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Simplify clutch repair


Some workshops avoid clutch work, but Schaeffler says by taking a few simple precautions, all workshops can stop turning work down and start turning a profit.

Supplying car parts is becoming increasingly difficult, especially when looking at genuine parts from original equipment suppliers. A vehicle registration look-up may not be entirely accurate; using the basic vehicle details, preferably taken directly from the car in question, will help your motor factor supply the correct part first time.

Having certain information to hand, such as the correct VAG engine code; knowing where reverse is located on Vauxhall applications to identify the correct CSC; and knowing if a VW has Start/Stop, which is essential in identifying the right dual mass flywheel (DMF), will ensure you get the right part.


While waiting for the parts, check there are accurate fitting instructions available, especially if you’re not familiar with the vehicle. Schaeffler’s REPXPERT online workshop portal provides customers with free clutch fitting instructions, which can be saved, printed and attached to the job card.

When looking up the RMI vehicle manufacturer instructions, using TecDoc in REPXPERT, you will pass the clutch application listings. It’s advisable to take a quick look to see how many components are shown and check if all parts required have been ordered.

If technicians do not have access to a mobile device with the free ‘DMF Checkpoint’ app, they can also find and print the critical tolerance values from REPXPERT, to accurately diagnose DMF wear when the gearbox is removed.


A two-post ramp and transmission jack, preferably with a tilting head, will promote a stress-free gearbox refit. A universal alignment tool will also make installation easier and prevent damage to the new clutch.

It is essential to use a special tool to fit a self-adjusting clutch and the LuK SAC tool can also be used during any clutch installation to help prevent judder. It also includes special alignment tools to suit all the latest BMW applications.

A DMF can be checked for wear prior to removal by using a LuK DMF tool in conjunction with the DMF CheckPoint app. If the DMF does need replacing, the app lets you know if new bolts are needed and what torque values to use.


Once the parts have arrived and the gearbox has been removed, it’s worth making some basic comparisons:

SPLINES – Sliding the drive plate back and forth to distribute a small amount of grease is a good check that the splines are correct – not forgetting to wipe off any excess grease afterwards.

DRIVE PLATE ORIENTATION – ‘Getriebe Seite’ is German for ‘Gearbox Side’, while ‘Schwungrad’ is translated to ‘Flywheel’. If something different is identified – or no direction is given – you can contact the free REPXPERT technical hotline. The problems caused by fitting a drive plate the wrong way are easily avoidable.

DMFS – Check the reluctor ring on the back of a DMF. Even if it’s from a different manufacturer it should still have the same number of teeth and they should be undamaged. Schaeffler will replace transit-damaged goods if spotted before fitment.

CONCENTRIC SLAVE CYLINDERS (CSC) – A modern plastic CSC can obviously look different, but it should have the same number of fixings and the pipe position should be similar. It may sound simple, but always read the instruction sheet inside. It may contain critical information, such as how to find and discard a redundant pipe seal (on Vauxhall applications), and some Ford instructions explain that the O-ring should be replaced by sealant.

CHECK THE REST – Worn or seized cross shaft bushes need to be rectified; bent or damaged forks need to be replaced; the ball pivot must be replaced on BMW applications and check the others; repair leaking gearbox seals and, finally, reset or replace all self-adjusting cables.


Never grease plastic release bearings. On most pull-type clutches, you should fit the release bearing to the gearbox and locate it to the clutch cover after fitting the gearbox. Be careful when inserting the gearbox; swinging up and down on the back of a gearbox, to fit it to a poorly aligned clutch, will probably cause judder and damage.

If in doubt about any repair, technicians can call the REPXPERT hotline on 01432 264 264.


About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
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