Changing the clutch - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2005, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Changing the clutch

Hello all, Just wanted to let you know that I changed the clutch on my mazda3 2.3 5 speed today. Wasn't that bad, accoding to all-data it has a book time of 6.5 hours to change, and I got it done in about 6 while taking my time. I wanted to put a higher performance clutch and flywheel in around late January, however on the way back from work last tuesday I floored it while i was already in gear and aside from hearing the lovely sound of the motor mount, there was also a shake in the pedals and a thud from the motor. At the next light i noticed heavy chatter in First and it contiued all the way home, along with very easy slipping in any gear. I wasn't exactly sure what happened until I got it off, however now I know. Somehow, half of the pad on the gearbox side of the clutch was missing. I'll try to post pictures of it later, however I thought it was strange. The rest of the pad was worn, but not worn out and that section just kinda ripped off. I have about 50k miles and wanted to know if anyone else has had any problems with slipping in gear or similar clutch wear related issues so soon in the lif of the car. Also, if anyone has any questions about the process of changing the clutch, be sure to ask. I regretfully did not take pictures while I was changing it, mainly out of love for my digital camera and not wanting to get it dirty, although, i still might do the lighter flywheel and stage 1 clutch late Jan. If I do then I will take pictures of the process then.

What I did / How to: (This is all from memory of earlier so if i missed something and you notice, let me know)

Items needed:
CLUTCH ALIGNMENT TOOL (aka pilot alignment tool) - It does not come with the clutch when orderd from Mazda
Obviously: Clutch Disc, Pressure Plate, and Release Bearing (aka throw-out bearing)
A good set of swivel sockets- there are a few tight places where they come in handy
Decent competecy of automotive knowledge and mechanics.
2 Transmission Jacks
Car lift (actual lift, not a floor jack, although you could probably do it with a couple of good floor jacks and a creeper)

Total Cost: $409 after tax (Clutch, pressure plate, and throwout bearing w/ release arm)

What I did:
-Starting on top, the airbox and battery box must be removed. The ecu is on the side of the battery box and that comes out with it.
-Once you have those two items out, you can see all the connections, brackets, and mounts
-There is one main copper colord bracket bolted to the tranny that must come off, it has 2 bolts and is just about centered on the top of the tranny
-Disconnect any wires that go to the tranny, and unclip any bundle of wires that are clipped to brackets on the tranny. As far as I can remember there are 4 sensor wires going to the tranny, and 2 small ground cables.
-Disconnect the gear shift cables by prying the cable off the ball. I found it works best with a small pry at the base of the ball.
-After you get the gear shif cables off, pinch the top of the plastic piece that holds it in the bracket to get it out.
- remove the 4 nuts that hold the bracket for the battery box, and remove the bracket to get access to the Tranny mount
-LOOSEN not remove the copper colored bolt on the upper right motor mount as well as the 2 nuts and one bolt on the tripod connecting the mount to the tranny
-Remove the top 3 Tranny bolts connecting it to the motor
-Put the car in the air, and remvoe the plastic shield
-Remove the bolt of each shoe and pull the wheel assembly out of the lower arm (some prying will be needed)
-Remove the drive shafts completely. ( I got the tranny out with the drive shafts hanging there, however getting it back in they got in the way.
-Remove the two bolts on the hydrolic clutch cylinder and slide it out. Be sure to tape it or somehow keep it compressed. You dont want it to over extend.
-Make sure there are no more wires connected to any harness that will prevent you from pulling the tranny down
-Place a tansmission stand/jack under the oilpan and apply enough presure to hold the motor. (for lack of a tranny jack i actually used a long 2x4 with a floor jack underneath, it was hilarious.)
- Remove the lower engine mount that is connected to the tranny.
- Get on a latter/stepstool and remove the upper motor mount and the cast iron tripod that connects to the tranny.
-Remove the 4 (possibly 5 i cant remember for sure) lower bolts that connect the tranny to the motor.
-- Place another transmission jack/stand under the tranny and appky enough pressure to hold it when you pry it off. (Again i did not have a transmission jack/stand so this was done with me and 2 frends carrying it to the floor after slightly prying it off. It only weighs about 100lbs. I was surprised tp be able to carry it byself to a workbench)
-Pry the tranny off and lower the tranny jack (if you have one)
-Clutch plate is held on by 8 (i'm pretty sure thats right) bolts, remove them
-Clutch disc falls out.
-Place the alignment tool in the clutch and then onto the flywheel
-Replace the pressure plate and hand tighten the bolts evenly
-take the alignment tool out and make sure the clutch is dead enter
-torque each bolt to 25lbs EVENLY
- Remove the release rod and relase bearing and replace it with the new one. It just snaps on.
-Put everything back together. (You should be able to do everything backwards so I'm not gonna spell it out)

Any questions, let me know. This is my first post so I figured I would start with a good one
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2006, 07:39 PM
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Re: Changing the clutch

After more than half a year of you posting this, I've finally stumbled upon this thread via another thread. If I had access to a lift I would've probably done this myself with the help of some friends as well.

Good job!

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2004 Strato Blue Mica Mazda3i
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-12-2006, 02:23 PM
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Re: Changing the clutch

thx fo the info i plan to change my clutch and flywheel in the near future once i find some cash and free time and then you guys will have another how to by me like the bsd

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 11:42 AM
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Re: Changing the clutch

any chance taht we done have to do the throwout bearing? its nearly 150 dollars on itself. car only has 45k miles on it. will be using a friend of the families transmission shop to do the change. and i believe their good guy can do it without removing the tranny from the car. ill update if i can.

[edit] so it was 7 bolts on the 2.3 (black little things.) all around teh perifery including two that you loosen then back the tranny out a bit and then loosen some more until you are done removing the bolts.
took me three hours to get it out and the flywheel is being sent to be machined (heat cracking). the clutch was done. toast. kaput. and its a sachs clutch assembly. strange since sachs doesnt have an aftermarket kit for the car (the transmission shop owner checked for me.)
total for machining and parts was 200 no throwout (it is fine).

-as well taking off the rear mount is easy if one unbolts the three bolts holding it to the tranny and then the one bolt holding it to the car. then just slide away.
-the passenger side drive shaft has a "carry" that has three bolts in it that you have to loosen in order to remove it.
-when you remove teh battery box you physically remove your battery, unbolt the box, then pull the box around and set it down upside on your motor. you cant actually remove it without messing with cable connections to the ecu.
-caution your exhaust will be hot after driving an hour to get to the shop. be very aware of this when reaching up next to your headers to remove those two pesky bolts there.
-it takes one BIG breaker bar to pull the control arm off of the pinion bearing (i think the original poster called it a shoe).
-dont worry about letting the hydraulic clutch cylinder extend. itll return easily when your done. (as told to me by the guy who changed three trannys in the time it took me to take mine out, when i was freaking out about this.)
-tranny shops have dirty floors. dont kneel down w/o using a piece of cardboard.
-my arms hurt.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 04:14 AM
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Re: Changing the clutch

Wow. Thanks for posting!

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 10:31 PM
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Re: Changing the clutch

Great job!!!! I will need this info pretty soon!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2016, 10:02 PM
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Just Bought A stage 2 Clutch off ebay for $200 Hopefully I can get it in by next week.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 02:02 PM
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How much play was there on the throw out bearing and the clutch fork?
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