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Old 08-02-2020, 12:14 PM   #1
Asm123
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Default Clutch Replacement...Ugh

Ok so after spending a bunch of time, effort and money over the last couple of months doing maintenance for my 2017 wrx at 115k it seems the TOB/clutch has decided to die. Hooray! Once in gear the car drives fine but getting into gear there's a ton of slippage and I can not get a clean engagement. Also when pressing the clutch pedal I can hear some noise but am not sure if that is clutch or TOB. Also worth mentioning that this conveniently started happening the day before a multi week work trip to I have the benefit of doing a ton of prep work prior to having to address this when I get back.



Questions for the forum:
1. I need to confirm that it is a TOB/clutch issue and not something else. I can have a mechanic do diagnostics to confirm but can anyone give any more insight that might save me the diagnostic fee??


2. I'm reviewing the service manual now and putting together a work plan for this and list of tools needed. Looks like I'll have to pull the engine, does anyone have any recommendations on additional items to replace/inspect while in there?
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:52 PM   #2
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I'm 92.334% sure you do NOT have to pull the motor to do the clutch. For most Subarus, its easier to drop the trans...but some people do it the "wrong" way. Regardles...please document and post your method as I don't recall seeing a newer clutch swap.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:59 PM   #3
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On a lift , pulling the trans is way simpler than pulling the motor. Drop the drive shaft , pop the ball joints, pull the from c/v axles, then trans jack the trans back just far enough to get at the clutch without having to disconnect the shifter cables (huge PITA)

On the ground pulling the motor may be easier, but then dealing with the cooling system and all the other electrical; and dealing with the J-pipe bolts witch will likely be seized to the turbo. Unless you drop the whole manifold assembly (then gaskets and Engine oil) cost goes up.

If you have access to a lift and a trans jack , pull the trans.
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Old 08-04-2020, 04:30 PM   #4
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At that mileage I'd say time for a clutch kit.

I vote for pulling the tranny not the engine.

Think about the job. you can do this if you have a decent set of tools and floor jack and stands. You need to get the car up pretty high.

If you don't have the tools, pay the man to do the job.

Even if its not a clutch issue...somehow. If the tranny has to come out to fix the issue, might as well replace the clutch kit.

Last edited by Max Capacity; 08-04-2020 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 08-04-2020, 04:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
You need to get the car up pretty high.
15" between the frame and the ground should work. That's a little over two (2) concrete blocks.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:08 PM   #6
Asm123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
At that mileage I'd say time for a clutch kit.

I vote for pulling the tranny not the engine.

Think about the job. you can do this if you have a decent set of tools and floor jack and stands. You need to get the car up pretty high.

If you don't have the tools, pay the man to do the job.

Even if its not a clutch issue...somehow. If the tranny has to come out to fix the issue, might as well replace the clutch kit.

I'm leaning towards pulling the engine mostly because of the access it would give me to other components. I'll be saving a big chunk of change by doing the work myself and with the mileage I'm at it will give me an opportunity to inspect/replace the water pump, oil pump, hoses, wiring etc. I'm kinda selling myself on this as a mini engine refresh so hopefully it lasts another 115k and I figure if I can keep it under 2k total for parts etc I'm making out pretty well.



Reading through the procedures for each, other than evacuating the A/C coolant which I think I can avoid, it doesn't look too bad to pull the engine and I still have to separate the tranny from the engine either way. If i have to evac the A/C I'll be pulling the tranny since that will blow my budget.



Tools wise I would have to get a tranny jack or engine crane either way. I can pay for someone else to do it but that's quite a bit more money and I'll be getting less bang for my buck that way. That said this will be a first for me either way so I'll be getting in deep regardless.



Agreed on the clutch kit. I'm debating on an Exedy Stage 1 or OEM clutch. The car isn't modified right now but when I get a truck in a year or so I'll be able to go all out with this so I figure the clutch would be good. Flywheel I'm going to inspect and have a machine shop resurface.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:56 PM   #7
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If you have a lift drop the transmission. If not pull the motor. The motor can be out in under 30 minutes. Not that much to do if you have done it before. If not take your time. You will need new coolant but not oil. Just did a 2011 Wrx by pulling the motor. Took me 2 hrs out new clutch and fork with TOB. Any way you choose good luck.
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Old 08-09-2020, 03:39 PM   #8
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The AC can be unbolted from the engine with the hoses intact and laid to the side. Same with the PS pump.

FWIW, I have great luck with a Spec 2+ clutch in my cars. My 05 Legacy GT wagon even has a Spec LWFW.
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Old 08-19-2020, 11:21 PM   #9
Asm123
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Default Update

So the engine is out and the problem has been identified and below is a pic of what I found. The old release bearing is the 4 separate pieces and scattered ball bearings, and the piece all the way on the right is the new one and is what the old one is supposed to look like.

https://postimg.cc/87pdNbQr

Below is an image of the clutch and fly wheel. Certainly used but not at the end of their service life.

https://postimg.cc/V5tWR6W5

Honestly this is pretty frustrating, the clutch is supposed to be the wear item not the release bearing. Anyways tomorrow the new clutch, flywheel and release bearing go on and I get to reinstall everything that I've removed.

Last edited by Asm123; 08-19-2020 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Images weren't showing so I'm just putting in the links
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:52 AM   #10
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Sorry to hear.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:52 AM   #11
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That clutch and flywheel both look pretty good.
Shame that the release bearing came apart like that.
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Old 08-20-2020, 10:09 AM   #12
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Damn that really sucks but at least you're fixing it. It's not an easy job and you're tackling it.

While the Throwout Bearing is not a wear item, it does fail eventually (although not come apart like that).

If possible, I'd go for an OEM TOB and the pilot bearing that's in the flywheel.

Also inspect the clutch fork where it rides the pivot ball. Look for any small signs of cracking. It may also be best to get a new one depending on mileage; I saw someone in one of the FB groups sell a new Verus one.
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Old 08-20-2020, 01:58 PM   #13
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That blue on the FW tells me there was some heat in that baby.

Make sure you put a light coat of wheel bearing grease on the splines and tranny snout. Also the end of the input shaft where the Pilot bearing rides.

FWIW, when I put the engine back in my Legacy GT wagon, I found I had to jack up the rear of the car to get the tranny input shaft at a better angle.

Use anti-seize compound on all threads and the dowel pins in the block.

Not sure the fork set up on your car. But one thing I learned the hard way...make sure the fork doesn't fall off the pivot ball before you bolt the tranny in. Took me a while to figure out why I couldn't shift the car with the engine running.

Found the slave cylinder piston was moving at a downward angle. The fork dropped off the pivot ball in the 5mt. Had to remove the tranny to fix that. That was back in 2011.
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Old 08-20-2020, 05:35 PM   #14
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A note to perhaps brighten you day a bit on this one.

115K on the stock clutch and fly is not bad at all. 90% of the first time clutches we do here is in the 50-60k range.
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Old 08-27-2020, 03:13 PM   #15
Asm123
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Default Update 2

So I got the engine and new flywheel, clutch, tob, clutch fork etc installed. Right upon startup got a check engine light. SMH. Seems that there is this O2 sensor and if you don't plug it in all the way the car starts blinking at you. So got that plugged in and now all is good.


Overall this was a very good project for me. Mechanically speaking I think I grew quite a bit by taking on this task myself and am fairly confident that I won't have to pay a mechanic for any work for quite some time.



A few things I ran into along the way and some lessons learned.


1. Apparently when Subaru sells you a clutch they don't provide the alignment tool or even have a way to provide one in a timely manner. Lost a couple of days due to this. Also Fedex next day is trash, don't waste your money.



2. PBBlaster is a gift from Jesus himself and can solve almost all seized stud/nut/bolt issues you may run into.



3. When reinstalling my J-pipe I discovered the bracket that connects the J-pipe flange to the engine had changed dimensions/warped so I couldn't line up the upper flange bolts with the bolt hole to the water pump. Quick trip to the home depot to buy a metal file and removing about 1 mm of material from one of the brackets bolt holes saved the day.


4. Be prepared to buy lots of new tools. Nice part is even with all the money I spent on tools and parts I still saved some money vs having a mechanic do the job.



5. Pulling the engine from your car and reinstalling it is a PITA.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:42 PM   #16
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Congrats on the job. I did my clutch too at 91k. Pulled the tranny out from underneath the car - WITHOUT a lift. You don't want to even know how I did that. Overall I think the hardest thing was removing and installing the transmission on the engine. It took me about 3 days of researching and scratching my head about why it wasn't budging. The solution involved a 2x4 and a sledgehammer. I was definitely satisfied when the job was complete, like you I learned a lot in the process!

Last edited by tqrecords; 09-18-2020 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:14 PM   #17
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literally the right of passage of being a true Subaru owner LOL.
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