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Pelican Technical Article:

Clutch Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

10 hours10 hrs

Tab:

$350

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Clutch alignment tool, grease, 6mm, 10mm triple square

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (2000)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-05)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)

Parts Required:

Clutch kit

Hot Tip:

Get a friend or two to help

Performance Gain:

Proper functioning clutch

Complementary Modification:

Transmission fluid replacement

If you are beginning to see the early signs; spongy pedals, excessive free play, and grinding noises all indicate problems with the clutch or hydraulic system. Strange noises that change when you push in the clutch pedal can indicate a pilot bearing or throw-out bearing beginning to fail. Finally, if your clutch begins to slip when the pedal is not depressed, then chances are your clutch disc is worn or the spring plates in your pressure plate have worn out.

One of the most common repair procedures for the manual transmission GTI MkIV is the replacement of the clutch assembly, especially if the car has been modified to make more horsepower. Unfortunately, it is a rather big process involving the removal of the transmission. The good news is that it's really not a super-difficult job if you have some information and a few hints and tips. You will need to first remove the transmission so please see our article on removing your transmission for assistance.

Volkswagen considers all of the mounting hardware to be single use only. Make sure you order new hardware before beginning this job.

Safely jack up and support your vehicle. Please see our article on jacking up and supporting your vehicle.

With the transmission removed you can see the clutch assembly (red arrow).
Figure 1

With the transmission removed you can see the clutch assembly (red arrow).

If you are really lucky when you shut the car off the six clutch access holes (yellow arrow, one shown) line up with the six cut outs in the pressure plate (red arrow, one shown).
Figure 2

If you are really lucky when you shut the car off the six clutch access holes (yellow arrow, one shown) line up with the six cut outs in the pressure plate (red arrow, one shown). If this happens you can just unbolt the entire clutch, pressure plate and flywheel combo from the motor with the 10mm triple square. Our clutch did not line up which means we need to separate the pressure plate to remove the clutch.

Remove the twelve 6mm triple square bolts (red arrow) holding the pressure plate to the flywheel.
Figure 3

Remove the twelve 6mm triple square bolts (red arrow) holding the pressure plate to the flywheel. Make sure you use the right tool, even though the bolts are not on with a high torque value you do not want to strip these bolts.

You can now remove the pressure plate (red arrow) and clutch disk (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

You can now remove the pressure plate (red arrow) and clutch disk (yellow arrow). Use caution when removing the last bolt on the pressure plate. The plate is heavy and will fall off the engine when the last bolt is removed.

Remove the clutch plate (red arrow) and inspect it for wear.
Figure 5

Remove the clutch plate (red arrow) and inspect it for wear.

If you are reinstalling the old components or just replacing the clutch plate you will need to use a clutch alignment tool (red arrow) to line up the pressure plate and clutch disk.
Figure 6

If you are reinstalling the old components or just replacing the clutch plate you will need to use a clutch alignment tool (red arrow) to line up the pressure plate and clutch disk. This will hold everything in place while you torque down the 6mm triple square bolts and allow the transmission to mate up with the engine.

To remove the flywheel and started ring as a unit use a 10mm triple square and unbolt the six bolts holding it to the crank (red arrow, one shown).
Figure 7

To remove the flywheel and started ring as a unit use a 10mm triple square and unbolt the six bolts holding it to the crank (red arrow, one shown).

Have a friend to help or use extreme care as once the bolts are removed the flywheel assembly (red arrow) can fall from the car and it is heavy.
Figure 8

Have a friend to help or use extreme care as once the bolts are removed the flywheel assembly (red arrow) can fall from the car and it is heavy.

You are now left with the end of the crankshaft (red arrow) and the main seal (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

You are now left with the end of the crankshaft (red arrow) and the main seal (yellow arrow).

The new clutch assembly or kit comes with the flywheel and starter ring (yellow arrow), the pressure plate (red arrow) and clutch already together and with the installation access holes lined up (green arrow).
Figure 10

The new clutch assembly or kit comes with the flywheel and starter ring (yellow arrow), the pressure plate (red arrow) and clutch already together and with the installation access holes lined up (green arrow).

This photo illustrates the rear of the assembly where you can see the new six single use mounting bolts (red arrows).
Figure 11

This photo illustrates the rear of the assembly where you can see the new six single use mounting bolts (red arrows). Just line the bolts up with the holes in the crank, bolt the new assembly together and torque to spec.

Let's turn to the transmission side of this operation.
Figure 12

Let's turn to the transmission side of this operation. We need to install a new clutch release (a.k.a. throw out) bearing and give a few friction points a new coat of grease. The long metal "fork" rests on a pivot ball (red arrow), to which it is held on by a metal clip. It holds the clutch release bearing in its center (green arrow). The clutch slave cylinder pushes on the fork at the top (yellow arrow), which slides the release bearing up against the fingers of the clutch pressure plate.

Removing the clutch release fork, or lever, is as easy as removing the metal clip holding it to the pivot ball at the lower left.
Figure 13

Removing the clutch release fork, or lever, is as easy as removing the metal clip holding it to the pivot ball at the lower left. Push the top of the metal clip through that oval hole (red arrow).

Then simply lift the lever and release bearing (red arrow) off of the transmission shaft (yellow arrow).
Figure 14

Then simply lift the lever and release bearing (red arrow) off of the transmission shaft (yellow arrow).

Two small plastic clips secure the clutch release bearing apparatus to the clutch lever.
Figure 15

Two small plastic clips secure the clutch release bearing apparatus to the clutch lever. Push in on the clips to remove it (red arrow). Next to the lever, you can see the portion of the old clutch release bearing that faced the pressure plate fingers, which had broken off and was loose in our car.

Look at the old clutch release bearing on the left, versus the new one on the right.
Figure 16

Look at the old clutch release bearing on the left, versus the new one on the right. The big difference is the amount of wear visible on the now-concave surface that touches the pressure plate fingers (red arrow).

This should give you a better idea of the way the parts work together.
Figure 17

This should give you a better idea of the way the parts work together. The release bearing presses against the pressure plate fingers (imagine that my hand is the clutch fork pushing the release bearing hard against the pressure plate).

The new release bearing clips right into place.
Figure 18

The new release bearing clips right into place.

Figure 19

Place grease in the divot where the clutch slave cylinder pushes on the clutch fork

Place some molybdenum grease on the pivot ball inside the transmission bell housing.
Figure 20

Place some molybdenum grease on the pivot ball inside the transmission bell housing.

Grease up the fork itself and snap the metal clip back in place.
Figure 21

Grease up the fork itself and snap the metal clip back in place.

Reinstall the clutch fork, with the metal clip and clutch release bearing in place.
Figure 22

Reinstall the clutch fork, with the metal clip and clutch release bearing in place.

Push the bottom of the clutch fork onto the pivot ball (red arrow) until it snaps positively into place.
Figure 23

Push the bottom of the clutch fork onto the pivot ball (red arrow) until it snaps positively into place.

Before reinstalling the transmission, grease up the splines of the transmission input shaft.
Figure 24

Before reinstalling the transmission, grease up the splines of the transmission input shaft. Use the small packet of grease that was provided with your new clutch. You don't need much. The rest of the installation is the reverse of the removal procedures. Be prepared to turn the crank from the crank pulley on the front of the motor if the input shaft from the transmission does not line up with the clutch assembly.

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