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Old 12-02-2000, 05:54 PM   #1
fuzzy
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Default Clutch replacement

It looks as though I'll be replacing my clutch sometime soon and I thought I'd ask for some advice. Should I have a dealer replace or a transmission/repair shop? Has anyone in the Atlanta area had their clutch replaced and how was the experience? I got a quote from a local Saturn dealer of $805 ($300 parts/$505 labor)- is this reasonable? Should I go with stock Saturn parts or possibly use Centerforce? And finally, what are the telltale signs that your clutch MUST be replaced. I'm only experiencing occasional slipping and am wondering how long I can go before clutch replacement. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Old 12-02-2000, 07:30 PM   #2
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You already have your telltale sign that the clutch must be replaced, it slips. Replace it before it lets you down completely.

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Old 12-04-2000, 12:54 PM   #3
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Saturn Clutches are not that difficult to replace, but no matter what ANYONE else says stick with the OEM unit. I have physically touched and mechanically examined EVERY aftermarket clutch available for Saturn's and they are all the same, except the Mueller Red Head. (The Red Head is a $1500 racing clutch) The modification made to all aftermarket clutches cause flexing of the cover and accelerated wear within 20,000 in most cases. A few owners have successfully installed center force units with over 50,000 on them, but this is very unique. If you have a local clutch house that has done Saturnís before, buy the clutch at the dealer or request the OEM unit, and have them do it. If that's not an option, take it to the Saturn in your area.
To recap, ONLY install the OEM Clutch and have a Saturn EXPIERENCED mechanic do it.

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Old 12-05-2000, 02:20 PM   #4
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I had to have my transmission rebuilt, and had the clutch replaced at the same time, in my SL1 a couple of years ago and could not find anyone in the Atlanta area that would even work on the transmission other than a Saturn dealer. I agree OEM would be best. I had no problems when I had the transmission rebuilt. What dealer do you intend to use?

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Old 12-05-2000, 06:59 PM   #5
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I usually go to Saturn of Chamblee since I work close to there but admit that their service is usually slow (they're in an old bank building and have very few repair stalls). So I am considering going to Saturn of Gwinnett. I believe both dealerships are owned by the same company but Gwinnett is a full size dealership who I would think has more technicians skilled at clutch replacements.

Thanks again for eveyone's input...

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Old 12-06-2000, 09:40 AM   #6
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Joeybags, who knows as a master tech, recommends strongly against aftermarket clutches.

He should know since his business is rebuilding sattys and selling parts for them.

Go OEM.

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Old 12-06-2000, 10:19 AM   #7
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I had my clutch replaced at Saturn of Chamblee when it was further south on P.I. When the Chamblee office was moved Saturn of Decatur purchased it. Iím not sure if they own Gwinnett or not, I do know the same dealer owns other dealerships. I would NOT take my car to Saturn of Chamblee, thatís MY personal opinion of course.

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Old 12-06-2000, 10:34 AM   #8
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<blockquote><hr>
The modification made to all aftermarket clutches cause flexing of the cover and accelerated wear within 20,000 in most cases. A few owners have successfully installed center force units with over 50,000 on them, but this is very unique.
<hr></blockquote>

...Just because I'm picky and curious (never a good combination), could you explain a little bit more about the cover flexing and accelerating wear? Am I correct in assuming that the flexing causes extra wear, or is there some other aspect I'm missing?

I had heard really good things about the Dual Centerforce clutch, like it just would *not* wear out. But if there's some sort of sizing issue that only the OEMs will prove reliable on then I guess the choice is clear.

Thanks,

Andy

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Old 12-06-2000, 10:39 AM   #9
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See my post in Tech tips - I just had my clutch replaced yesterday under warranty. I just had one slipping episode, but it was enough to warrant inspection and replacement. The difference before and after was phenomenal! <img src="http://www.saturnfans.com/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle"> I think you should do it soon.

Last time I had a clutch replaced by a dealer was in 1993 on a Nissan Stanza, and it cost me $550 then. I've since done a couple myself (an 82 tercel, an 80's Trans Am, and a late 80's s-10), and it's pretty involved. $800 is pretty reasonable for a clutch replacement.

-=Chris

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Old 12-06-2000, 11:52 AM   #10
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<b><i>This is a reply from Advanced Clutch Technology via Adam's log-in. email: <a href="mailto:saturn@advancedclutch.com"><!--autoemail-->saturn@advancedclutch.com</a><!--autoemail--> </i></b>

In most cases we have found that the basic modification of the clutch Pressure Plate (PP) is an unacceptable answer to offering more holding power. Upon basic examination of the Saturn PP, it was found to be capable of as much as 25% more force by 'resurfacing' the PP. After completing this procedure and performing a number of long-term stress tests, we saw that this modification created new issues. The PP cover was now flexing, which in turn, caused the diaphragm to warp. (This was the problem with OEM units in early 1994 also, which prompted a redesign and a Saturn TB.) Once the diaphragm is warped or its fingers become bent it can no longer apply its pressure parallel to the input shaft. Over time and use the disc and PP see excessive wear and begin to slip and in some cases fail.

Saturn designed the PP cover with inherent thin spots in the metal to prevent them from being rebuilt. This helps keep the price down on replacements and prevents you from buying a poorly rebuilt unit from 'Rocco's Clutch House'. We're working on a solution for Saturn and expect to have a product in a vehicle for testing within a month. Soon after that we'll make the announcement, if all goes well.

If you have any other questions Please forward them to <a href="mailto:saturn@advancedclutch.com"><!--autoemail-->saturn@advancedclutch.com</a><!--autoemail--> or Adam Chant <a href="mailto:adam@mysaturn.com"><!--autoemail-->adam@mysaturn.com</a><!--autoemail--> .

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