VW Passat & Audi A4 1990-2000

Clutch Disc and Pressure Plate

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION

NOTE
Inspect the rear main/flywheel seal for leakage when accessing the clutch.

  1. Remove the transaxle as outlined in this section.
  2.  
  3. Place a suitable drain pan under the clutch assembly.
  4.  


CAUTION
Eye protection should be worn at all times. The use of a protective breathing mask is recommended. Use care, and do not allow exposed skin to come in contact with cleaning solvents or clutch dust.

  1. Clean the clutch assembly with an approved brake cleaning fluid.
  2.  
  3. Lock the flywheel in place using a suitable flywheel locking tool.
  4.  
  5. Insert a clutch alignment tool, if available.
  6.  
  7. Matchmark the pressure plate to the flywheel.
  8.  
  9. Remove the clutch pressure plate fasteners evenly using a crisscross pattern, and then remove the clutch pressure plate. If a clutch alignment tool is not being used, remove the pressure plate slowly to prevent the clutch disk from suddenly falling out of place. Make note of the clutch plate installation direction before removing to ensure proper reassembly. Some clutch disks can be installed backwards, however in doing so, will not allow adequate movement of the pressure plate fingers. If installed in this fashion, the clutch will not disengage!
  10.  

Check the clutch driven disc for excessive wear or cracks. If the clutch disk hub has integral torsional dampening springs, as used with standard one-piece flywheels, check the springs for breakage and a tight fit. Replace the disk if the springs are loose, broken, or cracked. Typically, dual mass flywheels use a clutch disk with a solid hub and do not use damper springs, however both types of clutch disks should be inspected for spline wear and the rivets inspected for tightness. Replace the disk if the rivets are loose, if the splines are worn excessively, or if the inner hub shows signs of fatigue, cracking or looseness.

Clutch disk lining wear limit as measured from the head of the rivet to the lining surface:



Minimum thickness: 0.04 inches (1.0mm)
 

  1. Check the flywheel and pressure plate to make sure they are not scored, cracked, or burned, even at a small spot. Use a straight edge and a feeler gauge to make sure the contact surface is true. Replace any defective parts. Signs of bluing on the pressure plate or flywheel are indicators of excessive heat, usually caused by excessive clutch slippage. If bluing has occurred on the pressure plate it must be replaced as the spring's clamping force has been compromised and even with a new clutch disk installed, clutch plate slippage and/or premature failure is likely to occur.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. A pressure plate can be checked for flatness using a precision straight edge and a 0.004 inch (0.10mm) feeler gauge



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Fig. A clutch disk alignment tool shown installed through the clutch hub. Note the similarity of the alignment tool and . . .



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Fig. . . . the transaxle input shaft



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Fig. The clutch disk is checked for wear by measuring the distance from the head of the rivet to the surface lining. The disk should be replaced if the distance is 0.040 inches (1.0mm) or less



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Fig. The clutch fork retaining clip shown installed on the fork's pivot with the fork removed



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Fig. The clutch release fork is held in place by a small wire retaining clip. The release bearing slides onto the guide tube and into the fork



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Fig. The clutch alignment tool shown holding the disk in place with the pressure plate removed



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Fig. With the alignment tool installed, torque the fasteners using a crisscross pattern. A click-type torque wrench works well in this application

To install:


NOTE
When replacing the clutch disk, the pressure plate and release bearing should also be replaced and the pilot bearing inspected. Sometimes these components can be purchased as a clutch kit, with a substantial cost savings.


WARNING
Avoid using rebuilt or resurfaced clutch components. The tolerances of these components are critical to their operation and longevity.

  1. Clean as necessary and inspect the following items before reassembling the clutch. Replace worn or damaged components as necessary:
  2.  
  3. Clutch lining wear
  4.  
  5. Transaxle input shaft seal
  6.  
  7. Flywheel surface condition
  8.  
  9. Rear main/flywheel oil seal
  10.  
  11. Clutch pressure plate surface condition
  12.  
  13. Flywheel starter ring gear tooth damage
  14.  
  15. Clutch fork, check for cracks or excessive wear
  16.  
  17. Clutch pilot bearing, check for binding and looseness
  18.  
  19. Clutch hub wear, and if used, damper spring condition
  20.  
  21. Clutch release bearing, check for binding and looseness
  22.  
  23. Clutch pressure plate mounting fasteners, they must be a matched set.
  24.  
  25. Dual mass flywheels, inspect the viscous coupling as outlined in this section.
  26.  


WARNING
The clutch pressure plate mounting fasteners must be a matched set otherwise the engine's balance may be upset. If one fastener is damaged or lost, replace all the fasteners as a set. If the flywheel is removed, the flywheel fasteners must be replaced.

Make sure the friction surfaces of the clutch, flywheel and pressure plate are clean and dry. If the flywheel, or pressure plate are to be replaced, make sure the protective coatings are properly removed as recommended by the manufacturer. Often times these components are packaged and wrapped with an oiled cloth and/or a protective coating to prevent rusting during shipping and storage.

  1. Install a clutch alignment tool through the splines of the clutch disk and place the disk against the flywheel, then slide the alignment tool into the pilot bearing to hold the disk in place. Make sure the disk is installed in the correct direction. On two part (viscous) flywheels, make sure the disk will contact the flywheel surface, on models with a one piece flywheel, the spring cage should face the pressure plate.
  2.  


WARNING
A clutch alignment tool should be used when assembling the clutch. Proper alignment of the clutch splines and the pilot bearing is critical for the input shaft of the transaxle to slide into position without binding or damage.

  1. If the flywheel was removed or replaced, make sure it is installed properly, and if equipped, the speed and reference mark sensors are properly installed.
  2.  


WARNING
If the vehicle is equipped with a flywheel that uses speed and reference sensors, make sure they are properly installed and not damaged, otherwise the engine management system may not function upon reassembly.

  1. Install a flywheel locking tool to prevent the flywheel from rotating.
  2.  
  3. Place the pressure plate against the clutch disk and flywheel, making sure the mounting holes are properly aligned.
  4.  
  5. Initially install the fasteners by hand turning them at least four complete revolutions in a crisscross pattern.
  6.  
  7. Continue tightening the fasteners evenly in a crisscross pattern while holding the clutch alignment tool centered. Even with an alignment tool installed, the free play in the pilot bearing and the weight of the clutch disk is enough to allow a slight amount of misalignment.
  8.  
  9. Once the fasteners begin to apply tension to the pressure plate, slide the clutch alignment tool in and out to check for excessive drag. If excessive drag is felt the clutch disk is not uniformly aligned and it must be moved slightly until the tool can be removed and installed easily. If necessary, back the clutch pressure plate fasteners off to relieve the tension so the clutch disk can be moved slightly.
  10.  
  11. Torque the fasteners in a crisscross pattern as follows:
  12.  

Clutch pressure plate-to-flywheel:



1990-97 Passat: 15 ft. lbs.
 
A4/1998-00 Passat: M8 8.8: 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm)
 

  1. Slide the clutch alignment tool in and out to recheck for excessive drag and correct as necessary.
  2.  
  3. Coat the following with a light coating of an approved high temperature grease.
  4.  
  5. The transaxle input shaft splines
  6.  
  7. Release bearing-to-fork contact area
  8.  
  9. Release fork pivot and slave cylinder actuation rod contact area
  10.  
  11. Release bearing interior collar and sliding sleeve (Do NOT grease these if the collar is plastic, clean only before assembly)
  12.  
  13. Install the release fork onto the transaxle, making sure the retaining clip is properly fastened onto the grooved shaft of pivot ball, and clamped around the release fork.
  14.  
  15. Slide the release bearing onto the guide tube and center it in the release fork.
  16.  
  17. The balance of assembly is in reverse order of removal, noting the following:
  18.  
  19. Keep the mating surfaces of the transaxle and engine parallel with one another as the transaxle is installed.
  20.  
  21. If necessary, put the transaxle in gear and move the output drive flange until the transaxle input shaft aligns with the clutch hub.
  22.  
  23. Check and top off all fluid levels as necessary.
  24.  

adjustment

All vehicles using a hydraulic clutch release mechanism, no free-play adjustment is required or possible. If the clutch does not release or engage properly, try bleeding the system before moving on to more extensive repairs.

On models equipped with a clutch cable, adjust the cable to allow 3 / 4 inch (20mm) of free play at the clutch pedal. Press the pedal by hand holding a ruler above the pedal the measure the free play.

 
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