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Discussion Starter #1
As of late, my 02 GT has felt a bit sluggish under load and I am suspecting that the clutch may be starting to slip. Whether or not this is the reason for the hesitation, I am at 147k miles on the factory clutch and I am sure it's on borrowed time anyway. Being able to start out in third gear is never a good thing, and it chatters like a woodchuck. I think I might go ahead and change it, but I need advice as this is the first time I've ever done a clutch job.

The car is basically stock and will stay that way - it's my daily driver and I cart my daughter around in it, so I'm not interested in upgrading to anything that will handle more power because I'm gonna run this car like a 4.6-equipped livery vehicle. Basically I need to maximize drivability and reliability. The lighter the pedal feel, the better. Am I right in assuming that the OEM clutch is the way to go for this?

What else should I be replacing while the transmission is dropped? Throwout bearing and pilot bearing I assume? What about the flywheel? At this mileage, is it worth trying to find someone to resurface it, or should I just replace it?

Any advice on where to source the parts? Is the stock clutch the same thing as the Valeo kit (#52802005) that rockauto has for $165?

Also, what are the best videos and/or writeups for this job?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would go with this one. It's a good clutch kit and throw out bearing for what you are looking for, a little higher in price but not tooo bad.

https://www.jegs.com/i/McLeod/673/75004/10002/-1?ymm=4294829851+4294829830+4294829436

https://www.jegs.com/i/McLeod/673/16515/10002/-1?ymm=4294829851+4294829830+4294829436
Thanks for the suggestion. How does this compare to the Valeo kit on Rockauto? I'm looking to go as stock as possible with the lightest/smoothest feel. My wife currently has to pull back on my steering wheel just to be able to depress this heavy clutch with its squeaky TOB.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion. How does this compare to the Valeo kit on Rockauto? I'm looking to go as stock as possible with the lightest/smoothest feel. My wife currently has to pull back on my steering wheel just to be able to depress this heavy clutch with its squeaky TOB.
I honestly don't know anything about the Valeo brand. I always replaced mine when I had to with Centerforce or McLeod brand clutches.
 

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OEM clutch is fine. Get the Ford throw out bearing, pilot bearing, and resurface the flywheel. At 147k, you probably need a new clutch cable as well. You don't want that thing snapping and leaving you stranded.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OEM clutch is fine. Get the Ford throw out bearing, pilot bearing, and resurface the flywheel. At 147k, you probably need a new clutch cable as well. You don't want that thing snapping and leaving you stranded.
That's what I was figuring, but I'm wondering where to get an OEM clutch. Ford doesn't stock it, and I've read in a few places that the OEM clutch is Valeo, or possibly Luk. Can anyone point me in the right direction for the OEM setup?

I replaced the clutch cable relatively recently (120k-ish miles?) The clutch pedal was very firm and I wanted to eliminate that as a possible problem (It wasn't, but at least I have a relatively new OEM clutch cable in there now).
 

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Years ago I had a Cobra clutch kit installed, a few months ago I removed my trans. to fix a bent fork and I noticed the pressure plate was a Valeo.
Very easy to press and holds power fine.
 

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what ever you decide on

make sure you actually measure the clutch stack height

you need to ensure the new one is very close, if not you may need adjust the pivot

I would highly recommend a new flywheel as well
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the awesome advice. I will go ahead and order the valeo kit from Rockauto (part # 52802005), which includes the clutch disc, pressure plate cover, throwout bearing, alignment tool, and what appears to be the pilot bearing, although the description doesn't specifically mention it. Picture of the kit is attached. Does that look like the pilot bearing in the upper right next to the alignment tool?

Per indy2000's suggestion, I'll also replace the flywheel instead of resurface it.
 

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That does appear to be the pilot bearing in the pic. For what your doing with the car I would bring the flywheel to a local machine shop and have them look at it to see if resurfacing is an option. If it has never been machined you should be able to do that. Your pedal should be lighter after you do the clutch. Probably significantly lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Finally finished this job and I have to say, the difference in pedal feel is night and day. It’s so much lighter now - it feels like a four banger clutch. Here are a few things I learned doing this job:

- One of the passenger side exhaust manifold-to-h-pipe nuts is difficult to remove without the proper equipment. A 15mm mid-depth socket was a must for me, along with a swivel. The standard socket gets caught on the stud, and the deep wall is too big to clear the frame.

- Universal extensions are garbage for the torque needed to break some of the bolts loose during this job. Joint socket swivels are golden here, and less than $10 at harbor freight.

- My new favorite tools after tackling this job are the impact swivel sockets. They are a must for reaching some of the toughest bolts and getting a solid fit on them, especially the notorious top two bell housing bolts. It took patience and a little bit of luck for my impact gun to break one of these loose while almost rounding out the head.

- ICT Billet bellhousing bolt kit 551205 comes with bolts that are a hair shorter than the stockers on the TR3650. I ended up re-using all of them except the one I nearly rounded out and replaced it with a stock ford bolt (W710658-S439). Doing this again in the future, it might be wise to order the ford racing bolt kit that includes the pivot stud.

- I can confirm what I’ve read a lot about - the starter is a bear to remove if it’s the first time you’ve done this. The topmost bolt, in particular, is a pain in the neck to get out. I was, however, able to get a socket on both top bolts through extensions/swivels from the front of the engine. Taking off the front passenger wheel and removing some of the wheel well shroud allows you to get a pair of eyes on these bolts. After breaking them loose, I was able to finish unscrewing them with a small 1/4” ratchet and extension.

- I wouldn’t do this job without a proper transmission jack. This is a must if you’re doing it alone, and highly recommended if you’re doing it with help. I used the 400lb harbor freight jack. Removing it was a very delicate process because the input shaft has to clear the pressure plate spring, but there are ears on the transmission that constantly hit the transmission tunnel when you try to pull the transmission away. So you have to tilt it downward and out. Multiple pairs of hands can really help with this.

- Yes, the pressure plate and flywheel are both very heavy. Be smart about prying them loose. Leave one or two bolts in, halfway threaded, and pry them loose then so they don’t fall on the ground or on your face. When they’re loose, then you can unthread the bolts by hand and delicately remove these heavy pieces.

- The rent-a-tool pilot bearing remover was useless. All it did was deform the inner race of the pilot bearing. However, the infamous grease/bread trick worked like a charm.

- Don’t forget to change your rear main seal while you’re this deep into a job. Mine was leaking, but I would have changed it even if it weren’t. Also, the PTFE FelPro seal is a one-piece design and you do NOT have to re-use the “oil slinger” (baffle) that holds the stock seal in place.

- My clutch pivot stud was worn and had no grease on it. The splines on my input shaft were also dry and lightly rusted. Additionally, the sleeve on which the throwout bearing slides was barely greased. I think all of these contributed to my heavy pedal feel. I bought a new pivot stud and clutch fork (which came pre-greased) and am now enjoying a feather light clutch pedal. The Valeo clutch kit does come with spline lube.

- Neither the Valeo clutch kit nor the Valeo flywheel came with dowel pins for the flywheel. I thought I prepared well for this job, but I never once read that this would be an omission. In spite of the quality of the Valeo equipment, I found this to be very disappointing. I couldn’t get the dowels off the old flywheel without destroying them. Prepare ahead of time and get the dowels. I got mine from Ford Racing M6397A302 Pressure Plate Bolt and Dowel Kit. The pressure plate bolts in this kit are smaller than those on my 02 GT and designed for earlier mustangs, but the dowels are correct for my application. I also mushroomed the top of these dowels hammering them in. A dead blow hammer would have been wise to use. I was able to correct the mushrooming with my dremel's sanding drum and get them to fit the new pressure plate.

- The O2 sensor bracket that piggybacks on the top two bell housing bolts is a PITA. Use a coat hanger to keep it held up and out of the way while you shimmy the transmission back in. It was also very difficult to get these bolts started. I did the passenger side bolt by hand through the top of the engine bay, leveraging some finger dexterity. The driver side felt impossible because the O2 harness wiring is in the way, but I did a little trick from below the car - use a telescoping magnetic tool catcher to push the bolt in from the bottom. Took me 30 seconds, in contrast to failing to do this by hand from the top of the engine bay for an hour.

- Grab yourself a new exhaust flange gasket for reassembly of the exhaust system to the passenger side header. Your old one is probably falling apart. Fel-Pro 61203.

- Don't forget to follow the break-in procedure for the new clutch.

Thanks for the great advice here. I hope some of the information here helps someone gather more parts ahead of time before starting the job.
 
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