View Full Version : Getting a grasp on the clutch

04-10-2001, 04:21 PM
Still getting the van ready for Branson and now it's time to consider the clutch. It may make it but if it's not too rough I'd rather change it. So, here's the question:

What parts need changing and since I know nothing about changing them, is this something I can tackle the first time out, on my own?

I'm sure your answers will lead to more questions so please be patient with me.

04-10-2001, 07:14 PM
Replacing a clutch in the van is easy. Here's how:
-Disconnect driveshaft at the rear end, but don't remove it or all the tranny fluid will spill.
-remove the 4 bolts holding the tranny, disconnect the main mount and the linkage (mark the linkage, so you will not have to readjust it when you reconnect)
-pull the tranny out (don't forget the speedo gear and the back up lights. Disconnect them too).
-disconnect and remove clutch adjustment rod
-remove the bellhousing bolts and pressure plate bolts and the whole thing will come out (pay attention to which way the throwout bearing is facing. You don't want to put it in backwards).Also pay attention to which bolts go where. They may not all be the same.
-if you want to do it right, you really need to remove the flywheel and have it machined. If you are in a hurry or you want to save money, then don't bother.
-you definitely need to replace the clutch disc. If the pressure plate has any signs of damage or major wear, replace it too. If it looks okay and you want to be cheap, put the old one back in. Same goes for the throwout bearing.
-put the new parts in. You need to buy a clutch alignment tool to do this. The tool only costs $5 and it's worth it. USe it to line up the clutch disc when you bolt the pressure plate back on.
-put the bellhousing back on.
-remove your alignment tool and put the tranny back in. A floor jack is really handy here for helping to hold the weight of the tranny while you try to get everything lined up again.
-put everything else back together.

A few other things:

use a floor jack under the tranny to unspring the rear mounting bolt and make it easier to remove. Then, use the jack to lower the tranny. You may want to put some wood blocks under your oil pan to prevent the engine from tipping back too far although they shouldn't be necessary. You just want to be sure not to smack the fan into the radiator.

Also, an easy way to mark your transmission linkage is to spray the adjustment links with a light colored spray paint before removal. Then when you put them back on, just line up the paint marks.

You will probably need to readjust your clutch rod, so you really don't need to bother marking it. I don't have any advice on how to set your clutch travel. I've never been very good at it and everyone tells me that I have my clutch adjusted wrong.

If you've never done this before, you can expect it to take several hours.

Good Luck,

04-10-2001, 10:30 PM
Sounds like Andy has covered it very well.
One tip though;
when you stab the tranny you have to get the splines of the tranny shaft to aling with the splines in the disc. This can be hard to do with the different things to aline and if your not careful you can misaling the disc or even damage something. It's best if you have help so one person can watch the alinement and work the front and one to push and twist from the back. Watch the mating surfaces of the bell housing and the tranny. The tranny has to be in gear to keep the input shaft from turning. Once they aline it only takes a little turn for the splines to line up and in it goes.
This may seem a little long winded but I've spent a half hour trying to stab it (alone)and then discovered that the tranny was in neutral and only the tranny was turning and I had oil running down my arm in the freezing weather. You can find a plastic bottle or can to tape to the tail housing to keep the oil in too.
Oh, and have plenty o'Budwiser on hand to celebrate the clean stab.
Good luck, David.

[This message has been edited by ahighdiver (edited April 10, 2001).]

04-10-2001, 11:22 PM
Yep, that sounds right you may want to block wheels before unhooking drive shaft and tape around u-joint so bearing cups don't come off. I use an old driveshaft yoke to plug the trans. Also use an old trans. input shaft to align the new clutch disc. I had an aluminum flywheel in my 64 it overheated when I got stuck once and streached out the ring gear it just spun when I tried to start it. I got a iron wheel in there just over an hour. It was a all day slugfest when I changed the slipper in my 67 I could not get the hanger bolt out, I beat on it with a 5# brass hammer,tried pressing it with big c clamps. I finally had to cut both ends off with a torch flush with the crossmember natually the rubber bicuit ignited you just can't do this right without molten flaming rubber fallin on ya! After jamming some big screwdrivers in to spread the crossmember out she came the rest was routine. I work in a machine shop so I resurface parts in a grinder. The vans are a piece of cake to work on compared to 57 Chevy iron powerglides put one of those on your chest and slither under,you know what I'm gonna build me a trans.jack it hurts to think about that. I must be gettin old. have fun Smiley , Dan


04-11-2001, 11:26 AM
I'm not sure I explained something clearly:
when you disconnect the driveshaft at the rear, do not pull it out of the tranny. Just take the tranny and driveshaft out together. This prevents massive oil spillage. It also prevents potential driveshaft phase problems that you can have when you pull the driveshaft out completely and then put it back in.

04-11-2001, 02:37 PM
Thank you very much for your guidance, tips, and suggestions. They will be followed as I intend to change the clutch in the coming weeks. (Still unpacking from the move. Couldn't tell you where any of my club stuff or tools are at this point. http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/frown.gif )

I talked to NAPA and they can get me a clutch "package" for $209. They asked my if I had measured my clutch disc and said that their specs said I would have a 10" disc. Does this sound right? I have no idea. I have the factory 3spd and 250 config.

Thanks again for your help.

04-11-2001, 08:19 PM
The 10" clutch sounds right, but that price seems high. I bought my pressure plat and clutch disc at Auto Zone for about $65 if I remember correctly. Of course, the NAPA clutch will probably last you a lot longer, but I'm poor, so I save money whenever I can. If you're going to lay down $200 for clutch parts, you need to get the flywheel machined.

04-11-2001, 08:28 PM
If you have a Kragen auto parts you should buy it from them. It's not the top of the line parts but they're not junk either. The reason is the Lifetime guarantee. They will replace it over and over. No questions asked.
I have put three in my pick up in ten years for the price of one. And they will beat any price.

[This message has been edited by ahighdiver (edited April 11, 2001).]

04-11-2001, 10:19 PM
What are driveshaft phase problems? --- TV

04-12-2001, 07:33 AM
Driveshaft phase problems are something that I have experienced once.The problem I had was in a Ford van with an automatic. The way that the transmission was made, the driveshaft had to be reinstalled in exactly the same place as it was removed. If you put it in wrong, the transmission mechanisms and the driveshaft could be "in phase": that is when all of the pivots line up, causing a vibration in the system. Anyway, it's hard to explain. I don't think it's a common problem and it may only be a problem with automatics or Fords. According to my mechanic, that's the reason that you're supposed mark your driveshaft position and be careful to put it back in the same way. Somehow, I don't think I explained that very well. Also, in my ford, I think it was more important to properly install the main transmission shaft into the crank. There were 2 ways to install it, and one of them was backwards (Fords are weird, it's hard to explain).

04-12-2001, 09:29 AM
I thought the drive shaft out of phase problems were only with vehicles that use more than one shaft.... ie with hanger bearings.....a lot of older pickups have two piece shafts and some long straight truck have three or four even.......but early vans just have one casue they are so short......so if thats right we won't have problems with our drive shafts?


04-12-2001, 02:44 PM
You may be right. That Ford was a 75 long wheelbase, so it would've had the 2-piece shaft. In general, though, it's always a good idea to try and put things back together exactly the same way that they came apart.

04-12-2001, 10:17 PM
There shouldn't be any phasers in these old vans. I always paint my driveshaft to look like a barber pole. A friend thought it was cool so he did his, but he knocked off the balance weights and got a new vibration. We fixed it the cheap way with hose clamps. Some of the things did in the old days sound kinda dangerous now. Like laying under a van thats tetering on a floor jack while somebody holds down the loud pedal in high gear so you can mark the shaft thats spinning wildly.Kids just take your parts to a professional. Dan


04-13-2001, 10:45 AM
I decided to call AutoZone to check on the clutch parts and found them much cheaper. The disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing, and aligning tool came to $57.99. How can they be that much cheaper? I understand that there will be a quality difference, but a $150 difference? Am I missing something again?

04-13-2001, 02:23 PM
Smiley; all those parts from autozone and kragen and napa are about the same, They might have quoted you for the premium or heavy duty parts. You should check back to confirm that price. (the high one) and like I say If you have a choice go with the cheap one with the lifetime guarentee. If you are going to be hot rodding around peeling out maybe you should go for the heavy duty setup.
David agian.