I think it's really important to know a bit about the internals of a car, so that when you are getting your car serviced you can talk intelligently with the auto technician. As well, there are many easy DIY jobs you can do on your car to save your some money which can make all the difference when you are young and starting out. This site is where I am recording everything I am teaching my kids about auto servicing, and because I think it will be useful to many other families as well. I hope you find it useful for your family.
Because the clutch is an extremely important part of any vehicle, it is essential that you only start a DIY replacing or installation project if you are sure you can do it. If you're not certain of your repair abilities, it's best to bring your car to a place like Precision Differential & Gearbox Centre to make sure things are fixed properly. There are lots of people who have made tiny mistakes during the installation process that have cost them dearly in terms of money, time and frustration. While this article is not a substitute for an auto repair manual specific to your vehicle, it does provide some general tips that are overlooked by beginners.
Tip #1: Lubrication
Lubrication is extremely important when it comes to keeping your clutch working optimally and efficiently. Put a light coat of grease on the pilot tip found in the input shaft and another light coat on the collar on which the release bearing slides on. You should also wipe an extremely light coat of oil on the splines of the input shaft in order to prevent rust. Do not over coat the splines as this can lead to even bigger problems. Make sure NOT to grease the clutch disc, the pressure plate or the flywheel.
Tip #2: Resurface the flywheel
No matter how good the flywheel looks, make sure to have it resurfaced. This only costs a couple dollars and helps prevent a clutch from chattering. The risk of being required to remove the transmission again to repair the chattering clutch is definitely not worth the amount of money that you could save.
Tip #3: Replace the pilot bushing or bearing
If you don't own one of those special pilot bushing puller tools, some auto repair manuals inform you to remove the bearing by simply packing the small cavity behind it with a coat of grease, and then use an old input shaft or a wooden dowel to drive the old bearing out. It's also entirely possible to use silly putty, play dough or even a piece of old bread in order to do this, with equally good results and less mess.
Tip #4: Never force anything
Finally, you should never force anything out of its position. If the transmission will not slide all the way to the bellhousing, don't untighten the bolts of the bellhousing in order to get it out. If the transmission simply won't slide all the way in, that means the input shaft isn't going into the pilot bushing because the transmission is at an angle.
Instead, you should try this: Reattach the clutch linkage, and then have someone help you depress the clutch pedal while wiggling the transmission around in order to get it aligned. When the clutch disc finally releases, it will move in a position that will allow you to get the transmission aligned with the pilot bearing.