new clutch not solved problem

Old 12-12-02, 03:07 PM
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Unhappy new clutch not solved problem

I have a 1992 Saturn, 4 dr, 4 liter engine w/ 153k miles. The clutch was slipping, and I was losing a lot of power. We replaced the clutch, but now its lost even more power. It lurches when I shift in every gear. I drove it up hill and my max speed only went to 50 mph. Is my tranny shot, or do you have any ideas?:confused:
Old 12-12-02, 03:42 PM
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The clutch transfers power, it does not make it. A slipping clutch lets the engine rev more than it should since the power is in slipping the clutch rather than turning the manual transmission.

There is a pressure plate, this is what the clutch pedal uses to apply and release the clutch. The clutch is friction material, the pressure plate presses the clutch onto the flywheel. The flywheel is on the back of the engine and attached to the engine.

I will admit I know little about saturns and little stuff. But last winter I did my own clutch in a chevy z28. I replaced the pressure plate and clutch and had the flywheel turned. No problems since I did all new stuff. On some cars you can skip replacing the pressure plate, on my camaro it is recomended you do it with the clutch or else the clutch might wear out prematurely.

Did you do this clutch yourself or pay someone too?

The one thing to always remember is that the tranny has to work through other things to get the power to the wheels. Like on my camaro there is a rear axle, if the bearing or gears in it go bad or the brakes drag, it seems like the engine makes less power, but really the engine and tranny are fine, it is something else making me think the engine is weak.

The grabby jerk you mention when shifting could be the pressure plate or maybe a flywheel that was not turned.

Overall, if the clutch is slipping I would say the engine is to be left alone since it makes more than enough power and you can't tell if it is weak or not. Once the clutch stops slipping, you will see if there are other problems.

If a brake was dragging really really really bad such that it could absorb enough friction and make the clutch slip you would see some tremendous heat from it. So basically make sure everything that needs to turn can turn with relative ease, then you need to look into how the clutch was done.

I also don't know that the tranny is shot either. The clutch has to slip in order to smoothly shift. This jerk can make you think the tranny has a problem it does not. However, if you question the tranny, it is best to have it checked professionaly while it out for fixing the clutch.

I expect others here know more on saturns than I do, I used to play mechanic for a living but did trucks mostly, and my camaro is not real close to a saturn from what little I know about them.
Old 12-12-02, 05:09 PM
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howstuff has a good animated description on the clutch operation .Click through several pages to the friction plate which most people don't know how it works.
Old 12-12-02, 10:30 PM
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do you have a tach on this car or are you able to tell if the clutch is still slipping, basicly if your engine keeps gaining rpm and your car does not respond by increasing speed there is still something wrong with the clutch system causing it to slip if your rpm doesnt increase and kinda bogs down are is incapable of going over 3-4000 rpm it is an engine performance problem and can be several things from a restricted exhaust system which can be tested at any exhaust shop, to low fuel pressure, or even a bad coil pack, you also might want to remove the plug wires at the coil packs and check for corrosion which is common problem on alot of saturns if any found clean off any corrosion and replace plug wires. this is just some of the most common causes of no power if clutch is not slipping.
Old 12-13-02, 04:36 AM
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I'm with BeJay on this one. Plenty of basics should be checked first.

Check your EGR valve closely on it. Saturns carbonize and stuff EGR valves in a jiffy. Clean it out and install a new gasket (will take you all of ten minutes).

Warm up the car and manually push up on the diagphragm of the valve with your fingers. The car should shudder and try to stall. If not, it's wiped.

The EGR valve on my Saturn went bad and gave chuggling type hesitation when backing into parking spots. A new valve and gasket fixed it in a jiffy.

Biere: Skipping the pressure plate in a clutch rebuild is a sure fire way to do it twice. Should always replace the "three piece" set: clutch disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing. The flywheel must be inspected as well.

That is proper procedure
Old 12-14-02, 06:02 PM
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Good thought on the EGR Joe_F.

One thing I might add to your clutch tips for those who are not familiar with clutch replacement is to check the pilot bushing/bearing in the rear of the crankshaft. This supports the front of the input shaft on most
standard transmissions and if it is worn or damaged can cause a variety of problems (difficulty +/or grinding when shifting into 1st or reverse and difficult downshifting to name a couple). The part is inexpensive, however removal may require tools which are not in the average homeowners toolbox & it is important to use care when installing it as improper installation can damage the part worse than the one you replace.

The pilot bearing/bushing doesn't seem to be in the lineup as the culprit on the Saturn causing the described symptoms, I thought I would mention it as a benefit to those whose "instinct" may not be tuned to check the pilot bearing/bushing automatically when the tranny is out of the vehicle. ;-)

Happy Holidays!

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