Some weekend clutch maintenance

Putting a Southbend DXD stage 2 clutch in a 59hp diesel.

Posted on February 23rd at 2:05pm

Preface

Since I purchased the truck the transmission has had a steady leak and a bad rattling noise that I haven't had time to deal with; this weekend I decided to take care of it. I had an old Southbend Stage 2 clutch and flywheel lying around that use to be in a 1.8t MK2 Jetta swap and decided I would put it to use after years of just sitting in the parts bin. I also had the original transmission from the MK2 mention above which also was a diesel from the factory.

After getting the transmission off it pretty clear what the rattling sound was. Chunks of torque dampener springs feel to the ground ringing a nice "ping ping" noise that everyone wants to hear when pulling a transmission. In the video below you can see the springs that were left were not doing much due to the others being absent. If you look closely you can also see that the batting around of these broken springs also rounded all the bolt heads that bold the pressure plate to the flywheel; those were fun to get out.

After extracting all loose pieces and bolt extracting all of the rounded bolt heads I finally had everything off and ready to clean up. When I removed the transmission initially there was oil residue everywhere...and I mean everywhere. It was as if the entire rear main seal failed and spewed oil everywhere inside the bell housing. This also explained the weak clutch clamping I had in third gear and on. If enough throttle was applied there was bad clutch slip. After further inspection the best I can guess is someone poured gear oil into the flywheel hole thinking it was the port to top off the transmission. I sprayed everything down with carb cleaner and did some inspecting to be sure the rear main seal was still good.

Now that everything was prepped I could start install in the clutch. You can see in the picture below the old clutch components (non rusty but oily bits) on the left and the "new" stage 2 parts on the right.

I do not have any pictures of it but I had to swap the bracket and shift linkage off the old MK1 transmission onto the MK2. Luckily everything was very similar and bolt holes were there to thread the bracket through. Everything was pretty dirty and caked up inside the threads and bolt tunnels so I cleaned everything out and buttoned it all up. The truck is now back on the road and while I thought the stage 2 clutch would be overkill it actually feels just right with this tiny diesel. It grabs late and with the correct pedal play the acceleration is nice and smooth.

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