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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife’s car is a 2002 Hyundai Elantra GT with a manual transmission. We have been having problems lately with the clutch starting to slip. It looks like we are going to need to change the clutch soon. The car has 138000 miles on the stock clutch, so it is about time.

I plan on doing the work myself but I have a few questions:

1) What clutch kits should I look at and what should I make sure to stay away from? We just want an OEM or similar replacement clutch. We aren’t looking for any high performance clutches or anything like that. The car is 8 years old and we probably won’t be driving it for very much longer. I’ve seen kits from various brands across the internet and would like suggestions on what’s good and what’s bad. I don’t want to spend more than I have to, but I don’t want to get something too cheap and have to change it again in a year. Also, will a standard kit work for me? Do I need to get a new flywheel as well? The clutch is just starting to slip, so I’m thinking it probably isn’t going to be trashed. That is just my thinking though.

2) Since I plan on doing the change myself, are there any tips or tricks that I will need to know going into the swap? I’ve never changed a clutch before. I’m comfortable working on cars, but I am inexperienced. I plan on getting a repair manual. Any suggestions on a good manual?

3) Any special tools needed? I have standard socket wrenches and I can get a torque wrench for the job. I’ve got 1 floor jack and 2 jack stands currently. Is that enough to do the job myself? I know I’ll need to support the engine during the swap, and will probably need to support the transmission during removal and installation.

I appreciate any help on the matter. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I just wanted to update this thread now that I am over half way through the clutch change. I think I'll add tips from my experience on the clutch change.

Fist thing I want to say, is if you've never changed a clutch before (like me) allow yourself a lot of time to get this done. Especially if you live in an area where road salt is used in the winter. You will most likely encounter rusted bolts which really can slow you down. I started this project on sunday morning, and today is thursday and I will be putting the new clutch in tonight. I was able to finally able to remove the old clutch on Wednesday night.

The second thing, on 2001-2006 Elantras, you don't actually need to remove the front subframe to just change the clutch. If you remove the engine mounts and brackets from the transmission, there is enough room to pull the transmission away from the engine and get the clutch in and out. I have 2 jacks. One jack is a cheap scissor jack with a piece of wood on it to support the engine. The scissor jack allows you to raise and lower the jack in much more controlled as opposed to a hydraulic jack. I used it to support the engine. I put my standard hydraulic jack under the transmission with one of those universal adapters you can get at autozone. It acts as a shelf for the transmission to sit on while it is off the engine. You could also use a block of wood.

In order to get the clearance needed to slide the transmission away from the engine, I simply lowered scissor jack and angled the engine downward. This allowed the end of the transmission to slide out between the fenderwell and the subframe enough to work on the clutch. The transmission is resting half on the subframe and half on the jack. If i need to move it around, I just slide it around on the "shelf" of the jack and subframe.

As far as tools go, you will want to have a long breaker bar at minimum. However, I recommend getting some sort of impact wrench. I picked up a harbor freight electric impact wrench for the job, and it may have been the best purchase I've ever made. I had bolts that were too rusted to get off with my 2 foot breaker bar that I got off in about 10 seconds with the impact wrench. To go along with the impact wrench, I got a universal joint adapter (swivel adapter) and a set of impact grade extensions. Those really helped for bolts that didn't have a lot of room around them.

Thirdly, be flexible. When removing the axles from the transmission, I had to be flexible with the way I separated the steering knuckles from the suspension components. On the drivers side, I was able to unbolt the knuckle from the strut. I removed the caliper and hung it on the strut with some wire. This gave me enough play to get the axle out of the hub. However, the passenger side was much more difficult. On that side, the bolts to the strut were too rusted to get off with hand tools. On that side, I separated the ball joint and tie rod from the knuckle. I was able to get the axle out then after that. You also have to literally be flexible at times to reach some of the bolts :)

I have couple of other tricks I though of that helped me out. I used a styrofoam plate to keep track of the bolts that hold the transmission to the engine. I took a plate and marked a "T" at the top rim to represent the top of the transmission. Then when I removed the bolts holding the trans to the engine, I poked them through the plate in their relative location. This way, when I go to put them all back I will know where they go. For other items, I would thread bolts back into the holes of the removed components to keep track of them. Finally, I took a sharpie and wrote a number on the outer pressure plate housing next to each bolt hole. The number corresponds to the tightening order of the bolts. This will help me out under the car so I don't have to count the bolts as I go around tightening them. I can just go by the number.

Tonight I'm going to be putting the new clutch in the car and start re-assembling everything. I imagine it will go much faster now till the end, and I can't wait to be finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yep. I don't post much, but I still get notifications via email.

What questions do you have?

I replaced the clutch 2 years ago, and I replaced the transmission about 9 months after the clutch change.
 
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