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New clutch really DIY operation?

 
Old 03-01-2019, 10:51 AM
  #1  
Ashman
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Question New clutch really DIY operation?

So, I've done all of the repairs on my 944 to date but it's time for a few big ones. The most pressing is that she needs a new clutch.

I have two jacks, 4 jack stands, and more tools than should be allowed by law. I'm good with a wrench and haven't shied away from any of the repairs on my 944 so far.

However, I'm on the fence about doing the clutch myself in my garage.

I can get the kit from Pelican for around $750. My local mechanic gave me an estimate of $2200 for parts + labor for them to do it.

My questions are these... For those who have done this themselves in a garage, at what price point would you wash your hands of it and have someone else do it? Also, how hard was it the first time, and how long did it take you? If you had a 4-post lift, would that change the equation for you? (My nextdoor neighbor has one that I'm sure I can borrow, but not sure it would help since I have to drop the rear suspension/trans to get this done and his is a 4-post, not a 2-post lift.)

Any insight from those who have trodden this path before would be welcome. Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:37 AM
  #2  
MAGK944
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I’ve done it a few times on jack stands, but I was a lot younger and didn’t have the money to pay someone. If you can afford to pay someone trusted to do the job I would pay them, if you have the ability and desire to work upside down in a confined space with 3000 pounds of metal above your head while manoeuvering heavy parts and tools into place for a fair few hours, then go for it!

So basically it comes down to ability and finances. Some people will tell you they do it themselves to ensure the job is done “right”, personally I use that excuse for only the “easy” jobs and find myself a competent mech to do the other stuff.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:51 AM
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V2Rocket
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don't need to drop the suspension, just the trans.
trans comes out and you can slide the torque tube back about 2 ft, way out of the way.

clutches are easy on 944, IMO, i'd rather do a 944 clutch than my Subaru's again.
most cars where the trans is against the engine you drop the trans, change the clutch out, and put the trans back but have to be careful to line up the input shaft without hanging the weight of the trans on the clutch disc.

944 you can support the torque tube with 1 hand and just slide it easy into place.

STL might have rusty fasteners which will prolong the job, but as a point of reference in June I put my 944 up on 4 stands and had the exhaust off, axles dropped, trans out, starter off, and torque tube pulled out of the BH in about 1 hour.
from there its clutch slave, 4 bolts holding BH to engine, and drive out the clutch fork pin.

..
..
..
though, IMO the absolute best way to do a 944 clutch is to just pull the engine out. then you can easily access everything and do seals and stuff while you're at it.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:07 PM
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i did this a few months ago and had the same reservations. The question is trust. I have one mechanic near me i trust to do the job, and they were backed up. Worse case scenario it's a learning experience. it's not that hard. All you need is this
watch it over and over.
If you have half moon wrenches it makes taking the torque tube bolts off a lot easier (or s wrenches).

When you take the trans off, look at the trans mount, might as well get urethane mount, i think the parts cost something like $40 and your mount is likely worn anyway. The car now shakes slightly at idle, because all of the movement in the entire car is felt (i have new motor mounts as well) but man when you're driving there is no slop.

https://rennlist.com/forums/924-931-...-tutorial.html

I did a bunch of stuff along with the clutch, but yes it is daunting when you look at it. Based on your skill level you can probably do it in 10 hrs or so. Is that worth $1500 to you?
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:15 PM
  #5  
944Fest (aka Dan P)
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Drop the trans in your garage, then roll it over on to the 4 post life for the rest of the work. I think you will be glad you did!
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Old 03-01-2019, 02:29 PM
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I did this on my 944 Turbo last summer, on axle stands on the street. I would not say it was easy, but yes it was worth saving the money! If you're inclined, go for it,

Moving the transaxle out of the way was a bit tricky without the additional clearance that a lift would give you. I actually left it on the trans jack under the car, but slid out of the way, as I simply couldn't get it out without more height.

I think it took a good 4-5 weeks for me to do the work, on and off (work, British weather, needing new tools or parts all contributed to delay), but I did also replace the con rod bearings and oil pan seal, and I had a fair bit of hassle with exhaust bits that needed repairing or replacing.

And it is possible to do all this on your own.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:18 PM
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87944turbo
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though, IMO the absolute best way to do a 944 clutch is to just pull the engine out. then you can easily access everything and do seals and stuff while you're at it.
This. I have never done a clutch, but have pulled plenty of engines on these cars and that is the only way I would do a clutch. My days of rolling around in vehicular fluids and clutch dust while having 30+ year old oily crap falling in my eyes are over.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:31 PM
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odonnell
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For an NA 944 it's not a big deal. It's just a lot of steps.

Remove axles - easy
Remove trans - easy
Remove exhaust - easy
Unbolt torque tube and pull it back - easy
Remove clutch fork pin - easy
Remove bellhousing bolts and sensors - easy unless your sensors are stuck
Change the clutch itself - easy
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:50 PM
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KevinGross
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It's doable if you have the time, because it will take a good bit of time. And patience. It will also give you the chance to clean, inspect, and freshen a whole bunch of stuff on the bottom of your car, from rear wheel bearings, axles, on forward.

And I can promise that it will suck a whole lot less than doing wheel bearings and parking brake cables on a Cayenne that's seen ten years of New England weather. Ask me how I know...
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:35 PM
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elgy
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Originally Posted by odonnell View Post
For an NA 944 it's not a big deal. It's just a lot of steps.
Remove axles - easy
Remove trans - easy
Remove exhaust - easy
Unbolt torque tube and pull it back - easy
Remove clutch fork pin - easy
Remove bellhousing bolts and sensors - easy unless your sensors are stuck
Change the clutch itself - easy
What he said... except there are a lot of sub-steps to these easy steps!
I have done this twice (the second time was not necessary... the problem was the transmission mounts).
The first experience took a long time, because I was working on the house and because of problems removing certain seized parts (see note above about sensors)
https://rennlist.com/forums/924-931-...ew-clutch.html
The second time around it went quicker... almost nothing was seized this time.
https://rennlist.com/forums/924-931-...1987-924s.html
What I recommend from both of my experiences is to remove the intake manifold, the time spent doing this will be repaid in the time saved removing the sensors and their bracket... IMHO. The first time I ended up taking the manifold off after fighting with the sensors for weeks. The second time I did not remove the manifold and had a lot of trouble adjusting and tightening the sensor bracket.

Last edited by elgy; 03-10-2019 at 08:15 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:57 PM
  #11  
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I did it with my 4 post lift. It wasn't that bad with the lift. I'm not sure I'd want to do it on the ground, but I'm not 20 anymore either. I also completely removed the torque tube to replace the bearings. Make sure you spin the shaft and see how they are. In my opinion they will never be any easier to replace.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:57 AM
  #12  
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I just finished replacing the flywheel on my '88 turbo S. Basically a clutch job. Agree with the others here - not difficult per se, but a lot of steps. I found Van's video very helpful as well


I did not have a lift, so I was all on my back, and I'm not nearly as fast with a wrench as Van...

It took 20+ hours I guess, spread over a bunch of weekends as I was in no hurry.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:38 AM
  #13  
V2Rocket
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Originally Posted by KevinGross View Post
And I can promise that it will suck a whole lot less than doing wheel bearings and parking brake cables on a Cayenne that's seen ten years of New England weather. Ask me how I know...
when people ask me (and i ask myself) why i didn't/don't become a full-time mechanic, i think of stuff like this.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:29 PM
  #14  
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I’m brand new to the 944, and in the middle of this job right now.
Certainly taking my time, but the car has been a pleasure to work on so far. It is a ‘big job’ but it sounds like you are well qualified and equipped. If you are pressed for time, this is not a job I’d feel great rushing through, but I’m new to the car, and have a lot of competition for precious wrench time. Your situation may be different. There are a few places where a second set of hands are a big help. Engine position sensors on top of bell house comes to mind.

This is really more a matter of personality and desire. For me, the chance to learn the car, make things better are all worth it. It’s taking me a while, but not my daily driver, so no big deal.
The cost savings vs having it done at the shop, I am putting towards other ‘while you are in there’ needs, of which my car has many.

Rear main main seal- mentioned in videos is a must.

Transmission improvements- shift linkage, short shift kit, shift seal, are perhaps not needed, but you have access, so why not.

Exhaust seals- again why not, but not mentioned specifically in the parts lists for clutch job.

Extra bolts for CV joints- Easy to strip the old ones if your not careful. Just have a bunch on hand just in case. 8M triple square if memory serves.

Motor mounts- This is not mentioned in any of the clutch videos, but I can’t even imagine doing the job later with everything in the way. Still a bit of a pain, but DO THIS NOW! I purchased mounts on a whim as they were on sale, and so glad I did.


Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:50 AM
  #15  
Otto Mechanic
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I did mine on a 4 post with a rolling lift jack and a separate transmission jack, no problems at all, but give yourself plenty of time and don't rush it. Have you decided on a clutch yet? I'll toss out a good word for the SPEC Stage 3+, I like it a lot. Great time to rebuild the torque tube, I used Black Sea "SuperBearings". Also installed the Only944 short shift kit, semi-solid engine & trans mounts too. Rear main seal, new pilot bearing. I replaced all me CV joints since they were making noise and turned out to be badly pitted when I took them apart.
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