutch and slave cylinder. With the clutch removed check the flywheel for signs of heat stress or excessive wear. Clean the first motion shaft splines and any debris from the bell housing.

Put a small dab of high melting point grease (not a copper-based product) on the first motion shaft splines and make sure the new driven plate slides freely back and forth. This not only spreads the grease evenly but also makes sure you have the correct kit. Wipe away any excess grease off the shaft and driven plate hub. Using a universal alignment tool and checking the driven plate is the correct way round (note “Getriebe Seite” is German for “Gearbox Side”), the clutch can be bolted to the flywheel evenly and sequentially. Install the new slave cylinder without pumping the bearing as this will damage the component.

Make sure the dowels have not become dislodged or damaged and replace any that have. Install the gearbox and make sure the bolts are secured and all mountings are refitted before removing the supporting transmission jacks. Refitting the rest of the components is the reverse of removal.

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

VEHICLE: Suzuki Grand Vitara 1.6 petrol model with G16B engine code

This particular Suzuki Grand Vitara has covered close to 130,000 miles, with quite harsh use through its life. Because of this it is important that particular attention is made to the whole transmission system for possible wear.

The vehicle is the original 4×4 with mechanical four wheel engagement and the engine and transmission is installed longitudinal with the transfer box installed directly onto the gearbox. The clutch change on this model is quite straightforward, with the only intervention under the bonnet to disconnect the battery terminal.

A two-post ramp, a couple of transmission jacks and a special alignment tool are required for the repair and a good attitude to health and safety – due to the weight of the transmission – is a must!

Disconnect the gear levers

Once the battery terminal has been disconnected the next stage is to disconnect the gear shift levers from the gearbox, which takes place from inside the vehicle. This should be done before the vehicle is lifted. Firstly, remove the handbrake console by removing the two bolts on the rear side, then remove the front section of the console held in place by two further bolts on the side. You should then remove the clips on the side of the console between the seats.

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

Access is now permitted for the 12mm bolts that retain the metal frame onto the main gear lever; this metal frame is to be removed to expose the gear selector.

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

At that point the two side bolts should be removed and the selector disconnected completely. The same procedure is followed for the four wheel drive lever.

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

The vehicle can now safely be lifted to move to the next stage of disconnecting the reverse gear plug, four wheel drive selector sensor, the wiring harness that passes over the gearbox and finally the earth cable; make sure you stow all of these safely and securely. Remove the external slave cylinder held in place by two 12mm bolts and stow securely before finally removing two bolts from the starter motor.

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

Mark the position of the propshaft before removing it, as you don’t want a balance issue afterwards, and then disconnect from the gearbox spline, taking extra care not to damage the oil seal.
How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

The front section of the propshaft should remain fixed to the gearbox to avoid transmission oil leaks. Support the gearbox with the transmission jacks and remove the cross member support for the gearbox. Loosen the anti-roll bar, allowing it to hang so that this gives a clear space when removing the gearbox.

Lower the gearbox

Now for the health and safety part: with the gearbox supported by the transmission jacks and three sets of hands(!), remove the four bell housing bolts and carefully lower the gearbox to the ground.

Remove the old clutch cover and clutch plate. Check the bell housing for any debris and oil contamination and rectify before refitting the gearbox. The release bearing should always be changed during a clutch replacement; the release arm should be checked for smooth operation and for wear on the ball pivot.

Apply a small amount of HMPG to the release fork and install with the new release bearing.

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

How to fit a clutch on a Suzuki Grand Vitara

Check the flywheel for signs of heat stress, such as hair line fractures or cracks, and the surface of the flywheel should be checked to make sure it is within the manufacturer’s wear tolerance. If the surface of the flywheel is to be skimmed, make sure that the same amount is taken from the clutch bolting surface. Failure to check and rectify these areas may cause the clutch to operate incorrectly.

Before fitting the new clutch disc, make sure the input shaft is clean and free from any wear. In this case the spigot bearing was completely worn and noisy and was replaced. Smear a little high melting point grease on the input shaft splines then slide the new clutch plate up and down a couple of times, remove the plate and wipe any excess grease off.

Refitting the gearbox is the reversal of removal, remembering to refill the gearbox oil to the correct level when the gearbox is refitted.

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Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket’s three quality brands – LuK, INA and FAG – will all be in attendance throughout 2015 at our MECHANEX trade shows.

Offering visitors the opportunity to talk to Schaeffler’s group of experienced experts who will be on hand to offer helpful demonstrations and workshop hints, attendees can also find out about the latest technologies that will soon be appearing in their workshop.

Shocks and springs – key winter checks

As a critical item on the MOT tester’s checklist, KYB recommends that every vehicle that comes into the workshop during (and after) the winter months is checked for broken coil springs as a matter of course.

The majority of drivers will not even realise when they have a broken spring on their vehicle.

Rapid corrosion

During harsh weather conditions, any road spring can ultimately break. Grit thrown up from the road hits the coil springs and can damage the surface coating. This means that the metal becomes exposed and it therefore rapidly corrodes, especially when there is salt on the roads. In addition to this, debris which collects on the spring pan acts as a grinding paste between the spring and spring seat.

Even though a coil spring may appear to be in perfect condition when viewed in-situ with the shock absorber, the coil which is in contact with the shock absorber itself may have suffered from extensive corrosion, making it liable to breakage at any time.

The ongoing trend to reduce the shape and size of coil springs versus the continuing increase in vehicle weight is also a contributing factor to the increase in coil spring breakages. Drivers demand more optional extras, such as air conditioning and sound systems – but this additional weight puts more strain on the spring. High strength steels have been introduced, which are capable of working at higher stress levels, however even with a good surface coating on the spring, the harsh conditions on the roads in the winter mean that they are still susceptible at this time of year.

What if the spring needs replacing?

If the inspection of the coil spring highlights a breakage, resulting in a replacement being required, why not take the opportunity to check the shock absorber, suspension mounting kit and protection kit at the same time?

Shock absorber and coil spring manufacturers always talk about the importance of fitting shocks and springs in pairs – the reason for this being that shock absorbers wear gradually over time. If one is identified as leaking and worn, it’s most likely that the other one is too, as there is no significant difference between the wear rates on each side. However, if oil isn’t pouring out, the second one is not recommended for replacement. If a shock is worn, it is no longer keeping the tyre in contact with the road – which is dangerous. It also leaves the car imbalanced.

Coil springs should be replaced at the same time as this in order to maintain an even ride height on the vehicle. They also return the vehicle to the correct ride height, as they can become coil-bound over time – this is essentially losing their ‘bounce back-ability’.

The most effective way for the vehicle owner to understand this issue when it comes to their vehicle service is to explain to them the importance of fitting a pair. To help back this up, manufacturers all have a range of point of sale material – such as posters and leaflets – that garages can use in their MOT viewing area or reception.