Clutch Replacement

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Thanks to Gary Chapman for sharing his experience.

I replaced my '90 clutch MYSELF the weekend of October 4, 1996. I don't have the mechanical aptitude of many here, so I'm quite proud this. If I can do it, so can most of you, as long as you're prepared. Oh yea, my clutch was the original 9.25 with 74,900 mi. Guess I don't hammer it as much as some.

First, I want to say THANK YOU to Doug Lewis, David Eberwine, and Todd at the parts counter of Orange Ford in Albany, NY. Each answered my questions and provided invaluable advice.

I knew it would be a bear going in, and it was, but there were no major surprises. I hate to admit it, but it took me over 16 hours total, though that includes cleaning all parts (even the sub-frame!) I could get my hands on, changing ALL fluids except brake, replacing oil pan oil sensor gaskets, and wrestling with the exhaust manifold- to-Y-pipe studs for too long. Besides parts (see below), you must have the HELM manual, good jack stands (preferably 4), a good floor jack (2 would've been nice), and an engine hoist. I know others have said that they hung the engine from the inside fender wells using wood or the Ford hanger, but the 2-3 inches of play the hoist gives you will save you time taking the tranny out and putting it back. If you're going to save $300 labor, rent a damn good hoist. The engine will be hanging over your body. Enough said. You also need a decent set of hand tools, certainly all metric sockets (including deep sockets) and wrenches. I own few fancy tools; no air.

Read the Helm chapters on the clutch, and tranny removal/installation (16-38 if memory serves). Read it again. Pretty much everything is right there. Only things I found missing were:


- Use Gary's instructions to install the tranny drain (if necessary) and drain the fluid first. The tranny itself is heavy enough.

- There is no eye on the drivers side rear of the engine for the hoist to hook to (ed. note: there is on my '90). Evidently, there's a Ford part that bolts on for this. Maybe you can borrow one; I found out too late. My hoist came with heavy-duty nylon straps. I took off the cats, made a figure-8 with the straps, then carefully put the loop ends under the exhaust manifolds so as not to pinch shields, wires, hoses. This is probably not recommended (right guys?) but that's what I did.

- David Eberwine warned me about the black bracket that bolts to the tranny damper/mount in the drivers-side fender well and runs to a bolt at the top of the tranny housing (evidently to protect clutch cable). Helm doesn't say it, but you must remove this to get room to drop the tranny. You can tie it up (like the engine!).

- Helm indicated you had to remove the speedo-cable connection housing. I just pulled the clip, removed the cable elec plug, and left the housing. This clip is a ***** to get to, especially when putting back in. You might want to add the clip to the parts list.

- The subframe is heavier than Helm lets on, though you can clearly see you don't wish to drop it on your favorite anatomy. I put a 4x4 under it with the floor jack to remove/install.

- Unless you're Brutus, get help to drop/install the tranny. Even with 2 of us, holding it up aligning the shaft during install was TOUGH. Say a few words to your favorite deity, take one step atta time, and just do it!


Must-have parts

F1DZ-7A537-A Valeo clutch kit (disc, press-plate, p-plate bolts ONLY)

F2DZ-7548-B Release (throw-out) bearing

-N801408-S little plastic pin that holds t/o bearing - GET IT

F1DZ-6375-D Flywheel (NOTE: Only for 89,90, and only if the upgrade to 9.75 clutch not already done. If not sure, be sure you can take it back! If not replacing flywheel, have old one resurfaced and replace flywheel bolts)

D1FZ-6397-B Flywheel dowels, need 3 (will sell you 5)

E6FZ-7N620-A / E6FZ-7N620-B Plastic bushings in which the clutch release lever rides (one on top with washer, one on bottom) - LUBE 'em

-N803859-S Felt washer where release lever enters housing (need 1) (not sure) Pinch bolt and nut to hold lower control arm to front hub. You will need 2. I THINK the number is -N802641-S2 but I'm not sure.


Parts to consider

-N805702-S2 / -N800152-S2 Exhaust manifold-to-pipe stud, up to 4 / Exhaust manifold-to-pipe nut, up to 4 (Note: I thought I would replace all 4, but only managed to get 1 out. Old ones cleaned up ok )

E6DZ-5E241-A Gasket between exhaust Y-pipe and cat-back. Mine was cracked. Also inspect the 2 bolts, nuts, springs on this connection and replace if needed.

Many suggest replacing engine mounts. Mine seemed fine, but now would be a good time.

Some say sub-frame to chassis bolts will be bad. Mine were OK.

My oil pan was leaking just behind flywheel. Now's a good time to fix any pan leaks.

Consider replacing the rear crankshaft oil seal as well. The SHO Shop recommends this as standard procedure when replacing a clutch since it's a common failure (leak) item.

Consider replacing the CV-shaft seals.