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Old 05-23-2005, 03:40 AM   #1
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Default Clutch Replacement S-series

Clutch R&R My Way

This is usually the way I do it at work. It is much easier if you have a hoist to run the car up and down. I am assuming that you don't so try and get the car as high into the air as you can. Read the instructions before you begin as some things will need to be done or partially done before the car is put into the air.

Do this safely!!! I can't say this enough.

A car is a heavy thing, especially when it is sitting on top of you, squeezing the life out of you. Jack stands are your friends. Car jacks are not when you are under the car. Do it right or don't do it. Make sure that the stands are placed securely on the ground so that they can't sink or shift around. Make sure that they are placed at proper spots to support the weight of the car. This kind of work is nothing that you want to do in the mud and the dirt never mind having the car drop down on top of you because you put the jack stands on something that will not hold them from moving or sinking when the weight of the car is on them.

To Repeat:

If you do this job do it safely. That is the only way I work on cars and it should be the only way that you work on your car. Use common sense. Don't injure your self or others by what you do or don't do. If you get in trouble ask questions, get help or pay a professional to do it.


The engine will need to be supported, either by an engine support from the top or something from below that will not be in the way.

From the top

Remove the air intake, battery, battery tray/air filter box. Remove the coil pack/ignition module assembly. Clean off dirt from around the shifter tower/control and the dipstick area. Disconnect the shifter cables from the shifter tower and from the transmission. Disconnect the reverse switch from the shifter tower and the speed sensor from the transmission (it is below the shifter cables and can be gotten from above or below) and the PCM coolant temp sensor connector. On top of the transmission by the dipstick is a locator brace/mount for the transmission. Remove the two bolts for it from the transmission and flip it up out of the way. Remove the two upper transmission to engine bolts.
Remove the clutch slave cylinder from the transmission. Two nuts to get the bracket loose and then push in and twist (counter clockwise) the slave out. Place it out of the way where it will not get damaged. Move the wiring up out of the way. It will be a good idea to try and do something to keep it out of the way. Now remove the shifter tower and dipstick from the transmission (you'll need a new gasket). You should now be done on top of the car.

Left front of the car

Remove the left front tire, the axle nut from the left front. Take off the ball joint cotter pin (replace with new) and nut. Break the ball joint taper loose from the steering knuckle, do not use a pickle fork or anything that will damage the dust boot, and move the knuckle/strut assembly off of the ball joint. A hammer hitting the side of the knuckle by the ball joint taper will break the ball joint free. Don't hit the constant velocity joint boot. You will damage it and then need to replace it. Take a hammer and TAP the axle loose in the hub. Remove the two plastic shields from the wheel well hiding the trans. Drain the fluid from the transmission. Install the drain plug and tighten NOW not later, you'll forget. Use a pry bar on the left side axle, pry between the constant velocity joint and the transmission, to remove it from the trans. A sharp jabbing type of pry will get the axle free. Pull the axle out of the hub and then out of the transmission and remove from the car.

Right side axle

Remove the three bolts on the support hanger and pull the axle out of the transmission to pull the snap ring free. It will not come out all the way yet.

At the engine to transmission area

Remove the two bolts holding the support bracket to the trans. Remove the three bolts holding the tin inspection cover to the transmission. Remove the two lower engine to transmission bolts. Now the only thing holding the transmission in should be gravity and two locating dowels. What has to be done now is to remove the transmission from the engine and coerce it into the opening between the lower engine cradle frame and the car frame. This takes turning and tweaking the transmission from below (usually the best) while at the same time trying to get the right side axle out of the transmission without damaging the axle seal. Once the transmission is in the opening it will rest there very nicely (if you have it jammed in well enough) giving you just enough room to get to the clutch and remove that.

Installation is merely the reverse!!!!!

I may have forgotten something so if it doesn't make sense ask. If you decide to go ahead with this good luck and congratulations on a job well done.

There is of course another way to do it but it involves (in my opinion) a lot
more work. The frame has to come out.

A lousy day in Paradise is still a day in Paradise.

Last edited by Ssicarman; 03-07-2010 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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Default Excellent Instructions

I replaced my sister-in-laws clutch this weekend using these instructions and they worked perfect.

The only thing that I had to do alittle bit different was remove the coil pack from the bell housing so it won't get damaged. Most bolts are either 10, 13 or 15 mm. The tin inspection cover was standard 5/16 size, I tried a metric and started rounding the head, time consuming job but worth doing it yourself! Thanks for these directions, saved me hours of work!
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:42 AM   #3
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Welcoem to the Board.

Glad that it worked out for you.

The how to is now edited for the coils and ignition module removal.
A lousy day in Paradise is still a day in Paradise.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
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Default 1999 saturn sc1 clutch

i replaced the engine in my sc1 the clutch was working perfectly before i replaced the motor. once i got everything back together the clutch wouldnt work, the clutch cylinder moves back and forth like its suppose to but the clutch will not disengage. i took the transmission back out checked everything replaced the clutch pressure plate and throwout bearing, when i put it all back together i heard a pop the first time i pushed the clutch in and i have the same results..... please help
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Portage Lakes, Ohio
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Default Detailed manual clutch installation

Saturn S-series Manual Clutch Replacement

One other comment. The first clutch I bough from Autozone was a Duralast.
The alignment tool fit but I tried all evening to get the transmission back on.
Turns out the clutch was a thousands off and would not fit!.
I returned it and bought a Luk clutch and the transmission slipped back on easily.
I replaced the clutch at the same time I did the engine cradle,
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:17 PM   #6
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Thanks Ssicarman!!! I just did this one, and it was a pain, (at the house: jack stands and all that) but it worked out. Nice instructions! You are a life saver, I've never worked on a saturn tranny before, just replaced alternator and brakes for my friends wife few years ago. Now I own a 98 SL1 and am remembering how difficult everything is on these cars...

Had a little trouble with the bottom two engine/tranny bolts, right up beside the exaust pipe, but just a little. Was able to jack the motor up with one jack, and lower the jack with the tranny on it, and the angle resolved itself for a 3/8 drive extension to reach over the pipe.

Also a little trouble with the inspection plate, ended up having to use a wrench for the bottom bolt, took a while.(no room in there, ya know...)

And, I used RTV instead of a pre-made gasket for the shift tower( it was sold seperately, and I didn't check the clutch kit box for one before I started-- future readers beware)

Heads up for yall if you're about to do this: remember to have an 18 mm 6point box wrench, and a 30 mm socket and cheater-bar or breaker-bar handy for this one. You will also need needle nose pliers or a hook and pick set to help you coax the pins out of the castle nuts; also a caliper spreader [in case your callipers close while they are set aside on a brick or something to be out of the way without disconnecting break lines]. and never leave home without a metric socket and wrench set from 8-18 mm with a 10 inch crescent wrench for back up.

Ssicarman has practically done this one for ya'll!

Last edited by etx4; 06-11-2010 at 03:23 PM..
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