How To: Install Mechanical or Hydraulic Clutch Linkage

 

After you’ve installed your pilot bearing, flywheel, clutch, pressure plate and bellhousing and have performed your bellhousing dial-in for proper alignment as well as used your clutch alignment tool to align your clutch, you can begin to install your linkage system. 

 

MECHANICAL LINKAGE

First, you need to create the proper clutch fork angle.

  1. Install the ball stud onto the bellhousing. 
  2. Add a small amount of grease to the ball stud and attach the throw-out bearing to the clutch fork.  If it’s a GM clutch fork and throw out bearing, make sure the fork’s spring clip goes below the throw out  bearing collar.  Nothing goes between the fork and the spring. If it’s a Ford or Mopar, check your installation manual.
  3. Secure the clutch fork to the ball stud.
  4. Check the angle of the clutch fork by gently pushing against the end of the fork as the clutch pedal would until the throw out bearing touches the fingers of the pressure plate.  The clutch fork angle should be within 5 to 7 degrees of parallel to the motor, angled toward the motor. 
  5. If you’re using an adjustable ball stud, screw the stud in or out to achieve the 5°-7° angle.  Once you find the location, secure the lock nut.

 

Mechanical Linkage

 

TIPS: The most common mistake GM owners make is the way they attach the fork to the bearing, the spring MUST NOT be separated from the fork; it should go under the lip of the throw out bearing.  The second most common mistake is neglecting to check the angle of the clutch fork before installing the transmission.  If the angle in incorrect, you will have to uninstall the transmission.  It’s better to check first.

 

Throw Out Bearing

 

  1. Install the Transmission
  2. The throw out bearing needs to have some free play.  Move the clutch fork back and forth, you should be able to move the bearing about 1/16” to 1/8” away from the pressure plate fingers.  When it is touching the pressure plate, it should have maintained the 5°-7° angle.  If it did not maintain the angle, you must remove the transmission and correct the angle.  The ball stud may not have been properly locked down or you may have some wrong parts.  Call tech support if you need help troubleshooting.  If you’re unable to move the bearing 1/16” to 1/8” from the pressure plate, you should call tech support.

Next, you’ll install the remaining pieces of your mechanical linkage.  This would be particular to your car and the instructions will come with your kit.  If you’re going to re-install your factory linkage, it will help to take several photos and write down notes just in case. 

TIP:  One of our favorite tools is a magnetic steel bowl, sold at most home improvement and parts stores.  If you put all the nuts, bolts and little parts into the bowl, it’s easy to see what you left out after reassembling.  The best ones are magnetic on both sides so you can attach it to the bottom of the car while you are lying on your back taking out bolts.

 

HYDRAULIC CLUTCH ACTUATOR

Hydraulic systems vary from car to car and we will give you illustrated and detailed instructions for your application.  However, there are some tips we can give you that are universal.

First, it is VITAL you measure the hydraulic bearing cushion.  To do this, you’ll need to install the flywheel, clutch, pressure plate and bellhousing and mount the slave cylinder to the transmission.

  1. Measure the distance between the bellhousing and the pressure plate fingers by using a straight edge and a ruler or tape measure.  Record this depth measurement as “X”.

    measurement x
  2. Compress the slave cylinder completely and place a straight edge across the throw out bearing.  Measure the distance from the throw out bearing to the face plate of the transmission.  Record the compressed bearing height as “Y”.

    measurement y
     
  3. Subtract Y from X to find your bearing cushion: X-Y=Cushion
  4. If the cushion is between 1/8” (0.125”) and 3/8” (0.375”), you’re good!  If the cushion is outside of this range, you will need to use a spacer.  Call Silver Sport Transmissions with your cushion measurement and they will calculate how many spacers you will need.  You may need one or more CSC spacers to move the concentric slave cylinder towards the engine or you may need a bellhousing spacer to move the transmission and concentric slave cylinder away from the engine.  However, you can only use one bellhousing spacer.  If your measurement can’t be corrected with the bellhousing spacer you may need to resurface the flywheel, change to a thinner flywheel or change to a different clutch to make up the difference.

It is so important to complete this step and to properly measure the cushion because if you don’t, it will always result in damage.

Second, if you did not purchase your hydraulic system and TKO together and you’re installing the hydraulics yourself, you will need to open up the TKO.  It’s not heart surgery, or even a game of Jenga, but it is important not to let the input shaft fall while it is unsupported.  You’ll have a transmission full of roller bearings and the whole transmission will have to be disassembled!

  1. Put the transmission on a flat, solid surface like a workbench or the floor, a transmission jack would be a horrible place to do this job!
  2. Read all the instructions carefully and have all the tools you need handy before you start.
  3. If you have any questions, call tech support for clarification first.  It may save you lots of trouble later.
  4. Read through the instructions one more time and take your time.  It’s not a difficult job; just one you’ll want to be fully prepared for.