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Clutch job- remove engine or tranny?!?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 aartod

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:03 AM

Hello, I have a 1990 legacy and I am going to change the clutch this weekend or next... I have been reviewing manual and can't decide whether to pull the engine or drop the tranny. They both seem like a really crappy way to spend a weekend! What experience have you all had with this? Which was easiest, or quicker, or least painful?

#2 nipper

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:46 AM

Well what else does the car need in the near future, like in the next year?

 

seals?

Timing Belt? Any oil leaks?



#3 aartod

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:58 AM

Quite honestly, the car is on its last legs... But then again it has been for 2 years. Right now I'm trying to do the bare minimum... The clutch has been slipping for over a year now and I have just been driving it very easy. The engine burns oil- not visible blue smoke- but it consumes about a quart a week, and barely leaks any. I have a rear main seal leak I plan to address as well when I do the clutch. I love the car, but it's time for a new suby sometime very soon. So, to answer your question, I'm just looking for the quickest- least painful procedure.

#4 ivans imports

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

engine takes 28 minutes and transs takes 26 minutes if your motor leaks at all pull it and do some resealing if no leaks pull the trans the trany i pulled yesterday in 01 outback i left the wheels on the car and pulled it front control arms to relase axles thiss makes it faster and dont have to fight ball joints then i take whole exhaust off one peice drive shaft bell bolts shifter. Mount as one peice save the top ps side bell bolt for last. I have a hoist and trany jack so its easy for me but i found lowering the trans with a cherrypicker and a long strap works very well and also works good for putting it back up.If you dont have a hoist and tranny jack



#5 aartod

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:43 AM

Sounds great... I have a floor mounted electric/hydrolic crane in my garage! I may lower the tranny like you said.

#6 jboymechanic

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

Pulling the motor would be more of a mess since you have to remove the radiator hoses.  With a manual trans there are no fluid lines that need to be removed to drop the trans so I would go that route.



#7 battleborn

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

When I worked in a shop and had an automotive lift so I could stand up under the vehicle, I would pull the transmission.

 

In my own garage, where I don't have a lift but do have an engine hoist, I'd pull the engine. 



#8 ivans imports

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:17 AM

while its out check mainshaft for play a little up and down ok any in and out is bad i also have a old drive shaft stub i put in the back to keep the oil from leaking out this helps. And make shure you lube the back side of the clutch fork pivot retainer may need some bending to get it to hold tight on pivot ball



#9 aartod

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for all the advice.... I am not exactly sure which I will pull - there are great arguments for either. Looks like I will be doing it next weekend.

#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

If you have a hoist pull the engine.
You can reseal the separator plate while its out and fix some of that oil loss problem. Also reseal the diamond shaped access cover on the other half of the block. I wouldn't mess with the rear main seal. They almost never leak.
Www.beergarage.com
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Edited by Fairtax4me, 28 February 2013 - 03:23 PM.


#11 ivans imports

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

did a 98 outback clutch yesterday total time was 2hrs ten minutes i keep a pile of pre surfaced flywheels here so dont have to wait for resurface and if it has a plastic plate like above change it also if the rear main is black update it to a brown viton crank seal the black ones break down



#12 Numbchux

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:51 PM

I've done it both ways. Pull the engine.


Don't have to remove the exhaust, just unbolt it from the engine.

Don't have to mess with the axles.

It's also substantially easier to install the new clutch on the engine with the engine out, instead of lying under the car.

You can either disconnect the Power steering lines, and cap them, or a little more work to just unbolt the pump from the engine and leave the lines connected but no worries about leakage.

Drain the coolant system, pull the radiator. Remove AC compressor from engine and set aside (do not disconnect any lines....), remove bellhousing bolts, remove motor mount nuts, remove motor.


Here's me doing a new clutch behind the EJ22e in my Loyale:
PICT3427.jpg

It took me 4 or 5 hours, including driving to Northern tool and buying the hoist, and then assembling the hoist, and I replaced the oil pan.

#13 grossgary

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:49 AM

most people should pull the engine unless there's a compelling reason not too.

 

easiest - pull the engine

quickest - pull the trans

least painful - pull the engine

 

the transmission has fewer items to remove.  it is the "quickest possible way"...but it is so annoying, inconvenient, and a pain working from under the car with dirt and rust falling in your eyes...

it's advantageous that you can do the trans without needing an engine lift or any special tools, so it's a good fit for someone that doesn't want to lift the engine. if you have a lift you can run chain through the engine by and grab the front of the trans with an engine lift to maneuver it into position.

 

his numbers above - in under a half an hour are going to be nowhere near average.  i'm glad he can do that but the average person who doesn't do this every day and has tools/experience with rounded off bolts, rusty bolts, hard to access flex plate bolts, separating engines/trans (people will spend an hour trying to separate an engine/trans).....they are not going to do this in 28 minutes.  if you don't have any rust to deal with that's a huge plus.  in rust prone areas hose clamps, exhaust studs, cross member nuts, exhaust bolts, radiator fan bolts, radiator botls....probably a few more, are all prone to rust, shearing off, and some get so rusty that a socket doesn't even come close to biting on them.  that car really slow down someone that's never done this before.


Edited by grossgary, 02 March 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#14 nipper

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:58 AM

Not to mention the required knowledge of swear word in foreign tounges. Yes you can do it quickly if you have done it more then twice on your own car where all the bolts and rust are broken.



#15 ivans imports

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:59 AM

No worrys remember is all i do every day is subaru engines and tranys thiss last week i did 2 5 speeds one bad trany and one clutch i also have  a hoist and trany jack and a'm setup for just subaru stuff. exactly the right tools and procedures i use all snapon cordless guns and know every bolt in what order. Keep in mind thiss is all i do every day all day And i put lots of time into job prep so its gos exactly as planed. A novice with regular tools 4 hrs should be more realistic. I also can look at any subaru bolt and tell you its home on the car.



#16 grossgary

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:31 AM

yep, i hear you ivan, can totally see your experience and thankful you share it.  i don't do nearly as much as you and i can name most bolts/sizes as well.  can't imagine how well you know/have this organized. i know some steps i'd take to make it quicker if i were doing it a lot.

 

what do you do with the timing cover and radiator fan bolts that are so rusty that the socket just spins on them by hand?  sometimes i can jam a 9mm in place of the 10, but not always. i've often cracked the covers or fan shrouds on purpose but there's probably a better way?



#17 torxxx

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:52 AM

hands down pulling the engine wins.  You dont have to mess with driveline, shift linkage, speedo cable or any of that crap.

 

you pull the radiator, unbolt AC pump, unbolt power steering pump bracket, heater hoses throttle cable, pitch stopper, exhaust @ the head, 2 motor mount nuts and pitch stopper and I think thats it. you'll need a 10mm, 12mm, 14mm sockets and wrenches, and screw drivers.  rad fans stay attached to radiator

 

and ivans spot on about the bolts having their homes.  they only fit in certain places, the bolts all look different



#18 Gloyale

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:27 PM

Unbolt carrier bearing, unbolt shift rods, unbolt the trans mounts but leave the crossmember in place. Unbolt exhaust rear mount from trans. Now unbolt dog bone mount, starter, and trans from engine, and slide trans back about 3-6 inches. Access clutch and flywheel bolts from above.

Trans never leaves the car, all you need is a good floor jack.

#19 torxxx

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:38 PM

lol, no matter how I look at it, its more work in tighter spaces.  

 

Not to mention pulling the motor, you get to put in new coolant, check the engine over 100% for oil leaks, clean off the engine x-member and give it a nice bright coat of paint.   And I still think pulling the engine is faster than pulling the tranny.  The area you are working with is 3x as long if you do the tranny because you gotta undo the driveline and that poopy cover over the rear diff flange

 

 

not trying to start a flame war, but I work on these cars 6 days a week, have for 12 years.  I hate being at work and I've found the fastest methods for "me" to do the job.  That and no one likes lying on the floor to work.  kneeing over the engine feels better :P


Edited by torxxx, 03 March 2013 - 02:39 PM.


#20 88wacaroo

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:56 PM

PULL The MTR. Well I"m sort of a clean freak-I hate antifreeze all over so I do ALL of my Underneath stuff first! Then I Do the Lower Rad Hose and then the Heat Hoses, Pull the Drain Plugs on the Heads-Blk to drain the rest of it and usually not much of a mess-coupla drops is all!! I can pull a Mtr. in less than a hr.w/cig brk.



#21 ivans imports

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:04 AM

Badly rusted timing bolts i have snapon reverse grabers that are the size but have spiral teeth that grab harder the father on it gos's think craftsman sells them to a 3/8 socket works to. I perfer to pull motor to but is not always the case on clutch only jobs is faster cause i dont have to run car for half hour to test fans and no coolant mess or waiting for it to drain i have a plug for tail shaft no no fluid draining of anykind thiss saves time. But if motor has any leaks it comes out



#22 torxxx

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 01:36 PM

Fill the upper radiator hoseto block first, no bleeding needed if your are running an Subaru thermostat :)


Edited by torxxx, 04 March 2013 - 01:36 PM.


#23 ivans imports

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:17 AM

I test every subaru fan curcit the fans must cycle twice before i will lett the car leave is shop policy most are ok but some are not find bad fans fuses wire harness is a good idea to check fan opperation regularly



#24 Gloyale

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:32 AM

I still say slide the trans back. No loss of fluids. Almost all the bolts are 14mm heads accessible with impact w/ extensions and wobbles. 12mm gear wrench for the shifter.

My customers don't want to pay for new coolant and all the time unhooking lines, pumps, wiring, etc. for a clutch.

Dropping trans down and back is the fastest, with less work and cost.

Of course, an overhead lift and a proper trans jack help.

But it's still easily doable with jack stands, a floor jack, and a creeper.




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