by Chris Laisi
I recently went through a clutch replacement on my ’64 Alpine. I hope the information I found can be of some help to someone attempting to do the job. I have owned the car for eighteen years and have done all the maintenance, but this is the first time the clutch needed replacement. So here goes: During the years, I have had to rebuild both master and slave cylinders at least twice, so I elected to get new ones, finally. The throw at the slave cylinder should be about 3/8″. If it moves more then that then the problem is inside. The car was rolled up on standard ramps, and the sequence of dismantling goes as follows:
- Disconnect carburetor linkage.
- Disconnect top water hose from the radiator.
- Remove carburetor.
- Remove three top bolts between engine and bell housing.
- Remove floor covering and gear lever.
- Remove the drive shaft.
- Remove the exhaust pipe.
- Drain the transmission (mine was empty).
- Remove the starter motor and slave cylinder.
- Disconnect the speedometer cable.
- Place a hydraulic jack at the drain plug on transmission and remove the eight bolts holding the rear engine mount.
- Slowly let trans/engine down. At a point before engine hits the firewall, support the rear of engine (I stacked a pile of 2″X 6″ pieces under the oil pan).
- With the weight of the engine and transmission being supported by the jack, remove the remaining bolts on the bell housing.
- Carefully slide the transmission back and down off the engine.
Easy so far, right? After pressure plate removal, it is time to see what it needs. The throw out bearing was well worn and had a crack and the plate was also well worm, so those had to go. The pressure plate looked okay, so back in she goes. The reason for no oil in transmission was a broken rear transmission seal, so I replaced both front and rear seals. The starter motor was also replaced. Back in everything went reversing the process, but to my dismay the clutch did not work. As much as I hated to, I had to go through the process again. This time I found a fulcrum ring in the old pressure plate had broken and had to be replaced.
- Use new parts.
- If you are replacing the master cylinder, use the old push rod as the new one may not fit.
- Check the throw out bearing clips. If they do not fit, you will have to be ream them out.
- When using the clutch alignment tool, make sure it is centered when tightening the pressure plate bolts. I think this is how I broke the fulcrum ring.
Everything works great including the synchro gears with oil in the transmission.