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Old 10-25-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
blueoval23
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MT removal, clutch slave cylinder and clutch replacement

First, Im not sure if this is the right forum for this kind of thing so Mods feel free to move as appropriate.

On to the storyÖ Last Tuesday my clutch slave cylinder went out. I pushed the clutch in and started the car and it jumped forward (transmission was in first gear). So I put it in neutral and started it and with the clutch completely to the floor I was able to get in gear and get going. The clutch would go from unengaged to completely engaged in about an inch of pedal travel, it was quite difficult to drive. Fortunately I was only a couple blocks from home at a grocery store and was able to drive home. It left a trail of fluid all the way down the street and within minutes of being parked there was a 3 inch diameter puddle under transmission. The leak was coming from the low point of the transmission where it bolted to the engine. I came on here looking for any info on how hard it was to pull the transmission and replace the slave cylinder and came up mostly empty, even started a thread that went nowhere.

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=214415

Oh before I forget, the victim is a 2004 ZX3 2.3L, just turned 60,000 miles.

So I read through my Chiltonís and talked to some friends into helping and decided to try the repair. I ordered a clutch kit from my local Kragens/O Reilyís which came with a clutch, pressure plate and slave cylinder.

I didnít take too many pictures but a few to try and help people get through the tricky spots. First I got the rear tires on a 4x6 with a 2x4 on top of that so it was 8Ē in the air. Then I raised the front to about a foot on jack stands. Then I pulled the CV axle shafts. The passenger side is easy, the book says to remove the axle shaft from the hub/knuckle assembly but I found it easier to just pull it as one piece and then you donít have to remove the big nut that holds the axle shaft on the hub.

Hereís the axle shaft removed.



To get it out I removed the caliper and rotor, unbolted the strut, the steering linkage and the lower ball joint.



Then remove this collar, which is bolted onto the engine block about midpoint under the car, then the whole assembly comes out.



The drivers side is pressed into the differential and the book says to use a slide hammer but I couldnít get at it with mine, so I left it in and removed the transmission with the axle shaft attached. Do not try to remove the shaft by pulling on it, you will separate the ďTri-ballĒ thingies that drive the axle and then have to remove the boot to get it back together (ask me how I know).



Then itís just a matter of unbolting everything. The starter, I unbolted and left sitting in the engine compartment, I didnít even disconnect the wires. The lower engine mount has to come out (bolts from the transmission to the suspension cross member). All the bolts holding the engine to transmission come out, then the battery, battery tray and drivers side mount comes out. Before removing this mount, make sure there is something supporting the engine since the only mount remaining is the passenger side mount, I used a floor jack and a block of wood on the oil pan, but a cherry picker from the top would be better if available. You also have to remove the mount from the transmission (3 bolts), 2 pics below, or there isnít room to drop the tranny.





Then you wrestle the tranny out. Took a few minutes since there is very little room but we got it out. Make sure you slide it off the engine far enough to disengage the splines on the input shaft before trying to lower it.

At this point you can remove the driver axle shaft by putting a long punch through the differential and hammering it out from the ďpassengerĒ side. Notice how tiny the transmission (transaxle technically) is! Iím used to working on trucks so it was a nice break to be able to pick it up and move it easily by myself.



Driver shaft removed



Empty hole where the tranny once was. My friend snuck his arm in the pic as he was unbolting the pressure plate and clutch.



Removed the leaking slave cylinder





And installed the new one



Installed the new clutch, note the block of wood under the oil pan, supporting the weight of the engine. My kit didnít come with a clutch alignment tool so I found a socket the same diameter as the hole in the clutch (where the transaxle input shaft goes) and used that to line up the clutch in the center of the pressure plate.



Itís a bitch wrestling the tranny in there. I tried using a floor jack but its just so awkwardly shaped. The winning method was to get 2 guys under the car and one on top. The 2 under the car literally bench pressed it up into place and the guy on top helped lift up and maneuver it around. Then itís just a matter of bolting everything back together.

The only trouble I ran into during the reinstall was the drivers axleshaft since it presses into the differential, I was hammering it in with a punch that I put a few strips of duct tape on and I cut the boot slightly. I melted the cut together by heating the tip of a screwdriver. Iím pretty sure itís sealed but Iím mentally preparing myself for having to replace that in the near future.

A couple things to note: Drain the gear oil from the transaxle before you remove the axle shafts. Make sure to buy replacement gear oil to refill the transaxle and brake fluid to bleed your clutch. Plug the disconnected hydraulic clutch line because if you loose all your fluid youíll have to bleed brakes too since the brakes and clutch share the master cylinder fluid reservoir (genius design BTW).

Total working time was about 10 hours, with 2 guys for the whole job and 3 for most. No special tools needed really, a full set of hand tools, torque wrench, jacks and jack stands. It was a challenge but definitely do-able for a competent mechanic and a few friends.


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Old 10-25-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
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Great write-up! I'm dreading this job. I have 138,000 miles. It's not slipping, yet, but it's at the very top of the travel. I'm hoping to have the money saved to also get a LSD to install while the tranny is out for the clutch change.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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awesome write up!
^and yea same thing with me...along with new gears! haha theres close to 3 grand
but holy crap what a difference itll make!
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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how high did you have to get the car in the to get two men and a transmission in/out?
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:31 PM   #5
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as high as you can get it brother!
but but the looks of his car like 3-4 feet...
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arlenn View Post
how high did you have to get the car in the to get two men and a transmission in/out?
The rear tires were sitting on 8" high blocks. This picture shows the jackstands that were under the front of the car. They were up higher than I thought, probably around 20".

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Old 10-26-2009, 10:13 AM   #7
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excellent write-up bro!

Added to the stickie archive
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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how much time did it take you to do this??
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:29 PM   #9
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likin' the jack stands!
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:52 PM   #10
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nice write up
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