Replacing new clutch, do I need a new flywheel?
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Old June 28th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #1
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Replacing new clutch, do I need a new flywheel?


Hello all,

I have a 2001 3.8L mustang with 118k miles. I bought it around 78k miles from Carmax but I don't know the prior work that was done. This was my first stick shift so I learned a bit on this car that was nearing it's clutch life but I was told that this clutch already did not feel normal. It is a really stiff clutch but I have not driven other mustangs so I cannot compare but it is insanely stiff in comparison to all other stick shift cars I have driven. Either way, I'm going to replace the clutch or have it replaced by a mechanic.

1) Is brand for clutches really important? I got an eBay clutch and I have a ton of mixed reviews (not one of those "stage 'x'" performance clutches, just built for OEM standards)

2) do I need a new flywheel? I'm planning on having the machinist resurface it which they said would be $40. I randomly ended up on a subaru forums where they talked about how their flywheels are bad, how are mustangs generally? My supervisor said just get a cheap eBay flywheel since I went the eBay route and got an eBay clutch (he has 3 mustangs).

I don't have the know how on replacing the clutch besides a Hayne's manual and some forum reading but I do have a hobbyist friend (99 mustang 4.6l owner) who will do the whole project with me.

I'm in the military so we have an auto hobby shop with all the tools, a lift, and random mechanics and hobbyists laying around. As long as we do it ourselves, it's $5/hr or mechanics at $76/hr at the auto hobby shop. Money is an issue thus why I went the cheap route but my friend who is helping me said this will probably be a 2 day project totaling of about 10 hours. I understand that experienced mechanics normally do it in 3-4 hours. I hear it really is tedious because you have to align some parts while trying to put things together..
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Old June 28th, 2011, 12:59 AM   #2
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ahh yes, ive palyed with a T5 on my 94 stang.

Your stock flywheel will need to be viewed, if its in "good/usuable" condition, it can be resurfaced and work just like new (basically the same principle of turning brake rotors)
Depending on how it was driven will depend on its condition. Slow on the clutch causing longer friction time will cause heat damage and warp things for example.

As far as remove/install, pretty simple IMO. Even though im not done with the install Yet :p.

Pull the T5 out, and remove the bell housing, lots of extension and wobble joints is nice for this, reaching the top 2-4 bell housing bolts SUCKED. I had to undo the Y pipe in the exhaust to help bring the engine downward to me.

Anyways from there you'll remove your clutch and flywheel ect ect ect. While you are down there !!! Replace the rear main seal. Cheap Quick, can be PITA, but they are tedious about leaking over time on any vehicle. Definately a smart change out.

Last I remember on my old 94 was getting the clutch cable back on wasn't so easy, idk if I was doing something wrong or what ...

With good help, all tools, and pre reading up on it, you should definately do it in 2 days.

There is an alignment tool you will want for putting the clutch assembly in. Sorry its been a while since Ive done all this so I cant remember names and such for sure.

Not that this is the one you need, but this is the alignment tool I speak of
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Old June 29th, 2011, 02:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by boxerz View Post
Hello all,

It is a really stiff clutch but I have not driven other mustangs so I cannot compare but it is insanely stiff in comparison to all other stick shift cars I have driven. Either way, I'm going to replace the clutch or have it replaced by a mechanic.

1) Is brand for clutches really important? I got an eBay clutch and I have a ton of mixed reviews (not one of those "stage 'x'" performance clutches, just built for OEM standards)

2) do I need a new flywheel? I'm planning on having the machinist resurface it which they said would be $40. I randomly ended up on a subaru forums where they talked about how their flywheels are bad, how are mustangs generally? My supervisor said just get a cheap eBay flywheel since I went the eBay route and got an eBay clutch (he has 3 mustangs).
You did not mention symptoms of a warped clutch, just that the pedal is difficult to operate. I'd say try replacing the clutch cable first. You'll find an interesting pulley called the clutch cable quadrant that may be damaged.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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just resurface your flywheel and it should be fine. and its pretty straight forward just takes a long ass time.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #5
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40 dollars for a resurface? thats kinda high.. thats a 15-20 dollar job, you can get a remanned unit from autozone for 50 bucks.. also the other cars your mentioning are probably rocking a hydraulic clutch assembly... a clutch cable will always be stiff.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 06:27 PM   #6
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Cost me $35 to get mine resurfaced. As said, the replacement isn't overly difficult, but can be very time consuming. You shouldn't need to purchase a new flywheel, but resurfaced for sure.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #7
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I put a spec steel flywheel in. I like it. Lost enough weight to rev it up quicker, but kept enough to still take off under normal driving conditions. Plus you can't beat only having to buy a new friction surface it something happens.

Other wise just get it resurfaces. If it has ANY hot spots or cracks just trash it.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jetflo View Post
You did not mention symptoms of a warped clutch, just that the pedal is difficult to operate. I'd say try replacing the clutch cable first. You'll find an interesting pulley called the clutch cable quadrant that may be damaged.
Tomorrow 9AM PST I will start the replacement with a friend.

When I shift into 2nd - 5th gear and try to accelerate hard, clutch slips a lot. I believe it's slipping when engaged because the car is sort of studdering on hard acceleration or basically a tiny bit then normal acceleration. I have to slowly accelerate into higher RPMs to do a smooth shift even though v6 mustangs are decently high torque. If I shifted around 2k RPMs, the clutch would slip a lot in next gear. If I shifted 3k+ RPMs, then it would catch in next gear but slip on any slightly harder then normal acceleration.

Clutch Kit:
XTR Racing OE SPEC: Pressure plate, clutch disc(11", 10spline), release bearing, pilot bearing, alignment tool

I bought 3 Quarts of Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF
2 Large cans of Brake Cleaner
Red Loctite
Masks for all the dust
Nitrile Gloves

Did I miss anything?
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Old June 30th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by qwiksilvermustang View Post
40 dollars for a resurface? thats kinda high.. thats a 15-20 dollar job, you can get a remanned unit from autozone for 50 bucks.. also the other cars your mentioning are probably rocking a hydraulic clutch assembly... a clutch cable will always be stiff.
Back in Cedar Rapids the cheapest I could find was $50 to have my flywheel resurfaced. Some places wanted more.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 04:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mcqueen View Post
Back in Cedar Rapids the cheapest I could find was $50 to have my flywheel resurfaced. Some places wanted more.
I'm just hoping that the flywheel is in good condition to be resurfaced. I haven't done any major fixes to my car so in the event of a really bad flywheel, I could just roll up to an autozone and possibly purchase a refurbished flywheel?
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Old June 30th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by boxerz View Post
Tomorrow 9AM PST I will start the replacement with a friend.

When I shift into 2nd - 5th gear and try to accelerate hard, clutch slips a lot. I believe it's slipping when engaged because the car is sort of studdering on hard acceleration or basically a tiny bit then normal acceleration. I have to slowly accelerate into higher RPMs to do a smooth shift even though v6 mustangs are decently high torque. If I shifted around 2k RPMs, the clutch would slip a lot in next gear. If I shifted 3k+ RPMs, then it would catch in next gear but slip on any slightly harder then normal acceleration.

Clutch Kit:
XTR Racing OE SPEC: Pressure plate, clutch disc(11", 10spline), release bearing, pilot bearing, alignment tool

I bought 3 Quarts of Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF
2 Large cans of Brake Cleaner
Red Loctite
Masks for all the dust
Nitrile Gloves

Did I miss anything?
You need manual transmission specific fluid. ATF and MTF is different.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 08:49 PM   #12
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^ Our manual cars use ATF. Just make sure you get the right one, you can't just use any ATF fluid
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Old June 30th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #13
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Dex/Merc
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Old July 1st, 2011, 12:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Green_6er View Post
You need manual transmission specific fluid. ATF and MTF is different.
Yeah I heard that we require Dex/Merc 3 or something and looks like the newest ones on the shelf is around 5? I wondered about the MTF/ATF and read that after 1970-something, manuals were able to use ATF. My friend recommended me to grab synthetic so I chose Mobil 1 since Royal Purple synthetic was not around. I read somewhere else that Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF was on the 'okay' list to use for Ford/GMs
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Old July 1st, 2011, 07:30 AM   #15
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Ford has used different Mercon ATF's if I remember right. Just make sure you don't downgrade. I don't remember which one we use, but if its 4, don't use 3. If its 5, don't use 4 or 3. U get the point. lol.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 01:41 PM   #16
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I used Royal Purple Automax (I think its called)? Works fine, RP is more pricey though.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 07:23 PM   #17
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I use house brand (autozone) Dex/Merc ATF. Shop-key even said specifically to use Dex/Merc ATF.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 09:53 PM   #18
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I have a major issue.

We took off the exhaust, starter, transmission, bell housing, pressure plate, clutch and finally got to the pilot bearing(I think that's what it's called). Everything was going smoothly but we could not get this sucker off. We used a tool to pull it off and it would not give. We took a die grinder to it but didn't have the correct bit. We took a power drill to it but didn't have the right bit for it either. My friend just bought a dremel and 2 tungsten alloy bits for us to rip through it tomorrow. A couple of mechanics said that those pilot bearings give a lot of trouble and that if you're careful, just cut em in half.

Well we haven't had the chance to go at it with the dremel yet but that's the only thing left. Btw, the clutch that came out was real bad. It was a Luke clutch my friend said, probably had like 10% life left, it was very glazed. The flywheel we resurfaced was gigantic, the mechanic said that it was a huge flywheel with a lot of surface area that you could put a larger clutch with.

Everything else seemed fine, kinda frustrated with this bearing, I guess putting it back together will be a pain.

Any ideas on how to pull out this damn bearing? I hear chisel and hammer but I believe it's steel with no lip area to pry.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 01:36 AM   #19
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If it is still intact, find a punch that will fit tight in the hole, fill it with grease, and hammer away. The grease wont compress so the bearing will slide out.
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