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How-To: S-Series Clutch Assembly

Old 05-01-2015, 10:57 PM
Alpha Centauri's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 92
Exclamation How-To: S-Series Clutch Assembly

Hey again spasm3, now I have a little free time, I can dig into your second question. There is nothing special about installing a new clutch, but I can offer you a few tips, tricks and suggestions.

First, why are you replacing the flywheel, unless it's damaged in some way, deep cracks, blue color, raised spots in the contact area or deep grooves cut into the contact area...the flywheel can be turned at just about any machine shop, for a fraction of the price of a new flywheel.

The most important thing is to make sure you have the disk facing the right direction. In the center of the disk there is a dampener containing 5 or more contained, heavy springs. The raised side always faces away from the flywheel. There is plenty of room for the springs inside the pressure plate, no room against the flywheel.

#1 Debarring
That raised portion with the springs is the side where the input shaft slides into the center hub splines. These hubs are stamped, not machined...meaning there are sharp edges at the end of the splines. You can take a small, fine grade, triangle type file and knock off the sharp edges on the risers and valleys of the splined area edges to make aligning the transmission input shaft into the clutch disk much easier.

#2 Torque
When installing the flywheel onto the crankshaft, always use blue lock-tight in the threads and torque to specs. When installing the pressure plate, also torque the bolts to specs. Too tight could strip out the threads, too lose it could come apart.

#3 Bearings
Hopefully you are using a quality clutch kit, OEM/GM or Luk. It should contain a disk, pressure plate, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing (if it is designed with one) a small tube of graphite lube, and a plastic pilot shaft alignment tool. There are two types of pilot bearings, one is an actual bearing, the other is a solid brass type. If you don't have a puller to remove the pilot bearing from the end of the crank, you can fill the hole in the center with bearing grease or axle lube. Put as much as you can in there until it is flush with the outside. Then stick the plastic pilot shaft into the hole and smack it with a hammer. Don't beat on it too hard as you may damage the plastic tool, but usually they will pop-out with the first smack, if not, try adding more grease into the cavity. Make sure you remove all the grease when finished, BEFORE installing the new bearing. You don't any of that stuff finding it's way onto your new disk clutch.

#4 Lube
If you don't have a pilot bearing, skip this part. BUT,check the end of your crankshaft just to make sure, some kits don't include this part. But if you have one, don't go this far, then skip this very important step. If you have a pilot bearing, you should replace it now, not later. Here is where a lot of do-it-your-selfer's mess up! Don't use any lube on the pilot bearings!
With the two types of pilot bearings, one is actually a bearing witch will turn inside itself, you don't want the end of the input shaft spinning inside the bearing, you want the bearing to spin, holding onto the end of the shaft. The brass type is molded with a graphite compound and is...self lubricating . Adding any type of grease or lube to these can actually cause them to clot-up with the graphite and cause them to seize up, then causing the bearing to spin inside the crankshaft, instead of around the input-shaft.

#5 Disk Splines
I mentioned the disk splines in step one. After filing all the edges off the splined area, clean it good with brake clean or carb. cleaner and wipe off or let air dry. This is where your small tube of graphite lube goes. Not on the input-shaft, and not on the pilot or throw-out bearings, but only inside the clutch disk splines.

#6 Fork and Spoon
This is the only place I recommend using grease, except for knocking out the pilot bearing. The clutch fork is operated by the slave-cylinder and moves the throw-out bearing, held in place by a small clip to the ball stud mounted inside the bell housing. If you pull straight out on the fork, it should pop off the ball stud. Clean this area good, then spoon in some bearing grease into the dimple on the fork. Align the fork back up to the ball stud and a good smack with the palm of your hand should pop in back on. Next, where the throw-out slides along the tube around the input-shaft, this area should be clean and smooth, if scratched or grooved try sanding with a Scotch-Bright pad to smooth it out. Apply a light coat of white lithium grease, and make sure the bearing slides freely along the shaft. Also put a small amount of white lithium grease where the clutch fork fits inside the throw-out bearing groove. If this type has small pegs or clips that hold the fork onto the bearing, you should apply a little grease at the two pivot points.

One more thing...
While the trans is out, I would also replace the drive-axle shaft seals in the transmission. Also drain the trans fluid before pulling, it will cut down on the mess, and I'm sure it could use a fluid change.
Okay then spasm3, that about covers it. Best of luck to you!

Last edited by derf; 05-11-2015 at 10:43 PM.
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