NEW ARTICLE - Photos to come at a later date.
The DeLorean uses a very conventional hydraulically actuated single plate, spring hub, dry clutch. Clutch life on DeLoreans may sometimes seem to be shorter than most cars, but this may be due to the fact that it is often the first manual transmission car that someone owns, and learning to drive a manual is often a cause of high clutch wear.
This article gives the steps and some hints to remove the transmission and replace the clutch. This is also covered in the Workshop Manual on page F:05:01, E:03:01 and E:04:01 but the additional detail may prove helpful. The following assumes you are working on a lift.
NOTE: photos will be added later.
0 - DISCONNECT THE BATTERY
1 - Remove both axles completely. Do not be tempted to let them hang from the wheel bearings.
2 - Remove the support bracket for the cooling tubes to the frame just forward of the transmission. This will allow the tubes to spread out a bit.
3 - Remove the shift linkage bar. This is held by a 13mm nut that is reached from inside the frame just forward of the fuel accumulator (blindly), and a bolt with a locknut at the transmission itself. Be sure to make note of where the bushings go. This is a good time to replace the Rubber Bushings P/N 100775. There are 4 of them but only two of them will be exposed when you remove the linkage.
4 - Remove the trailing arm shields to allow the parking brake cable to move out of the way.
5 - Pull the parking brake cable forward and out of the way of the transmission. Disconnect at the right rear brake assembly for more clearance but it's not required.
6 - Remove the mounts from the transmission, leaving the frame side of the mounts connected to the frame.
7 - With a spin stand, support the back end of the engine (near the belts, under the oil pan is OK if it still has the original gasket) and lift engine the until the exhaust pipes hit the fascia. This will tilt the transmission down a bit for easier access.
8 - OPTION 1 - disconnect the clutch line at the joint above the transmission. This will cause you to lose all the clutch fluid, so you'll need to fill and bleed it when finished. OPTION 2 - Remove the two bolts holding the clutch slave to the bellhousing. With a small prybar, lift the slave up and away from the bellhousing. This may seem difficult-to-impossible due to access in the area being limited by heater hoses. Putting it back in is worse. Remove one bolt holding the clutch line fitting bracket to the top of the transmission. 13mm on both sides
9 - Disconnect the backup light switch.
10 - Reach up above the rear cover of the transmission and remove two bolts holding the linkage bracket to the transmission. This will take an assortment of 13mm sockets, swivels, and short extensions. You can not see the bolts with the transmission in the car, this is all done by feel. Avoid taking the cable linkage apart. Remove the third bolt holding the strap to the back cover. This bolt is about 4 inches long.
11 - Pull the small hitch pin and remove the pin connecting the shift cable to the linkage on the passenger side of the transmission. You should now be able to lift the entire linkage assembly up away from the transmission and zip-tie it to the frame.
12 - Remove 3 bolts holding the starter to the bellhousing. Push the starter back but leave it in the car, no need to unwire it.
13 - Move the spin stand under the transmission, raise the transmission as high as you can. Between the bellhousing and the frame there is a small metal panel held in place by 4 bolts (11 mm-head). These are hard to see. The two lower ones will stop against the frame before they fall out. When this happens just knock them out with a punch, they are not going back in. When you get that metal panel off, feel free to throw it away.
14 - Remove the metal panel attached to the bellhousing on the driver side of the engine. This is also held in by two 11mm-head bolts. The upper one is best reached with enough extensions to have the ratchet next to the muffler. Replacement of this panel is optional as well. There is a non-functional electronic sensor attached to the panel. If you are not replacing the panel feel free to cut the wire off.
15 - Put the spin stand back under the engine and raise it up.
16 - Secure the transmission to a transmission jack. There are four 17mm head bolts holding the transmission to the engine. Remove them. Rock the transmission and separate it from the engine about two inches. NOTE there are two alignment dowels between the engine and the transmission. These will often freeze making the transmission hard to separate from the engine. Pry bars help. Once the input shaft is clear of the clutch pressure plate, lower the transmission out of the car. NOTE: pay close attention to the forward end of the transmission making sure that it is not caught in the linkage, cooling tubes, or emergency brake line. Roll the transmission and jack out of the way. NOTE: on a car with the stock exhaust system, there is an interference point between the clutch fork and the crossover pipe. It can be removed with the pipe in place. This is a good excuse to install a Stage 1 Exhaust system.
17 - Insert a clutch alignment tool through the clutch into the engine pilot bearing. Remove 6 hex bolts holding the pressure plate to the flywheel. Leave them all engaged, but loose, until you pry the pressure plate away from the flywheel. The three alignment dowels will tend to hold the pressure plate in place. Remove the pressure plate and clutch disc. NOTE there may be a core value on the disc, check with DeLorean Motor Company when you order the kit.
NOTE: Pay attention to the orientation of the disc to the pressure plate. The new one must go in the same way, with the thicker side of the disc facing the pressure plate rather than the flywheel.
18 - Remove the flywheel attaching bolts and the flywheel. CAUTION: Very Heavy! Have a machine shop resurface the flywheel, be sure they are aware that a .020 in. step is machined into the flywheel and must be maintained. Remove the alignment pins so that the machine shop doesn't lose them.
NOTE: Inspect the teeth on the flywheel. If any teeth are missing, the ring gear P/N 102062 can be replaced without replacing the whole flywheel. Call for instructions.
19 - Remove the two hex bolts underneath and Allen screws holding the engine rear main seal retaining plate in place. Replace the seal and the paper gasket (part of the clutch kit). The bottom of the retainer plate is gasketless and must be resealed with Anaerobic Sealant.
20 - Remove and replace the pilot bearing, also included with the kit. There is a special tool for removing the bearing but a common slide hammer will work.
21 - Install the flywheel. Use a threadlocker such as LockTite Blue on the bolts. Torque bolts to 45 ft-lb. Make sure the pressure plate alignment pins got reinstalled.
CAUTION - if you are installing the same transmission back into the car that you removed, there should be no issue with the alignment dowels. BUT in the event you are swapping things around, be sure that both pins are in place. Sometimes they stick in the engine, sometimes to the transmission. If they are missing you will destroy the transmission. If you have dowels on both the engine and the transmission, they will never go back together.
22 - Using the clutch alignment tool, position the pressure plate and clutch disc on the flywheel. NOTE: Pay attention to the orientation of the disc to the pressure plate. The new one must go in the same way, with the thicker side of the disc facing the pressure plate rather than the flywheel. Use a threadlocker such as LockTite Blue on the bolts. Torque bolts to 15 ft-lb. Reinstall the mounting bolts turning them in a few turns at a time going around the pressure plate to avoid cocking it as it is pulled in to place. Remove the alignment tool.
23 - Remove the clutch fork and throwout bearing from the transmission. Lift the fork upwards about an inch to disengage the spring from the ball stud in the bellhousing. Lubricate the ball stud with some heavy waterproof grease, and put a thin film of grease on the splines of the transmission shaft (go easy, you don't want it spraying onto your new clutch!). Reinstall the clutch fork, paying careful attention to how the spring clip catches the back side of the ball stud. Install the throwout bearing. HELPFUL HINT - use a zip tie to hold the clutch fork in position with the throwout bearing all the way back. This can be cut and removed after the transmission is installed, and will keep things aligned as you jockey the transmission into position.
24 - Lift the transmission back into position as close to the engine as you can. Again watch for interference from the linkage, brake cable, and where the clutch fork sticks out the top of the bellhousing. Once in place, slide it forward to the clutch. Put the transmission into any gear so that turning the output flanges rotates the shaft, this will allow you to grab both flanges and rotate them until the splines line up. NEVER force the transmission in to place or you may damage the clutch plate. It's often helpful to get a couple of 3-inch long 10mm bolts to use as alignment tools while getting the transmission back in place. DO NOT use the bolts to pull the transmission up to the engine, it must go together with muscle power only. Once lined back up, put the 4 original bolts back in place.
25 - Install the two metal cover panels if you must. The car is perfectly fine without them.
26 - Pull the starter back in to place (be sure the metal plate is located correctly) and tighten the bolts.
27 - Depending on how you took it apart, either reinstall the clutch slave cylinder or reattach the hydraulic line, and reattach the line bracket to the transmission. If you disconnected the line you'll need to re-bleed the system. Cut the zip tie holding the shift fork in place.
28 - Reconnect the linkage bracket to the transmission, and reconnect the shift cable with the pin and clip.
29 - Remove the spin stand from under the engine and use it to lift the transmission back into position. Re-install the mounts.
30 - Reinstall the linkage tube, again make sure that the bushings and inserts are in place. The end of the linkage with the slight bend goes toward the transmission, with the bend centering the linkage in the hole in the frame.
31 - Reconnect the backup light switch.
32 - Reinstall the cooling tube bracket. Reinstall the brake cable if you disconnected it, reposition it into the clip on the transmission.
33 - Verify clutch action. Go back and clip off the zip tie you forgot about in step 26.
34 - Verify that you can shift the transmission in to all gears AND reverse. You should not have to adjust the linkage, but if you do, the adjustment is the two large nuts on the shift cable. The adjustment is very "fine", go about 1/2 turn on both nuts at a time. If you are too far one way you won't have reverse, too far the other way and you won't have 5th gear.
35 - Reconnect the battery.
Time for a test drive!
Written 8/23/2016 DAS