Clutch Questions- adjustment? - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-23-2014, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch Questions- adjustment?

Hey all, have a couple of questions about the clutch. Mine is a 11 WRX hatch, 43K miles, stage 2 power, everything else stock. When I redline in any gear (sometimes it takes more than one time/gear), the next time I press the clutch in it feels very rough, not smooth at all. That feeling goes away after a little bit, but I'm just wondering why that is, what the fix for something like that would be.
My other question is this- the clutch doesn't engage as sharp as it used to, the RPM's dip for a split second right after I release the clutch pedal, and it feels like for a brief moment the power isn't all there. It's worse in the lower gears, and the problem isn't there when I ride the clutch, kind of like a mini-launch. When I asked some non-subie peeps at work they said it might just need a clutch adjustment. How hard is adjusting the clutch, can it be done at home with the car on ramps? What can you adjust with a clutch anyways?
How long do the clutches usually last in our cars? I know it depends on driving style, in my case I would say spirited, but I've never tracked the car.

-Miguelito
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-24-2014, 06:19 PM
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As far as adjusting, idunno.

As for how long the clutch will last. Well that has a ton of factors. I've never blown one and have been driving a stick for 17 years. I drive pretty spirited myself.

Sorry I'm not a ton of help. I just saw your post hanging and didn't want you to think nobody was looking.
Sometimes it takes a day or two until the right person reads it.

Randy-
2002 blaze WRX- sold:(
2004 Wrx-sold
2011 Wrx limited
99 Fozz- sold
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-25-2014, 10:34 AM
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I'm with blaze, I've never blown a clutch. Ground some gears... yes, but never totaled one. Not sure how you would adjust a clutch. Is this the car you smashed into the concrete? If so, that could have something to do with it.
Good Luck!
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-25-2014, 12:07 PM
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Nice to see your back on the forum Gunk

Randy-
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-25-2014, 12:54 PM
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Ramm,

What your describing sounds like a shot clutch, or possibly a glazed/warped flywheel. If the friction material on the clutch is damaged it may only be biting on part of the flywheel which can make it seem rough during low gear shifts. As for the lack of power the same issue would mean less power moving from your flywheel to the actual wheels.

As for clutch adjustment, its pretty simple, on Subarus it been hydraulic for as long as I can remember, Its super easy to adjust hydraulic clutches. Check the reservoir to make sure the fluid isnt gross (its usually dot 4 oil, so look for dark or pale fluid and any other signs of bad brake fluid) and then just pull the clutch pedal out towards you ( i use my left big toe, just get under the clutch pedal and pull it out), then push the clutch pedal all the way in and pull it out towards you again. Repeat that process until you can feel a change in the pedal feel. if it still isn't right you can adjust the actual pedal position by moving the locking nuts on the clutch pedals master cylinder rod.

I would give the adjustment a try first but if that doesn't yield the results your looking for 43k miles is within expected operating life, especially if you ride the clutch a bit.

I did run into an odd issue with my old mitsubishi where the clutch pedal was adjusted a bit too far out by the previous owner and it was putting a tiny bit of pressure on the clutch, effectively riding the clutch for me. that clutch only ran for 30k miles before it gave up. I didn't notice until I swapped out for a performance clutch/flywheel combo. the performance clutch was strill strong until the day i sold it with 118k miles so everyone's results will vary.

Jason
13 WRX Hatch - Cobb OTS Stage 1
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-29-2014, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticscythe View Post
Ramm,

What your describing sounds like a shot clutch, or possibly a glazed/warped flywheel. If the friction material on the clutch is damaged it may only be biting on part of the flywheel which can make it seem rough during low gear shifts. As for the lack of power the same issue would mean less power moving from your flywheel to the actual wheels.

As for clutch adjustment, its pretty simple, on Subarus it been hydraulic for as long as I can remember, Its super easy to adjust hydraulic clutches. Check the reservoir to make sure the fluid isnt gross (its usually dot 4 oil, so look for dark or pale fluid and any other signs of bad brake fluid) and then just pull the clutch pedal out towards you ( i use my left big toe, just get under the clutch pedal and pull it out), then push the clutch pedal all the way in and pull it out towards you again. Repeat that process until you can feel a change in the pedal feel. if it still isn't right you can adjust the actual pedal position by moving the locking nuts on the clutch pedals master cylinder rod.

I would give the adjustment a try first but if that doesn't yield the results your looking for 43k miles is within expected operating life, especially if you ride the clutch a bit.

I did run into an odd issue with my old mitsubishi where the clutch pedal was adjusted a bit too far out by the previous owner and it was putting a tiny bit of pressure on the clutch, effectively riding the clutch for me. that clutch only ran for 30k miles before it gave up. I didn't notice until I swapped out for a performance clutch/flywheel combo. the performance clutch was strill strong until the day i sold it with 118k miles so everyone's results will vary.
Thanks Jason,
Ill try the adjustment myself and see if anything changes. I'm hoping the clutch will last a little longer, maybe until fall. I don't mind driving the car as it is now, but if the issue is with the clutch or flywheel or both (and I'm thinking about swapping both out at the same time), will it put any more strain on the engine or the tranny or something like that if I keep driving on it? I mean if I'm going to replace flywheel/clutch, might as well ride it out unless it will mess up more stuff.

gunk007- yes, the car is on its second life. I figure she has 7 more! haha. The clutch, flywheel, and tranny are all original, those weren't messed with. The clutch felt rough even before the mishap, but I can't really say if it got worse afterwards. I didn't drive the car for about 3 months, so its a little hard to say if it got better/worse.

-Miguelito

Last edited by ramm21; 04-29-2014 at 01:49 PM. Reason: add stuff
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-06-2014, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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So I'm not sure I understood after trying the adjustment. If I understood correctly, I am to sit in the drivers seat and pull the pedal out towards me, then press it in and repeat until the pedal feel changes. Well, I couldn't pull the pedal out anymore than it already is. There is a metal bracket with a couple of nuts on it, which also has some sort of button/pin on the end. The pedal is pushing the button in, and releases it when you depress the clutch to the floor. Thats the pin that makes the cool clicking sound when I shift. What is the pins function? Is the nut attached to that metal bracket what I have to adjust? Or is the adjustment done under the hood?

The pin I'm talking about is right below the yellow puck on clutch pedal. The nut I'm referring to is just below the pin, and the bracket right below that. Pic was taken with the clutch pedal depressed
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-Miguelito

Last edited by ramm21; 05-06-2014 at 02:01 PM. Reason: add stuff
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post #8 of 21 Old 05-06-2014, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramm21 View Post
So I'm not sure I understood after trying the adjustment. If I understood correctly, I am to sit in the drivers seat and pull the pedal out towards me, then press it in and repeat until the pedal feel changes. Well, I couldn't pull the pedal out anymore than it already is. There is a metal bracket with a couple of nuts on it, which also has some sort of button/pin on the end. The pedal is pushing the button in, and releases it when you depress the clutch to the floor. Thats the pin that makes the cool clicking sound when I shift. What is the pins function? Is the nut attached to that metal bracket what I have to adjust? Or is the adjustment done under the hood?

The pin I'm talking about is right below the yellow puck on clutch pedal. The nut I'm referring to is just below the pin, and the bracket right below that. Pic was taken with the clutch pedal depressed
The adjustment will only work if the clutch cylinder is sitting somewhere in its throw If it is already as far out as it can go then it will be more complicated than a simple pull adjustment. You can look for the clutch cylinder under the hood, it should be towards the passenger side of and lower than your master cylinder, check the fluid levels and for discoloration. It still sounds like a clutch issue but its never a bad idea to check your fluids.

The pin you are looking at is what tells the ECU to that you pressed the clutch. It triggers events like opening the wastegate and actuating the BPV, it also disengages cruise control and the like.

As for driving with a bad clutch there are 2 points of view the posotive POV says that every clutch on the road IS "worn" and the more we drive then the more worn they get. the negative POV says that you are already outside the limits of your clutch material/flywheel and eventually you will lose connection between the clutch material and flywheel all together, that will yeild your car unable to accelerate at all and you will have to hope you can get it somewhere safe to have it towed. Worst case scenario the clutch material could fail entirely and it could cause damage to your flywheel and if you are not in neutral when it happens lock you into a gear making your car a rolling road hazard.

Please take it by your tuner and have them take a look, the 5 minutes is well worth the piece of mind knowing that things are safe to drive on till fall.

Jason
13 WRX Hatch - Cobb OTS Stage 1
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-06-2014, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticscythe View Post
The adjustment will only work if the clutch cylinder is sitting somewhere in its throw If it is already as far out as it can go then it will be more complicated than a simple pull adjustment. You can look for the clutch cylinder under the hood, it should be towards the passenger side of and lower than your master cylinder, check the fluid levels and for discoloration. It still sounds like a clutch issue but its never a bad idea to check your fluids.

The pin you are looking at is what tells the ECU to that you pressed the clutch. It triggers events like opening the wastegate and actuating the BPV, it also disengages cruise control and the like.

As for driving with a bad clutch there are 2 points of view the posotive POV says that every clutch on the road if "worn" and the more we drive then the more worn they get. the negative POV says that you are already outside the limits of your clutch material/flywheel and eventually you will lose connection between the clutch material and flywheel all together, that will yeild your car unable to accelerate at all and you will have to hope you can get it somewhere safe to have it towed. Worst case scenario the clutch material could fail entirely and it could cause damage to your flywheel and if you are not in neutral when it happens lock you into a gear making your car a rolling road hazard.

Please take it by your tuner and have them take a look, the 5 minutes is well worth the piece of mind knowing that things are safe to drive on till fall.
The fluids are good. I'm thinking I'll have someone else drive it, but I won't tell them what the problem is and see what their feedback is. Kind of sounds like I need to have a car professional look at it though, this adjustment may be a little over my head.

By the way, when I was doing research, people talk about pedal "free play." Does it refer to an amount of pedal press from free-standing to when its starting to engage/disengage, in other words when you press the clutch pedal but nothing happens yet?

-Miguelito
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-07-2014, 06:13 AM
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free play is when you can move the clutch up and down to a point of being loose.

You are referring to the engagement point.

Paul
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2007 WRX Sold
2007 STi totaled
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-07-2014, 04:24 PM
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Hey, Paul's back from his hyadis.

Yea the engage point is typically in there a little bit.
I always catch myself riding with the pedal in an inch or so.
I've never seen bad effects come of it.

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post #12 of 21 Old 05-12-2014, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Took the car to a professional over the weekend. His feedback- clutch feels okay, maybe showing signs of wear. He checked my transmission fluid, and he said it was a little low and the color wasn't the best. He topped me off at the shop, but after some researching I decided to switch tranny fluid to the andrewtech cocktail. Picked up the Redline Lightweight, have the Motul on order. From what I hear the shift feel should improve..

I did a little more research on clutch adjustments. From what I understand, the clutch and teh flywheel are ~whatever~ far apart when both are new. As the car is driven and clutch is worn, the distance between clutch and flywheel increases. The adjustment part is moving the clutch a little closer to the flywheel to make up for teh wear. That being said, most people don't even know about any adjustments, or say it doesn't work that way..

-Miguelito
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-12-2014, 05:11 PM
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Best of luck with the new fluids, I hope it makes her feel a bit better.

Keep us in the loop.

Jason
13 WRX Hatch - Cobb OTS Stage 1
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-17-2014, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I did something today that helped shifting tremendously-reset the ecu. It's much smoother when shifting lower gears. Plus, when i used to get off the gas, the car would jerk just a little. Now the transition is almost unnoticeable. It's almost like there's a new better map that just got loaded. I've been running a stage 2 Cobb setup for over 30k miles now. Has anybody had this experience with resetting the ecu?
My motul will be here in a couple days..

-Miguelito
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-19-2014, 08:55 AM
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I reset my ECU yesterday and I too noticed an improvement in drivability. Almost like the car unlearned a bad habit and is starting fresh. I am curious if it is the change in season...

05 WRX Wagon - East Coast Swappers Protuned "Stage 4" w/Cobb AP

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