***THIS IS UNFINISHED***
just getting things started, pics will be coming a bit later. i really don't have time to write this all at once.
admin: please leave this open for me to edit until finished, if you like what it ends up as feel free to sticky it. god knows we need more how to articles.
everyone else: suggestions are VERY welcome but please keep the trash talking to a minimum. i have written tech manuals in the past, so this might get a little wordy...
INTRO AND DIAGNOSIS: this article will describe how to replace the clutch in your accent without removing the transmission from the engine bay. there is enough room that the trans can be moved off the engine and allow enough room to work with. the car in question is a 2004 LC2, 1.6L. procedures should be very similar for the 1.5L as the layout is very similar. in my case the bearing has worn a groove into the fingers of the pressure plate. at that point, i opted to replace the whole damn clutch assembly and be done with it.
the problem i had was a very noisy clutch bearing. this is an indication that it is going to fail at some point, and failure is quite catastrophic. the bearing can break and when that happens you're replacing the clutch. this guide can be used for replacing just the bearing as well. they are well known to be a weak spot on these cars. diagnosis is done by the particular noise that bearing makes, i'd recommend confirming by using a mechanic's stethoscope, they're very cheap.
a definite sign is hearing the noise with your foot off the clutch and then it immediately stops when you hit the clutch pedal. making a good racket while hitting the pedal can also be a sign, similar issue
i have also included a video below to help with the diagnosis. you can hear the noise but keep in mind the audio quality isn't so great.
TOOLS: beyond the basic set of wrenches, jacking tools, sockets, etc. here's what is necessary for this job and what i recommend:
32mm socket, impact preferably
brake bleeder of some sort
new trans oil (synthetic please!)
new brake fluid
johnson bar (or breaker bar some call it)
rubber or dead blow hammer
torque wrenches. a big must. you will need a large one and a medium sized one. *add ranges i use later*
extra jack or two, some wood, extra jack stands if you have them
get your hands on an engine hoist, its much easier and safer.
electric or air impact gun, the job will go much faster!
disposable gloves for handling the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel
knuckle joints for the above impact gun
anti-seize lubricant for a good deal of bolts...you'll thank yourself later.
rechargeable LED worklight, they are wonderful.
glasses - for laying under the car and avoiding crap in your eyes
earplugs if you're in a garage for the impact gun
- FIRST AND FOREMOST: track your bolts. some us egg cartons, other sorting, i like to put them back where they came from when possible. you don't get left with many bolts this way. put them in something.
-jack car up on the front end, check for safety, use wheel chocks. take your time, we're going to be removing engine mounts here!
- if you have a hoist (really, its much easier) remove your hood and put it somewhere safe. not a bad idea even without one, more room to work with.
- start by draining fluids. transmission oil, coolant and the clutch fluid. don't reuse that stuff. replace it.
*get pic of the trans drain plug later*
- remove air snorkel , entire air box and the accordian hose up the throttle body. remove the battery and the tray it sits on.
- next remove the rad hoses and the rad itself. take the fan with it, simply disconnect the electrical connector. the hoses that are on the engine and do not go to the rad will not get in your way.
- remove the clutch cylinder. disconnect the banjo fitting, you may need to replace the copper washers to avoid leaks. if you haven't removed the little spring valve in it now is a good time if you like. see below for that clutch mod to decide what you want to do with it.
- you'll notice the hose for the clutch cylinder is held on top of the engine mount with a couple bolts and a clamp. its a simple plate of steel that you can pop out, remove the bolts. this hydraulic line does not need to be removed, but take advantage of the rubber hose portion to get it out of the way. i like to use zip ties, but whatever.
- remove the shift linkage, there are two cables held in by washers and cotter pins. they are quite different looking, but remember what goes where. they are also held in place by a small bracket....remove those bolts and get them out of the way. hold them back somehow. the big round piece of metal on it is a counterweight, it needs to go too.
- now its time to get down and dirty. remove the wheels if you haven't do so already. also, remove any guards in the way. there's a couple plastic ones.
*if you do not have an impact gun, have someone hold the brakes and proceed to the NEXT step and then come BACK to this one*
now remove the brakes. secure out of the way by using some steel wire or some crap to hang them from your strut springs. remove the rotors.
noob tips: turn the wheels to get better access to the mounting bolts behind the calipers. this is a REALLY good time for brake work if you need to do so. machining rotors (i did) and new pads if needed.
- now its time for the dreaded castle nut.... as shown in the pic below, there's a bent over cotter pin. straighten it out best you can with some needle nose pliers. gently tap the pin out with your mallet, put a wrench or some steel against it and tap that if you get trouble. pull from the other side. you may need to replace these, but they are quite reusable. take your impact gun OR johnson bar and 32mm socket to that castle nut. its on there good, about 180-190 ft-lbs. the castle nut is the big brass one in the middle of the brake with the pin through it.
- remove the strut bolts from the wheel hub, get the strut off the hub. use your rubber mallet as necessary.
- now the hub is loose, simply pull forward on the hub pivoting on the ball joint to get the end of the drive shaft out. you'll have to be firm, but do be careful so you don't tear a CV boot. you will need to firmly push on the hub with one hand and pivot the end of the drive shaft with the other to get it out.
- you can let the driveshaft rest on the frame of the car. get underneath with your prybar, the drive shafts are held in by simple snap rings. i know its not the best pic, but take a look below. you can see where the end of the driveshaft mates with the transmission. the transfer case actually, the differential is housed in there. simply slip your prybar between the large end and the transmission. give it a firm pop and it'll come right out. no need to muscle it.
- carefully remove your driveshaft and inspect the CV boots, replace as necessary unless you fancy doing this again later. also check the seals. now is the time to replace them if there is ANY damage. use a seal puller to get them out. put a small amount of MP grease on the seals to eliminate the possibility of a dry start if you are taking your time, essential with new seals.
- INSPECT your CV boots. if you have a torn/damaged one, you WILL wreck the CV joint costing you a pretty penny for a new driveshaft. replacing the boot is about $10 or less. this is the time to replace it if you need to, the shaft is out.
- now its time to support the engine and remove the mounts. if you have a hoist, get your hooks into the two hoist points. they're brackets and marked in the pic below:
- if you are using jacks/wood get your trolley jacks out and support the engine with some wood and that jack. you're going to need another for the trans regardless.
- with the engine safely supported, remove the three engine mounts connected to the trans. there is an upper one in the engine bay near the driver's side strut tower, one front mid of the car below where the rad was, and a third at the back of the engine bay again bottom mid. remove the brackets as well to make your life easier. note that the bolts mounting the upper driver's side mount to the frame are kind of hidden behind rubber access covers in the driver's side wheel well. see below pic:
- finally its time to remove the bolts holding the trans onto the engine. disconnect any electrical connectors on the trans if you have not yet done so already. remove all bolts securing the transmission to the engine. take your time, there are a few of them and the odd few are bastards. there are a couple below the coilpacks that are difficult to see, but are easily accessible with a good extension on your socket wrench. see the pic below from HMA service. note where the holes are on the bellhousing in the diagram, that's what you're looking for. please note that the speedometer cable is NOT mechanical so its just another plug to remove.
- in the above pic you have probably noticed the starter. yes this needs to be unbolted, same way as the bellhousing bolts. the starter comes right out with two bolts, no need to disconnect it. simply support it somehow or if you're getto like me let it hang and don't jerk it around on its cable. its a thick cable anyhow.
- this is where it gets fun. there is no trick to doing a clutch without removing the trans. simply stand at the driver's side fender and face the engine bay. now reach one hand and arm around either side of the transmission. twist and grunt until it slides off, those alignment pins can be a bitch. you SHOULD have the trans supported at this point with a trolley jack which can move with you!! the end of the trans on the driver's side will rest easily on the frame, the trans won't really go anywhere at this point. i suggest jacking it at the differential casing. its not overly heavy, but be careful. because you're completely bent over like you dropped the soap in a prison shower, its not hard to throw out your back. see the pic below for final results, you can easily get more room that what you see. this is just resting on frame and trolley jack! plenty of room to work believe it or not.
- now comes the part where we need to figure out exactly what the problem is and what needs to be replaced. as seen below, my problem is that the clutch bearing has completely wrecked the fingers of my pressure plate. at this point i opted to replace the entire clutch assembly while i was there. sometimes, the bearing has simply failed. they are not that strong really, only serious weak point in these cars reliability wise it seems. however, there is often a root cause. if you don't find it you'll have to do this job again like i did. i replaced just the bearing around a year and a half prior to this! now my pressure plate is trashed!! the root cause? the slave cylinder was holding the bearing on too tightly....once the job is completed, you can test for that. i'll get to that at the end.
-decide on what parts you need, this guide will help you to that end. if its just the bearing, omit the clutch steps and do just the bearing. below pic is the bellhousing after i've given it a bit of a clean - i had nasty black dust everywhere from the damage. the bearing is actually easy to replace, note its orientation so that you can easily replace it. pull forward until it lets off the fork. yeah it's that easy. clean the shaft off and apply new grease to both the fork and the shaft. many clutch kits come with grease just for this, use it if you have it. if not MP grease will do just fine. don't put gobs on, you don't want that crap in your clutch assembly. install is the reverse, hold fork out and push on the shaft. take care to get the fingers of the fork into the little brackets on the back of the bearing.
*pic of bellhousing, fork and bearing, go take one you lazy bastard*
- now time to remove the clutch itself. the outer metal cover is the pressure plate which holds the clutch disk onto the flywheel tightly to connect the engine with the transmission. there are 6 bolts on the outer edge of the pressure plate, remove them and the pressure plate AND clutch disk will come free. its that easy. save the bolts, they ARE reusable.