99 Subaru Impreza: Clutch Replacement

99 Subaru Impreza: Clutch Replacement

Start with the top side,  this tutorial is for the 2.2l SOHC, if you happen to be working on the WRX turbo model the clutch configuration is different. There is a release pin for the clutch fork that has to be removed in order to remove the transmission. Anyways, disconnect the battery and remove the air box assembly. Remove the dog bone mount and I find it easy to remove the two upper  bell housing bolts at this time. They’re all 14mm bolt heads, so get at it!! Don’t forget the body ground wire. It’s a 10mm bolt located on the firewall above where the dog bone mounts. Grab a 10mm and 12mm wrench and release the clutch cable from the fork and move it out of the way. At the upper right bell housing area disconnect the two 2-wire connectors,3-pin VSS connector,4-wire A/F sensor connector and the 12-pin bulkhead connector. This way they’re easy to pull out of the way. Now lift the vehicle at least two feet off the ground unless you have the luxury of a car lift.

Underneath the vehicle now, remove two 14mm bolts at each left and right lower ball joints. Separate the ball joint from the spindle with a pry bar. If they will not separate you will have to remove cotter pin and the 17mm castle nut for lower ball joint. loosen the sway bar and beat the ball joint with a hammer until it pops out of it tapered fit. I prefer to leave the wheels on there is no need to remove them as long as the ball joint separates from the spindle. If you have to go the other route wheel removal is necessary. Remove the exhaust system, careful with the o2 sensor wires when lowering the exhaust. The exhaust has four 14mm nuts,14mm exhaust  mount bolt and two 12mm nuts for the spring bolts. To remove the CV axels you need to knock out a roll pin for each side. I use a small punch in the butt end of a 3/8 extension for reach. Just slide the axel off the transmission and back, no need to remove then either. Remove the four 12mm bolt holding the rear exhaust heat shield. Then remove the six 14mm bolts holding the driveline/differential cover. The driveline has four 12mm bolts with nuts and two 14mm bolts for the carrier bearing mount, remove then also. If your working on the ground as I am there e is no need to completely remove the driveline. Just lay it down on the ground, besides as soon as you remove the driveline from the transmission 80-90w starts leaking out the transmission. The driveline also helps during installation when you need to line up the transmission input shaft with the clutch disc spline. Simply pop transmission in gear and rock driveline back and forth till it aligns. Get your transmission jack (or floor jack will work also just be careful) support the transmission and remove the cross member. Two 17mm bolts and four 14mm nuts, remove the two rear 14mm nuts to remove the cross member as an assembly if needed. With floor jack it is easier to leave the cross member attaché to the transmission.


Start by removing the shifter linkage so you can lower the transmission down. With the transmission lowered everything else is more easily accessible. There will be four more 14mm bell housing bolts. Remove them and pull the starter out of tranremovedthe way. Remove the two 12mm bolts holding the air box mount bracket. It’s located right behind where the starter was. Support the transmission and remove the last two 14mm nuts and washers for the lower left and right bell housing studs. Carefully remove the transmission.


Remove the clutch pressure plate, six 12mm bolts. Remove the flywheel, eight 14mm bolts. Inspect the rear main seal and the PCV baffle cover plate to the right of the rear main seal. If the rear main seal is dry I would leave it but regardless if it’s leaking or not you need to re-seal that PCV baffle plate. If your baffle plate is black or white plastic Subaru makes an updated cover with Allen screws instead of Phillips screws. The plate is also stainless steel insteadrearmain of plastic. Some models also come with an aluminum cover and those ones are ok also. You can reseal the plastic one but chances are it will start leaking again. On this particular job I had the flywheel machined. Sometimes it’s better to just buy a re-manufactured flywheel instead of having it machined. Money is Time you know….Keep in mind if you do have this flywheel machined that this certain model the flywheel has a 0.020″ step in it. Most of the Subaru  flywheel’s are flat surfaced but this particular model has a step and if I were YOU I would make note to the machinist about the step. If he doesn’t know a lot of the time you cannot tell and will just cut it flat. Just make sure because if not cut correctly it will cause problems that you don’t want!!!!OK. Replace the pilot and release bearings. Remove the clutch fork, clean then pack the pivot point with high temperature grease. I also remove the clutch fork retainer clip and bend inwards to fit the fork tight against the pivot pin. Also remember to inspect the release bearing clips and replace as needed. Lube the input shaft spline and you should be ready. Key point to an easy installation is when mounting the pressure plate to the flywheel pay careful attention to the clutch disc alignment. Follow these steps in reverse for installation. Do not force the transmission in with bell housing bolts. If the transmission does not slide rite in re-check your clutch disc alignment and your motor to transmission angle. Pop transmission in gear and move driveline back and forth while installing, should slide rite in place.

This post was written by: Martin Hand


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Martin Hand

About Martin Hand

ASE Certified L1 Advanced Mastertech. Martin Hand has over 15 years experience in Asian and European Import Auto Repair. Specializing in electrical diagnosis, engine performance, AT/MT transmission repair/rebuild. Martin is also pursuing a degree in Computers Science & Information Systems starting at Portland Community College while he plans to transfer to OIT. Certified in Java application level programming, experienced with other languages such as PHP, Ruby, JavaScript and Swift. Martin has future plans of automotive diagnostic software development.

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