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Old 12-26-2012, 05:15 AM   #12
whynotthinkwhynot
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Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 ZXW; 02 Windstar; 13 C-Max SEL

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We've had more than a few clutches go further. If your owners were responsible, then it should be ok. I have 150k on my factory clutch, and it still passes the 1st to 4th test.

The bad thing about the clutch is that it is very expensive in this car because it has what is called a dual mass flywheel. These must be replaced when the clutch is replaced- adding $330 to the cost of parts: flywheel and new bolts. If you don't use new bolts, the old bolts might break or back out because those are designed to stretch to fit.

About the cheapest clutch kit I know of is CFM's (one of our vendors) OEM replacement clutch with single mass steel flywheel. I'd call them to check about what flywheel comes with the kit, but if I'm not mistaken it's a steel SMF. That runs about $500, but includes everything- including a new slave cylinder that is strongly recommended.

You might notice a knocking sound with the trans in N, and the clutch pedal released. This is not a problem. The throwout bearing is metal, the slave cylinder is plastic, and the two are glued together. Over time, the glue comes apart, and the throwout bearing will rattle between the pressure plate and the slave cylinder. It doesn't hurt anything, but it makes a noise. It is not a sign of the clutch going out.

To save yourself some fretting, use the 1st to 4th test when you test drive the car. If it passes, then it's very likely that the clutch will last another 20k miles at least giving you plenty of time to save for parts and find a shop that will allow you to purchase your own parts for install. Unless you're crazy like me- I don't trust any shop to replace flywheel bolts, even if I give them to them. I live in Memphis though, and you live in Mass. where the people might be more reliant on a good name for business.
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