Despite the complex nature of the modern clutch system, many technicians remain under the misapprehension that clutch replacement is a simple and straightforward affair.
However, with clutch replacement now often taking several hours it’s imperative to workshop profitability that technicians have the information they need to fit the replacement right, first time.
To help them in the process, clutch specialists Borg & Beck have produced a useful fault diagnosis chart to highlight the issues that can result from incorrect clutch fitment.
The Dangers Of Misalignment
Care and attention must be taken when aligning the driven plate, cover assembly, bearing and the gearbox drive shaft. Failure to do so can cause a number of related faults.
If the release bearing is misaligned excessively, the vehicle will suffer from a noisy and jerky clutch pedal action.
Remedy: Correct the cause of the misalignment and naturally, renew the bearing.
The angular misalignment of engine and gearbox will cause the loss of drive.
Remedy: Correct the misalignment, which might be due to a number of problems including a bent engine back plate, burrs or debris trapped between the mating surfaces, a cracked bell housing, worn pilot or gearbox bearings or the incorrect/missing dowels.
If the engine and gearbox interface is not aligned correctly, the result will be high levels of noise and vibration and ultimately, total failure.
Remedy: As above, but specifically check for the correct position and condition of the gearbox dowels and dowel holes.
Failure to correctly align the spline with the driven plate during gearbox installation will cause clutch drag.
Remedy: Replace the driven plate and take care to line up the components during gearbox installation.
Caused by a bent motion shaft or worn gearbox bearings, the end result can be a loss of drive.
Remedy: Rectify the relevant gearbox fault and then replace the driven plate.
If insufficient care has been taken when installing the gearbox or if it has been left unsupported during the fitting process, the clutch can drag due to damage to the spline, or distortion through the driven plate.
Remedy: Replace the clutch kit and make sure a cradle is used to support the gearbox during its installation.
Failure to maintain contact between the bearing and clutch assembly can result in jerky clutch engagement.
Remedy: Renew the clutch assembly and check the release mechanism (including its self-adjustment) for its correct operation. Observe the correct adjustment frequency and procedure.
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