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Old 06-09-2014
energylaw's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Posts: 32
Icon4 clutch install tip

Here is what I am learning by doing a clutch system rebuild:

1. The correct size of a socket for the flywheel bolts on a 2001 and up 4.0 SOHC is 14E (torx). Get an impact socket and use anair impact wrench to remove, and you will not need to find a way to keep the flywheel from rotating, as would be the case if you use a breaker bar.

2. If you are going to install a hydraulic pressure plate (clutch cover) at home, either purchase a convention, non-self adjusting type (which is less costly) or have access to a shop press if you are installing a self-adjusting type. The self-adjusting type has to be set up before installing, kind of like winding a watch (in concept). If installed in the fresh-from-the-factory condition, without the re-set of the adjustment ring, it will not self-adjust. A press is used to depress the fingers of the pressure plate, thus relieving tension from the adjustment ring. Use a screwdriver inserted in one of the three openings that have the yellow springs and push, pry the metal adjustment ring by whatever protrusions you can catch with the screwdriver, counter-clockwise, until the yellow springs are as compressed as much you can get them (generally taking up around one-third of the opening, or less.)

3. Bench bleed both the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. You can bleed the slave cylinder by pouring brake fluid into the fill tube connector opening, allow it to fill the opening "cup", then using a small diameter punch, by hand press the outer interior part of this connector and it will act like a plunger and depress. The fluid will drain into the slave cylinder. Do this until no more fluid runs into it. Then open the bleed screw and let air /fluid drain a bit, close, and repeat the fill/bleed process.

4. Remove the driver's side inner fender in order to access the hole in the firewall to remove and install the clutch master cylinder. I did not do this and spent 4 hours trying to install it, with the full tube line attached. Install it without the line attached and attach the filler tube (line to slave cylinder) AFTER the cylinder is installed. When I did this, the job took 25 minutes. Use channel locks to press in the locking pin. don't forget to install the rubber o ring around the fitting on the end of the tube. Install the cylinder WITHOUT the rod that attaches to the clutch pedal. After the cylinder is installed, and after the filler tube is attached, insert the end of the rod into the cylinder (from under the dash) and then clip the other end onto the ball on the clutch pedal shank. Press the clutch pedal several times and it will seat the rod end into the retaining clip inside the opening of the master cylinder.

5. If money is no object and time is, and you do not have a disconnect tool and you plan to replace the slave cylinder, then buy a replacement filler tube. Take a hacksaw and cut the old filler tube as close as you can to the connector at the slave cylinder. Avoids the hassle of trying to use a screwdriver to push in the disconnect. Throw away the old slave cylinder.

6. Do not use red threadlocker. It will take either heat on the bolt or over 120 psi of pressure with an impact wrench to break the bolt loose. I use blue.

7. Remove the exhaust system, downstream of the manifolds. This is a good time to replace O2 sensors. Replace the hardware that bolts up the exhaust. Use stainless steel bolts and anti-seize. Makes it much easier to disassemble in the future.

8. Before removing the trans, and after the shifter shaft is removed from up top, unscrew the 3 T30 torx head bolts and pull of the 3 inch stub on the top. You will appreciate having this clearance when re-installing the trans.

9. PB Blaster is your friend on this job. Spraying stubborn bolts and letting them sit overnight helps.

10. While the trans is out, if you have over 100,000 miles on the vehicle, it would be a precaution to replace the front seal on the trans. The incremental cost is very small, compared to removing the trans later to replace the seal.

11. Having a 4 inch and two 10-inch 1/2 drive extensions, plus a universal, is helpful for getting to the top bolts on the bellhousing, and to other bolts. Mix em up to get the length you need at the bolt you are removing.

12. Harbor Freight makes a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar that is over two feet long. It helps.

13. If you have a lift kit on your ranger, you may not need to jack up the truck to drop the trans, only to get it out from under. You can slide the trans jack back far enough to work there with the trans remaining under the truck. Having all 4 tires on the ground while working under the truck is a great piece of mind factor. Just block the tires.

14. You do not need to remove the electrical hot wires from the starter in order to remove the starter from the bellhousing. Only necessary to remove the ground cable when removing the lower bellhousing bolt.

15. Remove the exhaust hanger bracket the bolts using one of the trans mount nuts. This allows you to remove the mid-piece of the exhaust system. It is worth it obtain this added space.

16. You do not need to remove the front driveshaft on a 4WD, from the front differential, only from the transfer case.

17. Hi-temp, lithium grease on the input shaft of the trans, a bit added to the pilot bearing, inside the throwout bearing holder black plastic sleeve and on the face of the bearing itself, light coat on the transfer case end of the front driveshaft.

18. Blue threadlocker is medium strength and protects against loosening by vibration. Facilitates future bolt removal.

19. Babbo gel cleanser purchased at the dollar store works great as a hand cleaner and parts degreaser when accompanied by a scrub brush.

Hope these tips help someone.
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