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Remove and Replace the Clutch

A few months back we learned to pull the motor from our Bug. With that experience under our belt we are going to move on to a job that we can do while the motor is out. Replacing the clutch. Every time we use the clutch we weaken the springs a tiny bit and wear off a tiny bit of the clutch lining. So eventually and usually at about the same time they both finally wear out. This is also a good time to replace the throw out bearing, sometimes called a clutch release bearing.

With the engine out of the car and on the floor it helps to lock the flywheel with a special tool. It bolts to the case and locks into teeth on the flywheel edge.
You can remove the pressure plate with a 13mm socket and ratchet
To avoid warping (in case you are reusing) loosen each bolt about ½ turn at a time to start. After a couple of turns you can loosen it the rest of the way
Before you go out and just buy a clutch make sure you know which one you have, there are several.
There is the older spring type with a face plate.
And there is the later diaphragm type with no face plate.
Each of these clutches takes a different type throw out bearing. The one with no face plate takes the bearing that rides on a sleeve that bolts to the transmission and surrounds part of the input shaft (1971 and newer).
You can tell if the old style clutch is warped by laying something flat on the face plate. It should be level all around. The fingers of the diaphragm type may appear uneven.
The clutch disk should have at least 1/16" above the rivets 1/8" is where they are brand new and be free of oil.
. If the clutch is covered with oil you are going to have to replace the main bearing seal behind the flywheel. (This is a job for another article.)
Once you know you have the right clutch, put a little grease in the bearing in the flywheel nut.
Next place the disk in the flywheel.
Then put the pressure plate in place and loosely install the bolts.
We use a discarded shaft from a transmission but these can be bought from a VW parts store.
Be sure the shaft is centered into the bearing.
Now tighten the clutch evenly and be sure that it finally rest inside the groove in the flywheel otherwise you could warp your new clutch.
Finally check for flywheel clips that are sometimes used to pre-load a new pressure plate
Remove your pilot shaft and you are ready to install the engine back into the car. Check in again next month and we will show you how to install that crank seal. You can see this done in detail in our Vol.2 Motor pull/clutch repair video available from Bug Me Video.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

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