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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've got a question... I've seen the how-to for changing the clutch on here, and the guy drops the trans, totally. What's to stop you from just removing the half shafts, the battery box, and the trans mount, and sliding the trans over a few inches to reach down in there and change the clutch parts? I thought I read somebody had done that, early on? Like the first guy on here to trash a clutch in one of these? '11 ECO 6MT, BTW.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I actually found a PM that I traded with the guy, at the time. Travscruze was who it was. I wonder if anybody else has done it like this??

"I did replace the clutch myself, you do have to drop the exhaust all the way back to center of car. I did it with the engine completely still connected to its hoses but loose in the engine bay. Its very doable. Shops disconnect everything from engine and drop the cradle. I didn't want to do that. So i put a cherry picker on engine, VERY systematically laid out every part i took off with its corresponding bolts and even took notes a few times and sharpied the bolt heads with numbers and drew diagrams. That was mainly for the block to bell housing. They use about 3 different lengths of bolts, and being everything is aluminum, i didn't want anything stripped. After getting everything out of way, I used a very small rachet strap and rachet strapped the transmission to one side of compartment up on craddle and and the engine oil pan i sat on the opposite craddle ledge. Make sure to keep the cherry picker on it at all times. Then just swap stuff out. The #1 thing i can suggest, no matter how you do it, is to go to fastenal or a store like it and get at least two long bolts with the same thread as your bell to block, cut the heads off the bolt then screw them in a few threads, line up your transmission on to those bolts and slide the transmission and block together. It will keep the everything lined up and make it all super easy. Throw in a couple bolts in the bell housing, pull out your guide bolts and poof. just do everything in reverse.

it took me a day to take it out and a day to put it in, being super methodical and a wee bit anal. "
 

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You can’t just slide the trans over a few inches. The spline shaft of the transmission, runs directly into the center of the clutch. You’d have to pull the trans far enough out to get the clutch off, and then, there would be no room to get tools in there, to remove the clutch, or the flywheel. You’re selling yourself short if you don’t get the flywheel resurfaced. And properly torquing the flywheel bolts, or even hammering them on with an impact. There is absolutely no room to get a torque wrench, or an impact between the bell housing and the clutch, without pulling the trans all the way out. And even if you could, you’d be working in a space of only a few inches. You need room to get the clutch alignment tool in there, and change the throwout bearing. I can’t even see attempting it by just “sliding” the trans over.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can’t just slide the trans over a few inches. The spline shaft of the transmission, runs directly into the center of the clutch. You’d have to pull the trans far enough out to get the clutch off, and then, there would be no room to get tools in there, to remove the clutch, or the flywheel. You’re selling yourself short if you don’t get the flywheel resurfaced. And properly torquing the flywheel bolts, or even hammering them on with an impact. There is absolutely no room to get a torque wrench, or an impact between the bell housing and the clutch, without pulling the trans all the way out. And even if you could, you’d be working in a space of only a few inches. You need room to get the clutch alignment tool in there, and change the throwout bearing. I can’t even see attempting it by just “sliding” the trans over.


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Yeah, the guy I posted in post 2 above did the clutch like that (moved the engine over one way and trans over the other way), but he didn't change the flywheel, and the dual mass flywheel being screwed is why I'm replacing the clutch. I've done clutches before, but in the FWD stuff, the trans just dropped out without dropping the subframe, and the other ones were RWD/4WD.

Mike
 

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Yeah, the guy I posted in post 2 above did the clutch like that (moved the engine over one way and trans over the other way), but he didn't change the flywheel, and the dual mass flywheel being screwed is why I'm replacing the clutch. I've done clutches before, but in the FWD stuff, the trans just dropped out without dropping the subframe, and the other ones were RWD/4WD.

Mike
You’re probably in for less of a headache, just getting the whole thing out of the way. I often find that trying to shortcut things, takes longer than just biting the bullet and pulling the entire thing apart. Let us know how it goes.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You’re probably in for less of a headache, just getting the whole thing out of the way. I often find that trying to shortcut things, takes longer than just biting the bullet and pulling the entire thing apart. Let us know how it goes.


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Yeah, that's kind of what I'm wondering about... I'd definitely try and change a clutch like that, but the flywheel is apparently pretty heavy and kind of a PITA to move around. The thing I'm wondering, as well, is if it's as easy as anything to pull the whole engine/trans out the top with a cherry picker. Guy on the CT FB page says it takes him like an hour and a half each way, in and out, for the whole deal.

Mike
 

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Yeah, that's kind of what I'm wondering about... I'd definitely try and change a clutch like that, but the flywheel is apparently pretty heavy and kind of a PITA to move around. The thing I'm wondering, as well, is if it's as easy as anything to pull the whole engine/trans out the top with a cherry picker. Guy on the CT FB page says it takes him like an hour and a half each way, in and out, for the whole deal.

Mike
I’d consider that a good time. That’s probably what it would take me to do one. And I haven’t done one in years. I’ve done many civics, and I’ve owned 5 DSMs. 1 FWD and 4 AWD.

I used to watch the head mechanic at the Mitsubishi dealer, remove a trans. With all of the proper tools, and mounts, he had the trans out of the car, and on the bench, torn apart in 20-25 minutes. He just had a method to his madness. It went so fast. I’ve still never seen anyone do it, like that guy.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I’d consider that a good time. That’s probably what it would take me to do one. And I haven’t done one in years. I’ve done many civics, and I’ve owned 5 DSMs. 1 FWD and 4 AWD.

I used to watch the head mechanic at the Mitsubishi dealer, remove a trans. With all of the proper tools, and mounts, he had the trans out of the car, and on the bench, torn apart in 20-25 minutes. He just had a method to his madness. It went so fast. I’ve still never seen anyone do it, like that guy.


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So you think up or down is easier, in my driveway?

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Mike
 

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I've done it both ways (not on a Cruze). Pulling the whole engine/trans together is a lot easier to work on, but it's also a bigger headache if stuff is brittle - and getting everything to line up again. With as much engine bay room as there is on the Cruze, though, I can't imagine doing it in the engine bay would be THAT difficult either.
 

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I’ve always done them from the bottom, but you may not have the equipment to get the car up high enough to do it that way. I’ve done 2 civics in the driveway, the other dozen or so, I’ve had access to a lift. When I was on active duty, I used the base hobby shop. They had 6 lifts, and all of the tools.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I do technically have access to a lift, but it's at my friend's dad's house, and I'd have to do as much work to clean up the area and get the Coronet off of the lift as what I suspect the clutch job is, itself.

Mike
 

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Well, I do technically have access to a lift, but it's at my friend's dad's house, and I'd have to do as much work to clean up the area and get the Coronet off of the lift as what I suspect the clutch job is, itself.

Mike
Eh, it all depends on how easy you want the Cruze clutch replacement to go. It can be done in a driveway, sure, but I’m probably just thinking about me, doing it, myself. I’m in my early 40s, now, and I’d be at the dealership. Lol. Actually, I just traded my 2014 in, because I was starting to think about how it was going to be nickel and diming me to death, soon.


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The thing I'm wondering, as well, is if it's as easy as anything to pull the whole engine/trans out the top with a cherry picker.
I've done exactly one clutch replacement in a transverse FWD, and that's exactly what I did. (but a 1980 Citation is not a Cruze) Although now that I think about it, the clutch was just something I did while I was there, the real problem was a bolt falling out of the shift interlock, leaving the interlock sliding loosely on the shift shaft and giving me a handful of neutrals. A lot of work to replace $2 worth of bolt and locking tab, that locking tab should have prevented the bolt from ever unscrewing but I guess they didn't bend it over far enough at the factory. I'm too often lucky that way, finding freak factory errors that crop up four years after the warranty expires and you never hear of them happening to anybody else.

Remove hood, place on blanket on roof of car.
Unhook everything, pull drivetrain out the top. Had to separate a ball joint to get room to pull the halfshafts out of the transaxle.
Remove and service transmission/clutch, then reassemble.
All in all, it was a fairly simple four hour job that took me about a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Did it out the bottom, on jack stands. Taking my time, with my dad coming over in the middle for the 2-person stuff, it took 10.5 hours, wheels up to wheels down. A bit of a delay getting the mounting holes in the DMF lined back up enough that I could get the bolts out, and ended up being able to get it rotated around such that I could just barely get the T55 in there, and went a little bit at a time on each of them, until the flywheel came off. Bolts are still stuck in it, but it's getting scrapped, so who cares.

The GMPP (2015) up graded clutch DOES fit and work in my '11 ECO, by the way!

Mike
 

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Bartonmd-

So you left the engine in the car, and removed the bottom sub-frame and dropped the transmission that way? Or did you remove the engine transmission assembly out the bottom? If that's the case how did you lift the front of the car up enough in order to get the engine components out the bottom?

Can it be lifted high enough in the driveway?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bartonmd-

So you left the engine in the car, and removed the bottom sub-frame and dropped the transmission that way? Or did you remove the engine transmission assembly out the bottom? If that's the case how did you lift the front of the car up enough in order to get the engine components out the bottom?

Can it be lifted high enough in the driveway?
I dropped the subframe and pulled just the trans out the bottom, like the FSM says.

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Don't know how it would go on the Cruze, but the only clutch I've ever replaced, I did on an Aveo. The trans could be sneaked out past the subframe if you pulled the lower trans mount out of the subframe. And on a Saturn S-Series it was possible to sneak it out of the wheel well. Shortcuts exist, but unless you have professional equipment, they can be hard to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Don't know how it would go on the Cruze, but the only clutch I've ever replaced, I did on an Aveo. The trans could be sneaked out past the subframe if you pulled the lower trans mount out of the subframe. And on a Saturn S-Series it was possible to sneak it out of the wheel well. Shortcuts exist, but unless you have professional equipment, they can be hard to do.
This has a full subframe cradle, so no go, there. This is the first FWD clutch that I've done, that I haven't been able to sneak the trans out without dropping a whole bunch of ****.

Mike

Mike
 
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