How To: Install a Clutch in a 2nd Generation Toyota MR2

by Pat Signorino & Shane Craddock | August 8, 2002 1:05 pm

This article is a mish mash of several other articles, and many clutch installs. I put this here to help someone perform their first clutch job, and is not intended to replace the BGB. If something I’ve shown differs from the BGB, go with the BGB instructions.

Step 1: Remove the Starter

There are some electrical connectors usually covered by a black plastic cover.

Be sure to have your battery disconnected first. The black box covers 2 of the wires. Pop it off.

Use the 14mm on that bad boy.

Pull the two wires off, and put the nut back on, then replace the black box so you don’t lose them.

There is one connector to the passenger side of the black box.

Unclip that little guy.

Finally, there are two large bolts connecting the starter body to the transmission. These bolts are close to the tranny, and not the skinny ones easily visible at the end of the starter. Unbolt them with a socket and medium extension. Pull the starter out of the tranny, and set it down somewhere without damaging the teeth on the gear.

Disconnect the backup light switch (gray electrical connector on top of the tranny), ground cables (multiple, don’t worry if you can’t find them at this point, you will definitely find them when you start to drop the tranny down), and Speedo cable or Speed Sensor from the tranny.

Here’s a picture of the 91 speedo sensor. 10mm bolt holding it to the tranny at the bottom right.

Remove the rear wheels and raise the car. Place the wheels under the car for safety. You want to support it under the body in front of the rear wheels with jack stands. Note: Ignore the stand in the middle in this picture.

Remove the plastic undertray from below the car. 5 10mm bolts.
Drain the tranny fluid.

Push the axles through the axle carriers. This will involve many steps. First, set the parking brake, and take the rear wheels off.

A: Take the cotter pins and axle end caps off.

Parking brake still on right? It’s 32mm socket and breaker bar time. Jeez.

This might help so the socket doesn’t slip off like it did on me multiple times. The pressure from the jack keeps the socket on the bolt where it would normally want to torque/twist off.

Remove the discs with a 10mm bolt screwed into the two small holes to get the disc to pop off the assembly if necessary, see pic…

C: Disconnect sway bar from the end links. 14mm wrench and hex wrench.

D: Disconnect balljoint from lower suspension arm. 2 17mm bolts.

E: Disconnect adjustment arm from brake assembly.

Pop axles through the brake assembly. Before you do this you will have to undo the two strut bolts that connect the strut to the axle carrier (19mm). Use a piece of wood and hammer to hit the axles straight towards the engine. This may take a lot of hits, keep at it, it will free up, and pop through.

They should come out of the carriers and look like this

Remove right hand (passenger) axle only. There are a few ways to do this, the one I used was to remove the axle carrier and just pull the axle out. This first pic is looking through the crossmember at the back of the engine. From below, remove the following

1: Two carrier bolts (removed already)

2: Support brackets nut (removed already)

3: Short support bracket end bolt

4: Long support bracket end bolt

Now, once the bracket is loose (pop it off the block with a screwdriver so it’s free) just pull on the entire axle assembly, and it will dance out of the tranny.

Here’s the whole thing. I think this way is much easier than the BGB way. Thanks to Shane Craddock for the idea on this.

Disconnect the tranny control cables.

The starter (red circle) should give you a reference for where these are.. Pop the 2 clips off with a screwdriver or pliers, pull the cables off, and put back the washers and clips. One cable has 1 washer, and the other has 2, don’t mix them up.

Now, get under the car, and pop these two mount clips off the cables with a screw driver and hammer. They pop straight up and off.

Then push the cables out of the mounts so that they are free floating.

Here’s another shot of a clip partially off.

Here they are disconnected from below.

Remove Exhaust system.

Aftermarket systems are much easier than stock. You may want to use some PB Blaster on all of the bolts a day before hand to make your life easier. If you strip out a stud/nut/bolt, be prepared to drill it out. Notice I previously drilled out the stock studs, and used nuts and bolts instead.

3 on the cat.

2 on the rear b-pipe with the Greddy Power Extreme system.

The rest of the pics show the 3 hanger locations.

Remove Slave Cylinder and Front Motor Mount through bolt and Tranny side of the motor mount

Time to get the slave cylinder off the tranny otherwise you’ll have to cut the lines which would not make things any easier on you later.

The Slave Cylinder can be challenging to remove and install. It’s hard to see the bolts, and to reach them.
There are only 4 bolts to worry about. In the past I’ve always seen people (myself included) undoing most of the pictured bolts just because you can’t see what’s holding it on from above or below very well. The top two just hold it down to the tranny. The bottom two sandwich it to the front motor mount and the tranny. The motor mount is not pictured in this pic.

The next few pics are of an install, but will still be helpful, just do the reverse. Under the car, lining up that bolt hole on the right to make things easier.

First step to installing it, temporarily mount the two lower bolts without the engine mount installed.

Here you can see the upper bolt on the drivers side being tightened down with a small wrench and small socket. This is to give you an idea where the bolt is.

Same as above.

Another pic of that bolt.

Here’s the upper passenger side bolt being tightened down. Notice the longer socket than the drivers side bolt.

Another angle of the passenger side bolt.

Finally, remove the lower two bolts which were loosely on there, and put the motor mount on, then re-install the two lower bolts.

At this point it’s a good idea to use a jackstand and a 2×4 to support the engine. Put the 2×4 under the low part of oil pan, not the transmission. We want to keep the engine where it is so we can remove the motor mounts safely. Later it may be necessary to raise and lower the engine to get the transmission on and off. Keep that in mind and allow yourself space for a jack.

Remove the through bolt for the front motor mount.

On the left, the through bolt is removed, and on the right in the tranny side of the motor mount there are two bolts that due to lack of space must be undone with a wrench. The reason to pull these off is because they are holding the slave cylinder to the tranny.

Unbolt rear motor mount through bolt.

I: If the car has ABS, detatch ABS line from the crossmember. 1 10mm bolt on each side. Also, be careful to move the ABS line above the swaybar, or you might damage it when you drop the crossmember.

J: Unbolt assembly arm from car body.

The left arrow points to a crossmember bolt that’s coming up next. The arrow on the right shows you a better shot of the assembly arm.

K: Time to drop the crossmember. Break the bolts loose, but do not take them out yet.

Now is a good time to get another person to help, or use a jack to support the crossmember. Undo the four bolts the rest of the way. Lower the crossmember and pull it out.

Remove drivers side motor mount bolts

From below, these bolts hold the tranny to the tranny side of the motor mount.

The left two arrows point to the top view of the bolts we saw from below two pictures ago. The bolts on the right hold a stay bar, and a mount for the speedo cable.

Another view with bolts loose.

Feel around between the tranny and block and frame for any hoses/wires/clips/etc that are still connected. Disconnect them and don’t forget to install them later.

At this point, the BGB says “REMOVE TRANSAXLE”. Meaning, remove the transmission from the engine block. To do this, you have to unbolt many bolts all the way around the tranny, top/bottom/sides. Below are many pics of a tranny out of the car to give you an idea of where the bolts are. I removed the them in a clockwise order, and then used a marker to write down numbers on the bolt heads. This made reinstall very easy. I suggest you do some sort of organization with the bolts, otherwise you’ll be doing what I’ve seen happen twice, guessing at which bolts go where. Since some of these bolts take a lot of stress, you want to be sure to put them in their proper places. SUPPORT THE TRANSMISSION WITH A JACK AND 2X4 or 2X6. YOU NEED A FRIEND TO HELP AT THIS POINT. Your helper will sit on the drivers side of the car with the jack and 2×4 under the tranny. They will raise and lower the jack to help you get the tranny out, as well as help balance the transmission. Sometimes it will be necessary to lower the engine down to get the tranny off. You should already have a jackstand and 2×4 under the oil pan. Use another jack to lower the engine. When you are lowering the tranny, you may find wires/groundstraps/hoses/etc still connected, just disconnect them and write them down on a piece of paper to reinstall when you put it back in. It can actually take some time to separate the tranny from the block. Just keep checking for bolts you may have missed. You can use flathead screwdrivers to help pry the tranny off. Be very careful on this step. The transmission is very heavy, so absolutely make sure you are ready at all times, and have a friend backing you up.

Here you can see how some of the connect to the block.

Notice the “peg” in this picture. There are a few of them in between the block and tranny, and they help position the tranny on install. They also make it a pain to seperate the tranny and block sometimes. Be aware of them.

Here are some about to be removed.

This what the BGB shows you.

Once you get that badboy off and out of the way, you’ll have something like this sticking to the engine (ok, hopefully not this damaged!). Remove this clutch cover and then the clutch disc (14ft lbs on reinstall). There are multiple bolts connecting it to the flywheel. Note which way the clutch is facing. There is a right way and a wrong way, the center section sticks out on one side, and not on the other.

Remove the 8 bolts on the flywheel. Note this is a resufaced flywheel, your old one won’t look quite so nice.

Here’s a new stock clutch on the left next to an old stock one on the right.

Aftermarket on the left.

Old clutch cover.

Here’s the flywheel after being “turned”. In order to maximize the life and biting power of the new clutch, you will want to take your old flywheel to a machine shop to have it turned. Definitely do this!

Another resurfaced flywheel.

Reinstall the newly resurfaced flywheel. Put a drop of locktite or threadlocker on each of the bolts, and torque them down to 72ft lbs in a criss cross pattern, do one pass at 20ft lbs, another at 40, another at 60, then 72.

Clean the hell out of the flywheel and clutch cover with brake cleaner.

FYI: You want to clean the flywheel after it’s on the car otherwise it will get dirty from the install.

Install the clutch cover with the clutch in between the cover and flywheel, facing the correct way.

Use the tool that comes with most clutches to center the clutch disc. Just use your best guess, it can still be adjusted later.

I can’t stress this cleaning and greasing part enough, do this well or you will have a squeaky clutch in neutral. Remove old throwout bearing and release fork, clean them with Brake Cleaner as well. Grease the inside of the new throwout bearing, and the mating surfaces where it meets the the realease fork. Also grease the end of the realease fork where the slave cylinder pushrod connects. I used some lithium grease for this entire section. Be sure that you do a good job on the cleaning, and when greasing, don’t get any large gobs anywhere otherwise some could get on the clutch surfaces and ruin it.
Reinstall tranny. Here we’ve got the tranny and engine on jacks, (normally the balance point of the tranny is closer towards the drivers side, but once you’ve got it on, you can move the jack around as shown in this pic) and raised the tranny up, and slid it over onto the engine. You can see a hand at the top starting one of the first bolts. If you are having trouble mounting the tranny on, try to get one of the larger bolts started, but don’t strip it out. Once you get one started, you can move on to the other bolts that are near it. You also have to line up the splines with the clutch disc otherwise the tranny will not slide all the way on, and this can take a few tries. Then you have to get the tranny mated to the block. Just start trying to get the large bolts started. Once you get one or two going, tighten them down a bit, and try the others. Remember the pegs sticking out of the block. These have to be centered first before you can start any of the bolts. Have a friend help raise and lower the tranny and engine to line them up while you try to start some of the bolts.

Note: Be careful when putting the passenger axle back in to not damage the outer seal by putting it in at an angle otherwise you’ll have a tranny fluid leak there. I think we were crossing our fingers in this pic because it’s tough getting those new seals in there correctly 🙂

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