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911 Clutch Replacement Page 1

Pelican Technical Article:

911 Clutch Replacement Page 1


7-9 hours






Clutch alignment tool, heavy duty torque wrench, 911 flywheel bolt removal tool, flywheel lock tool, metric socket set, metric wrench set, breaker bar, floor jack, 3 jack stands, large and stout flathead screwdriver, vacuum cleaner, another screwdriver to serve as fulcrum, degreaser, rubber hammer

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)

Parts Required:

Pelican Parts clutch kit

Performance Gain:

Your 911 clutch will engage with ease and enable you to row through the gears with the assurance of a Porsche Works driver

Complementary Modification:

Resurface or replace the flywheel, replace the clutch helper spring and the clutch cable
     Replacing the clutch on your 911 is a task that is not that easy, but can be performed by the weekend mechanic with a few tools, and a little know-how, which I hope to provide here.  For this article, there are many elements that are very similar to the 914 clutch replacement procedure.   Therefore, while the text of this article is specific to the 911, some of the pictures will be borrowed from the 914 Clutch Replacement Article.

     Replacing the clutch on a 911 is a job that can be performed by the home mechanic equipped with a little knowledge and a few special tools.  The actual job is not very difficult, as long as you follow the correct and proper steps.  Performing the clutch replacement yourself can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and also teach you a little something about your car.

     The very first task in performing the job is to obtain all the parts and tools that you will need.  Pelican Parts offers a complete clutch replacement kit with everything that you will definitely need for the job.  In addition, we offer a supplemental package of items that you may wish to order as insurance.  These are items that most likely will not need to be replaced, but due to the nature of the car, may need replacement.  We don't recommend cutting corners on the clutch job to save a few bucks.  If you're investing the time and energy to do the job, you might as well do the job right. Figure 1 shows a picture of all the parts that you will need to do the job right for a 915 transmission (1972-86):

  • Pressure Plate
  • Clutch Disc (we recommend the spring
    type versus the rubber centered type)
  • Throw-out bearing
  • Replacement throw-out fork & bushings
  • Pilot bearing (for flywheel)
  • Resurfaced Flywheel (good core
    usually required)
  • New flywheel bolts
  • Clutch Cable
  • Flywheel Seal
  • Clutch Helper Spring
  • Transmission fluid (not shown)
  • 901 TO Bearing Guide Clips (not shown)
  • 901 Retainer Clips (not shown)
  • 901 Fork Arm Bushing (not shown)

     Pelican Parts sells a complete package with all of the parts that you need to do this job.  Please click here to find out the current price on this package.  Your continued support of Pelican Parts insures that these technical articles, and our friendly, convenient customer support of the 911 will continue into the future.  Please email us with any questions, or to place an order for our complete clutch replacement package.

     Additionally, there are a few special tools that you might need to perform this job:

  • Clutch Alignment Tool
  • Heavy Duty Torque Wrench
  • 911 Flywheel bolt removal tool
  • Flywheel Lock Tool

Pelican can supply all of these tools (shown in Figure 2) for you.  Please email us with any questions or requests.

     One of the first things to realize is that there are 3 different types of transmissions that were used on the 911s from 1965.  This clutch article covers the 901 and the 915 transmissions, but the G50 transmission (introduced in 1987) is quite similar to the 915.  As a result, replacing the clutch on a late model Carrera or a C2/C4 is similar in principle to the procedure outlined here.  The early 901 transmission was used in 911s from 1965 thru 1971.  This transmission used a push-type flywheel (up until 1971, when Porsche switched to a pull-type).  With the pull-type, this means that the throw-out bearing pushes against the pressure plate in order to release the clutch disc from the flywheel.  On the later cars (1972-86), Porsche deployed the 915 transmission, which uses a pull-type pressure plate.  With this setup, the throw-out bearing is physically attached to the pressure plate, and pulls the pressure plate away from the engine, releasing pressure on the clutch disc and the flywheel.

     No matter which transmission you have, the procedures for replacing the clutch are similar, and both the 901 and 915 are covered in detail in this article.  As mentioned previously, the G50 is similar to the 915 in setup, so there should be a lot of overlap from the instructions shown here.

     Ok, after you have gathered all your tools that you need for the clutch job, you need to remove the engine from the car.  Complete step-by-step instructions are shown in our Pelican Technical Article, 911 Engine Removal Made Easy.  It is important to note that you don't need to drop the transmission with the engine in order to do this clutch job.  In fact, I don't recommend it as it is much more work.

     Once you have the engine out the car, the replacement of the clutch is quite easy.  Figure 3 shows what your clutch (901 transmission) should look like when it comes out of the car.  The first thing that you need to do is remove the pressure plate from the flywheel.  You can do this without spinning the flywheel by following the method shown in Figure 4 (901).  Simply place a breaker bar in-between the socket and a single stud on the engine case, and turn.  The breaker bar should prevent the pressure plate from turning.  Then, attach the flywheel lock as shown in Figure 5 (901) The flywheel lock is basically a piece of metal with two holes in it.  I usually use left over 914 motor mount bar holders, but I couldn't find one for this article.  Instead, I used a small homemade flywheel lock that consists of a piece of metal with two holes in it.  By attaching one end to the flywheel, and the other end to the case, you prevent the flywheel from turning.  Once you have the flywheel lock in place, loosen the remaining pressure plate screws.  If you are planning to reuse the pressure plate over again, be sure to loosen the screws uniformly.  It is not recommended that you reuse the pressure plate unless you have just recently installed it and are removing the clutch to repair something else.   After all the screws have been removed, you can then pry the pressure plate out from the flywheel using a screwdriver, as shown in Figure 6 (901).  The disc should come out easily after the pressure plate is removed.  You may want to have a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up all of the clutch dust that may have accumulated over the years and subsequent wearing out of the clutch disc.  The older discs were made with asbestos lining, so be careful not to inhale too much of the stuff.

     After the area is all cleaned up, the flywheel should be visible.  Now, reattach the flywheel lock carefully, as you will be applying a great amount of force to remove the flywheel bolts.  On the 915 transmissions, remove the three bolts that hold on the pilot bearing.  Use a long breaker bar and eat your Wheaties before you try to remove the flywheel bolts.  The inner flywheel bolts require a special flywheel bolt tool to remove.  They are torqued down very tightly, and WILL NOT come off without this tool.  In fact, they very often will not come off with the tool, and if you are not lucky, then they might strip out, and you will have to grind off the bolts.  Make sure that the flywheel is locked securely, and then use a breaker bar and the special tool to remove the flywheel bolts, as shown in Figure 7 (901 transmission).  Be sure to use only good quality tools; you don't want the tools breaking on you and stripping the flywheel bolts.  From my own personal experience, drilling and grinding out flywheel bolts is a horrible way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  

       When the bolts are removed, the flywheel should just pop off of the crankshaft end.  Once the flywheel is off, your motor should resemble Figure 8 (1974 2.7 911S motor).  This shows the end of the crankshaft exposed, along with the crankshaft seal.  If there are any oil leaks around the seal, they will be apparent.  The entire area will be oil soaked or dirty.  If you press on the seal with your finger, and oil rushes out, then you need to replace the seal.   Seals may be damaged by old age, or they may even be melted by a slipping clutch heating up the flywheel.  I personally recommend replacing the seal each and every time you do a clutch job.  You would hate to put the entire engine back in the car, only to find that you nicked the seal, and now a $10 seal is causing a huge oil leak that will require the engine to be removed once again.  It's just not worth it.  Replace the seal while you have access to it.

     To remove the flywheel seal, get a screw driver and a small plate (in this case, my flywheel lock), and gently pry out the seal.  It is important not to touch anything metal with the screwdriver; you don't want to scratch or damage any tight seal areas.  Prying out the seal as shown in Figure 9 (915) and Figure 10 (901) basically avoids any damage to the case or the crank.  Figure 11 (915) shows the flywheel seal completely removed from the engine.  At this time, you should clean the engine case if you need to.  Some of the solvents used to degrease and remove oil can damage the new seals that you are installing, so it's best to use them when you don't have your new flywheel installed.  Clean, rinse and dry the case as shown in Figure 12 (901).  

     Now it's time to install a new flywheel seal.  To install the new seal, simply place the seal up against the case and tap it in.  I would use a rubber hammer instead of a metal one, as this is less likely to cause accidental damage.  Tap evenly on all sides of the seal, and with a little coaxing, it should go right in.  Sometimes a rubber mallet will not do the job, and you need to carefully use some other tools, like a regular hammer (Figure 13, 915) or a hammer and the end of a socket wrench (Figure 14, 915).  Figure 15 (915) and Figure 16 (901) shows the flywheel seal installed.

     Now, it's time to install the pilot bearing, shown in Figure 17 (915).  This small bearing should also be replaced every time you perform a clutch job.  On the 915 transmissions, the installation is easy.  Simply attach the pilot bearing using the three bolts that were used to attach the old one.  It is not necessary to replace these bolts.  Figure 18 (915) shows the flywheel pilot bearing being attached.  Figure 19 (915) shows the flywheel pilot bearing installed.

     Installing the pilot bearing for the 901 transmission is a bit more tricky.  You need to take the pilot bearing and press it into your newly resurfaced flywheel, as shown in Figure 20 (901).  Lightly tap it with a hammer and be careful not to bang it in cocked, as this can damage the bearing.  Figure 21 shows the pilot bearing installed.

     You are now ready to install your flywheel on to the transmission.  You should always use a new or resurfaced flywheel in your clutch job.  Your clutch performance can be severely affected if you do not.  Figure 22 (901) and Figure 23 (915) show resurfaced flywheels.  On the 915 transmission, the starter ring is separate from the flywheel.  When you remove your old pressure plate, you should remove this starter ring from the plate.  Place the starter ring on the top of the engine in clear sight.  Almost every mechanic at one time has completely installed the 911 motor and forgotten to install the starter ring.  

Jump to Page 2

Figure 1

Parts Needed

Figure 2

Special Tools Needed

Figure 3

Old Clutch (901)

Figure 4

Removing First Pressure Plate Bolt

Figure 5

Flywheel Locked, Removing Pressure Plate

Figure 6

Prying Off Pressure Plate

Figure 7

Removing Flywheel Bolts

Figure 8

Clutch & Flywheel Removed Removing Old Flywheel Seal (915)

Figure 9

Removing Flywheel Seal (915)

Figure 10

Removing Flywheel Seal (901)

Figure 11

Flywheel Seal Removed (915)

Figure 12

Cleaning Inside of Case (901)

Figure 13

Tapping in New Flywheel Seal (915)

Figure 14

Pressing in New Flywheel Seal (915)

Figure 15

Flywheel Seal Installed (915)

Figure 16

New Flywheel Seal Installed (901)

Figure 17

Pilot Bearing Fastening Pilot Bearing (915)

Figure 18

Pilot Bearing Attached (915)

Figure 19

Resurfaced Flywheel (915)

Figure 20

Installing Flywheel Pilot Bearing (901)

Figure 21

Pilot Bearing Installed (901)

Figure 22

Resurfaced Flywheel (901)

Figure 23

Resurfaced Flywheel (915)

Comments and Suggestions:
bend356 Comments: Anyone have thoughts as to how to repair a worn clutch guide ring on the transmission on a 1971 porsche 911. It is worn thin on the top part of the ring. Thanks Fred
April 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Can you share a photo of the wear and the part? You may need to replace it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sam Comments: Help, my 1996 911 4s 993 clutch started to slip when taking off. Has only 17,000 miles. Is clutch bad ,could it be anything else?
April 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Slip is likely clutch issue. It may not be worn, it may be faulty due to contamination. Check for oil or coolant leaks at the rear of the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Noble1978 Comments: My bite point on my 996 X50 is really high. Is there anything I can do to adjust it? It's a new clutch just recently fitted.
October 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is hydraulic, so there no adjustment. Have the show check if they installed the correct pivot pin. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
TMan Comments: What is ballpark cost to replace clutch on 2002 911 Targa? parts + labor estimate $
April 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know, it will vary. I would call a few local Porsche repair shops and get estimates. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
art Comments: I have an '83 911 sc cabrio. According to prior owner a new clutch was installed in 5/2010. It started to get difficult to put in 1st when engine running 2nd-5th ok while moving fall 2013. I replaced clutch cable last week and it was fine for 5-10 miles. Now it won't go into 1st while running and when it is in 1st and running with clutch disengaged pedal to floorand brake applied it is moving forward. What is the likely issue? Thanks
March 31, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds to me like the clutch is worn out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rollamo Comments: My 83 911SC clutch is varying in its pressure when I engage the clutch. It has just started to have stronger pressure and does not go to the floor as easily. Then it stopped doing it and went back to normal. Now it is back to where it seems it is not disengaging all the way. This does not effect my shifting yet. What is providing resistance on pedal pressure?
March 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a binding master cylinder or a binding clutch fork. You are going to have to disassemble some things to inspect them. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
chris Comments: hi have earley 911t it is fited with the earley type fork mec it is badley warn both the fork and the ball pivit can thu suppy new parts chris choat Barbados.
February 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
millsey Comments: hi, I have a 2001 c4 convertable 3.6, some times I get a smell of petrol fumes from the front of the vechle, but no leakage underneath. could this be a problem with the tank seal to which the sender unit is inserted..
October 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be a leak in the evaporative emission system. There are lines and components up front. Do you have a check engine light ON? If so, the fault code may direct you the leak or at the least confirm there is one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jay Comments: Ok, so you jump from engine removal to seeing the pressure plate, what about separating the transaxle from the engine?? I'm trying to separate the transaxle now from a 3.2, but it's not like the old 2.7 where you put an m6 bolt through a spacer into the 3 threaded rivet heads to release the pressure of the clutch release bearing, I'm stumped!!
August 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure what vehicle you have, but have you removed the clutch fork? Remove the retaining cover, then slide the shaft out, then remove the fork.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yags Comments: Thank you Nick I will do this. The pedal is still stuck to the floor and in neutral. Appreciate your comments!
July 4, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem, let us know how it works out and what you find. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yags Comments: Hi,
I pushed in the clutch hard on my '87 911 and when it was to the floor it "clicked' or made a "snap" sound and stuck in. I tried hard pulling it out and only comes 3/4 and is stuck in nuetral. It was always stiff but always smooth shifting. First issue I've had.. Thank you.
June 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check that the clutch hydraulic components are operating normally. The sound could have been a faulty hydraulic or mechanical component. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alleycat Comments: I have a 2001 Carrera 6 speed. Does the IMS bearing need to be changed when the clutch is changed?
May 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would suggest doing so as preventive maintenance. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lou Comments: Anybody havea problem with clutch cables being too long? I have gotten 2 in the last 2 months and they are both an inch to two inches too long. They do not work. I cannot get the .8at the pedal and even witha spacer on the clutch end it will not move the clutch arm the 25 mm. It acts like the geometry is wrong as the Bowden portion is most likely too long also.
February 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I haven't seen this issue. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to offer some insight. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
anthony Comments: Hello, I have an 83 911 SC and today it violently popped out of first gear and will not go into 1st or reverse. All other gears are fine. The car has been driven properly and has 85k miles on it. Any clues?
January 15, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This sounds like a bad trans. Drain the fluid and check for any metal debris. There is likely an internal issue causing it to pop out of gear. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
derek83 Comments: Wayne
i have a 1983 930 .My in order to depress the clutch pedal you need the leg strength of a bodybuilder.Ive been told it needs allignment and that the fork is out?

Whats the best way to handle this

Derek London,England
May 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It shouldn't be that hard to push, but you knew that. I would guess that the guide tube is worn and causing the bearing to bind when the clutch is pressed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: MY clutch will go to the floor I can then pull it up with the side of my foot and it works. Sometine with my foot resting on the clutch I call feal it go down all by itself. What should I look at repairing. I have a 1988 911 carrera.
November 8, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clutch pedal system in your car is hydraulic - you probably have a leaky master or slave cylinder. Check out the replacement article on Clutch Hydraulics in our Boxster section ( ) - it's similar to the setup in your car. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
shadetree Comments: if the transmission has been replaced at 35k miles on my 911, can I assume the clutch was also replaced along with it?
July 16, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not always, but if the clutch isn't giving you any issues, I wouldn't even give it one thought of worry. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Ernie Comments: clutch pedal went to the floor & willnt return. Its 81 sc 3.0. Cable & springs look fine.
June 14, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Very often the cable can get old and bind in the tube. Also, the helper spring can go out causing this. I talk about the replacement procedure in my 101 Projects book ( - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
rjn Comments: I replaced the clutch and flywheel in 65 911. Upon mating the tranny to engine I find that I can only turn the crank pulley to a certain point, I hear a noise, metal on metal. If I remove the tranny the pulley can be moved. The tranny turns freely. Followed all steps in article.
June 7, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The early 1965 911s used a different pressure plate, I believe. I would double-check to make sure that you have all of the proper parts in there for clearance. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Tarkas Comments: Can you shed some light on how to separate the 915 transmission from the engine? we hav the four main bolts out, the starter is off the transmission is "loose" but it won't slide away from the engine.
We are working on a 1978 SC and the haynes book has some little pictures about using three 6mm allen screws and some bushings to depress the pressure plate in order to remove some other parts.
This is weird. Shouldnt the tranny just come right off?
November 2, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The instructions are in my 101 Projects Book: Basically you need to remove the small throwout arm at the bottom of the transmission to unlock the mechanism. Otherwise you'll be pulling all day long. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 2/21/2018 02:20:10 AM