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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
changing a clutch

Hi all I have 04 zx3 with a 2.3 & 5 speed I think I smoked my clutch this morring and was wanting to know how hard is it to change I have never changed one on a front wheel drive before any tips? Thanks Ken
 

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if your really good with cars i'd say go for it....even if you are good your looking at atleast 5-6 hours....their is a lot involved. engine needs to be supported both wheels/axles etc. ned to be pulled....like i said a lot involved [:D]
 

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It's not hard if you are a fairly competent mechanic. Just remove remove the CV axles from both sides. The driver's side may be a bit more stobborn than the passenger, especially if you have a high milieage car. If you can't get it off with the axle hammer, then you can try to drop the tranny in front of the front crossmember. It's a tight squeeze, so it would help to have someone give you a hand. Also you have some rope or something so you'll be able to slowly lower the bellhousing down. The are like 10 bolts that hold the tranny bellhousing to the block. Be sure to keep them in order because some are longer than others. Also I can't remember, but you may have to remove your starter...I forget. Then after that, lower the housing and you should see your stock clutch/flywheel. Remove the stock one and use the alignment tool (that should come with the new clutch kit) to install the replacement. You may want to invest in a new throwout bearing if the car is high in mileage. NOTE Make sure you either resurface the flywheel, or clean it really really well. I used fine grit sand paper to get a nice surface, then brake cleaner to make sure it was pefectly clean. Make sure you have everything torqued down to the proper specs, and hook everything back up.



Come to think of it...I had my engine out when I did all of this, so I don't know if just removing the bellhousing will work for you. It'll be a tight squeeze.
 

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CAIS95 said:
if your really good with cars i'd say go for it....even if you are good your looking at atleast 5-6 hours....their is a lot involved. engine needs to be supported both wheels/axles etc. ned to be pulled....like i said a lot involved [:D]
[rofl] 5-6 hours, sure...that's what it'll take to get the gearbox off the car. Or at least that's how long it took me with the assistance of my friend who is a certified diesel mechanic and with air tools and access to a commercial compressor. Its not at all fun, expect to put in at least a full day of work between getting everything removed, draining the transmission, pulling the axles, unbolting the gearbox and manuvering it clear of the clutch and suspension/subframe components. Then you'll have to get your flywheel resurfaced (if its not being replaced), and then you get to do everything in reverse to install it. I would suggest setting aside an entire weekend, I could see 5-6 hours if you have a lift and have been doing FWD transmission work for a long time but no way if you're doing it with jackstands in the garage/driveway.
 

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ya i plan on trying to accomplish this same task this summer sometime. i am dreading it kind of although i want to learn. i just don' t want to shell out 450 bucks for somebody to "accidentally" mess something up when i could just as easily screw it up for free. anyone in western PA want to change a clutch and flywheel for me?????? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It's me again thanks for all the input , I got one more question on the clutch I know what a burnt clutch smells like but I have never smelled one like this, it has been 4 days now the clutch is working fine ( I can stall the engine with hand brake set ) but the car smells like something died in it all the time. any thoughts
 

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A good test of the clutch is get going to about 15 MPH and then drop into fourth and hammer on the gas. If the engine bogs down you're fine, if it revs without you going much/any faster the clutch is dead. I doubt that burning it one time would be enough to kill it unless it was already on its way out, its more likely that you just glazed it and you're smelling that burning off. Its quite possible that you signigicantly shortened the life of your clutch, however. Try taking it out on the highway and put 50 miles on it and see if the smell goes away...if it was burning because its slipping you wouldn't be able to stall the engine with the e-brake.
 

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SkaAddict said:
[rofl] 5-6 hours, sure...that's what it'll take to get the gearbox off the car. Or at least that's how long it took me with the assistance of my friend who is a certified diesel mechanic and with air tools and access to a commercial compressor. Its not at all fun, expect to put in at least a full day of work between getting everything removed, draining the transmission, pulling the axles, unbolting the gearbox and manuvering it clear of the clutch and suspension/subframe components. Then you'll have to get your flywheel resurfaced (if its not being replaced), and then you get to do everything in reverse to install it. I would suggest setting aside an entire weekend, I could see 5-6 hours if you have a lift and have been doing FWD transmission work for a long time but no way if you're doing it with jackstands in the garage/driveway.
5-6 hours doesnt seem that bad.

but maybe after your second or third time. I do know your first time you wont have it done that quick

Anything is possible with the right mechanic
 

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I don't think the thread creator would be asking for advice on clutch replacement if it was his "second or third time" doing it. If you're a mechanic and replace clutches on FWD vehicles on a routine basis, have access to air tools, a lift and can call on the help of other mechanics then sure, 5-6 hours isn't out of the question. But if you're doing it by yourself in the garage with the car on jackstands, you'll be luck to be putting the new clutch in within 6 hours. It took us that long to get the box off the car, and that was with my friend who works as a diesel mechanic doing most of the work and me assisting. Even after having done it, I don't think I could do it again in less than 10 hours from driving (or pushing) the car into the shop to the point where its ready to be driven back out again.
 
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