How To Replace a Clutch
2003-2004 Mustang CobraPosted January 24th, 2008 by TheProfessor
This is a great, step-by-step video provided by the group over at DDD Directory. It shows what’s involved when replacing a clutch on most Ford Mustangs and why you may want to reconsider puck type clutches if you drive your car on the street every day!
Watch both parts and then see the details section where I've summarized many of the important tips from both videos.
You can skip ahead to 7:10 to get to the beginning of the tear down.
What You’ll Need
Clutch Kit: Most clutch kits will include a pressure plate, the clutch disc, throw out bearing, pivot bearing, pressure plate bolts, and install tool.
Not too many people are pushing 600 rwhp so the Stage 3+ kit will be overkill in most applications. For Stang owners, check out the Mustang clutch kits at AmericanMuscle.
Flywheel: There are two options here: resurface your existing flywheel or get a new one. Resurfacing is cheaper but many will argue that getting a brand new flywheel is the best choice.
If you’re going with a new flywheel you have two more choices: steel or aluminum. Steel flywheels are heavier than their aluminum counterparts but the extra weight is worth it given the increased drivability (think back to angular momentum in physics class). Browse through the Mustang flywheels at AmericanMuscle to get a better idea of the options out there.
Clutch Cable Adjuster/Quadrant: As mentioned in the vehicle, you may need to adjust your clutch cable when installing a different clutch. An adjustable cable and clutch quadrant can help.
Jack and Jack Stands or Lift:These videos really highlight the benefit of a lift and air tools. For those of us who don’t have a lift, this clutch swap can be done with a jack and jack stands (while on your back!). Check out the video on how to raise your car safely with a car jack.
Torque Wrench: A torque wrench is necessary when attaching the flywheel and pressure plate.
Threadlocker: Also known as Loctite. This will keep the bolts from backing themselves out due to vibration, etc.
The 03-04 Cobra is one of many performance cars that uses the T-56 transmission, but the only one to use a mechanical linkage (no hydraulic clutch). That means you can apply what you learned in this video to the TR-3650 found in mid-2001 and later Mustang GTs and other cable-driven clutches.
Notes and Warnings
Here are notes regarding these videos:
These two videos do not show the removal or reinstallation of the starter nor the removal of the bell housing.
The Spec clutches feature replaceable contact plates. You don’t have to replace the entire flywheel on the next clutch change. When reinstalling the flywheel on the Cobra use your torque wrenches set to 65 lb-ft and double or triple-check the bolts
Check that the machined side of the clutch disc sits in the pressure plate before installing the pressure plate onto the transmission (bolts torqued to 25 lb-ft). All fingers of the pressure plate should be even after tightening the bolts in a criss-cross pattern.
Some of the bell housing bolts are longer than others. Save these longer bolts for the dowels.
Check the throw out bearing retainer shaft and ball stud for wear and/or any grooves. Also check clutch fork for damage where it meets the ball stud. Lamotta Performance recommends using disc caliper grease instead of wheel bearing grease on the ball stud and no grease on the throw out bearing retainer!
Inspect yokes and universal joints on the driveshaft prior to reinstallation. The yokes should not have grooves or gashes, and the u-joints should move smoothly and freely.
This particular clutch requires a 500-mile break in period: no aggressive shifting, burnouts, etc.
Tips, Tricks and Other Resources
You should mark the driveshaft where it bolts to the flange on the rear end prior to removing it. This little tip will help you install the driveshaft exactly as it was before (it can bolt on 4 different ways).
If you have an extra yoke sitting around (doesn't everyone?) you can use it to plug the tail end of the transmission so that none of the fluid leaks out when you go to remove the transmission from the car.