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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is my second time pulling this pig so Ill try and give some hints/tips. The trans is going back in, in a week or two so Ill have some install pics then.

You don't need any special tools, this is really common sense stuff. You can do this on the ground, or much more easily, on a lift. A 2 post lift with a trans jack and support jack would be the ideal setup.


Parts needed for clutch/flywheel replacement. Ill discuss my clutch/flywheel opinion in post #3

-Clutch/Pressure plate obviously (OEM or aftermarket)
-Flywheel (match this to your clutch, OEM or aftermarket)

-(optional) New slave cylinder (if it leaks or breaks, replace it)
-(optional) new throwout bearing (if this has play or feels worn, replace it).
-Both of these ^ I would replace if youre over 100k. I have 50k and reused both with no issues.

-DOT 3 brake fluid to top off reservoir and bleed the slave
-3qts of good MT fluid. Amsoil, redline MT, or penzoil syncromesh.
-red loctite for PP bolts
-(6x) NEW flywheel bolts. GM #: 55559650
-(6x) NEW pressure plate bolts (SPEC kits do not include either of these). GM #: 90470712
-misc shop supplies like rags and gloves etc, common sense stuff

Tools

-Jack/jack stands
-A GOOD torque wrench that reads a mimimum of 20ft lbs and angles.
-10, 13, 15, and 18 and 21mm sockets. Long extensions and wobble sockets or Ujoints are highly reccomended
-7, 13, 15, and 18mm ratcheting wrenches help for tight spaces.
-T20 and a T45 torx bits (IIRC) for the flywheel bolts
-Large allen key set (Dont recall size, it's for the drain/fill plugs)
-Big pry bar and a BFH
-misc flat head screw drivers/picks for prying harnesses and clips out
-Etorx sockets, or 12pt sockets if this is a sloppy build :grin:
-Food and beer or beverages of choice
-(optional but recommended) A friend, whom you bribe with above food/beverages :grin:


Removal

I don't have pics but here's a time lapse tear down. Install pics will be up in post #2 soon.



Start by putting it on jack stands and pulling the front wheels, then starting in the engine bay:
-Pull the battery and battery box. 10mm for the terminal studs, 13mm but holds the box in place. Tuck the fuse tray/wires towards the coolant res.

-Pull the harnesses off the battery box, and the 3 main ECU plugs: Pop the red clip out, and the outer shell of the connector will swing over, and the connector slides outward simultaneously.

-Remove the ground wire from the body post (good time to upgrade the main negative cable), unclip the current sensor, and pull the battery tray out.

-Remove both shifter linkage cables from the trans. These take some persuasion getting off, but don't force anything with a 3' cheater bar.

-Unbolt the shifter linkage bracket, 2 15mm bolts. Tuck the linkage/bracket out of the way towards the firewall

-unclip ALL the connectors (3 i believe) connected to the trans. They will have harnesses and brackets bolted to the trans as well, each bracket has a 13mm bolt.


Now move onto the bottom of the car
-Start by draining the fluid out of the trans. Do it now before you forget.
-Then pull all the plastic splash guards under the motor/trans. I've got an eco, not sure if other models are any different:
-There's one main piece, the two small pieces near the fenders, and one under the bumper. Careful pry out the push pins, a couple picks is HIGHLY reccomended. Flat heads will just break these things.
-remove any 7mm and T20 torx screws holding the plastic on. Theres 2 in each fender-well as well.

-Unclip ALL harnesses along the subframe. There are a few, like the ABS sensors, that are popped in place every 8" or so along the rails.

-Pull the two trans mount bolts, these are just long 18mm bolts.

-IF POSSIBLE: Pull the downpipe AND the midpipe. Each connection has 3 nuts, and a gasket, you also have to unclip the downstream 02 sensor, but it can stay installed.

-If yours is too rusted like mine, remove the 3 nuts at the downpipe, and let the exhaust droop. Its a PITA to work around but I didn't feel like welding new studs, or replacing them in the midpipe.

-Remove the 2 15mm bolts holding the exhaust crossmber on. Loosen the 2 13mm bolts about halfway so you can thread them by hand when you drop the subframe.

-Unbolt the upper sway bar links at the strut. Turn the nut with a ratcheting 18mm while you hold it with a T35 (IIRC). Pop them out of the strut and let them chill in the fenders for now.

-Unbolt the power steering rack from the subframe. 18mm bolts and nuts, the bolts will drop out the bottom. DONT forget about the washers that sit on top of the rack, yes there are 2 washers per bolt/nut.

-Unbolt the lower control arms from the struts. Its a 15mm bolt and nut. Use a pry bar to carefully pry the lower balljoints/arms out. Use a BFH to gently hammer them out to get them started, don't go bananas on the lower arms though.

-Using bungee cords or other supports, prep the radiator/condensor/IC for removal. The subframe holds this assembly in place, without support it will only be hanging by coolant/charge pipes.





-Good stopping point for a beer/smoke/whatever. Heavy lifting is up next.

-Get your friend handy to drop the subframe. Theres 4 21mm bolts holding it on. Loosen all 4, then remove the front 2 bolts and let it sit on some jackstands.

-Get ready for the rear of the subframe.. Remove the 2 13mm exhaust xmember bolts, let the exhaust droop, then pull the 21mm subframe bolts. While your buddy holds the subframe up slightly, remove the 4 (2 on each side) 13mm sway bar mount bolts. Once these are out, carefully drop the subframe out of the way, the P/S rack will hang in place CAREFULLY. Don't yank the subframe out and accidentally catch the P/S rack on the way down.

-The sway bar will now be just sitting on the P/S rack, pull it out.

-Double check the radiator assembly is still supported by bungees.

-Pop the passenger CV shaft out of the trans. Careful prybar work or a tap from a BFH will pop them right out. They are held in with retaining spring clips inside the spider gears of the trans.

-The drivers side CV has a retaining plate to remove. These are 4 Etorx bolts, I used a 12pt socket with no issues. Very snug fit, did not strip at all. Once the plate is unbolted, carefully pry it away from the trans and pop the shaft out.

-Remove both trans mount brackets, the rear has 3 15mm bolts, the front has 2 15mm bolts (these are also bellhousing bolts)

-Remove all lower bellhousing bolts, there will only be 3 left and they are on the top. These are a weird assortment of 18mm, 15mm, and etorx. Don't touch the oil pan or starter bolts, etc etc.

-Don't lose the small metal shield/gaurd near the starter, it must be reinstalled with the bell housing bolts.

Back up top

-Double check everything is disconnected from the trans, mechanically or electronically. It should only be held on by the upper trans mount, and the 3 upper bellhousing bolts.

-Get your cherry picker ready, or your buddy who is probably laughing by now at your dumbass for buying a Cruze.

-Crack the last 3 18mm bellhousing bolts loose, but leave them snugged in place.

-Get your jack and piece of wood ready, just lightly preload it under the oil pan.

-Remove the 3 upper trans mount bolts, 15mm. Then remove the other 3 trans mount bracket bolts on the frame, and put the bracket aside. The trans will shift/drop a bit here, dont worry, the jack will support both under the oil pan.

-If using an engine hoist, reinstall one of the 15mm bolts into the trans mount boss with a chain.

-SLOWLY and carefully let the motor tilt over towards the drivers side. It cannot be removed level, it will hit the frame.

-Unbolt the last 3 bellhousing bolts, get your buddy or engine hoist ready, and CAREFULLY pull the trans away from the motor and down to the floor.

-Pull the 6 pressure plate bolts (etorx again). There are also 6 flywheel bolts (torx, T45 IIRC). Carefully put a prybar between the block and the ring gear to keep the flywheel from spinning. These are on there pretty tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re-install (pics coming soon)

-Using NEW BOLTS bolt on the flywheel, then the clutch/pressure plate. The Flywheel bolts are:
25ft lbs in a cross pattern, then 30 degrees, then a final 15 degrees.


PP bolts are 21ft lbs, and tighten these very carefully about 1 turn at a time, until torqued


Install is reverse obviously. Use your friend to muscle the trans back on and get the subframe back up. Reinstalling the subframe and the trans is the hardest part.

Watch the radiator/condenser as you bolt on the subframe, the two rubber isolators should sit nicely in the upper mounts. Fill the trans with 2.5 qts fluid, make sure you don't have any extra bolts (2 max is my personal limit :grin:), check all your connections, and fire it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
As far as clutches/flywheels go, there are tons of options out there.


Flywheels are:

SPEC Steel and aluminum
Clutchamskers aluminum
OEM dual mass (by LUK)


Clutch kits are made by SPEC and Clutchmasters, and possibly others. Each has its own stages/materials etc so choose accordingly. I am not going to get into all the options other than what I know:


-Even with the "updated" pressure plate (My cruze was made in Jan 2013), it still slipped in 3rd gear or higher under 20lbs of boost. It only had 50k miles.
The clutch was heavily worn, while the FW and pressure plate were brand new. My guess is the stock pressure plates are still weak, even the "new" design.
-These trans are noisy with light flywheels, the steel SPEC flywheel is a good middle-ground between weight and gear rattle.
-The stage 3 I have (before the DM flywheel grenaded) is a solid clutch. I daily drive 90 miles a day and it was fine.




It does bite harder and much faster than the OEM clutch. You will have to get used to it, and adjust shift points/clutch release accordingly.


I ran the stage 3, 6 puck SPEC clutch, on the OEM dual mass flywheel and killed it in 1k miles. Could be coincidence, Im not sure. DM setups are garbage if you want any reliability or performance. If you have the trans out, do as much as you can at once. Clutch, flywheel, slave, and throwout bearing. Everything is new, youl have peace of mind.


If you are set on keeping the dual mass FW, shopp around as I saw OEM LUK flywheels for ~$200. You cannot surface a DM flywheel, so you are either replacing it
or rolling the dice.
 

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Nice write-up. I'm surprised it took so long for someone to have one.
I once heard the Cruze is one of the easiest FWD cars to swap the clutch on. Any thoughts on that?
Would pulling the engine also be a viable option?
Thanks.
 

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Only problem I see with this is you said this is pretty common sense stuff....common sense isn't common nowdays. Just thought I would point that out lol. I'm hoping to see more details on this as I would like to be able to change my own when the time comes. I still hate the clutch in this car but have come to be comfortable with it. A 91 Jeep Cherokee was what I learned to drive on but that was over 200k miles by that point. Well worn but clutch is still going to this day I hear. Has to be over 300k by now.
 

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So, I've got a question... 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?

Thanks,
Mike
 

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So, I've got a question... 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?

Thanks,
Mike
Thats what I did for my 2007 Kia Rio.

undid driver side steering, rotated wheel, pulled axle. supported the engine and slide trans to the right. Thats probably what i'll do when its time for the Cruze
 

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Spec issue?

I recently replaced the clutch, PP, flywheel, slave and TOB on my 2012 LS. And after rereading your write up I notice a couple of things which concern me.

When you were mentioning the torquing of the flywheel you stated:
"Using NEW BOLTS bolt on the flywheel, then the clutch/pressure plate. The Flywheel bolts are: 25ft lbs in a cross pattern, then 30 degrees, then a final 15 degrees."

Well, I did struggle here a bit and the specs I used from Haynes are much different from the ones you stated which, concerns me. Haynes, gives the flywheel spec as first 60 ft.-lbs, second, rotate another 45° third, rotate another 15°. That's quite a bit different than 25 ft-lbs. and 30°. If Haynes is wrong then I've most likely overtorqued the flywheel bolts.

The 2nd issue is where your mention the PP torque and bolt size: "Pull the 6 pressure plate bolts (etorx again). There are also 6 flywheel bolts (torx, T45 IIRC)."

The etorx bolts used in my car are E55 not 45. Were they changed from the manufacture of your car and when mine was made? This isn't a real concern as they are what they are. But the first issue has me a bit concerned. Have I overtorqued my flywheel bolts?
Thanks.
 

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How goes it? I wanted to thank you all for this post. We just got a 2011 Chevy Cruze, cash sale. Less than 30 days later, clutch goes out. Me, being a handy person, and having attended mechanic school, albeit 25 years ago, decided to jump in and tackle the job. The detailed breakdown helped me complete this task and get back on the road with a very minimal investment in parts. Less than $200. So Thank you again for your effort and time in posting this, it really helped me in a time of need.

Larry
 

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OK! Almost done. 2 days down, about 3 hours to go to get everything back together. I wanted to add to this excellent writeup with my own set of instructions for doing a Cruze clutch. ONLY 3 EASY STEPS!

1. Have the Cruze towed to a high precipice.
2. Release the parking brake
3. Give it a little nudge

Done!

Seriously, though, this is my 15th clutch as an amateur car guy, and it really kicked my butt. This is the first time I've had to lower a subframe to allow trans removal. At first, I bought a Harbor Freight engine load bar to support the engine from above, but the Cruze doesn't really have a place to mount it. A cherry picker is the ONLY way to go.

Exhaust must come down.
Steering must be unbolted and allowed to 'hang' by the in-car U-joint. This made me nervous, but it held.
I did remove the LCAs, hubs, and axles together as one unit and left the struts in place, with calipers tied up to the springs.
As this excellent guide states, radiator must be held in place with cords or bungees, etc.
Sway bar can be removed once you start to lower the subframe. Otherwise, bolt heads very hard to get to.

Hurry! Ask me questions while everything is still fresh in my mind!

Big thanks to the original creator of this thread.
 

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I own a 2014 Cruze last 6 speed my 1.8
i just completed the first clutch change at 115k the kit came with pressure plate clutch and throw out beAring I switched all 3 put all back together replaced my oil then realized the passenger cv joint was out so I went back to the store got more came home filled it up and realized the clutch has no pressure assuming it’s like brakes and a hydraulic system I went ahead and turned the key over and I heard a terrible sound sounded like the bad clutch sound with. Good clutch I turned it off locked the doors and said f it I need help before my wife and the in laws that said I can’t do this job can tell me she told me so
 

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I I guess it out my Dual Mass Flywheel is messed up it is spinning freely at the point the pressure plate bolts to it serves me right or not changing it all the first time lesson learned
 

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I have a 2012 1.4 Eco and clutch has been slipping a couple months (especially going up mountains). Should I replace with a performance (more heavy duty) clutch, thinking it will last longer? Never attempted a front wheel drive car before so any more tips and tricks are appreciated. I’m pretty mechanically inclined and replaced several clutches and trannys on 4x4’s and other rear wheel vehicles. But I’m dreading doing this one
 

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Seriously, though, this is my 15th clutch as an amateur car guy, and it really kicked my butt. This is the first time I've had to lower a subframe to allow trans removal. At first, I bought a Harbor Freight engine load bar to support the engine from above, but the Cruze doesn't really have a place to mount it. A cherry picker is the ONLY way to go.
I would suggest next time to take the engine & transmission out from the top as I did for the swap engine. It is way faster, if I would have to replace the clutch only it would take one day only. See below:
 

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I would suggest next time to take the engine & transmission out from the top as I did for the swap engine. It is way faster, if I would have to replace the clutch only it would take one day only. See below:
You think removing the engine is faster than doing this from the bottom? I may have to do this soon, so i'm trying to find the best way to go about it.
 
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