Subaru Clutch Replacement

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Subaru Clutch Replacement
Clutch disks, pressure plates and release bearings, just as brake
linings, brake rotors and drums, are all wear items. Sooner or later they
reach the end of their useful life and require replacement. We won’t go
into the symptoms of a worn-out clutch here. If you’ve been in the auto
repair business for more than five minutes, you already know the
symptoms. After all, technicians have been replacing worn-out clutch
components for as long as there have been vehicles on the road.
Replacing a clutch, pressure plate and release bearing is a pretty
straightforward affair on most vehicles, and Subaru vehicles are not
exceptions. The Subaru all-wheel-drive system adds a few extra steps,
but it’s still a basic ‘remove and replace’ operation. If you can remember what you removed, and the sequence in which you removed it,
your chances of success when replacing a Subaru clutch should be
better than average.
This article details clutch replacement procedures on a 1995 AWD
Subaru Legacy. While there are differences between this vehicle and
other vehicles in the Subaru lineup, we feel there are also enough
similarities to make it representative.
We won’t detail every single step in the replacement procedure.
We’ll assume you are already familiar with the basics of a clutch R&R.
If not, refer to a service manual for a step-by-step procedure. Instead,
we will concentrate on the important steps that must be taken during
this procedure to assure a successful and long-lasting repair.
En d W
re nc h Th e 4
Transmission Removal Procedures
It may seem obvious, but the first step
in the job is to disconnect the battery
after recording the customer’s radio
station presets. Even a manual transmission has a surprising number of wires
attached to and surrounding it. Why take
the chance of damaging anything due to
an accidental short circuit?
Remove the resin ‘pitching stopper’ and its bracket on the
transmission. This step is necessary for the engine and transmission to drop far enough to clear the firewall during transmission
removal. A special tool (P/N 927670000) is available to support
the engine once the transmission has been removed, but you can
replace the clutch without this aid.
Many manual transmission Subaru
vehicles are also equipped with the HillHolder system. This system lets the driver remove his right foot from the brake
pedal after applying the brakes to stop
on an incline of more than three degrees.
This prevents ‘rollback’ when engaging
the clutch to move the vehicle forward
on a hill. The Hill-Holder cable shown
here below the conventional clutch cable
links the clutch pedal to the Hill-Holder pressure hold valve (PHV). Loosen both
cables and remove their bracket from the transmission.
Several electrical connectors are located at the top right side of
the transmission (neutral position switch, back-up light switch,
speed sensor, etc.). The connectors are color-coded, so it’s a
simple matter to disconnect them and move them aside. Also
remove the upper transmission mounting bolts, assorted brackets,
main battery ground cable and the starter motor at this time.
This transmission ground cable can
easily escape notice. The other end of
the cable is unreachable from above the
transmission. A transmission case bolt
must be removed to remove the ground
wire at the transmission, so removing it
at the body makes more sense to avoid
the risk of a leak. Position the cable out
of the way so it doesn’t snag on anything
during transmission removal.
Subaru Drivetrain
The front half of the exhaust system must be removed
for clearance. Remove both spring-loaded bolts behind the
catalytic converter. These special mounting nuts and bolts
may be rusted together, so take your time or order a spare set
of hardware for insurance before starting the job. Replace the
exhaust gasket (donut) during reassembly, of course.
Six nuts secure the front exhaust
pipes to the cylinder head exhaust
outlets. Once again, use care and plenty
of penetrating oil to avoid damaging the
nuts, exhaust studs or worst of all head
casting internal threads during removal.
Replace the exhaust manifold gaskets
during reassembly.
The entire front half of the exhaust system in now hanging
from this mounting bracket and bolt. Remove the rear oxygen
sensor electrical connector. Have an assistant remove the
exhaust bracket bolt while you hold the exhaust system in
position, then lower the exhaust assembly to the ground.
The exhaust system isn’t that heavy, but it’s awkward to handle.
Remove this exhaust shield next
to allow removal of the two-piece
driveshaft. Depending on the age of the
vehicle and the salt-dispensing policies
of your local road crews, the small bolts
securing the shield to the body may be
rusted in place. Use patience and lots of
penetrating oil, unless you want to spend
some extra time with a drill later on.
Remove this reinforcing shield to allow removal of the
two-piece driveshaft. The evidence of ample penetrating
oil in this photo betrays our aversion to broken or damaged
hardware. We’d rather be oily than drill out broken studs.
Th e 6
En d W
re nc h The rear driveshaft mounting flange
mates to the differential flange in more
than one position. Only one is right,
though. Imbalance problems may be
caused by changing the driveshaft to
differential flange orientation during
reassembly. To save yourself unnecessary grief, mark both flanges before
removing the bolts. Match up your
marks during reassembly.
Remove the driveshaft center bearing mounting bolts, then lower
the driveshaft. Install a transmission extension housing seal plug or
drain the transmission, unless you’d prefer a gear lube shower during
transmission removal.
This photo reveals the Legacy’s shift linkage, as
well as the dummy yoke we installed at the tailshaft
to keep the gear lube on the inside of the transmission. Disconnect the shift linkage, as well as torque
reaction rod below it. Note the position of the shifter
centering spring. You’ll need to return it to this
position during reinstallation of the shift linkage.
The front driveaxles are secured to the transmission stub axles with
roll pins. Turn the driveaxle to inspect each end of the roll pin holes
in the driveaxle. One end of the hole has a chamfered opening, while
the other is flush-cut. The stub shaft’s roll pin hole reflects the same
pattern. When removing the roll pins, use a pin punch to drive the
pins out of the axle, working from the flush-cut opening (shown).
When reinstalling the roll pins (always use new
roll pins for reassembly), match up the splines to
line up the chamfered hole in the driveaxle with
the chamfered hole in the stub axle. The driveaxle
hole may be marked with a dab of white paint, as
seen here. Use a pin punch to drive the new roll
pin into the hole through both the driveaxle and
stub axle from this side, until it’s evenly spaced in
the driveaxle.
En d W
re nc h Th e 8
Separate the lower control arms from the steering knuckles
at the lower ball joint pinch bolt (shown here). Use plenty of
penetrating oil and take your time. A broken bolt here means
you’ll be spending extra time with a drill and your easy-outs,
or replacing the steering knuckle.
Remove the front stabilizer bar bushing bolts. This will give the lower control arm the extra travel to temporarily
push it down and out of the way of the
steering knuckle.
Separate the lower ball joint from the
steering knuckle, then push the steering
knuckle/suspension strut assembly
outward until the drive axle’s inner
CV joint splines are clear of the
transmission stub axle. Use a block
of wood or other method to hold the
steering knuckle in this position until
the transmission has been removed.
During reassembly, to preserve bushing
life and to return the vehicle as close as
possible to its original wheel alignment,
complete your final tightening of all
suspension fasteners with the full
weight of the vehicle on its wheels.
Remove the remaining transmission-to-engine bolts, then
separate the transmission mounts from the body. Lower the
transmission as far as possible to clear the body during
removal. Transmission removal should go smoothly from here,
but make sure the transmission input shaft is completely clear
of the clutch disk before lowering the transmission. This alignment dowel was stuck in the transmission, and was transferred
back to the engine bellhousing before reassembly.
Subaru Drivetrain
En d W
re nc h Th e Clutch Service Tips
Remove the clutch release bearing and clutch fork, then
check the condition of the clutch release bearing collar on
the transmission. Any wear here will keep the release bearing
from moving in and out smoothly, causing uneven clutch
Clean the area thoroughly, then
inspect all components for signs of wear
and replace such parts as necessary.
Apply a light coating of the approved
lubricant to the clutch splines, release
bearing collar and clutch fork pivot ball
before reassembling these parts.
This vehicle features a flush flywheel face, although
some other Subaru models have stepped flywheel designs.
Resurfacing of the flywheel face to remove warped areas or
heat checking is not recommended. If damage is present,
replace the flywheel.
The owner of this vehicle complained
of uneven, chattering clutch engagement.
These heat check marks on the pressure
plate may have been the cause. We also
inspected the other side of the pressure
plate for damaged or worn bearing
contact areas at the center of the
diaphragm spring and uneven finger
height. All of these factors checked good
on our pressure plate.
Also visually inspect the pressure plate
for the following items:
• loose thrust rivets,
• loose strap plate setting bolts.
Full StrokePlay
Lock Nut
Spherical nut
release lever
Subaru Drivetrain
En d W
re nc h Th e At 40,000 miles, this clutch disk still had plenty of meat left
on it. The minimum allowable depth from the friction surface
to the clutch rivets is 0.3 mm (0.012 inch). Also check for variations in friction material wear that would indicate a warped
clutch disk. If there is evidence of oil on the clutch facings,
inspect the transmission front seal, transmission case mating
surface, engine rear oil seal and other points for leaks.
If the flywheel has been removed, the flywheel
bolts must be replaced. The mounting holes are offset, so the flywheel can only be installed in one
position. Apply a dab of high-strength thread locker
to each flywheel bolt, then lock the flywheel and
torque the flywheel bolts in a star pattern to a final
torque of 72 ± 3 Nm (52.8 ± 2.2 ft-lbs.).
The flywheel and pressure plate are
marked with white paint dots (arrows)
for balancing. Your natural inclination may lead you to line these
dots up with one another during assembly. However, these paint dots
must be positioned at least 120 degrees away from each other. Failure to
observe this instruction may cause an imbalance condition and clutch
engagement difficulties.
Make sure the clutch disk is properly
positioned (it’s marked ‘transmission side’ on one
side). Use a dummy shaft in the pilot bearing to
center the clutch disk, then install the pressure
plate. Torque the pressure plate bolts using a star
pattern to a final torque of 15.7 ±1.5 Nm (11.6 ±1.1
ft-lbs). The white flywheel and pressure plate dots
are also visible in this photo. From here on out, it’s
a ‘reassembly is a the reverse of disassembly’ procedure, so we won’t retrace our steps. Make sure all
fasteners are tightened to specs along the way. If
you don’t end up with any ‘extra parts’ when
you’re done, you’ve done the job right.
One final note on the Hill-Holder system: Installing a new
clutch changes the clutch cable adjustment and the Hill-Holder
adjustment along with it. When the Hill-Holder cable is properly
adjusted, the brakes should release at almost the same instant the
clutch begins to grab. While there is a specification for freeplay
on the Hill-Holder cable, your best bet may be to take the vehicle
to a spot with a slight incline to fine-tune the adjustment. Ride
the vehicle up the incline, then apply the brakes to set the HillHolder. Select first gear, then gradually engage the clutch. The
vehicle should begin to move forward, without rolling backward
first. Tighten or loosen the Hill-Holder cable to achieve this
adjustment. This adjustment may have to be repeated after the
initial period of wear.
Subaru Drivetrain

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