Engine & Gearbox Clutch replacement

Discussion in '6th Generation (1997-2002)' started by synaesthesia, Saturday 29th Dec, 2012.

  1. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    Hi folks :Smile:

    Had a 1999 Accord 1.8SE for a while now, it's been a lovely car. 13 years old and it's not missed a beat with reliability. Had a stutter before Christmas due to the dizzy cap needing replacing (and then flooding the engine hence couldn't get it started again!)

    But after some belting, it started. Couple of days later however, my clutch has started to slip in higher gears. It's very driveable as it is, and almost unnoticeable if I drive like an old fart. Put the foot down though in 4th/5th and I start to see the revs climb like they shouldn't :Frown:

    I might try adjusting the pedal for a little more free play tomorrow but that's delaying the inevitable, if it does anything at all.
    So, it's clear that the clutch needs replacing. I've had a few quotes - Mr Clutch comes in the cheapest at £349.99 all in, and the local places including my favourite non-ripoff merchants between £450 and £650 - christ!

    Replacement clutch kits are not far over £120. Next to no money (hell, I'm driving a 13 year old car... that's book cost is less than the cost of replacement). I do however have patience.
    So, is DIY replacement doable? It doesn't look particularly accessible without dropping the engine/transmission so clearly it isn't an axel-stand job :Frown: So this question is on the assumption I can borrow a pit and a friend :Smile:

    Any input appreciated (including things like trying something else before replacing the clutch). This has to last me another couple of years :Frown:
     
  2. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    I haven't done an Accord clutch change but I wouldn't think that you would need to pull the engine to change the clutch.
     
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  3. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Agree with Speedy. Can't comment on your car specifically but the usual scenario on most cars is you should only need to drop the gearbox to do a clutch change. If it's particularly tight and the gearbox won't drop out then loosening the subframe is usually the answer. Just prop the engine up on a stand to support it while you do as you will be missing the engine mount attached to the gearbox.
     
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  4. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    You replace the clutch by removing the transaxle not the engine. Not a particularly difficult job but you really need to have some knowledge and equipment such as a good trolley jack and high clearance axle stands not to mention the often overlooked means of aligning the driven disc. If you take the engine out for no reason then you will almost certainly be into some expensive exhaust parts on a 13 year old car. If you are doing it on the floor then you will need some help as the transaxle heavy and unwieldy especially when you are wiggling it back in. Write off a weekend, prepare yourself to get very dirty and good luck. The £350 could be cheap!
    Regards
    Stephen
     
  5. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    It does indeed look that way - I'm getting some more quotes in tomorrow. Assume Mr Clutch are so cheap because that's the majority of what they do, its just a pain getting to them and back. Hoping to get somewhere local so I can leave it there whilst I go to work - and then hope to god nothing else needs doing.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  6. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Of course it depends on what shape the car is inb otherwise. You also have to drop the front subframe which means disturbing brakes, suspension and lots of other twiddly bits and pieces and it would not be surprising if there was not a ball joint or two or brake part needed during the course of the clutch replacement. Picking up on another point you raised in your initial post, the clutch is hydraulic and self adjusting. It is possible to adjust the clutch pedal freeplay but this is unlikely to have any effect on clu.tch slip. Sorry.
    You know it might be better trading it in for something newer as most dealers scrap their old part ex's these days and they might pay you more for it than it is really worth. Shame though.
    Regards
    Stephen
     
    Last edited: Sunday 30th Dec, 2012
  7. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    Cheers. Have thought about trading in but there's little I can afford (and can't borrow money). What I can afford (i.e. what's around the price of clutch replacement) are sheds and there's nothing to say I'll drive it away and be on the back of a tow-truck the next week. At least with this, I know it's reliable.
    Think I'll be forking out for the replacement from a garage. Got one quote in at 450 locally which is reasonable I believe. Funnily enough, 3 out of 4 garages I've spoken to face to face this morning, without prompting, have warned that I stay clear of Mr Clutch! Wonder why? :Grin:
     
  8. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    I don't know if they have real reasons to say that but pure speculation would say that Mr Clutch is taking their customers due to the low quotes they are giving.

    So the garages are spreading lies to stop that.

    Like I say that's pure speculation on my behalf.

    Have you tried smaller garages, run by foreigners, EG Polish or Asian etc ... they maybe able to give you better quotes.
    Obviously you need to be satisfied that they will do a good job.
     
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  9. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    Been going round this morning. £350 is best quote (Mr Clutch). £450 is best non Mr Clutch quote. £485 from a well established "big" company (not national brand) is trustable. Halfrauds gave me the best laugh of the morning at £670.

    What waries me about Mr Clutch is google... their reviews are absolutely terrible. Shedloads of horror stories.
     
  10. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    Mr Clutch is a franchise So you probably get very differring levels of service from each centre.
     
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  11. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    Bonus :Grin: Got replacement booked in for next Tuesday locally - £380 :Smile:

    Oddly enough though, today it wasn't slipping whatsoever. I was even trying to make it slip. Maybe the wet roads had something to do with it today but don't know. Will keep an eye on it but still - starting to wonder if it was a "temporary" issue or something's adjusted itself?

    The only thing I've done recently which may have precipitated such problems is tow a shitroen C5 for a shortish distance :/
     
  12. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Well, nothing is capable of adjusting itself although a hot and partially worn clutch will slip with a ton and a half of C5 on its back [you didn't mention that!]. My advice is NOT to replace anything until it starts to slip in normal use and that will manifest itself as revs rising in 5th gear without an increase in speed and don't go picking at the sore i.e. trying to make it slip when it doesn't want to. Treat it gently and it might well last longer than you think. And just a tip - don't go towing anything with it.
    Good Luck and Best Wishes
    Stephen
     
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  13. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    That was a few weeks before - so didn't think it had any bearing on it hence didn't mention it. Just thinking back it seemed the only thing that would cause issue.
    On one hand, I don't want to put my foot down to escape from some of the roundabouts in one piece round here (one of them at rush hour you don't stand a chance if you're not quick off the mark!) and end up stranded and having rescue bills on top of parts & labour. But yeah, it's a lot of money to spend if it's not needed. Will see how it goes this week.
     
  14. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Well, its your car but personally I would leave it as long as I could if it is not slipping at the moment!
    Stephen
     
  15. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
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    The clutch surface could have got glazed from overheating when towing the car.
    After a period of normal driving, the clutch could have regained the frictional surface and stopped slipping.
    So see how you get on with it before you decide to change it.
     
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  16. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    Started to slip again today, noticed it even in 3rd gear now. Time to borrow some money and get it changed :Frown: Short of the clutch itself (and the parts I'd expect from a clutch kit such as thrust bearings etc) is there anything else I may expect to pop up? Cylinders seem to be behaving as they should.

    It's odd how seemingly random it is - driving home it was perfectly fine. Did 200 miles the other day, didn't skip a beat.
     
  17. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    OK, there is something to check which is the clutch release mechanism which might be hanging up and not allowing the lever to release the clutch diaphragm plate. Get someone to prod the clutch pedal repeatedly at varying travel speeds while you watch the clutch release arm to see if it returns to the same point every time the foot is lifted at the other end as that could be causing the clutch to slip. At the same time give the release arm a good woggle about to see if it is hung up whilst the foot at the other end is off the pedal. It is not necessary for the engine to be running. If the release arm is hanging up you will probably have to remove the transaxle anyway to sort it but you never know. You see, your symptoms might be due to this or other factors like a broken clutch diaphragm but it is worth checking on the nothing ventured nothing gained front.
    With regard to other parts, it is unlikely you have a first motion shaft oil leak ontot he clutch as the intrmittant nature of the problem is pointing me in other directions. As I explained before, the strip down to do the clutch involves dropping the subframe and there are various links, bushes and balljoints that might be unserviceable but on balance, these cars are pretty good unless abused to the point of no return so you should be OK.
    As ever, the best of luck in your endeavours and please let me know if you want some more armchair advice.
    Regards
    Stephen
     
  18. synaesthesia Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Nick Derby
    64
    Booked in for a sorting out on Monday, same price assuming it's a replacement. Besides which, for a majority of diagnosis they'd need to crack open the clutch anyway; and for the sake of the cost of the parts (negligable) they might as well replace that anyway. Did a bit of "lonely" testing (couldn't find a friend at the time!) thanks to streaming video from phone to phone to check the hydraulic/mech movements whilst pressing the clutch. It appeared OK, however explained to the chaps at the garage that I wasn't sure; and rather than some mindless optimism decided to let them do the diagnosing :Wink:
     
  19. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Very true one major caveat when it does slip in normal use stop using the car immediately and get the parts changed the longer you leave it the flywheel will soon start to get chewed. Not a even a new clutch kit will resolve that you will end up with a new flywheel too.
     
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  20. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Buy an automatic next time! Do let us know what happens won't you?