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Changed The Clutch In The Commuter Car


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92 Ford Escort LX hatch. I pulled the axles, dropped the trans...found this:
106,500 mi. only 12k of those are my miles.
Someone couldn't drive, and it werent me. :eek2: :p
Car was still moving under its own power, just required a lot of feathering off the line, and sometimes would shriek if I held the feather too long. OEM clutch, 22 years old.
While im in there, I am replacing the CV driveaxles with new, not remanned units, I replaced the output seals on the tranny, I am replacing the flywheel and the throwout bearing. Master and slave cylinders are less than 6 months old so not doing those.
All done. Drives like a new car.
I need to torque the driveaxle nuts (they are at 150 ft-lbs now, biggest tq wrench I had), when I get to work on friday morning I will hit 'em with the impact we use on big-rigs and pound the retainer ring down into the axle slot.
A few things i want to add. This is coming from a seasoned veteran of working on all things with wheels (and some things without wheels wink.gif)...

1. Never attempt a job like this without some kind of prybar, preferably one that looks like it could kill someone. The bigger the better. Many times on this job i found myself wishing I had not left that particular item at the shop 50 miles away.

2. Grab a BFH from harbor freight. It will save you!

3. Grab a neighbor, or a buddy, or your wife to lend a hand. in this case, 4 hands are better than 2, and if you get one person working up top on the intake and that area, while you work down under the car, things tend to go faster.

3. Don't disconnect the clutch hydraulic lines unless you are replacing the fluid. There is no need.

4. Its a lot easier and less messy to pull the transmission when changing the clutch instead of the engine and trans together. Cheaper too. Less wires to mess with, you dont have to dump the coolant, and the trans is fairly easy and lightweight enough to maneuver and take out the bottom of the car. All I had to buy was 3 qts of trans fluid.

5. Before you start the job, if you dont have a MASSIVE compressor with air tools, swing by your local auto shop and have them zip the axle nuts loose and re-torque to 100ft-lbs. Its enough to get you home but loose enough you can back them off with a ratchet. I screwed around with mine for 2 hrs before I took it up to a shop down the road. Most places will do this for little or no money.

6. Never use a cheater pipe on a racthet. My knee hurts. I knew this one, but I was retarded and did it anyway.
7. While doing this job, since you have to remove the driveaxles anyway, REPLACE THE SEALS ON THE TRANSMISSION. I cant stress this enough. $10 now, will save you a ****load of heartache later.

8. Mark all of your electrical connections.

9. when you take a nut off of the bolt, or a bolt out of a hole, when possible thread it back where it goes so you dont lose it!

10. Last but not least, when doing a clutch, dont cheap out. Buy the whole damn kit. For $20 more I got the clutch, the pilot and throw-out bearing, and the alignment tool. Oh, and dont resurface your flywheel unless you are broke. They are $50 new or $25 to have them machined. Its easier to have the part on hand and just replace it than to take it out and have to take it somewhere.
Seriously though, I never thought an escort could drive this good.
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