[Vwdiesel] A3 Clutch job - done

Karl H. Nitz knitz at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 14 10:18:17 EDT 2003

Finally finished the clutch job on my A3 Golf.  Drove
the car into work today and everything seems fine.

The last straws were installing a new clutch cable and
a new clutch release bearing (at the end of the
pushrod).  Now all is well.

Lessons learned:
1) A3 tranny can be removed without too much hassle,
if 2 people are working on it.  When removing the
tranny (once everything is loosened and all mounting
bolts are removed), rotate the tranny so that the
diff. housing is almost vertical, then angle the far
end of the tranny downward as you remove it.  This
helps the P/S drive axle flange clear the flywheel.
Doing this rotating/moving alone is next to
impossible.  I had a strap attached to the tranny to
support it as well.  The strap was over a large pipe
layed across the engine bay.  This made it easier to
lift/manuever the tranny.
2) Turn the motor over by hand before finishing the
reassembly of the tranny mounts/etc, BUT, turn the
engine from the crankshaft pulley only.  This would be
to check that the flywheel is aligned and nothing is
scraping/binding.  I turned the engine from the
camshaft nut and wound up causing the timing belt to
skip.  Had to install a new timing belt anyway...
3) Check the pushrod bearing under the 5spd end cap
for freeplay if the clutch will not disengage.  This
was the last niggling issue I had.  BTW, my sister
(who drove the car for the previous 120k miles) admits
to holding the clutch in at stoplights.  This will
kill the clutch release bearing.
4) Of course the usual, get to all the oil seals and
bushings that you can while you're in there.  I also
did the engine/tranny mounts.

Yeesh!  I haven't filled the tank on the car since the
end of June!  I left the car sit once the clutch
started slipping really bad, and then it took 3 or 4
weekends to get everything ironed out.  Well, at least
the next one will go quicker (after the next 150k

Karl in Johnsburg, IL
'94 Golf3, 5spd, 146k miles, ALIVE AGAIN!!
'89 Volvo 240DL, 148k miles
'84 Honda VF1100S, 24k miles

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