Exedy stage 1 clutch and flywheel install - 2004 ZX3 2.3L with MTX75 - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
blueoval23
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Exedy stage 1 clutch and flywheel install - 2004 ZX3 2.3L with MTX75

I recently put a Exedy Stage 1 clutch and flywheel in my 2004 ZX3 with 2.3L and MTX75. But I'm getting ahead of myself... I did the clutch about a year ago after the slave cylinder went out, refer to thread here:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=214798

Unfortunately, when I did that clutch install, I did not resurface the flywheel (sometimes you learn the hard way) and the clutch has been slipping for over a year now and getting worse all the time. It was to the point that I could hardly go past half throttle without slipping so I decided it was time to do it again. So first lesson, always replace or resurface the flywheel!!!

When I started this job I had this grand idea that I would take a whole bunch of pictures to do a nice write up, but as I got into the job I just kept forgetting to take pictures. So what I have is a bit sporatic, but better then nothing.

Start by pulling the drain plug (note the CV shaft is already removed in this picture, just pretend this was the first step)



I found it easiest to completely remove both CV shafts with the knuckles still attached. The passenger one comes out by removing this u shaped retaining clamp and then it just slides out of the transmission. Of course you must first disconnect the tie rod, the strut and lower ball joint.



With the passenger CV out, move onto the driver side. This driver side CV has a ring on the end of the splines that keeps the CV from pulling out of the differential. I used a long skinny screw driver inserted into the hole where the passenger CV came out and hammered the driver CV out. It doest not take much force. Be careful not to hit the cross pin in the center of the diff or either oil seal. Drivers side removed:



CV removed (driver side):



I found it helpful to remove this tow hook thingy on the driver side



Remove the trans mount under the battery tray and then the shift cables. There is a "button" in the center of the shift cables you can push to release them. Took me a bit to figure that out, super obvious looking at it now...



Now get out your 13mm socket and remove a whole bunch of bolts holding the trans and engine together and drop the trans. I support the engine with a jack and a block of wood under the oil pan. Its also nice to be able to lower the engine a little bit with the jack to make it easier to get the trans in and out.

Having done this twice now, I've found the easiest thing is to pull the trans about an inch off the engine (enough to clear the alignment pins on the engine) and pivot the whole transmission 90 degrees so the differential (where the CV shafts go in) is aimed at the ground, then slide the input shaft off the clutch and drop the whole thing down. I lef the suspension sub frame and radiator fans in both times I've done this but I've heard of people removing these to make it easier. The fans never appeared to be in the way to me, but they are quick and easy to remove. The suspension subframe (K member perhaps?) is a lot of work to remove so I'd suggest trying with it in.

With the trans out, remove the pressure plate, old clutch and flywheel. This is where I ran into my first problem. The bolts on the flywheel are some goofy 6 point start design that I've never seen before. I was able to get 4 of the 6 off with a 12 point socket, and the other 2 with a stripped bolt remover kit from Crafstman. so with 2 ruined bolts, I had to order some from Ford. Second lesson, get the right socket for these bolts! part number for reference:



Here's the bolts, the top is the stripped one, and bottom the new one:





I got all the bolts in with the same 12 point socket I used for removal, and used blue thread lock just to be sure.

New clutch! (bonus points if you can identify the tires)





New flywheel installed



I was working alone and when I tried tightening the flywheel bolts the engine was spinning, so I put a ratchet on the pulley on the other side of the motor and held it in place with a piece of a ratchet strap and pipe. When I turned from the other side it would butt up against the lower A-Arm and allow me to tighten the bolts



The new flyhweel came with the 3 alignment dowel pins in a bag, I hammered them into the flywheel with some blue threadlock just for good measure



There is a wrong and a right way to install the clutch, the side that doesnt have the bulky piece in the middle goes against the flywheel and the other side against the pressure plate. Its obvious when you have it apart because if you try to put it on backwards nothing will fit right and the clutch disk wont contact the flyhweel.

This side against the flywheel:



This side against the pressure plate:



Using the supplied alignment tool I torqued the pressure plate to flywheel bolts to 21 foot pounds. I did not replace the bolts as recomended by the manual, the reason these bolts are recomended to be replaced is because they have "teeth" on the head that bite into the pressure plate to prevent the bolts from backing out. I used red lock tite on the old bolts, they aren't going anywhere!



Just as an FYI you can use a deep socket as an alignment tool if your kit doesnt come with one, but you have to do a little more work to eyeball it and make sure the disk is perfectly centered in the pressure plate before torquing the bolts.



I replaced the slave cylinder while I had it apart because its $80 and I've already had one go out on me, so even though this one had about 10,000 miles on it, I replaced it.

Now put the trans back in. This is a bitch, no way around it. Both times I tried using jacks and cherry pickers and all the "right" methods, and ended up literally bench pressing it into place and using my legs and arms to position it.

While undertaking this project I installed poly bushings in the lower mount. The stock rubber bushings are unbelievable soft! I used a press to swap the bushings and found it to be quite easy. You could probably do it with a hammer and some cursing though.



When reinstalling the passenger side CV and knuckle I couldn't get the knuckle in the lower ball joint and the strut. I ended up pulling the 2 bolts on the back side of the lower A arm mount and that allowed me enough play to get it back together. I didn't do this last time so I'm not sure what was different

Pulled these 2 bolts:



reinstalled:



The driver knuckle went on easy, just make sure you press the CV all the way into the trans since this side has the ring/clip on it, its harder to seat back into the splines. In fact, before you take it out make note of how far in it sits so you know you've got it back in all the way.

Now pull the fill plug and top it off



Then bleed and your done! A tip for those that are new to bleeding. Open the valve and pump the pedal to get the worse of the air out of the line. Once you see some fluid coming out, close the bleeder. Now, with the bleeder valve closed, have your pedal pumper give 3 hard, full pummps and hold the pedal to the floor. Then open the valve (with the pedal to the floor), fluid will shoot out, then close the valve, then release the pedal and repeat until there are no bubbles, or pedal feel is right.

Ready for my test drive, I got in the car and started it and immediately noticed a vibration and noise difference from the lower engine mount being switched to poly. I've since drove it about 30 miles and I wouldn't describe it as obnoxious but you'll definetly notice it.

Pedal feel is noticeably different, it takes more effort to fully depress the pedal which is to be expected. The clutch grabs quick and hard, there is very little slip and the pedal feels more like an on-off switch then a gradual engagement. My friend had a Mustang with a racing clutch in it and it felt very similar, so its about what I expected mine to feel like.

At idle there is very minor occasional chatter, with the radio on you'll never noticed. As mentioned there is also more vibration but I think its mostly due to the lower poly mount. There is minimal to no chatter on clutch engagement.

Overall, I like it so far. This is my daily driver so I didn't want to go overboard. The car only has an intake and an exhaust but I drive like a crazy person so I figured some upgraded parts wouldn't hurt.


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Old 11-27-2010, 10:30 PM   #2
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Great write up, specialy thou bolts/socket! It will feel better w/ break-in thou, I'm sure. Thats the clutch I want to put in when I need one, still on the orginal. How much lighter is the flywheel to the stock one?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:36 PM   #3
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Im getting the same clutch too. My question is, does the car launch better and do you feel better torque?
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:42 AM   #4
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How long did it take you to do this from start to finish.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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I have had the same clutch for 8-9 months and 20k miles now. I beat the crap out of mine and it's holding up great. I probably did notice a difference with the lw flywheel, but nothing big. Clutch always grabs great.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
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^^^^^ So you could not tell if it rev up faster with lighter flywheel?
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felixthecat View Post
Great write up, specialy thou bolts/socket! It will feel better w/ break-in thou, I'm sure. Thats the clutch I want to put in when I need one, still on the orginal. How much lighter is the flywheel to the stock one?
I picked up the flyhweels, one in each hand, and the Exedy one is noticably lighter but not drastically, maybe about 30% lighter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ST 2K5 View Post
Im getting the same clutch too. My question is, does the car launch better and do you feel better torque?
I'm trying to be good and follow the break in procedures, which means no "agressive driving". I can tell already though that it will launch better, the clutch grabs really nice. Its not like the stock clutch where you have about 2" of pedal travel through which the clutch slowly grabs, this thing grabs in like an inch of pedal travel. More like an on off switch, but manageable.

Also with the lower poly trans mount, there is a lot less play in the drivetrain, which should translate to better launches since the engine wont be trying to rip itself out of the bay due to those shitty stock rubber mounts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GO.army.1969 View Post
How long did it take you to do this from start to finish.
I actually did it over a few days. Because of the flywheel bolts I had to order them from Ford so that put things on hold for 2 days. Total wrenching time was probably about 14 hours, with some help through key parts like getting the trans in and out. The previous time I did it in my garage with a buddy helping the whole way and it took us 12 hours, we did it in one day from 10 AM - 10PM, stopping for lunch and dinner. As previously mentioned, I didn't change out the flywheel that time though, but that takes about 20 minutes with the right tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehancock View Post
I have had the same clutch for 8-9 months and 20k miles now. I beat the crap out of mine and it's holding up great. I probably did notice a difference with the lw flywheel, but nothing big. Clutch always grabs great.
Thats good to hear. What did you do to break it in? Just baby it for a few hundred miles?
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
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^^^^^ So you could not tell if it rev up faster with lighter flywheel?
It free revs a whole lot quicker than before but that's not a very good indication of performance. I had every bolt on plus cams when I installed mine that's why I say it wasn't eleeally noticeable to me.

To the OP, It got installed a day or two before I drove to Florida so the drive from Michigan to Florida was my break in.

Iirc the stock fly is like 22lbs, the exedy is 12-15lbs
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info man
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:43 PM   #10
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Posted via FF Mobile Nice write up! Exactly what I`ll have to do some day.... So it`s nice to know what works & what`s a bear from someone who`s done it...
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