Mistakes To Avoid When Installing a New Clutch
Are you installing a new clutch on your performance vehicle? Learn about some common mistakes many DIY installers make when installing a new clutch so you can avoid doing the same.
Greasing and lubricating various parts is an important element of clutch installation, but it is possible to overdo it. It’s common for mechanics and DIY clutch installers to over-grease the spline input shaft, leading to significant issues like clutch judder.
If too much grease is applied to the input shaft, it can splatter onto the clutch plate and contaminate the surface. The grease on the clutch plate will prevent it from clamping evenly during the clutch engagement, which can cause vibrations during the clutch engagement process. If you’re experiencing clutch judder while driving, the source could be going overboard with the grease during installation.
Another common mistake to avoid when installing a new clutch deals with the gearbox. There are many ways that clutch and gearbox installation can go wrong, like hanging the gearbox, forcing the gearbox input shaft during installation, and warping a gearbox bell housing.
One of the principal mistakes regarding gearboxes is not inspecting them thoroughly before installation. Before installing a gearbox, the bell housing must be inspected and degreased to ensure proper clutch alignment, which will help you avoid misalignment problems between the engine and transmission. We also highly suggest taking the clutch disc and sliding it onto the input shaft while the transmission is out to make sure there are no burs or anything stuck on the input shaft that could make it difficult to slide the input shaft into the disc when it is installed on the engine.
Another issue with the gearbox that is all too common during clutch installation is hanging the gearbox. A hung gearbox means the device isn’t properly installed with the right equipment and support, which leaves it hanging from the engine.
A hung gearbox can be the source of many problems for the clutch, including clutch drag. Clutch drag occurs when the clutch doesn’t disengage the engine as the clutch pedal is depressed, causing a noisy and difficult gear change for the first and reverse gears. If you’re installing a new clutch yourself, ensure you have the proper equipment and support to avoid a hung gearbox. Typically when this happens we find that the clutch disc has been physically damaged and usually gets bent and needs to be completely replaced. So it is of the utmost importance when installing the transmission to make sure not to force anything together and that the transmission bellhousing is fully seated against the block and that you aren’t using the bellhousing bolts to pull the transmission onto the block.
If you need to replace the clutch in your vehicle, Clutch Masters can help! Our vast inventory includes all kinds of kits and parts for vehicle owners, from performance clutch kits to aftermarket flywheels and more. Browse our selection or contact our staff if you have any clutch-related questions.