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Old 11-04-2011, 10:31 PM   #1
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To DIY or not to DIY

Soooooooo my clutch (by clutch I mean the whole assembly) sounds like a handful of rocks in a dryer. So how much is it to have somebody do it for me(yes i know sorry I said it)? I'd really like to do it myself but my DIY knowledge is pretty basic like changing fluids and I just changed my CPS. What do you guys think?

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Old 11-04-2011, 10:55 PM   #2
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I have seen people say shops charge over a thousand dollars for a clutch. I wouldnt know no one but myself touches it.I did mine in the garage at a leisurely pace over 2 days. Could have been done in a day but I had to wait on my clutch kit. All told I spent about $250 including $75 for a tranny jack rental for 3 days. If you dont think you can do it, bribe a friend with beer and pizza to help you. I have done a few clutches and this was by far the easiest.

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Old 11-04-2011, 11:08 PM   #3
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We just purchased a 97 tj that the clutch assembly (flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing, clutch fork, slave cylinder) were replaced in March. it was $1100.00 I'm taking it back because the peddle is at the very end so something is incorrect. If your mechanically inclined do it yourself and enjoy the ride. Do however take the flywheel to a reputable shop so it is machined correctly so the clutch, flywheel, pressure plate tolerance is correct.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DevilDogDoc
I have seen people say shops charge over a thousand dollars for a clutch. I wouldnt know no one but myself touches it.I did mine in the garage at a leisurely pace over 2 days. Could have been done in a day but I had to wait on my clutch kit. All told I spent about $250 including $75 for a tranny jack rental for 3 days. If you dont think you can do it, bribe a friend with beer and pizza to help you. I have done a few clutches and this was by far the easiest.
Only problem is I just moved to northern Kentucky so I don't know anybody, I don't have a garage, let alone a flat surface to put the jeep on and it's my only vehicle between my wife and I.......
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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Oh that sucks. You will get thru it just another chapter in your life.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:35 PM   #6
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Oh that sucks. You will get thru it just another chapter in your life.
Haha yea really does... But I really appreciate the encouragement. Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:40 PM   #7
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That sucks man, I would help you out if I could, one tidbit, dont let them machine the flywheel, it will ruin the dome thats on it. Either have them scuff it up a little, or replace it.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:49 PM   #8
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That sucks man, I would help you out if I could, one tidbit, dont let them machine the flywheel, it will ruin the dome thats on it. Either have them scuff it up a little, or replace it.
Yes I was about to ask if anybody has a garage and likes being paid in beer and pizza. haha! Thanks for the tidbit! I'm slowly learning about it
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:02 AM   #9
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I replace mine on my 2000 TJ. It went very smooth, one of the easier ones I have done. Would definitely use a tranny jack. Also, as said earlier, either replace the fly wheel or have it roughed
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:15 AM   #10
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Had new clutch and fly wheel installed first week of OCT.-$450. -$475. something like that. Think price depends on the shop. I was quoted $800 at one shop. This shop used a NAPA clutch--same as everyone else was quoting.
I know I probably could have done it myself/had buddies help do it---but if it came out "wrong" didn't want the Jeep down multiple times--for a couple of days. When you figure the labor cost it doesn't pay for me to do it. Even if I got it right the first time.

Read your thread a little closer--might check with InfernoGirl / Treyangler--Husband wife Forum members in southern IN--real close to Kentucky. Maybe close enough to recommend some people who might help from the area? Worth asking---she has the Dirty Mudder seat covers! Look on FB if nothing else.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jp2611
Had new clutch and fly wheel installed first week of OCT.-$450. -$475. something like that. Think price depends on the shop. I was quoted $800 at one shop. This shop used a NAPA clutch--same as everyone else was quoting.
I know I probably could have done it myself/had buddies help do it---but if it came out "wrong" didn't want the Jeep down multiple times--for a couple of days. When you figure the labor cost it doesn't pay for me to do it. Even if I got it right the first time.
Wow that sounds much better then $1000! Another member of the forum told me of a shop to use so I'm probably going to see how much they would charge. Is it a bad idea to buy the parts needed myself then have them put it on? This is killin me that I probably won't get to do this myself...
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #12
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They make money on the parts--and most shops in this economy want the money-and also want repeat business. So probably wouldn't use junk/cheap parts unless you told them to. Not sure how good a deal you would get cutting into their profit. Also any warranty would than fall more on you--you bought the parts--prove we put them in wrong. Plus what if you got the wrong ones--how are you going to get different ones--your Jeep in pieces, only vehicle, and they need different parts than what you brought them.

Could also ask hourly labor rate--shop did mine said it was a 4 hour job. Dropped it off before lunch-picked it up end of day. I can't do it that fast.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:06 AM   #13
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I work at A trans shop. I can pull my ax-15 in 25 and have it back in about 30-40. I always tell everyone, im human too. He's right about the parts warranty. Talk to the owner of the shop and ask for a labor discount or a payment plan. Talk to more than one shop and get quotes. Then go to the one you trust the most and see if they can match the lowest price if they aren't the cheapest. Ha if you were in nc id say 400 and you'd be back on the road.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:17 AM   #14
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I work at A trans shop. I can pull my ax-15 in 25 and have it back in about 30-40. I always tell everyone, im human too. He's right about the parts warranty. Talk to the owner of the shop and ask for a labor discount or a payment plan. Talk to more than one shop and get quotes. Then go to the one you trust the most and see if they can match the lowest price if they aren't the cheapest. Ha if you were in nc id say 400 and you'd be back on the road.
Oh man wish I lived near you! Ok so buying the parts myself = bad if I'm going to have a shop do it.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2611
Had new clutch and fly wheel installed first week of OCT.-$450. -$475. something like that. Think price depends on the shop. I was quoted $800 at one shop. This shop used a NAPA clutch--same as everyone else was quoting.
I know I probably could have done it myself/had buddies help do it---but if it came out "wrong" didn't want the Jeep down multiple times--for a couple of days. When you figure the labor cost it doesn't pay for me to do it. Even if I got it right the first time.

Read your thread a little closer--might check with InfernoGirl / Treyangler--Husband wife Forum members in southern IN--real close to Kentucky. Maybe close enough to recommend some people who might help from the area? Worth asking---she has the Dirty Mudder seat covers! Look on FB if nothing else.
I just saw you snuck that last part in. Unfortunately they live about 3.5 to 4 hrs west of me
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:31 AM   #16
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Also do I have to go to a transmission shop or does it matter? Sorry guys but I've never had to take my jeep anywhere to get worked on and it's my first and only vehicle so I really don't know haha
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:35 AM   #17
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I wouldn't rule out a "regular" shop but probably would steer away from the dealer--they usually get top dollar.

A tranny shop could do the job as well as most "regular" shops. Honestly I would look for a 4wd shop. Might be a LITTLE more but usually they understand what your vehicle MAY be subjected to. And PROBABLY have more experience with JEEPS/4wd than a "regular" shop or a dealership.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:51 AM   #18
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Ive got a 97 tj and my throwout bearing was screamin at me so i decided to replace the whole clutch, i also decided im going to do this myself so i drove to base and did it n the hobby shop. I spent all of 125$ and took me 7 hrs was bad at all i think havin a lift on my jeep gave me alot more room to work as well. Good luck
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:21 AM   #19
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I wouldn't rule out a "regular" shop but probably would steer away from the dealer--they usually get top dollar.

A tranny shop could do the job as well as most "regular" shops. Honestly I would look for a 4wd shop. Might be a LITTLE more but usually they understand what your vehicle MAY be subjected to. And PROBABLY have more experience with JEEPS/4wd than a "regular" shop or a dealership.
Well I did just find a 4wd shop last month. Called performance off road. The owner was an awesome guy. He took me around his whole shop and showed me what he was working on and his own rigs. Maybe I'll give him a call.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:27 AM   #20
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Easy job. DIY.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:43 AM   #21
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I just did my clutch and I followed a haynes manual step by step and no problems. I only had very basic tools and it was still fairly easy. I took it slow and got it done in two days.

Funny side note, I couldn't find a tranny jack to rent so I put my mini floor jack on two of my kid's skate boards and strapped it up.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:49 AM   #22
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Easy job. DIY.
Well I pretty much live on a hill with no flat spots and I just moved here and I don't know a single person oh and no actual parking space let alone a garage
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:51 AM   #23
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It's a little scarey the first time you do it, but "endeavour to persevere" and you'll come through it fine.

Safety first: Be VERY sure to prop the car up correctly, with sturdy jackstands... no stacks of cinder blocks. A transmission jack will make pulling the trannie a LOT easier and safer. Also, work with a friend. It's very lonesome, stuck underneath a car.

Here are a couple of other things to think of:

The clutch kit should include a pilot shaft for aligning all the parts on the flywheel. If it doesn't, you should be able to rent one.

If the kit doesn't include the throwout bearing, get a new one separately.

Replace the pilot bushing - that's the thing in the middle of the flywheel that the transmission front shaft centers in. It's a $2 part, and if you don't replace it, chances are that it will start to scream at you in a week... then it's all the way in again. (Just like the throwout bearing.)

Be sure you lubricate the pilot bushing as instructed - they'll probably give/sell you some high-temp grease - and don't put too much lube on it, because it can fling out onto the flywheel and cause slippage/chatter. Some of them are permanently lubed already, and don't need any extra.

While you've got the driveshaft out, you should check the U-joints and if needed, get them replaced at the same time. Local parts/machine shop (NJ) quoted me "about $50" for the job - that is, I bring them the shaft, they press the bearings. If you have a big honkin' vise you can press them out/in yourself, but it can get to be a real PITA. Better to leave that part to a pro.

Use a torque wrench wherever recommended. You don't want to distort anything. Use new lock-washers when reassembling things. They weaken and lose their grip.

BTW - I've done maybe a dozen clutches, on everything from VW beetles (now THAT was a PITA) to BMW motorcycles, and I've never had a flywheel cut. Then again, I never had a flywheel really buggered up. If it's essentially smooth, just rough it up with some coarse silicon-carbide sandpaper. If it's all chattery-looking - or worse, blue - then you need more work. (If it's blue, t's been burned, and you might need to replace it.)

These are only personal experiences, and your results may vary.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:08 AM   #24
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Thanks PeteH! You guys are slowly building my courage up

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