Help Diagnosing Another Clutch Assembly Issue...

Discussion in 'Drivetrain, Exhaust and Electrical' started by SavetheManuals, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. SavetheManuals

    SavetheManuals TMO Intermediate

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    Aug 8, 2016
    Irvine, CA
    Apologies in advance for the long post, I want to provide all the relevant information possible.
    ('12 Boss 302, 37,000 miles, 99% stock)
    I have had increasing issues with my clutch assembly/transmission for a while, and I have been able to live with most of the typical issues but I am worried that something is actually close to failing.

    After a recent track day I started getting this whirring/squealing noise (link below) while engaging the clutch from a stop, mostly in gear but sometimes in neutral after being in gear. I could also feel something "skipping" (not slipping) during engagement and the clutch pedal would get stuck partway while this skipping was happening, then continue through the pedal stroke. Different than the high RPM issue of the pedal sticking at the floor.
    Here's a video (still dirty from the track) of the sound, most of it is repetitive but right at the end you can hear the noise while releasing the clutch in neutral.

    I don't think it's the clutch itself, I have not experienced any slipping while engaged or any burning clutch smell. Shifting between higher gears while moving hasn't changed much either.

    My friend who is a Ford tech initially thought it was clutch material on the flywheel/pressure plate causing the sound and skipping, so he said some hard clutch engagements should clean it off. It worked a little bit to smooth out the skipping but the sound has remained and now gotten worse.

    A new issue has also recently occurred twice when I accidentally force through the 3rd gear lockout. At first I thought I had lost the gear/gearbox/clutch completely because the clutch pedal went completely light and the engagement point was just off the floor, but I was still able to shift and drive, although the "skipping" and sticking pedal at initial engagement had returned and was worse. After driving for a while the clutch pedal and engagement goes back to “normal”, with basically just the noise and slightly more difficult clutch engagement from a stop.

    During my most recent track day the clutch/tranny worked "normally" and didn't seem to get any worse. However, the next time I went to drive the car the noise was louder and it did not want to move, it would start to move but then stop, as if I had forgotten to remove a wheel chock but that was not the case. I shut it down and tried again the next day, and it was back to "normal".

    I'm thoroughly confused as to how these issues keep "fixing" themselves, but more concerned that something major is going to give out soon and cause mor

    Sometimes I get another repetitive sound with the clutch all the way in and the trans in 1st, but this is inconsistent and harder to hear. Seems to go away when I shift into neutral with the clutch still in, which points toward the pilot bearing, but I think there must be another issue causing the other symptoms.

    My guesses are: pilot bearing, throwout bearing, trans input shaft bearing, slave cylinder, or pressure plate issue, but I'm no mechanic, as you can tell by my many guesses.

    Obviously the easiest solution is just take it to the dealer (still have a 3rd party warranty), but I want to know what kind of repair I have coming up if possible, and I’m also worried they will just point to the clutch and claim that is unwarrantable. Hoping they can freshen up the synchros too while they’re in there since those have been going for a while.

    Thank you in advance for your time and advice!
  2. VoodooBoss

    VoodooBoss Rick Moderator

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    Nov 30, 2010
    90 Miles East of Sonoma Raceway
    If you got 37,000 miles on the stock clutch consider yourself lucky. The Exedy Hyper Single is the go to clutch at the moment. Good luck with the replacement.
    Grant 302 likes this.

    TMSBOSS TMO Addict

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    Aug 23, 2011
    The clutch material may be breaking off. Once the pieces spit out it’s back to normal. Regardless, I would have the clutch, throwout bearing, pilot bearing replaced. After 37,000 miles, no sense in not replacing all.

    With your warranty, you maybe out of pocket the difference in a stock clutch and a quality replacement.

    Rick and I both went with the McLeod clutch when we upgraded. The Exedy Hyper Rick mentioned is the popular replacement now.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

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