KJ Jones
July 25, 2007

Once everything is removed from the transmission case, Rick and Chris move the T5 away from the engine and lower it with a transmission jack. We suggest that first-timers make labels using masking tape and a marker to help identify the reconnections that must be made on the tranny. Everything here is straightforward. With the car raised high enough on jackstands, this clutch-swap project can be done in the garage or driveway. A twin-post hoist makes things easier and quicker, but that doesn't mean a clutch job is impossible to do at home.

The flywheel contains three small steel pins that are used for mounting the pressure plate. These pins must be removed before it's sent off for resurfacing or for use in a new replacement.

A spare transmission yoke makes a great plug for the transmission's output shaft. It's not uncommon for a tranny to leak fluid from this area when the driveshaft is removed, so make sure you have something that can be used as a plug.

The flywheel in Caesar's 'Stang was in bad shape with heat spots and cracks in its surface, but it wasn't beyond saving. Excessive cracking can cause the flywheel to come apart or explode. We sent the plate to a local machine shop for resurfacing and it came back looking fresh and new. Unlike brake rotors, there's no minimum thickness for a flywheel's surface, so putting a new face on a worn wheel can be done again and again. Flywheels that have been cut several times must finally be replaced when more material than usual has to be taken off in order to achieve a smooth surface. ACT is currently developing its own flywheels for Mustang-clutch applications that should be available by the time you read this.

Once everything has been cleaned, Rick lubes all of the clutch-related mechanical hardware-such as the throw-out bearing, bearing retainer, input shaft, clutch fork, and pivot ball-before they're reinstalled.

This is ACT's 10.5-inch clutch kit for 5.0 Mustangs (PN FM1HDSS; $418.83). The complete package includes a disc (PN 3001005), a heavy-duty pressure plate (PN F013), a release bearing (PN RB174), and a pilot bearing (PN PB1019).

Chris uses a slide hammer with a fixture at the end that grabs the pilot bearing and pulls it backward with enough force to extract it from the crankshaft.

Chris positions the freshened flywheel. Flywheels (and flexplates for AODs) have a specific bolt pattern, so it's important to make sure the bolt holes are properly aligned with the plate before attempting to secure it. Before installing the clutch, the flywheel should be cleaned with a good dosage of brake cleaner to remove any fingerprints or debris from the surface.