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Old 01-02-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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90 Clutch Help - clutch won't disengage

1990 Mustang, T-5, stock bellhousing, stock flywheel, stock quadrant and cable.

I pulled the trans and removed what I thought would be the factory clutch. The only marking on the clutch is from the manufacturer - Valeo. The pressure plate fingers stick out much farther than the "factory" clutch I purchased.

The clutch I put in is a Duralast clutch made by Valeo. P/N NU31175 from AutoZone. It's not my first choice in clutch...but my wife bought it for me for Christmas, I read decent reviews, and with a lifetime warranty, I'll put a few hours in every few summers. (I drive about 1k miles a year).

I installed the clutch and noticed that the release arm did not have the throw that it once did. Not thinking much of it, we put the car together only to find that the clutch would not disengage. When trying to start the car in gear, it would just lurch.

We pulled the clutch fork towards the engine and lifted the clutch pedal and that gave us just enough throw to start the car in gear, but I couldn't move the shifter out of gear or even hint at taking my foot off the clutch pedal.

I went to autozone and got another clutch for comparison. I didn't notice any difference between the one I installed and the one in the box at the store.

The only thing that I could think is that the clutch pivot ball needed adjustment. I threw a couple washers underneath of it and bolted everything back up. The throwout bearing now rides just on the fingers of the pressure plate. I have good fork travel, decent clutch feel, and good pedal travel. However, the clutch still won't disengage. I can start the car in gear now, but that's it.

My only guess is that the clutch kit is bad. But I'm open to any ideas and suggestions before I tear into the car again.

Some pics...

Here is the distance between the throwout bearing and the clutch fingers on the new clutch.



Here is how I adjusted the clutch pivot ball. I can't tell if it's stock or not.



Later I'll try and get video of the fork travel. Any help GREATLY appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:32 PM   #2
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If the clutch disc isn't disengaging when the throwout bearing is pushing the pressure plate my opinion would be bad marcel springs in the clutch disc. I would take the clutch kit back and get a new one. That is if the pressure plate is releasing pressure off the clutch disc and its not disengaging
Also did you resurface the flywheel?
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:00 AM   #3
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Are you sure you didn't install the disk backwards?
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:56 AM   #4
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You mention stock quadrant and cable.
Did you adjust it by pulling up on the pedal after install?
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE View Post
Are you sure you didn't install the disk backwards?
X2, MOST likely clutch plate in backwards. Thats the only time I've EVER seen one not disengage in my 50+ years working on them...!!! Most of the time they R either marked FLYwheel side or there is a tag on them that says "FlyWheel side".. And I've made that mistake Eons ago..

Last edited by midnightrider; 01-03-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90SilverNotch View Post
If the clutch disc isn't disengaging when the throwout bearing is pushing the pressure plate my opinion would be bad marcel springs in the clutch disc. I would take the clutch kit back and get a new one. That is if the pressure plate is releasing pressure off the clutch disc and its not disengaging
Also did you resurface the flywheel?
Thank you, and yes....the flywheel was resurfaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE
Are you sure you didn't install the disk backwards?
100% positive. This was our initial thought. When we pulled everything apart it was on correctly and when we put it back together me and my friend checked multiple times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8950OH
You mention stock quadrant and cable.
Did you adjust it by pulling up on the pedal after install?
Yes. No slack in the clutch pedal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightrider
X2, MOST likely clutch plate in backwards. Thats the only time I've EVER seen one not disengage in my 50+ years working on them...!!! Most of the time they R either marked FLYwheel side or there is a tag on them that says "FlyWheel side"..
I had someone else say that to me too....

It said "flywheel side" on the back of the clutch. That side is against the flywheel.

Thank you for all of the responses. It is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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in high school i had an 89gt and i put an autozone clutch kit on it. the guy that worked at the counter was a mustang guy as well, and he said that the throw out bearing that came with the clutch kit was incorrect. so he went and got the correct one and swapped it for me. thats just the way the kit came from there. that was 9 years ago, and i dont even know if it would make a difference in this situation. best of luck though
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:53 PM   #8
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you may want to check to see if the cable is frayed or streched. Have you checked the travel of the fork?
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:32 AM   #9
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Did you use any Loctite on the pressure plate bolts?
I did, and had the same problem. Turns out, I was overzealous on the Loctite application. Used a little too much. Couldn't for the life of me figure out why the clutch wouldn't disengage. Finally, pulled the tranny again, got the pressure plate off and realized the clutch disc was glued to the flywheel! Had to pry it off with a prybar!
Lesson learned.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullThrottleRR View Post
you may want to check to see if the cable is frayed or streched. Have you checked the travel of the fork?
Cable is in great shape, good fork travel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evintho
Did you use any Loctite on the pressure plate bolts?
Nope..but that's a great thought! Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:13 AM   #11
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I take it that you still haven't fixed this?

Did you try the other pressure plate with the new disc as a test?
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:49 PM   #12
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That photo of the clutch disc and throw-out bearing bothers me -- there's way too much space between the TOB and the diaphragm fingers.

Understand that as the clutch disc wears the diaphragm fingers move towards the rear of the car and towards the TOB. That's one of the reasons the Ford clutch cable setup auto-adjusts. So when you install a new clutch kit with a thicker clutch disc, the fingers move back towards the front of the car and away from the TOB.

I think you just need to adjust the clutch cable to move the TOB closer to the fingers. When I install clutches, I set the clutch cable so that, with the clutch fork pulled as far forward as possible (the TOB is resting on the fingers,) there's no more than 1/8" free play in the clutch cable (I use a firewall adjuster -- the factory self-adjuster is long gone.)
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:04 PM   #13
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Are yopu 100% sure that the new disc is the same diameter as the old disc?? Not just to the naked eye, but placed against each other. I tried to use an aftermarket 4 puck disc with my Centerforce, not realizing the CF disc was a quarter inch" in diameter smaller.

Went through all the bs and as I looked carefully at the CF pressure plate, I could see small marks on the edges, went digging for the CF disc and bingo... Took me 3 days, broken clutch cable, new TOB bearing, another firewall adjuster and double hook quadrant till I finally removed the CF pressure plate for closer inspection.

I would also second that the TOB appears to be a LONG way from making contact with the pressure plate.. That's an awful lot of slack to be taken up by stock quad or even a firewall adj...
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannon Fodder View Post
I take it that you still haven't fixed this?

Did you try the other pressure plate with the new disc as a test?
I have not. Friday night I will be trying a new clutch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt40mkII
That photo of the clutch disc and throw-out bearing bothers me -- there's way too much space between the TOB and the diaphragm fingers.
I remedied that by adjusting the pivot ball. I also did the proper adjusting of the clutch cable. The TOB now rides right on the pressure plate fingers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panoles1
Are yopu 100% sure that the new disc is the same diameter as the old disc?? Not just to the naked eye, but placed against each other. I tried to use an aftermarket 4 puck disc with my Centerforce, not realizing the CF disc was a quarter inch" in diameter smaller.
I'm 99% sure, but I will double check. It's a matched set, so I never thought it would matter.

Quote:
I would also second that the TOB appears to be a LONG way from making contact with the pressure plate.. That's an awful lot of slack to be taken up by stock quad or even a firewall adj...
Addressed above. I need to get a new pic of where it sits now. It's WAY better after spacing the pivot ball.

Which brings me to the question...should I have had to adjust the clutch pivot ball?

Thanks for all of the responses!
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:58 AM   #15
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I think we have it.

We could freely spin the clutch with the alignment tool with the trans removed and the clutch pushed in.

Once we mounted the trans, we tried to spin the driveshaft with no luck. Obviously, the trans was the problem.

We backed the trans out 1/4 of an inch from the bellhousing and suddenly, everything worked as advertised.

When looking at the original clutch s. the duralast, there is an obvious different. The Duralast clutch's splines on the friction plate are 8mm thicker. The trans output shaft housing is hitting the friction plate and binding it against the flywheel not allowing it to disengage.

Stock 302, looks like a stock bellhousing, and a stock T5. So what could be the issue? I can't be the first fox owner to encounter this problem....

Ideas? Did I miss a spacer? Is something supposed to be between the bellhousing and the motor? (I doubt it!)
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:45 AM   #16
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I don't think it is 8mm, but do you have the engine backing plate in behind the flywheel? It would go between the bellhousing and the engine. It is about 1/8th of an inch thick I think. If you left this out it may be your problem.

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Old 01-08-2011, 07:17 AM   #17
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I just found this post. I wish I had found it when it was first posted!

I encountered the same thing. The hub of the clutch disc FROM AUTOZONE was too thick. The INPUT shaft bearing retainer sleeve that the throwout bearing slides on was hitting the excess metal on the clutch disc hub and pushing the clutch tight against the flywheel regardless of the pedal position.

With the two clutches side by side it was easy to spot the difference in the hubs, but when you aren't expecting them to be any different it was easy to overlook.

As it was mentioned earlier about installing the clutch backwards. On the original clutch the hub sticks out more on the flywheel side than the transmission side. On the Autozone clutch both sides stuck out the same.
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:32 PM   #18
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So what was your solution? Did you just have to take it back and get a new one from somewhere else?
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:46 PM   #19
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I was called in to figure out why the freshly rebuilt transmission wouldn't shift right. They were starting it in neutral with the car on the ground and the synchros wouldn't let it go into ANY gear since the clutch wasn't disesngaging.

It turns out their customer didn't really need a new clutch after all so they put his old one back in, reassembled everything for the 4th of 5th time and just returned the clutch to Autozone. They were just changing the clutch while they were replacing the T5 so that everything would be fresh.

I'm sure that another clutch would have been fine as long as the rear flange of the clutch was the "shorter" style and not "tall" like the front side of the clutch.

While I was there, I discovered that the shop had also put gear oil in that fresh T5. I made them take that out and install the proper ATF. Gear oil will un-glue the synchro liners in a World Class T5 over time.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:13 PM   #20
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Problem found.

Input shaft on the trans is twisted very slightly not allowing the friction disk to slide onto the input shaft.

Now to figure out what to do with the input shaft....
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stangmata View Post
Problem found.

Input shaft on the trans is twisted very slightly not allowing the friction disk to slide onto the input shaft.

Now to figure out what to do with the input shaft....
Yes, that can cause this problem as well. It is very common on a TR3650, but does occasionally happen on a T5. Usually the gears shatter internally before the input twists, but yeppers, that'll do it!

IF everything else in the T5 is ok the input shaft CAN be changed from the front without a full tear down. Be sure to tip the tranny forward before pulling the input shaft out or those 15 rollers will fall down inside the main case rather than to stay in the "cup" in the back of the input shaft. Pack them with grease or vaseline when reassembling. The new input should be shimmed to get the right preload on the bearings and you are all set!

How much torque are you pushing? You may need something stronger like an Astro A-5 gear set...
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:36 PM   #22
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I've grenaded this tranny once before and upgraded all of the internals (can't remember who made the parts...it was 6+ years ago).

I'm currently searching for an input shaft. It's good to know that I wasn't just a complete idiot and that there was in fact a problem that we weren't seeing. A clutch install isn't exactly difficult (most of the time).
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #23
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If it is the standard 23 tooth 5.0 Fox input shaft you are looking for a 1352-085-025. You should be able to find it for under 100.00 but you will need a bearing pressed onto it. Do you have the steel-sleeved input bearing retainer already?
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:30 PM   #24
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Today I got the new input shaft in. Very easy to do once I got a hold of the correct shaft.

Everything works as it should. Thanks for all of the help!
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