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Pelican Technical Article:

Clutch Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

30 hours30 hrs

Tab:

$1,000 to $2,100

Talent:

*****

Tools:

All of them, every single one

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

Clutch, release bearing, pressure plate, pilot bearing, guide sleeve, needle

Hot Tip:

Make sure you leave yourself more time than you think you will need

Performance Gain:

Reliable clutch operation

Complementary Modification:

Change transaxle fluid

Replacing the clutch on a Porsche 944 or 951 is the most difficult and time-consuming job a mechanic can perform on the car. If you have an early turbo with the single cross over pipe it is even more involved, as it will require removal of the fuel rail and injectors and intake manifold. This article will show you how to do it on the more difficult single cross over pipe. If you are contemplating performing this work, read the article fully before you begin to make sure you have the tools and space available. If you are going to replace the clutch, make sure you give yourself plenty of time, like 30 hours the first time you do it. Also get lots of zip lock bags and make sure to tag and bag all the hardware that you will be removing.

The job can be done. Just take your time. Get a friend to help in areas that recommend getting help, label and bag everything and don't get frustrated. The nice thing about doing it yourself is you will save the 15-24 hours of book rate labor a shop will charge.

Begin by safely raising and supporting the car.
Figure 1

Begin by safely raising and supporting the car. Please see our article on safely raising and supporting your Porsche 944. Make sure to get the vehicle as high and level as you can. You will want the extra room under it.

Disconnect the ground from the battery and set it aside where it cannot make accidental contact with the post while you are working.
Figure 2

Disconnect the ground from the battery and set it aside where it cannot make accidental contact with the post while you are working.

Be prepared to loosen or remove the intake manifold if needed for space.
Figure 3

Be prepared to loosen or remove the intake manifold if needed for space. Please see our article on exhaust manifold removal for additional assistance.

If you have a single cross over pipe, you will need to remove the fuel rail and injectors.
Figure 4

If you have a single cross over pipe, you will need to remove the fuel rail and injectors. Please see our article on fuel rail and injectors removal for additional assistance.

If you have a single cross over pipe you will need to remove the intake manifold.
Figure 5

If you have a single cross over pipe you will need to remove the intake manifold. Please see our article on intake manifold removal for additional assistance.

Remove the cross over pipe.
Figure 6

Remove the cross over pipe. Please see our article on cross over pipe removal for additional assistance.

Remove the reference sensors.
Figure 7

Remove the reference sensors. Please see our article on reference sensor removal for additional assistance.

Remove the muffler; please see our article on muffler removal for additional assistance.
Figure 8

Remove the muffler; please see our article on muffler removal for additional assistance.

Remove the transaxle; please see our article on transaxle removal for additional assistance.
Figure 9

Remove the transaxle; please see our article on transaxle removal for additional assistance.

Remove the starter motor; please see our article on starter motor removal for additional assistance.
Figure 10

Remove the starter motor; please see our article on starter motor removal for additional assistance.

Disconnect the wiring harness for the starter motor from the bell housing and slide the wires out of the way.
Figure 11

Disconnect the wiring harness for the starter motor from the bell housing and slide the wires out of the way.

Remove the clutch slave cylinder from the bell housing and let it hang out of the way.
Figure 12

Remove the clutch slave cylinder from the bell housing and let it hang out of the way. Disconnect the hydraulic line from the bell housing.

You will need to remove the two 13mm bolts holding the shift lever from the torque tube; you will already have removed the linkage from the shifter when removing the transaxle.
Figure 13

You will need to remove the two 13mm bolts holding the shift lever from the torque tube; you will already have removed the linkage from the shifter when removing the transaxle.

Remove the shifter from the tunnel.
Figure 14

Remove the shifter from the tunnel.

You are going to remove the rest of the exhaust system.
Figure 15

You are going to remove the rest of the exhaust system. Depending on the condition of the exhaust system you may need to improvise if yours has been hacked and welded together. Begin by disconnecting the turbo waste gate pipe, which is connected to the torque tube (yellow arrow) from the main pipe and then the main pipe from its hangers (red arrows).

Remove the clamp for the waste gate pipe (red arrow).
Figure 16

Remove the clamp for the waste gate pipe (red arrow).

With the waste gate pipe disconnected you can slip the main exhaust pipe off its hangers and set it aside.
Figure 17

With the waste gate pipe disconnected you can slip the main exhaust pipe off its hangers and set it aside.

Remove the heat shield from the left side of the tunnel.
Figure 18

Remove the heat shield from the left side of the tunnel.

Disconnect the vacuum line from the top of the pop off valve or waste gate (red arrow).
Figure 19

Disconnect the vacuum line from the top of the pop off valve or waste gate (red arrow).

The waste gate is secured to the torque tube by a metal bracket.
Figure 20

The waste gate is secured to the torque tube by a metal bracket. There are two 13mm bolts that go into 14mm nuts welded on the bracket (red arrows).

Remove the lower bolt and then turn the bracket until you can get access to the upper bolt (red arrows).
Figure 21

Remove the lower bolt and then turn the bracket until you can get access to the upper bolt (red arrows). Remove the upper bolt and the bracket and waste gate from the tube.

Remove the four 10mm bolts and the heat shield from the center tunnel (red arrows).
Figure 22

Remove the four 10mm bolts and the heat shield from the center tunnel (red arrows).

You are going to be sliding the torque tube towards the rear.
Figure 23

You are going to be sliding the torque tube towards the rear. You will need to rotate it 180 degree to get it to clear the torsion bar tube at the rear. You want to loosen the exhaust hangers (yellow arrows) but do not remove them. Remove the rubber hangers. This will allow you to rotate the tube within the tunnel.

Support the engine from below with a piece of wood to protect the oil pan and a jack or from above with an engine support.
Figure 24

Support the engine from below with a piece of wood to protect the oil pan and a jack or from above with an engine support. You are going to be separating the torque tube from the bell housing. You do not want the engine just supported by the engine mounts.

Remove the four 17mm bolts holding the torque tube to the bell housing (red arrows).
Figure 25

Remove the four 17mm bolts holding the torque tube to the bell housing (red arrows).

Remove the two 17mm bolts (green arrows) holding the transaxle carrier (yellow arrow) from the vehicle to give me enough room to pull the tube back far enough to clear the bell housing.
Figure 26

Remove the two 17mm bolts (green arrows) holding the transaxle carrier (yellow arrow) from the vehicle to give me enough room to pull the tube back far enough to clear the bell housing. Rotate the torque tube and shift rod (red arrow) 180 degrees and slide it back towards the rear of the car, making sure the hangers do not get jammed up in the tunnel and the tabs on the tube do not damage the brake lines.

Remove the 10mm clutch release lever retaining bolt from the clutch housing located just above the starter opening (red arrow).
Figure 27

Remove the 10mm clutch release lever retaining bolt from the clutch housing located just above the starter opening (red arrow).

Insert a 150mm long 8mm bolt into the release lever pivot shaft (red arrow).
Figure 28

Insert a 150mm long 8mm bolt into the release lever pivot shaft (red arrow). You can use one of the bolts that mounts the transaxle to the carrier. Place a set of vice grips on the bottom of the bolts. Gently tap the shaft out from the bell housing (yellow arrow).

Remove the four 19mm bolts holding the torque tube to the bell housing (red arrows).
Figure 29

Remove the four 19mm bolts holding the torque tube to the bell housing (red arrows). You may need to tap the housing with a rubber mallet to get it to separate from the engine block.

Remove the bell housing and inspect the clutch release arm (red arrow) and the guide tube (yellow arrow).
Figure 30

Remove the bell housing and inspect the clutch release arm (red arrow) and the guide tube (yellow arrow). After all of this work, replacing these items are usually considered a "while I'm in there replace it now thing".

Inspect the guide tube for any wear; I always replace this part as it is the only time it is easy to get access to it.
Figure 31

Inspect the guide tube for any wear; I always replace this part as it is the only time it is easy to get access to it.

Inspect the release arm carefully for cracks or bending and, if you can afford it, replace the arm.
Figure 32

Inspect the release arm carefully for cracks or bending and, if you can afford it, replace the arm. At a very minimum replace the two needle bearings in the arm by pressing out the old one and pressing in new ones (red arrows).

Next, you are going to remove the 8mm 12 point bolts holding the pressure plate to the flywheel (red arrow).
Figure 33

Next, you are going to remove the 8mm 12 point bolts holding the pressure plate to the flywheel (red arrow). It is a good idea to "wake the bolts up" by inserting the socket and tapping each bolt with a hammer a few times. Loosen each bolt working in a crisscross pattern, and do not loosen one bolt more than one turn at a time. These bolts are under tension from the springs in the pressure plate. You want to keep them even while removing and installing.

Make sure to wake the bolts up by inserting the socket and tapping each bolt with a hammer a few times.
Figure 34

Make sure to "wake the bolts up" by inserting the socket and tapping each bolt with a hammer a few times. You do NOT want to strip these bolts. Loosen each bolt working in a crisscross pattern. Do not loosen one bolt more than one turn at a time. These bolts are under tension from the springs in the pressure plate. You want to keep them even while removing and installing. Have someone hold the pressure plate while doing this to stop the engine from turning. When the bolts are removed the pressure plate is free and will fall. It is fairly heavy so make sure to have a good grip on it when removing.

You are going to be replacing the pressure plate (red arrow) and clutch plate (yellow arrow).
Figure 35

You are going to be replacing the pressure plate (red arrow) and clutch plate (yellow arrow).

Inspect the clutch plate for wear.
Figure 36

Inspect the clutch plate for wear. If the plate has worn down to the rivets (red arrow) there is a good chance you are resurfacing or replacing the flywheel.

Inspect the flywheel for scorching, cracks, grooves or excessive wear and resurface or replace as needed; please see our article on flywheel removal and replacement for additional assistance.
Figure 37

Inspect the flywheel for scorching, cracks, grooves or excessive wear and resurface or replace as needed; please see our article on flywheel removal and replacement for additional assistance.

The new release bearing and pressure plate come as separate pieces.
Figure 38

The new release bearing and pressure plate come as separate pieces. You may or may not need to reuse the snap ring. If you are reusing the pressure plate you will need to remove the old release bearing. You can have a friend stand on the pressure plate to compress it while you remove the snap ring (yellow arrow) from the release bearing (red arrow), or you can place it in a press. You will not be able to remove or install the snap ring without compressing the fingers in the pressure plate.

Pay attention to the order while removing the old parts to insure proper order when installing the new parts.
Figure 39

Pay attention to the order while removing the old parts to insure proper order when installing the new parts. There are two spacers on the release fork side of the bearing; the fingered spacer (red arrow) goes on first. Then the thin spacer (yellow arrow) and then the release bearing (green arrow) drops in.

On the plate side install the large spacer (red arrow).
Figure 40

On the plate side install the large spacer (red arrow). Compress the plate and install the snap ring (yellow arrow). Once everything is installed there should be a small amount of movement between the release bearing and pressure plate.

Installation is the reverse of removal.
Figure 41

Installation is the reverse of removal. You will need to use a clutch alignment tool to align the clutch plate with the flywheel and pressure plate when installing the new clutch and pressure plate. You will install the clutch plate in the pressure plate, install the alignment tool and then use the toll to align everything up with the pilot bearing. Make sure that the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel are all clean and free of contaminant or grease. Lube up the spline on the torque shaft. Take your time and reinstall everything paying attention to replacing anything that looks damaged or worn as you go. This is also a good time to bleed your clutch slave cylinder. Congratulations! You have just completed one of the most difficult clutch jobs there is.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Rennpanzer Comments: IMHO, new speed & reference sensors may as well be included with clutch kits, and I shall leave it at that.

944: Heaven to drive/HELL to work on :-P
June 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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