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Old 11-20-2018, 05:02 PM   #1
brokendown
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Default Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

One of the first things I think that led me here years ago was this https://www.cristhomas.com/cars/Clutch/ClutchHowTo.html which is a clutch swap WITHOUT an engine hoist or alignment being required.

So my SL0 has been parked all summer due to the clutch konking out just before summer, and I finally got it migrated into the garage (in place of another broke project car which I finally got running again) in the hopes of replacing it's clutch for the second time.

Years ago I did it once, following the instructions linked... back when I didn't know almost a darn thing, yet I struggled through it, it worked flawlessly after, and probably gave me 150,000 miles (don't know exactly with the VSS disconnected some of the time) of solid service.

The Saturn is a little more injured now after a couple of pricks slammed into me when it was parked with no witnesses, and no comp on the car so I just eat it, but i'm not ready to put her out to pasture yet. I've decided i'm going to do another clutch swap, even though the last one was kind of... annoying... but this time i'd like to document it for the board.


As I recall there was never any video or other sources with the above (if there IS a vid link of anyone ever documenting this, please link it and save me the hassle :P ), and I don't know how many people have done the clutch WITHOUT an engine hoist... and even if I do a clutch again in the future I hope to HAVE a hoist by then. So this will be a shout out to the poorer than dirt Saturn mechanics who can't even afford an alignment after either. :) Because if there's a #3 it will probably have a hoist and I wont be in a position to document THIS way of doing it!


SO DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY REQUESTS? This is meant to be YOUR video... Like some part of the instructions that's not clear, or that needs special attention or documentation or visual clarity to show exactly whats what? I'm literally doing this FOR the board and I want it to be useful - I mean i've been receiving help for years feeling guilty about it that I don't have much to offer back, since i've been financially struggling forever and am still working my way through college that goes on at least a few more years... plus right now my situation has me where maybe I can video something that will help others too if there's even any demand for it since again I need the Saturn running, as it's the most efficient car I have.

How many people respond or comment might influence how much work I put in, I mean I hope to document the swap anyways but if alot of people are waiting on me to it no-hoist style on our 20-30 year old cars i'll try and be more careful than if I think only two or three more people will ever even do this ever with my video... :-P I'll be documenting the unexpected problems I had from even my original clutch swap as warning points, but there might be some place where I can help someone else in the same way I got handholding at other times, so... ask.


I can't promise WHEN this will happen, somewhere between now and spring break hopefully. It's cold in the winter. But if i'm able to warm the garage with a heater and make some progress i'll try to video my next hoistless clutch swap.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

I actually need to replace my clutch and have never done one! Should be interesting!
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

I've never done a clutch either, but have been collecting other folks' notes and such for that inevitable day. I don't know who put the attached checklist together to credit them, but it's a nice list of tools and bolt sizes

looking forward to your video, and thanks in advance!
Quote:
Bernie notes
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=172571

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=164811

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?t=148464#

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=183128

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=188498
Don't bother with removing the shift tower in step 9, just loosen the pair of cradle bolts on that side so the cradle drops 1-2in (ie step #27's picture).

Do yourself a HUGE favor and re-write step 31 to read: Tighten all bolts until the pressure plate is tight against the clutch. Loosen & Torque to spec.

If you tighten until you reach torque spec like the directions say, you won't have seated the pressure plate all the way against the clutch. Trust me, I did this and it took 4 more disassembles before I figured it out! How tragic that he worded it that way!

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=188173

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=224796

I thought of two things that might be covered and I didn't happen to see them:

Flywheel resurfacing. Whenever I've paid a shop to do a clutch job for me, they resurfaced the flywheel - it's kind of like turning your rotors.

Tightening of pressure plate bolts. It is often important to tighten these bolts very gradually and uniformly so as to avoid any chance of warping the pressure plate. Shop manuals usually say to tighten them two turns at a time. I know there was mention of a criss-cross pattern.

Be careful getting the driver-side axle out so you don't bend the seal!
As long as you are careful not to drag the splines of the shaft across the seal it should be ok, I would carefully inspect the seals and if they are hard and stiff I would replace them anyways.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf clutch_checklist.pdf (89.3 KB, 12 views)
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

I look forward to seeing this. I have a clutch job in my future it seems. It is cold here too and I am trying to line up a warm spot to work. I have read everything I can find here on Saturn S series clutch replacement and watched some general videos like Richpin doing a Corolla. I will necessarily be doing it solo without a hoist. I don't have any particular requests other than a desire to actually see it being done instead of just reading how to do it. Maybe its just how my brain learns but for me seeing a video even for simple jobs is tremendously helpful. Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

Failure to resurface or replace the flywheel usually results in less than optimal clutch performance and a very short service life. It is required to resurface the flywheel.
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Old 12-20-2018, 02:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

brokendown, if you can, buy or borrow a small flameless propane heater. Coleman is one brand. It attaches to one pound propane canisters. The round 12"(?) catalytic head generates heat without a flame. The one below puts out 3k BTUs. If you can borrow larger units connected to 25 lb bottles (used for barbeques), an unheated garage will be cozy as the infrared heat is aimed at you to stay warm. Catalytic heaters convert propane gas to heat, silent and adjustable. Portable enough to place it anywhere nearby. Some ventilation is needed as it consumes oxygen so caution is needed when working in a closed garage. A CO detector can act as your alarm if you're working several hours without a break, unwilling to let in fresh air.

And use plenty of light. While human eyes automatically adjust to lighting, video cameras are fooled into incorrect auto contrast settings from stray lighting. In a dimly lit garage, shadows form with some video cams unable to adjust for shadows, appearing as dark areas. These areas may be the actual parts of the engine, suspension and xmission you're trying to video. Even a drop light will force auto contrast to darken videos inadvertently, rendering views useless when a video cam sees any light head on. Back and side lighting is a key to great videos. Close ups need lighting so images are clear. What you see and what a videocam sees can be two different views with dark videos wasting your time and efforts If you're not aware. If you preview videos, you'll see which ones are better for general viewing. And preview them on a full size screen, not the tiny ones that won't show details full size screens will. If you decide videos are too much to bother with, snapshots are an easier way with images every few minutes or before/after removing a major part.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

Short version, the clutch change is STILL HAPPENING because it has to, I just got eaten up between college classes and health issues. Hopefully in JUNE i'll be doing it and videoing every step, again if anyone wants clarification of specific steps that seem uncertain based on the how to text let me know so I can be extra sure to focus on that!

Still seeking any other requests if needed now that i'm closer to doing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlayZombi View Post
I actually need to replace my clutch and have never done one! Should be interesting!
I hope you were patient! :^) 6 months already gone by. :-P Hopefully be doing it in june though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I've never done a clutch either, but have been collecting other folks' notes and such for that inevitable day.
I'll doublecheck it when I do the clutch, I know the HowTo was complete/I didn't need anything not listed in it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by b1k3r1d3r View Post
I look forward to seeing this. I have a clutch job in my future it seems. I don't have any particular requests other than a desire to actually see it being done instead of just reading how to do it.
Me too, the first time was nerve wracking and it was almost disbelief when everything worked PERFECT afterwards for another 120k miles - it would have been longer but I smoked it super bad doing something stupid trying to push a heavier car up into the driveway, probably knocked 40-50k off it right there. Anyway I hope it repeats just fine this time on video and I can finally give back something for others.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Failure to resurface or replace the flywheel usually results in less than optimal clutch performance and a very short service life. It is required to resurface the flywheel.
Thanks for the tip, I also did that the first time and I got 120k out of my replacement. But a bad clutch burn and smoke trying to push a car killed probably alot of life out of it/my original clutch got 180k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
And use plenty of light. What you see and what a videocam sees can be two different views with dark videos wasting your time and efforts If you're not aware. If you preview videos, you'll see which ones are better for general viewing. And preview them on a full size screen, not the tiny ones that won't show details full size screens will. If you decide videos are too much to bother with, snapshots are an easier way with images every few minutes or before/after removing a major part.
Thanks for the tip on snapshots, i'll try to do both, that also might let me fill in a gap if the video doesn't turn out. I'll try to light it well and point to things i'm doing as i'm doing it though.


Sorry for the long wait to all, hopefully this project will happen in june, or july at worst. (I need the car before winter/I need my double MPG of what i'm driving now back :-P)

PS to fdryer, are catalytic heaters a risk to 'flammable gasses' and stuff? I've always been super nervous about burning anything near a car and it's fluids and fumes...
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokendown View Post
.....PS to fdryer, are catalytic heaters a risk to 'flammable gasses' and stuff? I've always been super nervous about burning anything near a car and it's fluids and fumes...
Yes, they are. Fumes, vapors, flammable liquids near flameless/catalytic heaters are a hazard. Handled correctly without fumes and flammable liquids nearby, catalytic heaters are relatively safe. In a well ventilated garage, anyone using a heater, liquid propane, oil or gas heater, should be aware of flame and explosion hazards. Catalytic heaters are designed for outdoor use in camping or wherever a source of heat is needed without flames from burning wood. Since they consume air during the process of generating heat, they're not meant to be used in a closed room.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

best thing i did on my clutch change was bag and label each bolt and nut baggie of where it went. helps on the rebuild. no hoist, slide it to the side enough room to do the job.
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

Just a brief update!

Situation forcing me to move out of my house this summer which is really hard when youre physically disabled. (has turned into an all summer project) Thus instead of the Saturn clutch swap being the FIRST thing this summer turned into having to be the LAST thing i'll be doing after I have the place i'm in ready for sale since that's not an instant process either. (because it's not a one day job for me, I have to very carefully work thru the process)

The earliest i'm thinking i'm even able to start is probably September, and then even if I have all the video I may not be able to cut it all instantly together... but I haven't forgotten! :-P Just letting everyone know why it's taking longer than planned... I figure I owe the board something and still want/plan to do this.


I still hope to get multiple years out of my SL (and only the clutch job is really standing in the way) cuz i'm driving at half the mileage in something else until it's fixed. :)
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokendown View Post
Just a brief update!

Situation forcing me to move out of my house this summer which is really hard when youre physically disabled. (has turned into an all summer project) Thus instead of the Saturn clutch swap being the FIRST thing this summer turned into having to be the LAST thing i'll be doing after I have the place i'm in ready for sale since that's not an instant process either. (because it's not a one day job for me, I have to very carefully work thru the process)

The earliest i'm thinking i'm even able to start is probably September, and then even if I have all the video I may not be able to cut it all instantly together... but I haven't forgotten! :-P Just letting everyone know why it's taking longer than planned... I figure I owe the board something and still want/plan to do this.


I still hope to get multiple years out of my SL (and only the clutch job is really standing in the way) cuz i'm driving at half the mileage in something else until it's fixed.
Thanks for the update! I'll just wait to do mine until the video comes out. Unless it goes out by then haha.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

I remember doing my first - and most likely last - clutch change using those instructions - probably over 10 years ago.

As far as I can remember, they were pretty straight forward. It just took a bit of time to get everything disassembled.

Some things of note:
  • * The 30mm socket is a must. Breaking that is a beast. (step 17)
    * After removing the tranny, I noticed an oil leak in the bell housing. I never did figure it out, but I think this is an engine seal? Car still runs 150k miles later, but I probably should have replaced it.
    * While you have the tranny and engine out, it's not too much more work to replace the engine mounts while you're there. I didn't, and then car still runs ok (shrug).
    * I did most of the work myself, but it definitely helps to have a 2nd pair of hands, especially when moving and reattaching the tranny. Don't want that falling on you.
    * Budget 2-3 days to take your time to get it all right. Seems obvious, but if you're tired - stop.
    * I also compared against the chilton manual. It probably helped with locating the bolts that aren't shown and weren't obvious for me since I'd never done that work before.
    * Find a place that will resurface your flywheel in advance. I found one in my city and went to lunch while they did it. Cost $40 at the time.

Found my old posting. Geez, 2007 seemed so long ago..
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=106228

Good Luck!

Last edited by blueknigh7; 08-06-2019 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknigh7 View Post
I remember doing my first - and most likely last - clutch change using those instructions - probably over 10 years ago. . . .

Found my old posting. Geez, 2007 seemed so long ago..
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=106228

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Old 08-07-2019, 11:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: Think i'm going to do a clutch change vid :P (w/no hoist)

I've done lots of clutches on these without use of a hoist, though now I typically use one because it's an opportunity to do a gasket refresh with the engine out and secondly that the transmission is kind of a headache to line up in the car. You can get it pretty close to not needing an alignment after but life gets MUCH easier if you remove the strut on that side because you get a lot of extra room to move the transmission out of the way.

Are you anywhere around the cities in MN?
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