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New Clutch Problems :(

 
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:14 AM
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Icon2 New Clutch Problems :(

Okay, so I've been having a really difficult time with my 98 Prelude SH that I bought about a month ago...as in, I only had it for a couple days on the road and it's spent the rest of the time in the shop. I really like this car, but I just wish I wouldn't have bought it. Firstly, I was driving down the road, not especially hard or anything, just trying to get the hang of downshifting (I'm a new stick owner), when I started to notice a decrease in power. So I waited 'till I hit like thirty MPH, stuck it in fifth and hit the gas pedal for all I was worth. Low and behold, the RPM's shoot up and I go nowhere. Tried to drive it home but I couldn't get it to go past like 25 MPH and so I had to turn around and get it towed the next day. I looked into it and decided my clutch was shot.

Fast forward to my next paycheck, which all went towards an Exedy OEM Replacement Clutch Kit ( I work part-time minimum wage ). So I give the mechanic the kit and he gets to fixing it. I've never dealt with this guy before, but he seems like a good guy and he was offering to do the replacement for remarkably cheap ( $300 Labor ). Anyways, it takes him a couple days and he gives me a call saying he just has to throw on the battery and wheels and it's done. So I go up there, and him and one of his friends are gathered around my car trying to figure something out. Turns out that the car won't go into gear and they can't figure out why. They're pressing the clutch, looking inside the hood at what I assume is the clutch fork. Then they're trying to bleed out the clutch, asking me to press the clutch. So I do that, and it feels perfectly normal, just like a clutch should. Occasionally it sticks to the floor and I have to pull it back up, but then it just feels normal again. Anyways, bleeding it out didn't work. A couple more guys come through, and none of them can figure out the problem, a couple suggesting a slave cylinder, but then quickly deciding they don't think that's it because it's pushing or something like that. So they try to put it in gear but from what I could hear, it just didn't want to go. So then this guy comes in, and he's and older gentleman. He seems stumped for a while but then randomly declares the flywheel is warped, and everyone disperses. However, I'm skeptical. Like I said before, I work part time minimum wage and really do not want to spend another whole paycheck on a flywheel if that's not even going to be the problem. BTW, I know that when the mechanic replaced the clutch he didn't replace the flywheel or resurface it.

I know it's a lot to read and I don't have much information, but I'm really at a desperate place right now and need any and all advice I can get. If there's information missing that you would need to know to make a more accurate assesment, just let me know and I'll try to figure it out. Thanks alot for your time!
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:24 AM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

So its not going into gear and tha clutch petal sticks to the floor sometimes right? And every time you replace the clutch u need to resurface the flywheel. i cant see how a warped flywheel would keep it from going into gear. not really sure what it is.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:49 AM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Well, it would go into gear, but it just took a bit of work. Regretably, I never tried to do it myself so I'm not really sure but I think it just was fighting going into gear. But as far as the flywheel, I was thinking the same thing. My mechanic called me recently and told me he's going to put a new slave cylinder in it and hope that's the problem. Now that I think about it, the fluid they drained out was dark and I know that it's supposed to be clear and that might hint towards a bad master or slave cylinder.

Also, my mechanic wants to change the slave cylinder first because it's a cheap fix and he really doesn't want to pull out the tranny again. Which, considering he's only getting paid $300 for all that work I don't blame him. However, if replacing the slave cylinder fixes it, what should I do about the flywheel? I've heard it needs to be resurfaced everytime the clutch is replaced but how bad is it? I don't want to ask him to do all that work again, but maybe he should've known that had to be done?
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:14 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

yea go ahead and get both the master and slave cylinder replaced. and did he replace the trans fluid? if not that might b y it was fighting going into gear. and yes if u dont resurface or replace ur flywheel it causes premature wear on your new clutch. heres a link to my thread where i replaced my clutch just so u get some insight of the work required to properly replace the clutch NEW CLUTCH!!!
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:17 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Alright thanks for the response man. Damn I just wanna get this car outta the f^cking shop. You got any opinions on resurfacing vs. replacing?
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:22 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

yea i hear ya man mine was up on tha jacks for a week. The 5th gens flywheel is a stepped flywheel and u will hav a hard time probably finding some1 who will resurface it. its prob just better to get a new flywheel i think i paid like $67 for mine at pepboys. which resurfacing would prob b round half that. O and remember u hav to break in the new clutch for atleast 700miles. which means no going over 3000rpm or dropping the clutch or down shifting.....worst part of the whole thing.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:25 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Psh, a week in the shop? I had this car on the road for like 4 days, and now it's been in the shop like a month. And then once I get it fixed, I won't even be able to take it on the road 'cuz I still have to get emissions and get it registered. Three words: FML.

And 67 for a flywheel? I was looking online and it looks to be about 100 more than that.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:29 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Well it would hav only taken me a weekend if i didnt hav to keep waiting on parts. yea tha price i paid for the flywheel suprised me. just give like autozone, advance auto, and pepboys a call to quote prices. sucks being on a min wage budget man.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:34 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Yea I'll do that. Thanks again man. And yea, I hardly have enough money to pay for food, let alone fix this car.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:57 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Mechanic is a friggin moron.

#1. Did he even align the clutch up when he put it in? Did he lightly grease the input shaft splines?
#2. Did he check the flywheel for cracks or hotspots before replacing it?
#3. He didn't resurface or replace the flywheel. With a new clutch, you ALWAYS do one or the other.
#4. Did he bother to readjust your pedal free play after he replaced the clutch?
#5. You replaced the throwout bearing and pressure plate too right? They came in the kit? I'm pretty sure they do...

He seems like the type that would touch the flywheel or pressure plate disc with oily fingers, then you have to come back in after a couple days not knowing why your clutch failed again...

I did some checking, and a clutch job (done properly) is about 9 hours labor time, maybe a bit more, for an SH. Mechanics usualy charge anywhere from $45 to $75 an hour for labor (or more or less, it really depends, for mechanics in my area $65 is pretty average) which means he is doing it for REALLY cheap.

Ever heard the phrase you get what you pay for?

But, I know what it is like to be broke, so I can't ride you too hard for it. But if this mechanic is stumped, tells you he is stumped and has friends and passerby looking at it, that raises many red flags to me. Sounds like he is a MECHANIC and not a TECHNICIAN. There is a big difference.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:30 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

honestly man i would have just downloaded the shop manual from this very website,done a lil bit of research and did it myself if i don't sell my lude by march im going to do a swap and get the exedy clutch and flywheel combo and do it all my self. Ive never done it but I'd rather Fu(k it up myself and know whats going on rather than have some random guy that I've never met get under the skirt of my girl and do worse
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:47 PM
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Icon2 Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by havikprelude View Post
Mechanic is a friggin moron.

#1. Did he even align the clutch up when he put it in? Did he lightly grease the input shaft splines?
#2. Did he check the flywheel for cracks or hotspots before replacing it?
#3. He didn't resurface or replace the flywheel. With a new clutch, you ALWAYS do one or the other.
#4. Did he bother to readjust your pedal free play after he replaced the clutch?
#5. You replaced the throwout bearing and pressure plate too right? They came in the kit? I'm pretty sure they do...

He seems like the type that would touch the flywheel or pressure plate disc with oily fingers, then you have to come back in after a couple days not knowing why your clutch failed again...

I did some checking, and a clutch job (done properly) is about 9 hours labor time, maybe a bit more, for an SH. Mechanics usualy charge anywhere from $45 to $75 an hour for labor (or more or less, it really depends, for mechanics in my area $65 is pretty average) which means he is doing it for REALLY cheap.

Ever heard the phrase you get what you pay for?

But, I know what it is like to be broke, so I can't ride you too hard for it. But if this mechanic is stumped, tells you he is stumped and has friends and passerby looking at it, that raises many red flags to me. Sounds like he is a MECHANIC and not a TECHNICIAN. There is a big difference.
I don't know number 1, but he said the flywheel was moderatly burned and said nothing about cracks. And he knew I was tight on money so he assumed that the flywheel would be OK and kept it in. Once again, not sure about number 4, but yea the kit came with all that.

And he also middleman'd the car in the deal and agreed to fix the parts that I could find wrong for free if I simply paid for the part, and up until the clutch he held true to that promise (O2 sensor, minor maintenance and oil change) so I think he was trying to keep the same bargain but wasn't willing to do it absolutely free because of the work load required. Additionaly, I know he has experience changing clutches and such. I talked to him recently and he says if changing the flywheel doesn't fix it, he doesn't know what will. What are your thoughts? Likewise, what are your thoughts about me continuing to do buisness with this guy? And on the same note, if he were to only make things worse, what legal action could I take, if any?
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:02 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

sounds like a job for for the search squad
google yahoo and bing!!! lol
what makes you certain he has experience doing this? (word of mouth?)
"if changing the flywheel don't fix it he don't know what will"? what kind of mechanic is this?!?!?! "well your car wont start and stay running so if changing the battery wont work i dont know what will" (answer is alternator im just giving an example)
im not going to lie and say i know what the problem is because simply i don't.
if any thing legal needs to be done call around to some lawyers and see what they say they are usually happy to provide some information and will jump on a case if they can see themselves making money.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:34 PM
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Icon2 Re: New Clutch Problems :(

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Originally Posted by ranger11x View Post
sounds like a job for for the search squad
google yahoo and bing!!! lol
what makes you certain he has experience doing this? (word of mouth?)
"if changing the flywheel don't fix it he don't know what will"? what kind of mechanic is this?!?!?! "well your car wont start and stay running so if changing the battery wont work i dont know what will" (answer is alternator im just giving an example)
im not going to lie and say i know what the problem is because simply i don't.
if any thing legal needs to be done call around to some lawyers and see what they say they are usually happy to provide some information and will jump on a case if they can see themselves making money.
Thanks for the reply! And yea, he mentioned about changing the clutch on his brother's Prelude before any issues even came up with mine. And as far as him running out of ideas, we've already changed the slave cylinder, the master is A-okay, we bled the lines and such. If he can't fix it and I can't take legal action, there's always my last resort...
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:14 AM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

UPDATE & NEW QUESTION

Ok, so I'm pretty sure that the flywheel is the problem. Now my question is; is it important to match my brand new Exedy OEM Replacement clutch with an Exedy flywheel? And if not, any suggestions on a good flywheel for a decent price?
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:21 AM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

just make sure the flywheel is for your engine and you should be fine
fidenza gets mad good reviews on here.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:52 AM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Yea I have heard nothing but good things from them. They're a tad bit pricey, though...
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:27 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

Fidanza is the way to go when it comes to aftermarket flywheels, but honestly if this is your daily driver it may not be worth the money [to you]. I would find an OEM replacement, go to advanced auto or Oreilly's, etc. If the flywheel is "burned" then resurfacing it may not do any good. You may have to buy a new one.

As to whether or not that is the problem, I kind of doubt it. A flywheel that is burned and has hot spots can cause clutch chatter and such, but it shouldn't make it not go into any gear. Something must be binding up. My guess is 1. He screwed up. Did not check to make sure that it was aligned properly, did not put everything back together properly, etc. Guess 2. is since the clutch was so bad, something was compensating for the clutch. The only thing I know that does this is your pedal free play. See, when the clutch gets worn out, the pressure plate release fingers move closer to the throwout bearing. This happens naturally, but it allows you to still operate the clutch the same by maintaining the same clearances as the clutch friction material wears away. This is why your pedal will typically get harder and you will have less free play in the pedal as the clutch gets worn. This is also why you need to readjust pedal free play after a new clutch is installed.


I would do four things before anything else:

1. Have him check the shift cables and make sure they are not damaged or excessively worn.
2. Get the flywheel turned or buy a new one, then slap it on.
3. Make sure that he makes sure the clutch disk is absolutely aligned before bolting on the pressure plate housing (clutch housing).
4. Make sure he greases everything up. The input shaft splines, input shaft bearing retainer (quill shaft), release lever, lever pivot and lever to release bearing surfaces should all be lightly greased.
5. Make sure before and after installation, the pressure plate friction surface and flywheel friction surface are thoroughly cleaned. Any grease or oil on either of these surfaces will cause premature failure.
6. After he puts it all back together, readjust your pedal free play.



I'm taking this route of thinking because of one simple truth. Before the car went into his shop, the car shifted. After he performed the repair, it does not. This makes it his fault, and he has to fix it, otherwise he cannot take your money.

If this does go to court, which should be your last option (remember, court cases like this could take years and lots of money before they are settled) get a copy of the repair order. (if he doesn't have one, then legally you can take your car out of his shop without paying him a dime, legally. A R.O. is a legally binding contract.) On the repair order it will state your information, your cars information, what was wrong when you brought it in, the cause of the problem, and what he did to correct it, as well as parts he used and the cost of all parts and labor. This is vital to have in court. And if he screwed up on the R.O. at all, then he can be held liable, even for the smallest mistake.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:20 PM
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Re: New Clutch Problems :(

I have done quite a few of these and have run into this problem a couple of times. Once on a prelude and a couple of other cars. I did a very good job and lined everything up, grease, t/o bearing and had to get another exedy clutch kit and install it and then everything was butter! It is possible that I was just a hair off on the clutch alignment but I highly doubt it since I have done hundreds of clutch jobs and always use the alignment tool and then double check after I tighten the pressure plate down. This job is kind of a pain to do in your driveway and I do not recommend it especially if you've never done one before. The "mechanic" hehe, should order another clutch kit and install it at no charge to you. he can send the other one back as defective and there's really no point in trying again with the same one as there is a significant amount of time involved.
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