Clutch Kit VW Kombi
R36MK Clutch Pressure plate and Thrust Bearing
We all love a good manual vehicle but there comes a time when you may need to replace the clutch kit. I say kit because I mean kit as it is really not worth the time and trouble to only change a clutch plate.
If you are going to take the time to remove the gearbox and actually change a clutch you might as well do the job properly.
A clutch kit is made up of manual transmission parts that are either purchased as a unit or assembled separately. When bought together, a clutch kit will usually consist of a pressure plate, clutch disc, and a release bearing sometimes known as the thrust bearing. In certain applications a pilot bearing will be included, and some will also come with an alignment tool of some kind. Some manual transmissions are designed so that the release bearing is an integral part of the slave cylinder, in which case this will often be included as well. Most clutch kits are designed to similar specifications as the original parts, though it is sometimes possible to find a performance or racing kit.
The purpose of the clutch kit is to provide all the necessary parts to repair the clutch on a manual transmission vehicle. Clutch discs are wear and tear items that will eventually need to be replaced, regardless of how carefully a vehicle is driven. While other parts, like the release bearing and pressure plate, may not wear out at the same speed, they may be replaced anyway since removing a transmission is often labor intensive.
In addition to the parts included in many clutch kits, certain other parts may be replaced at the same time. The flywheel, which the clutch disc is typically mounted to by means of a pressure plate, is usually removed and machined as you might as well complete the work while the gearbox is removed.. In certain circumstances, it may be more economical to simply replace the flywheel, especially if it is cracked or missing teeth from the ring gear. The clutch slave and master cylinder kits or even the complete cylinders are often replaced as well, as problems with these hydraulic parts may cause a clutch disc to wear out prematurely.
You might wonder how long a clutch should last but it is a difficult question to answer really, as it all depends on your driving style. Most clutches are designed to last approximately 60,000 miles before they need to be replaced. Some may need replacing at 30,000 and some others can keep going well over 100,000 miles, but this is fairly uncommon.
A clutch replacement kit normally consists of a clutch plate, pressure plate and thrust bearing. Some kits will provide an alignment tool but not all. It is advisable to have the Flywheel skimmed before replacement to ensure smooth gear change and to prevent Clutch shudder.
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