Clutch pedal is stiff after removing clutch disc for inspection
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This is a discussion on Clutch pedal is stiff after removing clutch disc for inspection within the Transmission & AWD forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a 2009 WRX sedan and am in the process of replacing the transmission, which had incurred some damage. ...

  1. #1
    Registered User drrockandroll's Avatar
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    Clutch pedal is stiff after removing clutch disc for inspection

    I have a 2009 WRX sedan and am in the process of replacing the transmission, which had incurred some damage. While I had the transmission out, I pulled off the clutch cover and the clutch disc to check for wear. The clutch disc was well within acceptable tolerances, so I went ahead and put it back on, along with the clutch cover. I used a clutch alignment tool and kept the clutch centered while torquing the clutch cover bolts to the proper torque using a star-shaped pattern, per the factory service manual. However, now that I have everything back together, the clutch is much stiffer than before, and about midway through releasing the clutch pedal, it tends to really spring out. I am really puzzled as to what might be the cause of this, because I didn't replace any parts--just took it apart and put it back together. I wouldn't think that the throwout bearing on the new transmission would affect clutch feel that much.

    I can think of three things that might have contributed to this:

    1.) The clutch disc fell out as I was removing the clutch cover, so I didn't have a chance to observe it as it was installed. It's possible I put it in backwards, but the factory service manual seems pretty clear as to the proper orientation:



    The way I interpret that diagram is that the flat side of the clutch disc goes against the flywheel, and the side with the raised center goes toward the transmission. I couldn't find any pictures/videos clearly showing the orientation, so any confirmation of this would be appreciated.

    2.) I depressed the clutch pedal before the operating cylinder was installed against the clutch fork. I don't know why I felt compelled to do this, but it seems to me that it shouldn't matter. The operating cylinder extended fully, but no fluid leaked out, and I was able to easily press it back to its contracted position.

    3.) The clutch alignment tool was slightly wobbly. I got one of the plastic alignment tools from Rallysport Direct, and it seemed to work ok, although it wobbled around a bit in the engine output shaft. I was able to center it pretty well, as far as I can figure, and the transmission slid into place without issue.

    Honestly, the whole install went pretty well, and the above are the only issues that I think could have contributed to the very noticeable difference in clutch feel. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    2009 WRX Sedan, Stage 1
    Stink Eye Mob Member #3

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  3. #2
    Registered User Ingo's Avatar
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    I'm afraid you got the disc turned over, see attached pic (if I can get it in...). But wait and see if there's some other answers, I haven't had it out myself... Should have been evident, is there space for the damper springs against the flywheel? If so that's where it goes, if not - no doubt it belongs the way you put it. Could you have reversed the throw-out bearing? Really not sure which way, good luck.
    You can't have everything - where would you put it?

  4. #3
    Registered User MOTION's Avatar
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    If not the disc, check the fork/slave cylinder rod for binding.

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    Registered User drrockandroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingo View Post
    I'm afraid you got the disc turned over, see attached pic (if I can get it in...). But wait and see if there's some other answers, I haven't had it out myself... Should have been evident, is there space for the damper springs against the flywheel? If so that's where it goes, if not - no doubt it belongs the way you put it. Could you have reversed the throw-out bearing? Really not sure which way, good luck.
    I'm pretty sure I don't have the clutch disc turned over, but I'll gladly change my mind if someone can clearly show the proper orientation. The picture I linked shows a detailed cutaway from the FSM (page CL-10), which indicates that the flat side goes against the flywheel (that's how I interpret it, anyway). The picture you linked to from page CL-2 seems to indicate the same thing (there's no raised center on the flywheel side of the clutch disc as far as I can tell), but it's less clear in that particular drawing. I was hoping someone might have a picture or first-hand experience with the clutch orientation.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOTION
    If not the disc, check the fork/slave cylinder rod for binding.
    I don't think the cylinder rod itself is binding, as I can push it in from full extension without noticing any resistance. Maybe the throwout bearing fork is misaligned, though. That will be my next thing to check, which I'll hopefully get to this weekend.
    2009 WRX Sedan, Stage 1
    Stink Eye Mob Member #3

  6. #5
    Registered User drrockandroll's Avatar
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    UPDATE: The cause of the problem was due to the clutch release lever (the thing that pushes the throwout bearing forward) being out of whack. It must have gotten misaligned during the install.

    Since I couldn't find any definitive reference anywhere (except for the somewhat-hard-to-decipher diagram in the FSM), I'll leave this for the record: the proper orientation of the clutch disc is with the flat side against the flywheel and the portion with the raised center against the clutch plate, as I had describe above. I checked with a local Subaru mechanic and he confirmed it. So the drawing in the FSM is right (of course), it's just good to have a second source confirm this since it wasn't clear.
    2009 WRX Sedan, Stage 1
    Stink Eye Mob Member #3

  7. #6
    Registered User MOTION's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drrockandroll View Post
    UPDATE: The cause of the problem was due to the clutch release lever (the thing that pushes the throwout bearing forward) being out of whack. It must have gotten misaligned during the install.
    Yay! I was right!

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