[V6-12v] TO Bearing

apowell at colocougs.org apowell at gocougs.wsu.edu
Thu Dec 23 20:33:07 EST 2004

"Greville Bowles" <zaphod at cansafe.com> asked:

The release bearing on my '95 90Q is whining and will need replacement. My
first thought was to do a complete clutch job, but that changed when I
priced the parts. Now I'm thinking I'll just do the problem bearing. I've
never worked on a clutch before so I have some questions.

How urgent is this job? Can I leave it for a while or should I get right on
it? I can live with the noise for a while, but it's been a few months
already and I'm concerned that leaving it will compound the problem and/or
make the fix more expensive/difficult.


>From the overall tone of your email, I presume you're doing the work yourself. If you've having a
shop do it, there is ONLY one answer - do it all. The labor will cost as much or more than the
clutch parts, so it would be foolish not to...you'd double toe cost of repairs

My vote is ABSOLUTELY do it all at the same time.  Why? Because there's so much work involved that
no one would want to do it twice. Smart shopping should yield a pressure place and disc at
reasonable prices (dealer excluded, of course) and don't forget to see if there's a pilot pushing.
AND - don't forget to pull the flywheel and re-face it unless it's in pristine condition.  In that
case, you might consider working over the flywheel vigorously with @100-grit sandpaper to provide a
wear-in surface...but it needs to be smooth and free of heat cracks. This just is NOT something you
put off.

As for urgency - it's not urgent unless the TO bearing fails, and IME that's pretty rare. The
bearing usually makes a lot of noise before failing. Even if it does fail, you can shove it into
gear, hit the starter and limp home shifting without the clutch (although you may have to disable
any switch that requires the clutch to be depressed when using the starter). All that's required are
basic skills required to match engine speed and transmission speed by ear. If you know how to
double-clutch downshifts, you already know everything you need to know.  I've seen cars driven for
weeks with no functional clutch...it requires healthy disdain for rules and a bit of creativity.

If you want to extend the TO bearing's life, you may want to practice clutchless shifting whenever
possible. Creative driving is a wonderful thing.
Al Powell
apowell at gocougs.wsu.edu
1958 Fiat 1200 Transformabile Spyder
1983 Datsun 280ZX Turbo
1993 Audi 90Q
1991 Camaro RS Convertible
1997 Chebby Blazer
1999 Chebby Blazer

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