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Replace clutch, or get an Automatic Trans.?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Subaruist

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 02:32 PM

I need a clutch job, and I am not in a position to do it myself, especially on my 183 EA81 Brat, that means paying a mechanic to do so, and that is not cheap. Eventually, I would have to do it again too.

 

My Brat is destined to be "Street", not off-road, and I do not anticipate or want to haul any trailer of any real weight if at all. I am thinking that for what it would cost me to have the clutch replaced, I could maybe just get an automatic transmission, I would kinda like one anyway, I think I could put it in with less work than doing the clutch myself, making it more likely that I could do it myself, and I would never have to replace the clutch again.

 

What are the Pro's and Con's of this?

Thanks.



#2 l75eya

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:17 PM

Pros: less knee fatigue

Cons: there is no automatic transmission that bolts into your brat that doesn't sorta suck. If you only want 3 gears and a mpg hit and a 3800 rpm highway cruise at 65, then go for it. Otherwise, stick in a new clutch.

Also, properly driven a clutch should last you hundreds of thousands of miles. There's no reason you should have to replace it again unless you own the thing for another... Many many years, or you burn it up prematurely.

#3 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:57 PM

Pulling an EA81 is super easy and fast with an engine hoist of some sort.

Not to mention its more work to put an Auto in than to drop in a new clutch.

Also, have you checked your clutch cable adjustment? It may just need to be readjusted.

 

Twitch



#4 MR_Loyale

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:59 PM

An automatic transmission is no cakewalk to install either. Usually you have to bolt up the torque converter to the engine through a small access window and then rotate the crank to reach each of the bolts. AT also typically are plumbed into the radiator so that is another potential point of failure for the cooling system.  AT are more complex than the manual transmission from a maintenance point of view.



#5 wagonist

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:55 PM

If you're talking to your mechanic about this, make sure you tell him to pull the engine to change the clutch, not the trans. It's much easier & most mechanics are just thinking for normal cars & don't get this.

If he doesn't believe you, then describe this:

 

engine removal (99% of which is done from above without a hoist needed):

  • unplug electrical connections
  • unplug fuel lines
  • "unplug" throttle cable
  • remove radiator
  • unbolt A/C compressor & move to the side (if you have one)
  • unbolt power steer pump & move to the side (if you have one)
  • unbolt exhaust from engine
  • unbolt engine stay above trans
  • undo engine mounts from crossmember
  • undo 4 engine to trans bolts
  • pull engine up

as opposed trans removal (99% of which is done from underneath & requires heavy lifting jacks & hoist/ramps & still requires you to work on the clutch from underneath):

  • undo clutch cable
  • undo speedo cable
  • undo electrical connections
  • remove exhaust
  • remove tailshaft
  • undo front lower ball joints/LCAs
  • remove front driveshafts from trans
  • unbolt both shifter linkages
  • remove crossmembers
  • unbolt engine stay above trans
  • undo 4 engine to trans bolts
  • lower heavy trans down & drag it out of the way

Anyone who's done this job before at home wil know that the entire clutch replacement can be done in as little as 3 hours with hand tools by pulling the engine, but with the added advantage of great access to the flywheel for power/air tools at chest height if wanted.

 

3AT are garbage IMHO :P



#6 scoobiedubie

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 10:27 PM

Clutch transmissions last forever with new clutch plates and throwout bearing installed from time to time.  Auto transmissions are toast after 150,000+ miles and require major $ to fix.



#7 Subaruist

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 04:51 PM

OMG... It's a nightmare! Because I know you are all right! lol....

I was really feeling good about getting an Automatic transmission too....

The thing I don;t understand is assuming I can jack/lift/hoist the Brat sufficiently, why in the world would it be easier to pull the engine ?!?

I see the very informative replies above, and than you, but seriously... If I take the trans out instead, there is very little to unhook, it would be very straight-forward. I would think that the only issue would be getting the clearance to do it (Lifting the Brat).

 

I work part-time as a Courier/Delivery guy, and my life is pretty much on the road and in parking lots, restaurants, etc.

- I really don't have the space for an engine hoist, and hate renting such things.  - Yes, I also face challenges with lifting the whole Brat instead, but it does seem simpler.

 

My other concern is that I amused to 1st Generation Brats, where you had ONE (Pilot) Bearing,and according to the kits I have seen, there seems to be like 4-5 bearings that would need to be replaced, and I would probably need one or more special tools to do install them.

 

There are few jobs I don't like like on a Brat: Electrical, Transmission, Engine rebuild.

- And yes, I musty also admit that a clutch job, etc is probably easier on a Subaru Brat than most other vehicles made.

 

It seems the only option is to go broke paying to have it done.

- and there is the other option not mentioned yet, and that is how people rave about the 5 speed manual trannies.

If I have to do it myself, I may as well see if I can get a 5 speed and do it right -right?

 

As Dr. Zachary Smith would say:  "Oh.... the pain..."  lol



#8 Gloyale

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:42 PM

If you're talking to your mechanic about this, make sure you tell him to pull the engine to change the clutch, not the trans. It's much easier & most mechanics are just thinking for normal cars & don't get this.

If he doesn't believe you, then describe this:

 

engine removal (99% of which is done from above without a hoist needed):

  • unplug electrical connections

  • unplug fuel lines

  • "unplug" throttle cable

  • remove radiator

  • unbolt A/C compressor & move to the side (if you have one)

  • unbolt power steer pump & move to the side (if you have one)

  • unbolt exhaust from engine

  • unbolt engine stay above trans

  • undo engine mounts from crossmember

  • undo 4 engine to trans bolts

  • pull engine up

as opposed trans removal (99% of which is done from underneath & requires heavy lifting jacks & hoist/ramps & still requires you to work on the clutch from underneath):

  • undo clutch cable

  • undo speedo cable

  • undo electrical connections

  • remove exhaust

  • remove tailshaft

  • undo front lower ball joints/LCAs

  • remove front driveshafts from trans

  • unbolt both shifter linkages

  • remove crossmembers

  • unbolt engine stay above trans

  • undo 4 engine to trans bolts

  • lower heavy trans down & drag it out of the way

Anyone who's done this job before at home wil know that the entire clutch replacement can be done in as little as 3 hours with hand tools by pulling the engine, but with the added advantage of great access to the flywheel for power/air tools at chest height if wanted.

 

3AT are garbage IMHO :P

 

You do not need to remove the control arm to drop the trans out the bottom.

 

Just pop the roll pins.......and while you are sliding the trans back after about 2" the axles have enough room to pop off.

 

The way I do a clutch in these is to seperate the trans mounts......so the tranny can slide back leaving the crossmember in place.......I slide the tranny back about 6" total and that is enough room to get in to the clutch PP bolts.

 

2 hours tops........no need for tranny jack or special tools other than clutch pilot.



#9 wagonist

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

Have you lifted either a manual or even heavier auto trans?

 

While it looks like there's more to remove off the engine to get it out, they are all a heck of a lot easier with access & not either lying on your back or bending above your head.

 

And while you can simply drop the trans on the ground, you need to lift it up to reinstall it. Try benchpressing 60kg, assuming you can get it up onto your chest in the first place, & then you need to line up the input shaft spline onto the clutch. This can be a pain no matter what, but more so when you're holding something up, not have it hanging off a hoist. 

An EA81 can be lifted by one strong person. 2 people can lift it out of the bay. Done it on the side of a road when the rear main crank seal blew. But a beam/tree branch with a thick rope is enough.

 

BTW, if you lift up the car, you still need to support it on stands, not just by the wheels, because the front LCAs need to be moved to get the driveshafts out of the trans, so those get in the way.

 

The engine is heaps easier because you're working from on top, the access is infinitely better, and the working height is also easier (ie not lying on your back under a car that's accumulated 30 years of gunk)



#10 wagonist

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:46 PM

Don't forget to replace the rear main crank seal while you're doing this work.

Pain to have to do it later again to save the small cost of a seal.



#11 wagonist

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:47 PM

Gloyale, probably true about the LCAs. Just easier



#12 Gloyale

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:57 PM

And while you can simply drop the trans on the ground, you need to lift it up to reinstall it. Try benchpressing 60kg, assuming you can get it up onto your chest in the first place, & then you need to line up the input shaft spline onto the clutch. This can be a pain no matter what, but more so when you're holding something up, not have it hanging off a hoist.

 

You do not need to lower the trans to the ground.......Simply slide it back few inches.........leave the crossmember there so it can rest on it and support the front diff portion with a floorjack.

 

And it's not probably...it's COMPLETELY true you do not need to undo the LCA.....that would be more work.....how is that easier???

 

Bottom line if you want to undo the fewest bolts, and not worry about losing Coolant or disconnecting fuel lines, power steering pump, Alternator wiring, etc......

 

You pull the trans.......back......not all the way out.



#13 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:43 PM

http://www.ultimates...e-transmission/


Here's my little write-up on how to change a clutch without removal of the entire engine or transmission.

I did this on an EA82, but the principle is the same on an EA81 or EA71.

 

Now, I highly suggest having the flywheel resurfaced before you plunk a new clutch on it.

Most new clutches require you to do that to maintain warranty and it only makes sense to allow two fresh surfaces to wear into each other.

 

Best wishes on this repair!

 

Twitch



#14 angerthis

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:21 AM

or you can hall it up to WA and ill do the clutch job for $200 cash you by the parts



#15 grossgary

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 06:00 AM

pulling the transmission is by far easier in terms of number of bolts/parts.   (in the northeast rusty exhaust is more annoying this way though).  as said - the trans is "right there, with a few ancillary items and the engine is nearly covered in stuff that has to come off.

 

but it can be far more annoying doing it from under the car.  dirt, rust, scale in your eyes, not much room to work, working on your back, less light, gotta crawl under and out every time you forget/need/drop a tool and it rolls down the driveway.  so a lot depends on where you're working, how big you are, experience, etc.  if you can tolerate that stuff, pulling the trans is ultimately easier.

 

 

or you can hall it up to WA and ill do the clutch job for $200 cash you by the parts

 

or you can hall it up to WA and ill do the clutch job for $200 cash you by the parts

 

there you go!



#16 ferp420

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:13 AM

when i did my ea81 clutch about 10 years ago i just reached in and grabed the motor set it off to the side and did the clutch just a simple socket set no hoist no jack stands no laying in the dirt the hardest part was finding the right pilot bearing i do use the cherry picker for the ea82s and ej2.2/2.5s more because im geting old and my back dosent like lifting motors anymore if i remeber the ea81 will just sit in the engine bay kinda sideways and give you more than enuff room to work on the clutch with out disconecting the wire or fuel lines or accesories still have to pull the radiator and drop the exaust though if your carfull with the oil pan u can use a floor jack to lift and move the motor around kinda like a vw but then again trannys are easy enuff to r and r ether way a hell of alot cheaper and less labor intensive than swaping to a auto you would need a few.more parts than just a trans and even at pick and pull the parts would get pricy

#17 Subaruist

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 03:12 PM

(A) Yes, i have lifted - and thrown one of these transmissions once, when I was real angry about something - and it didn't hurt the tranny either,lol...

 

(B) I am SO relieved to see all the positive feedback about how to remove the transmission instead of the engine!!!

I have very limiting circumstances, so a cherry picker would be out of the question anyway.

What I am considering is finding a tree and using a come-a-long hooked onto the front crash bar (I have the solidly mounted kind) and lifting the whole front end of the Brat up a little bit. As far as lifting the transmission into place, I have a 6 ton bottle jack and some blocks and such, and will probably use that to lift/hold the weight, and use elbow grease to maneuver it. As I seem to remember  doing such once n the past for some reason or purpose. I may even be able to rig something to bolt to the tranny and attach to the jack for a firm grip/attachment.

 

Now it is a matter of seeing if I can afford/find one of those raved-about 5 speed transmissions before I commit to getting the parts. If I can, I may as well do it all right at one time.

 

© Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the tips, instructions, etc posted here!!! EXTREMELY informative and helpful !!!

 

Unfortunately, something else has come up that must be done first.... I thought it was about time to replace the front brake pads, and was getting estimates and considering if I should just do it myself. I heard that tell-tale sound the brakes make to let you know the pads had worn to that point a couple days ago,-  but in the last 24-48 hours it turned into something else, and it seems that my front right wheel bearing is suddenly disintegrating and must be dealt with immediately, - just so I don;t have to see my wheel rolling down the street head of me, which did happen to me once, lol...

 

Thanks again guys !






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