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Pelican Technical Article:

Flywheel Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

8 hours8 hrs

Tab:

$378

Talent:

*****

Tools:

18mm socket, flywheel lock, torque wrench w/angle indicator, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Flywheel

Hot Tip:

Use a flywheel lock to keep the engine from turning

Performance Gain:

Smoother clutch operation

Complementary Modification:

Replace clutch

The flywheel serves two purposes in a car. One is to "smooth" out the pulses from the engine during the combustion cycle and also provide the clutch disc with a friction surface. This friction surface can wear over time, eventually leading to a clutch that no longer works.

As the clutch disc engages and disengages with the flywheel, it impregnates the metal on the flywheel with clutch dust, dirt and other contaminants. If left unchecked for long enough, the rivets in the clutch disc can even contact the friction surface and chew it up.

It is important that the new clutch disc has fresh friction surfaces on both the flywheel and the pressure plate. This allows the components to break in correctly. I strongly recommend either re-surfacing the flywheel or installing a new one. Re-surfacing a flywheel involves cutting away small layers of the existing friction surface in a machine shop. This can typically be done for less than $100. Be aware however, there typically is a wear limit that the flywheel can't be machined past. For flywheels with heavy damage or grooves, just replace it.

Begin by installing a flywheel lock to stop the engine from turning when you loosen the bolts.
Figure 1

Begin by installing a flywheel lock to stop the engine from turning when you loosen the bolts. VW recommends using tool number 3607. There are a variety of aftermarket locks you can use as well. Once the flywheel is secured, loosen and remove the six 18mm bolts holding the flywheel to the engine. You'll then need to carefully "walk" the flywheel off by rocking it back and forth. Take care as the flywheel is heavy. When it lets go, be ready. When installing the flywheel, I recommend replacing the bolts. It's good insurance while you're in there. Torque each bolt in a crisscross pattern to 60 Nm (44 ft./lbs.) plus an additional 90-degree turn.

This picture shows the flywheel removed from the engine.
Figure 2

This picture shows the flywheel removed from the engine. You'll notice the heat glazing on the surface here (green arrow). Also note the unusual bolt spacing on the flywheel. This is to insure that the flywheel is installed correctly.

Once the flywheel is removed, take some time to inspect the rear main seal (green arrow) for oil leaks.
Figure 3

Once the flywheel is removed, take some time to inspect the rear main seal (green arrow) for oil leaks. If it is leaking, you really should replace it while you're in there. See our article on Rear Main Seal Replacement for more information.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:54:10 AM