Sunday, August 5, 2007

Step 10: Clutch and Flywheel Removal

Description: Removing the clutch assembly (Pressure plate and clutch disc) and Flywheel from the combustion engine.

Tools Needed: Socket wrench and 13mm, 17mm sockets, flywheel lock.

Estimated Time: 1 - 2 Hours

Caveats: May require some torque. Careful when removing pressure plate that clutch disc is also secure before you pull it off.

Purpose of these parts: Okay, I needed the flywheel after all. One of its functions is to work with the starter (that's where the serrated edge comes in). That function I don't think I'll need, but the other more important function is as a rotating connection to the engine. The clutch disc (via the pressure plate) is pushed flat against this to engage the transmission to the engine, causing the transmission to spin and the transmission, in turn spins the axles.

This is the clutch assembly sitting in the engine. We can see the outer half, which is the pressure plate. That needs to be removed along with the clutch disc as one piece. The Flywheel is behind that (you can see its serrated edge)and will be removed after we get out the clutch.
The Hayne's Manual says to make a magic marker line from the pressure plate to the outer shell of the flywheel for alignment when you put it back together. You can just make it out in the picture (incidentally, removing the transmission, clutch and flywheel are not in the ElectroAutomotive manual). In the left of the picture you can see one of the bolts, I think there were six, that need to be removed. they tell you to loosen each one a little bit at a time so as not to distort the pressure plate. I don't really see why it would matter, but I did it that way. The bolts were a bit tough, but came off with some elbow grease. Again, when pulling off the pressure plate, be careful to get hold of the clutch disc which is no longer connected by the bolts to the pressure plate.

Here's a look at the pressure plate. I think it looks pretty good. If anyone knows differently, let me know. I think it's a keeper.

And look at this clutch disc. A little airbrushing and it could be a model for the Pelican Parts catalog, I think. It's just beautiful to look at in the afternoon light. Sorry, I'm getting a bit carried away...

Next up is the flywheel, which is held in place by 5 very angry bolts. I could not budge these bolts. To make things worse, anytime I tried turn a bolt, the flywheel would turn, killing my torque. I tried a number of different things to keep the flywheel from moving (screwdriver, plastic vice, my hand, etc.). I figured they must have been put on by a machine. Then I got the idea to use my drill to turn it. I figured there must be a bit that will take a socket and got one at the local hardware store. That didn't work, either. My drill smoked up, but not the slightest turn. I was about to give up, when I remembered that my kit came with a "flywheel lock".

I had seen it sitting around in the box and had no idea what it was until that moment. I was able to fit that on one of the two bolts just below the flywheel (perhaps that is their purpose?).

I then got one of my jack handles and put my socket wrench in it to give me some more serious torque. I finally had a stationary flywheel and some serious torque. The bolts all gave easily at that point.

The flywheel also looks fine to me, so unless someone can say otherwise, I'll stick with the same pressure plate, clutch disc and flywheel.


TimK said...

Hi Steve, I'd like to compliment you on your painstaking attention to detail in documenting this whole process and relating it back to the ElectroAuto manual. This will help other EV people everywhere understand their systems. As I'm sure you already know, this whole thing is a process of learning new things. Have fun! TimK of

Steve said...

Thanks Tim,
Hopefully we are starting a trend. I knew nothing about cars before this, so it has been quite a learning process.