Clutch Removal/Refitting

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nuke laars
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My E21(s): 1983 Baltic Blau 316
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Clutch Removal/Refitting

Post by nuke laars »

I'm about to change the clutch on an 83 316 5 Speed. Never changed a clutch before. Read through the procedure in the hynes manual, but was wondering if there is anything I should look out for that isn't advised, or anything I should replace other than what comes in a clutch kit?


1983 Arctic Blau 316
1989 Sterling Silber 318i
Alibaba
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Re: Clutch Removal/Refitting

Post by Alibaba »

I have just done this job on my 83 316 and it was fairly straightforward. I followed most of the Haynes procedures, but I managed it all without taking off the exhaust downpipe. Disconnect the battery. You'll need to remove the middle and rear silencers and the prop shaft as they suggest - I marked the propshaft at the diff with chalk so that it went back on in the same place. Nuts holding propshaft to diff are fairly tight and a bit inaccessible but not impossible. Prop shaft may need firm tug to remove it from diff. I had all four corners of the car on ramps which makes access easier. Bolts on bell housing are fairy easy to get at; don't drop nuts/washers down past the starter motor as you might not see them again easily! Radiator out is a five minute job. I put bolts through a piece of card as I took them off so that they all went back in the same places - watch out for different length bolts. Remove the distributor cap so that when the engine is slightly tilted back you don't ruin the cap - it also gives you a bit more space. Gearbox is very heavy; so much so that we put the car onto a four post lift to get it back on - I couldn't lift it from underneath. Clutch kit (mine was LUK from Euro, but it was an AP clutch which came off) has friction plate (get it the right way round) release bearing and pressure plate. Centering the clutch plate perfectly on reassembly (it's an absolute necessity) will help you to get the gearbox back on more easily. I got the box out on my own but would never have got it back on my own because of its weight. It's worth cleaning out the bell housing and the clutch fork. Also check the flexi hose to the slave cylinder; mine was fine. You could change the clutch shaft pilot bearing in the flywheel - it's cheap enough but I didn't change mine as it was fine. I changed the rear oil seal on the tail shaft, but you'll need a 30mm deep socket. Mine was leaking - I'd leave well alone if the box is dry at the rear.

Remember to disconnect the reversing light and speed cables (not shown correctly in Haynes manual if I remember right). I also changed the oil in the box whilst it was out of the car as the hex plugs (17mm I think) were easy to get at (also changed the diff oil at the same time).

My original clutch was dead at 40k miles. It had a previous owner who enjoyed vertical take offs - lots of revving with the clutch being slipped for mercilessly! I was worried that the flywheel might have been scored, but it was fine.

The car has just happily motored 1,500 miles around Germany and the new clutch drives very nicely and has a smoother release than my two year old Octavia. I've also done the Weber carb conversion which has made a huge difference to performance and mpg.

Good luck with it - it'll be worth doing.
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Jeroen
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Re: Clutch Removal/Refitting

Post by Jeroen »

Thanks for a nice write up, think I'll add this to the FAQ section. Did you take any photos?
Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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Alibaba
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Re: Clutch Removal/Refitting

Post by Alibaba »

Thanks for the nice comment. Sorry - no pics which is a bit unforgivable - apologies!
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Jeroen
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Re: Clutch Removal/Refitting

Post by Jeroen »

Regards/groeten, Jeroen

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nuke laars
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Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 1:54 am
My E21(s): 1983 Baltic Blau 316
Location: London

Re: Clutch Removal/Refitting

Post by nuke laars »

Alibaba, thank you for the reply! Gearbox back on and running smoothly, although I would agree that it's a struggle to wrestle the box back on without the use of a four poster!!
Next job will be the brakes before an MOT... fingers crossed as the car will be my daily whilst I overhaul my E30!

Thanks again!

Kyle
1983 Arctic Blau 316
1989 Sterling Silber 318i
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