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OK. Given that there are lots of postings about clutches and people seem to have all sorts of hassle with them, here is my way of doing a complete clutch R&R, along with the slave cylinder, without using any special tools other than a crowbar and something to put in the splines once the pressure plate is compressed. This method worked on a 1983 99 and I've just done it on a 1989 16v 900, non turbo all by myself this weekend. If your clutch is so worn that even with someone else pressing down on the pedal you can't get enough clearance to put a spacer ring in, read on...

Once you have got to the exposed clutch mechanism take all 6 clutch plate bolts out of the flywheel/pressure plate. You need to have 3 bolts of the same thread but about twice as long, as well as one 13mm nut for each bolt. Put the crowbar inbetween the pressure plate and the flywheel and pry the plate away from the flywheel. Through one of the clutch bolt holes pass one of the longer bolts and thread a nut on the other side, so the nut is between the plate and flywheel. Thread the bolt into the flywheel. Rotate the flywheel 60 degrees and do the same again and then repeat once more. Once the three long bolts are in their threads put a 13mm spanner on the nuts and gradually wind the nuts up the bolts, towards the heads. You should see the pressure plate splines start to move as they press agaisnt the release bearing. Keep on doing this until you have enough spline gap to get a spacer ring in. By the time you have done this you should also have enough gap to get the friction plate out once you have removed the three long bolts and nuts.

To remove the pressure plate and friction plate you need to unclip the handle clip near the radiator and remove the sealing plate and unscrew the plastic spinner. In the spinner thread put a clutch bolt. Use the crowbar to unstick the spigot shaft and move it forwards, towards but not into :oops: the radiator. Now you can remove the friction plate. 5mm allen key is needed for the slave bolts which is a real pain :evil: but you need to get the slave out of the way to get the pressure plate out. I found the slave and pressure plate came out together.

Once all the bits are out remove the spacer from the old pressure plate, take the old release bearing, a large socket, block of wood and trolley jack. Jack the car up and place new pressure plate under car, release bearing on splines, socket on bearing, block of wood on socket. Now lower the car onto the wooden block. The splines should depress and you should be able to get the spacer in.

To put the new clutch in is the reverse of removal :wink: It is a fiddle, but filling the slave up with clutch fluid before fitting helps bleed it. For the cost of a new slave and the hassle to do all this work again just to replace it in the future, I say do it now, all in one go.

FWIW I used a Luk kit from Euro Car Parts. It came with pressure plate, friction plate, release bearing and spacer ring :cheesy: and works fine. Cost £65 + VAT, Part No.641880010. Slave was £30 + VAT, Part No.137880011. Total:£116, with free delivery.

If anyone has any comments please let me know. This method does work.

Fraser
 

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umm quit being cheap and backyard mechanic with it and just spend the $20 dollars or so and get the special little ring from eeuroparts or somewhere else. using a crow bar may booger things up a bit :nono;
 

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Re: One man clutch/slave R&R with no special tools how t

Dr Rock said:
Keep on doing this until you have enough spline gap to get a spacer ring in.
I didn't notice Fraser recommending using a crowbar to keep the pressure plate compressed :roll: I thought his method of pressure plate compression was total genius :cheesy: :cheesy:

The genuine Saab tool for removing the clutch input shaft works much like a crowbar.

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I like your little clutch compression concept. Well done!
It would also work if the the slave cylinder was faulty and you didnt have the special SAAB tool to compress the spring.
I use a socket and a drill press to compress the new clutch spring. The pressure on the clutch spring isnt all that high most cheap drill presses can handle compressing the spring OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In addition I should mention that it is a good idea to screw the bolts into the flywheel quite a way, as the threads are going to be under some pressure when you start winding the pressure plate off. Don't thread them too far though, or they will poke out of the back of the flywheel and you won't be able to rotate the flywheel :oops: One of my thread holes got a little bit not-quite-right, so rather than take a chance I had to take the flywheel off to tap a clutch bolt down the threads to clean them up :roll:

And yes, this method should also work when your slave cylinder won't give you enough clearance to get a spacer in.

Today the turbo's clutch was very low and I couldn't get into first or reverse without a lot of effort. :evil: The clutch is only 18 months old, there were no fluid leaks, so I opened up the bleed nipple for a couple of minutes, let the air bubbles and some fluid come out, tightened everything up and the clutch was back to normal. Phew. :cheesy:
 

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Re: One man clutch/slave R&R with no special tools how t

Dr Rock said:
Once you have got to the exposed clutch mechanism take all 6 clutch plate bolts out of the flywheel/pressure plate. You need to have 3 bolts of the same thread but about twice as long, as well as one 13mm nut for each bolt. Put the crowbar inbetween the pressure plate and the flywheel and pry the plate away from the flywheel. Through one of the clutch bolt holes pass one of the longer bolts and thread a nut on the other side, so the nut is between the plate and flywheel. Thread the bolt into the flywheel. Rotate the flywheel 60 degrees and do the same again and then repeat once more. Once the three long bolts are in their threads put a 13mm spanner on the nuts and gradually wind the nuts up the bolts, towards the heads. You should see the pressure plate splines start to move as they press agaisnt the release bearing. Keep on doing this until you have enough spline gap to get a spacer ring in.
Can this method of pressure plate compression be used in reverse when removing the spacer ring from the fitted new pressure plate?

Last time I did this job, the slave cylinder rubber seal was damaged by over-extension when I pushed the clutch pedal when removing the spacer. I am anxious to avoid that next time.

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Thats great Fraser - although in my experience if your going to replace the whole clutch unit its a 2 minute job with an angle grinder to remove a couple of pressure plate fingers to aid slave removal,
Obviously if your going to keep the clutch then your method is great :!
I think ive detailed the exact clutch compression procedure a while back - i know JohnW is a convert :!
As for a HT lead working - not in my experience - they are too thick - either that or all the HT leads ive tried are too heavy duty...

Pete.
 

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I have noticed that if the clutch will give you enough room to fit an old HT lead, once it's in and you release the clutch you have only about 5 min's before the lead is crushed under load of the springs... I have a home made tool I made out of thick copper wire. Cost is about 40 cents, and it works just as good as that $20 one from eeuroparts ;) I do like the idea though, great way to fit the tool in if you have a bad slave or a horribly worn clutch. I'll remember that one.
 

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Used hand grinder to remove pressure plate fingers.

Regarding: "...Put the crowbar inbetween the pressure plate and the flywheel and pry the plate away from the flywheel. "
Local Saab technician recommended I use compressed air to actuate the slave clutch cylinder to allow insertion of the spacer tool. This is a great idea and I plan to try this first. He showed me the rubber tipped compressed air gun he uses to pressurize the slave cylinder. Naturally this only works when the slave is functioning correctly. Also, start with a lower pressure and step higher to get movement.
I'll try this tonight.
The wire diameter for the spacer tool (which I have wondered about since reading so many suggestions on how to make one) is approximately 3/16" (.1875" or 4.7mm) which is roughly equivalent to a 5 gage on the (American Wire (Brown & Sharpe) Gage or 6 gage on the British Standard (Imperial) Wire Gage.j OR just use 3/16 " wide flat band. BTW, the Saab dealer has an older version of the crowbar lever tool which does not work well (probably because it does not have the semi circular halves ring tool that is mounted on the release bearing first....which the yoke of the prybar tool grabs on to.)



Follow Up: Well I tried this method last night with 140 PSI and the slave cylinder didn't even twitch. I suspect that the Saab technician who told me about this method is using way more air pressure than 140PSI (my compressor's upper limit).
Follow up #2: Considering that I was just needed to separate the transmission from the engine for an Automatic to Manual conversion, and that the power unit was out of the car, it was safe and easy to just grind through the pressure plate fingers. It took 5 minutes and cleaned up easily.
It appears that the transmission inner drivers of the 1986 5 speed 8valve are the exact same as the inner drivers from the recipient car ( 1990 16 valve automatic) which means I should not have to swap drivers for a 'size' reason.
However I may swap them for a wear balancing objective. Any coments would be appreciated from those who have tred this path before.
Rich
 

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Saab Mad
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I think there's a risk in pressurising the slave cylinder with air. Afterall, it's designed to work with fluid.

I wonder how many cylinders the mechanic's wrecked by using 200PSI of compressed air? How many customers have found themselves paying extra for a new slave cylinder that shouldn't have been needed.

Rich3Saabs said:
the Saab dealer has an older version of the crowbar lever tool which does not work well (probably because it does not have the semi circular halves ring tool that is mounted on the release bearing first....which the yoke of the prybar tool grabs on to.)
That is the clutch tool for use on a car with the older style of dust sleeve. Earlier designs use a sleeve, later cars use a rubber bellows. They're quite different, and using the older tool with a newer dust bellows is a real nuisance.

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Dr Rock said:
Once you have got to the exposed clutch mechanism take all 6 clutch plate bolts out of the flywheel/pressure plate. You need to have 3 bolts of the same thread but about twice as long, as well as one 13mm nut for each bolt. Put the crowbar inbetween the pressure plate and the flywheel and pry the plate away from the flywheel. Through one of the clutch bolt holes pass one of the longer bolts and thread a nut on the other side, so the nut is between the plate and flywheel. Thread the bolt into the flywheel. Rotate the flywheel 60 degrees and do the same again and then repeat once more. Once the three long bolts are in their threads put a 13mm spanner on the nuts and gradually wind the nuts up the bolts, towards the heads. You should see the pressure plate splines start to move as they press agaisnt the release bearing. Keep on doing this until you have enough spline gap to get a spacer ring in. By the time you have done this you should also have enough gap to get the friction plate out once you have removed the three long bolts and nuts.
To illustrate this:

Pry the plate away from the flywheel. (I used a hammer and chisel) then insert an m8 nut and bolt (my bolt was an M8x30mm which is just long enough):


Screw the bolt into the flywheel slightly then start moving the nut up it:



I then repeated this on the other side of the plate:



(the screwdriver is holding the nut in place initially as i didnt fancy putting my fingers in there)

2 bolts was enough for me to compress the fingers enough for the spacer ring to get into place



Sorted!. This method is really easy! :)
 

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Jim Mesthene said:
Or, apply compressed air to the slave cylinder and pop in the ring.
Ive never managed to get that to work, and i'm guessing it wont work very well anyway if your slave is knackered or everything too worn for it to have enough movement to get the ring in (like my car was)
 

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Just to add to this thread that some aftermarket clutches, as I've just found out, have limited clearance around the clutch to flywheel bolts. You will not get either end of a spanner or 12 point socket over the bolts properly, so make sure you have a thinwall 6 point 13mm socket before you start as it is a tad frustrating if you don't.....
 

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since the wire method didn't work, and I still can't find one of those fancy spacers on Europarts that everyone says is there.... I think I might try this next.
 

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I have never seen a presure plate that looked like that where you put the tool. All that I have seen here have a smaller opening that makes for more of a lip to put the spacer in. This may be why the HT lead wouldn't work. That said the HT lead that I have used must be the "old" style hard leads that don't compress that well. Most people have got rid of them years ago. Sylicon wires won't work but the copper electrical wire sounds like a really good idea.
 
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