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1,705 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This guide is for the installation of a new clutch and flywheel on any 88-91 CRX. If you are sticking with the stock flywheel, it can often be re-surfaced and re-used. Pressure plates and clutches are not normally re-used.

Tools/supplies needed

10mm and 17mm 12 point sockets. (normal sockets will not work!)
Torque wrench(s)
Piece of rigid scrap metal (4 inchs by 1 inch is more than big enough)
Drill and drill bits
Clutch alignment tool (a free one usually comes with clutch kits)

Opening Notes

This guide assumes that you have already removed the transmission. If you have not, please review the other "How to's" on those subjects first.

Removal of Pressure Plate/Clutch

Remove the old pressure plate and clutch by undoing the six 12 point 10mm bolts around the outer edge of the pressure plate. Undo the bolts 2 turns at a time in a criss-cross pattern. This will prevent warpage to the pressure plate. (important if you are re-installing it again later).

Removal of Flywheel

The first thing you need to worry about is getting the flywheel to hold still so that you can remove the six flywheel bolts. Honda has a tool that holds the flywheel in place, but it is pretty pricey for what it is. You can accomplish the same thing by taking a small piece of rigid scrap metal and drilling two holes in it in each end. Take this scrap of metal and bolt one of the pressure plate bolts through the scrap piece of metal and into the flywheel. Bolt the other end of the scrap metal onto the engine block with one of the Transmission-to-Engine-Block bolts. It is important that you drill the holes to appropriate sizes to accommodate each of these bolts.

I did not plan ahead, and didn't have a piece of extra scrap metal laying around, so I had to use a little bit of ingenuity (and use a tool for an unintended purpose. *gasp* :shock: ). I took a small, inexpensive tap wrench ($7.00 CDN) and bolted it onto the flywheel to accomplish the same effect.

Once the flywheel is secured in place, unbolt the six 12 point 17mm bolts that hold on the flywheel. Remove your scrap metal apparatus. Remove the flywheel carefully and set it aside (if you are planning on reusing it).

If you are planning on reusing the flywheel, inspect it for cracks, burning or scoring. If it is damaged, discard it and install a new one. If there isn't any damage, it can be resurfaced and reused with the new clutch.

Now that the flywheel is off, you can see the end of the crank shaft and the main seal. If there is evidence of oil leaking from the main seal, you should replace it at this time. (See the post "How to: Replace the main seal (flywheel end)"). This is important. It would be a terrible waste of money if your new clutch got contaminated with oil.

Replacement of Pilot Bearing

The pilot bearing is a small bearing in the center of the flywheel. If you insert your finger into it and turn it, it should turn freely with out any grinding or noise. If the bearing is bad, it should be replaced.

To remove it, take a punch and gently tap it out with a hammer. Lightly oil the pilot bearing surface on the flywheel before installing a new pilot bearing. Find a socket that is the same diameter as the outside of the new pilot bearing. You want to only exert force on the outside ring of the bearing. Applying force anywhere else on the bearing could ruin it. Use your new socket and a hammer to gently tap the new bearing into the flywheel. Check the alignment of the socket before each strike of the hammer to make sure you don't damage the bearing. Keep tapping on the socket until the bearing bottoms out in the flywheel.

Installation of Flywheel

Install the new (or re-surfaced) flywheel and bolt it down hand tight. Reinstall your scrap metal apparatus to hold the flywheel still. Torque down the 12 point 17mm bolts in a criss-cross pattern to 87 ft-lbs. Remove the scrap metal apparatus.

Installation of Clutch

Insert your clutch alignment tool through the pressure plate and clutch plate. Align the pressure plate with the dowel pins on the flywheel. Make sure the clutch alignment tool is centered and inserted all the way into the pilot bearing on the flywheel. Bolt down the pressure plate hand tight. Torque down the 12 point 10mm bolts in a criss-cross pattern to 19 ft-lbs. You want to tighten the bolts only 2 turns at a time in the criss-cross pattern so that you do not warp the diaphragm springs on the pressure plate.

Installation of new release bearing

The release bearing is found on the input/main shaft of the transmission. It should be replaced whenever the clutch is replaced. Remove the 12mm bolt at the base of the release fork.

Slide out the release shaft from the side of the transmission and remove the old release bearing and the release spring. Apply molybdenum disulfide grease to the splines on the input shaft and to the areas pointed out in the picture below. Reinstall the new release bearing and reinstall the release shaft. Reinstall the bolt and torque to 21 ft-lbs.

Finally, reinstall the transmission and you're done!

1,315 Posts
I didn't have a piece of scrap metal around or a tap wrench. I ended up using a small 8 mm wrench and did the following:

This was for tightening, you have to flip it around for loosening. It's not ideal, but it works in a pinch.

1,315 Posts
I'd like to add some additional tips to help somebody else avoid the mistakes I made.

- The clutch disc can be installed backwards. Here is the proper orientation:

- The pressure plate pins allow the pressure plate to mount flush only one way. Make sure they are aligned before tightening it down.

- When tightening down the pressure plate, I found holding up on the alignment tool up on the end while tightening helps a little.

- Right after you reinstall the transmission but before you move on to installing everything else. Use a 17 mm ratchet or breaker bar and rotate the crankshaft counter clockwise to make sure everything it is mounted correctly. If it does not spin, your car is unlikely to start.
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