1.9L SOHC Clutch Replacement | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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1.9L SOHC Clutch Replacement

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by cntinuum, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. cntinuum

    cntinuum Bridgebum

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    I did a search and found a couple posts that outlined how to R&R the clutch. They were a good start for me, but I still got into trouble and I would like to share my experience and additions. I didn't see where the speedometer cable went into the trans along with the electrical connector. I “found” it when dropping the transmission and pulled the cable out of the metal tip and had to repair it.

    The first procedure I looked at was https://www.feoa.net/modules.php?name=Fo ... ic&t=67514. Another, was close to the same steps, said the passenger side 1/2 shaft didn't need to be removed. That might work only if the passenger side spindle is disconnected from the lower ball joint, tie rod end, and strut.

    Be gentle with all wire connector when pulling apart. The plastic is aged and will break easily.

    Disconnect and remove the battery tray. It is always a good practice to remove the negative terminal first. This removes the electrical path if your tools touch any body part when removing the positive terminal connector
    I found removing the air box useful. Might also consider removing the top radiator hose after draining coolant off to avoid a mess.
    Unbolt the upper trans mount and other brackets and grounds bolted to the trans
    (3 nuts) top mount, bracket holding the slave cylinder line, ground & wire loom(2 bolts), and bracket on front bumper side of trans(1 bolt). One has a bracket to support a wire loom.
    Take out upper bell housing bolts and accessible starter bolts. 2 long bolts, firewall side top right. Mine were CAD plated.
    Disconnect the wire cable, VSS. Disconnect speedometer cable, secured with a wire clip that is pulled out to release the cable. Where the speedo cable is attached, there is a "U" shaped clamp with a 10mm bolt holding in the speedo gear assembly. This is where trans fluid is added. This is below the starter and next to the where the passenger side 1/2 shaft enters the differential.
    Remove the wheels. The procedure referenced, talks about a carrier bearing on the passenger 1/2 shaft. On mine there is a rubber disk, about 2-1/2" that is attached just to the shaft and held by nothing.
    Disconnect the ball joints and tie rod ends to allow for axle "removal". I also disconnected the spindle from the strut. I took the calipers off and hung them from the spring. I ended up tying the driver's side 1/2 shaft to the spring to get enough clearance to get the trans out and back in.
    Slide under the car and remove the bracket at the starter.Have no idea what bracket is being referred to here.
    Before removing the ½ shafts, I would suggest draining the fluid from the transmission. If not, the fluid will leak from the differential when the axle shafts are removed. The larger plug under the differential, I couldn’t remove it. Largest socket I have is 21mm and I didn’t feel I could get a crescent wrench on it and not damage the hex head. There is a 10mm bolt on the bottom of the transmission that I removed and collected the fluid from.

    Pop the passenger side axle out of the carrier bearing and swing axle out of the way.The axle appears to be connected internally with a C clip on the end of the splined shaft. It takes some effort to pop the axle out. With even pressure, it came out pretty easily. I would recommend doing something to keep this connection clean.
    Unbolt the carrier bearing. I have no idea what this is and it didn't unbolt anything else.
    Before removal, I like to make a dowel rod out of a broom handle and wrap it in electrical tape to make a "dummy" axle shaft.I used a deep well 3/4" socket. It is 26mm or 1.026" OD.
    It will keep the gear from falling as you wrestle with the trans during R&R.
    It is important, if the gear falls, it is hard to get back into place without disassembling the trans...
    Pop the driver's side axle and swing it out of the way. again do something to keep this splined end clean, zip lock bag or something.
    Disconnect starter wires and remove remaining bolt and remove starter.on mine, there is 1 bolt on the engine side of the starter. There is 1 bolt from the engine into the trans to be removed. I left the starter hanging in the hole it goes through the block. Might want to remove the starter to clean it up.
    Remove the shifter linkage from the transmission.
    I like to remove the stabilizer rod stud; it allows for more room during R&R. On mine, the nut was corroded to the stud so the stud unscrewed from the transmission. I believe it makes for an easier replacement when putted everything back together.
    Drain trans and remove the 4 nuts from the lower mounts. as noted above, do this before removing the axles to control the leakage of fluid.

    Place jack under oil pan with a block of wood on the pan, if a support bar is not available. (you don’t want the engine to hang from the one remaining mount)
    Remove the forward trans mount from trans.
    Remove the nuts and bolts for the main trans cross member. I removed the 4 nuts holding the transmission mounts to the bracket that runs from the front radiator support to the body. The bracket is held by 2 bolts in the front and 2 nuts on the body. Might want to PB blast the nuts. The bolts are spot welded to their bracket. If they break loose, you are screwed!
    Remove the bolts securing the slave cylinder and move it out of the way.
    Remove all but the 2 easily accessible bell housing bolts and check to ensure nothing else will hang up removal. “2 easily accessible “ to me, that is the top 2 going through the bell housing to the block. There are 2 bolts going through the engine block to the transmission below the starter. 2 at the bottom going through the block to the bell housing. There are 2 bolts through the engine block to the transmission where the CAT is. They are difficult to remove with the CAT in place, but it can be done. The bottom one, that goes through a locating dowel, will not back out completely with the transmission against the block. I pulled the transmission back and finished unbolting this fastener.

    Have a friend there to guide the trans away from the engine and down.
    I laid mine on my chest and then slid it off. The manual trans don’t weigh too much. trans is 65 pounds. I did this by himself with my “friend” floor "Jack”. I dropped the engine a little bit to get a better angle to get the trans out
    A slight twist while lowering is required to clear the sub-frame. I removed the front side mount. Removing the firewall side mount will allow more room to move the transmission.
    I recommend having the flywheel machined/resurfaced.it is $40 to resurface and $59.99 for a new Sachs NFW1105, I bought a new one.
    Remove the bolts surrounding the clutch and catch it as it falls.
    Replace the release and pilot bearing while doing the clutch, also check for oil seepage at the rear main or oil pan.I couldn’t get the pilot bearing out. Used the grease hydraulic method and all I did was “repack” the pilot bearing. I didn’t have or couldn’t make a rod that would fit tight enough in the bearing to hydraulic the bear out.
    It’s a good time to take care of future problems. Clutches don’t like fluids.
    Clean and inspect all parts.I like to clean all the crap out of the inside of the bell housing. It will take several cans of brake cleaner or the like. The rear main seal, I replaced. Used a screw driver to tap out the old seal. Placed the new seal, well lubed, over the carrier, on a flat surface, and pressed in with even pressure. No need for block of wood and a vise to press in the new seal.
    It appeared to me, that it was leaking more where the carrier of the seal mates to the oil pan. Since the engine is being support by a jack, removing or dropping the oil pan to make reinstalling the rear main seal carrier is challenging, but doable. I believe after the transmission is installed and the supports are back in place, the oil pan needs to be removed and resealed to the rear main seal carrier.

    I like to use a light amount of white lithium grease on the release bearing shaft and input shaft snout, as well as the contact points on the release fork.
    Ensure the release bearing and the fork are positioned correctly.
    Installation is reverse of removal. Remember to refill the trans. ATF is what was in mine. In my SC T-Bird M5R2 5spd, some like to run Synromesh with a modifier. Seen this discussion on this board also.

    Before the clutch replacement, my clutch was disengaging at the top of the pedal travel. Measured the disc and it was .25” and was worn to the rivets. New clutch disc is over .375”. The pedal disengages 50-75% of its travel towards the floor.

    The old flywheel was a Ford casting, disc was a SACHS, and the pressure plate was a SECO. Car has 98K on it and might be the original clutch. Replaced with SACHS flywheel, SECO disc and pressure plate. Hope this lives for awhile.

    Hope this is useful to the next person doing this. I started Thursday at 10am and was done Saturday at 12:30pm. Hats off to you who can do this in 4 hours.
  2. Littlenardo

    Littlenardo FEOA Member

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    Used your post along with the manual to take out my transmission. I just happen to see it the night before. Good timing. Thanks
  3. nezwick

    nezwick FEOA Member

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    Great info! I'll add some of my experiences below.




    I also have no idea what this is talking about.


    Not necessary. As long as you disconnect the spindles from the struts and the brake lines from their brackets, you will be able to get the axles out with just a little bit of creative manoeuvring.


    I also have no idea what this is talking about.


    VERY important to use penetrating lube on these before removal, as he stated (unless you've had it apart recently). I can't imagine what is involved in replacing one of the rear studs, but here's how I fixed the front nut when I broke it. You have to remove the radiator, and use a hole-saw rated for metal to cut hole(s) directly above where the nuts are hidden inside the core support. You can then weld the nut back in place (we used a stick welder, but I'm sure a MIG with a fine tip would work great too). It's a bit of a pain but doable.


    Rent a pilot bearing removal tool from Advance Auto Parts or similar. It will usually take a couple of tries, but it will come out easier with the correct tool.


    The first time I did it, we started on Saturday morning at about 10am and finished up on Sunday before lunch. The second time, it took a few hours less because we knew exactly what we were doing. It's always good to have a helper, especially for helping to removing/reinstalling the actual transmission.
  4. rc5

    rc5 FEOA Member

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    I wanted to just add to the thread based on just replacing the clutch in my 93'. I couldn’t have done the job without this forum but I definitely ran into difficulties, so I wanted to add my two cents, especially for anyone like me who is trying to do this for the first time. It definitely is doable, but there were some major challenges. I’m just gonna go over the parts that were especially difficult and that add a little bit to what’s already on this thread.

    One is getting the axle nuts off. I stood on a breaker bar with a pipe on the end and bounced up and down and it wouldn’t budge. Only by heating up the axle nuts with a propane torch and then getting a 6 foot long pipe attached to my breaker bar got it loose. Or if you have a really nice impact I guess that would work too. I only have a fairly weak electric impact gun and it did nothing.

    Another big challenge was getting the driver’s side driveaxle out. Because of the design of the transmission it’s really hard to get a prybar in there, and there was no room to use a slide hammer to get it out. I also tore the driveaxle seal in the transmission trying to pry it out with a screwdriver so I had to replace it. I ended up having to buy a special tool (OTC 7140 Halfshaft Removal Tool) to pop it out from the other side, although you could probably do it with a punch. I was too worried about messing up the diff gears so I bought the tool. Once both axles were out I used a 3/4 “ socket as an axle plug.

    I didn’t have to open up the clutch hydraulics, you can just remove the two bolts that hold on the slave cylinder and hang it up with a bungee cord.

    A few people said they could remove all the bell housing bolts without moving the catalytic converter out of the way but I don’t know how that’s possible. I unbolted the cat from the exhaust manifold and the cat from the mid pipe to move it out of the way. PB blaster was a big help on all the exhaust bolts.

    I used a Harbor Freight support bar to hold up the engine and lowered the trans down from underneath. I have the ford service manual and it doesn’t mention it, but removing the rear (towards the firewall) trans mount made it way easier to get out. I also had to lower the trans side of the engine a lot using the hooks on the support bar in order to get the trans out and back in.

    My impact was able to get the flywheel bolts off pretty easy. My old pilot bearing was destroyed and I got the shell of the old one out using a trick with a bolt and a nut threaded on, held in place with a hex key behind the back of the pilot bearing, and turning the bolt with the nut being stopped from spinning by the key forces the nut backwards and pulls out the bearing (look it up on youtube, worked like a charm). Pressing in the new bearing just took a lot of hammering on it with a socket and a rubber mallet to drive it in. Replacing the rear main seal wasn’t too bad. Drilled a small hole in the old one and then screwed in a small screw and then just pulled it out with pliers. New one went in fairly easy once you get it centered, and I hammered it in with a flat piece of wood, tapping a little bit on one side and then moving to the other side, little by little.

    It was tough to bolt the flywheel back in without rotating the engine. I held it in place with the extender pipe for my floor jack wedged between the flywheel teeth and a brick on the ground. That kept it from moving while I put the torque wrench on it but make sure you’ve got the pipe wedged in there good, which will take some adjustment.

    With the engine low enough on the support bar I was able to reinstall the trans myself and get a few of the bellhousing bolts threaded in by hand. It’s awkward and heavy but if you just lay on your back and bench press it in place it’s not too bad.

    I did have a really hard time reinstalling the crossmember. It was really tough to find exactly the right height to lift the engine back up to so that the crossmember could bolt to both the frame and the trans. I also spun one of the studs that crossmember mounts to in the rear, and I don’t think I was even putting that much torque on it, but it broke loose from the frame. Other posters have said that it’s just a spot weld holding them in place and they break easy. Luckily the other one held and it seems solid after everything has been put back together.

    I ended up replacing my ball joints and tie rods while the driveaxles were out, and it was pretty straightforward but it threw my alignment off. And make sure you adjust your clutch freeplay afterwards.

    Hopefully this is a help to anyone trying this. It’s very doable but there are a lot of steps and lots of challenges. Very few things came easy. The only thing I got lucky on was my VSS sensor, which you have to remove to refill the trans with ATF. It came out like a charm with 10 seconds of twisting. I guess most people aren’t so fortunate.
    denisond3 likes this.
  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    An excellent write up, thanks!
    That front-to-rear crossmember has been a problem with most of the Escorts I have worked on. With one of them I had to spend a weekend, slicing open the left-to-right crossmember to re-attach the captive nuts; using my oxy-acetylene torch. Then I had to weld the 'lid' shut atop the crossmember than runs under the radiator, and repaint it. Now when I work on an Escort new to me, I always take the two front bolts out, and the two rear nuts off of that front-to-rear crossmember - just to clean up the threads with a tap and a die; and reassemble with antiseize compound.
    With one of my Escorts where nothing I did would loosen the hub nuts, as it was still driveable, I went to a local independent tire shop, and had them use their air-impact wrench to loosen the hub nuts. Then after snugging them up a little, I drove back home.

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