“Maintaining Manual Transmission”
Much as manual transmission (MT) vehicles are becoming scarcer, there is the need to maintain those that are available and keep them giving their owner value for money. I for one, I am an ardent lover of the manual transmission.
By the way, much as the USA, Canada and Japan may have gone the AT (Automatic transmission) way, Europe and South Africa still feature the MT so much. Like in Tropical Africa, where the number of paved roads in terms of kilometres is less than 10% of the total road network, the MTs are here to stay.
If you are an owner of the MT vehicle, you need to have the transmission in the best of condition. I took my car to the garage with an MT problem, at the end of the day, the mechanic messed up my Clutch system such that, I had to remove the one that he had fitted in and replaced it with a new one again. To avoid this scenario, you need to be alert!
Is your manual transmission getting harder to shift? Does it feel like it just doesn’t grab like it used to? Or maybe it’s starting to chatter or vibrate? A worn clutch may be the culprit here. Or it could be the result of something else, such as a transmission misalignment. One obvious sign that this is the problem would be rust residue on the disc and pressure plate. How do you Pin point the Problem? In many cases, one of the two transmission dowel pins could get damaged or go missing, which may allow the transmission to tilt down on the passenger’s side of the vehicle, causing the misalignment.
The input shaft on the transmission may also get heavily worn where it might ride on the pilot bearing due to the misalignment. Correcting the cause of the problem is simply a matter of making a new dowel pin for the transmission and installing it. Although this relatively simple fix is just one example of many possible problems that might need to be addressed, the procedure for servicing and re-assembly applies to clutches in general.
Making adjustments - Prior to putting the clutch back together, the flywheel should be re-surfaced and a new pilot bearing installed in the flywheel, which is always recommended. Other tips include using a drop of Loctite on the threads of the bolts prior to bolting the flywheel to the engine.
Also, clean the flywheel and pressure plate with acetone to ensure an oil-free surface (this is one area where you should get rid of any lubrication at all). Make sure to use the correct alignment tool when placing the disc up to the flywheel. Once again, before bolting and torqueing the pressure plate to the flywheel, apply a drop of Loctite on the threads of the bolts.
Inspect for Wear and tear - In addition to replacing the pilot bearing, follow the same procedure for the throw-out bearing on the transmission. The reason is that release issues can be caused due to a worn pilot bearing and/or scoring of the inside collar of the throw-out bearing.
Always inspect hardware for wear and replace with new, factory specified or higher quality aftermarket hardware. If you cant get the exact Clutch kit from your manufacturer, get Centreforce one, they make a wide range of high-performance upgrades for many types of vehicles. What makes a Centerforce clutch produce more clamping power is the innovative application of a well-known phenomenon: centrifugal force.