Apparently the original pressure plate has deciced to give out, or part of the mechanical release mechanism has broken. The hydraulic parts were replaced, but unfortunately when the pedal is depressed, the mechanical parts will not return the throwout bearing lever arm back to the start position. The pedal stays close to the floor. The clutch will not release enough to allow selection of a gear from neutral while sitting still. If I start the car in gear, there is some drive friction, and backing off the pedal will allow the clutch to fully engage.
So it looks like I will be putting a clutch in the car. Seems like a huge job to me, but maybe not insurmountable if I break it down into individual tasks and get each done in order. I'd be glad to get some advice, and maybe some help getting the job done. I'm assuming that the best way to do it is to just drop the engine and transmssion/transfer case as a unit, and then split the motor from those to access the clutch.
If it is possible to get this car back on the road in the next two weeks, it would be a GREAT thing! I really need it for a number of reasons.
I have never done a Subaru clutch but I am sure those people will chime in here. USUALLY you can slide the transaxle out and over the pressure plate/clutch assembly without removing the engine. I would recommend trying this first since it saves you a ton of work disconnecting the engine. #91 GS, 2005 SRT-4 ACR
Actually, from all the internet sources I have been able to find, for the Subarus it is apparently easier to pull the engine, albeit a bit more messy because of fluids. Getting the transaxle out means taking some stuff off of the rear diff, then pulling the drive-shaft, unhooking the shift linkage, pulling out both front prop shafts, and dropping the exhaust system and some sheilding. A frame cross-member has to come out. Then you also have to remove the starter and a couple of top-engine accessories before you can get to the bolts which hold the trans to the block. There is no "bell-housing" like on many other cars. I probably have forgotten stuff... The biggie is handling the 190 pounds of trans and transfer case, and that means the whole car has to be pretty high off of the ground. YouTube videos show that the engine can be disconnected and pulled in a couple of hours with a cherry picker, and not nearly as much crawling around on the ground. Seems like a good idea to me. Thanks for the reply, but I am leaning towards engine out/trans stays in to get the job done.
You do not have to take the engine or transmission all the way out of the car. I did mine on the WRX by moving the transmission back a few inches: Basically, disconnect the shift linkage and remove the propshaft and transmission mount. You can then set the transmission directly on the cross member and slide it back a few inches after you separate it from the engine. Then, swap the clutch out from the top.
Nathan Usher wrote ... You do not have to take the engine or transmission all the way out of the car. I did mine on the WRX by moving the transmission back a few inches: Basically, disconnect the shift linkage and remove the propshaft and transmission mount. You can then set the transmission directly on the cross member and slide it back a few inches after you separate it from the engine. Then, swap the clutch out from the top.
Interesting. But would I not need more than a few inches of separation? Because of the issue I am having, I'll need to remove the pressure plate completely. I'm not just putting in a new disc. There may also be a problem with the clutch release fork or it's pivot. Since this drive-train has 270K on it, I plan to also replace the flywheel and the rear main seal. The clutch kit has a sleeve for the throwout bearing shaft, since apparently that is a common wear problem spot. Seems like a lot of work to get done via a small gap.
You -may- not need to replace the clutch. Every Subaru with a pull-style clutch I've seen had severe binding in the throwout fork's pivot. Removing it is part of separating the engine from the clutch anyway, it's just a 10mm internal hex Plug of Suck and then you stick a bolt into the shaft and pull it out.
If you're doing the clutch anyway, I found that pulling the engine is much easier than pulling the trans, even with a fully equipped shop. Takes an hour to remove, a couple hours to install, versus fighting a million undercar fasteners that will break off if you look at them funny.
Thanks for the replies. The schedule is to pull the engine tomorrow (Weds.) Apparently a few of the parts are Subaru Only... Like the little clips which retain the release bearing. The pivot is in this case probably not the issue, as the fork moves freely with the least amount of pressure, but will not return to full contact with the slave's piston rod by itself. It is possible that it is worn completely through? I can hear the bearing hit the spring fingers on the pressure plate when I move it by hand, and there is a lot of play.
At this point, my plan is to pretty much replace all of the parts between the crank and the transaxle, plus the dust boot, which is in a worthless condition. IF I can escape confidently by doing less, I will. Now I am considering doing head gaskets, since the engine will be out, and they were never replaced, according to the only prior owner of this 270K mile car. She did have the timing belt done twice, or at least she paid for that service. One of the "mechanics" who had worked on the car previously had definitely taken advantage of her by NOT doing at least some of the work he was paid to do. There is a mechanic-broken part in the engine compartment that is not an expensive bit of hardware. I'll be putting that back together as it should be.
I just did head gaskets on my 2000 RS. The Exedy OEM clutch kit comes with thrust bearing, pilot bearing, and alignment tool. The same kit fits all 2.5NA engines. That should solve whatever is wrong with your clutch. If the fork moves freely it is probably OK. If people ride the clutch all the time the bearing is probably shot. However, the worst case could be that the crank thrust bearing or face is worn. That happened to me years ago when, after a rebuild, I didn't set the clutch clearance properly and there was constant pressure on the throwout bearing. S & G on 8 mile have a set of the "little clips" on the shelf for me because I bought mine at Dwyer Subaru along with the rubber boot (not available at S & G) . See my video on putting the engine back in. It only took 6 minutes!! Link 2012 Secretary
Dang I am tired..... So, there was no avoiding pulling the motor. Nothing else would have worked as well. The source of the problem? Broken Clutch Release Fork! The passenger side of it just plain failed... Amazing for a car with this many miles (even though mostly highway), the clutch disc was still ok. The flywheel looks nearly new; the machine tooling marks are still on the friction surface! Same with the friction face of the pressure plate. There were other problems, though. The pilot bearing = Done. The throwout bearing = Done. The fingers on the pressure plate have excessive wear grooves from the throwout bearing. The snout on the transmission where the bearing slides was slimy enough, but I'm thinking someone sprayed goop in there to mitigate a galling problem. It looks scored and a bit wavy now that I have cleaned it off.
I'll be re-using the flywheel, but the rest of the parts will be replaced, along with a slightly leaking rear main seal. Of course other stuff cropped up as well, so some incidentals will be spent. I probably will not do the head gaskets, but will do a timing belt. Maybe a water pump. Maybe an oil pump too. Having the injectors checked and cleaned. ZZZzzzzzzzzz
Alan, when the time comes to refill the coolant I have a new gallon of Subaru long life coolant that I would like to get out of my garage....I will give it to Nut on Sunday....u will probably see him before you see me. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bronco M. Coldsteel Thompson Racing Fabrication PAC Racing Springs
Z Mojo wrote ... Alan, when the time comes to refill the coolant I have a new gallon of Subaru long life coolant that I would like to get out of my garage....I will give it to Nut on Sunday....u will probably see him before you see me.
Thanks so much, K-Rob! I "may" show at the 'Dome for a little while, Nut has a ton of my stuff hostage from the season that I am supposed to pick up there. Lots of parts in piles, hope I can remember how it all goes back together......