4Runner Clutch Replacement
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By: Bill O'Laverty. May, 2002

The dust inside the bellhousing produced by the clutch disc can be hazardous to breathe in. Do not blow it or used compressed air, only use brake cleaner to clean it out, and be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.

Parts and Tools Needed:

Transmission and Clutch Removal

The shift levers have to come out first.

Remove the shift levers. The transmission shift lever is removed by pressing down on the metal collar and turning it left, then it will just slide out. For the 4wd shift lever, simply squeeze the end of the snap rings together and pull it out.

Remove the wiring harness from the transmission.

Depending on your suspension, you may need to jack up the vehicle and place it on jackstands. I had both a body and a suspension lift so I had plenty of clearance to work underneath with jacking it.

Next, I removed the wire harness after unplugging everything. One of the most difficult times I had with this project was removing the plastic clips holding in the wire harness, I broke a couple of them.

Remove both front and rear driveshafts. For optimum balancing upon reinstallation, be sure you mark the driveshaft against the flange so that they can be reassembled in the same position. The rear driveshaft only has to be disconnected from the transfer case, then you can slide it out of the way.

Remove all plumbing for the clutch hydraulics. It does not need to be bled if you do not disconnect the hoses, just undo the clamps from the bellhousing. Unbolt the clutch release cylinder. Double check the entire transmission and make sure nothing is left conected to it (speedo cables, etc.)

The driveshaft is removed from the output flange. Removed driveshaft. Ensure nothing remains connected to the transmission or transfer case prior to removal!

Remove the clutch cover on the forward bottom side of the transmission. There are four bolts that hold it on, I broke the heads off two of the bolts trying to take them out and had to drill and tap the holes once the transmission was out.

Jack up the transmission with a transmission jack (I rented one at a local rent-all place for $5 a day.) It should be placed as close to the crossmember as possible to get it under the center of gravity. Unbolt and remove the crossmember.

The transmission crossmember. The old clutch and pressure plate mounted on the flywheel.

At this point you are ready to remove the transmission to engine bolts, however with the transfer case still on you need to move the transmission jack further back so it doesn't tip back. I supported the transmission with a jackstand and a block of wood then moved the jack back under where the crossmember was. Remove all bolts, including the two going to the starter. After the bolts are removed, slide the transmission straight back until the input shaft is clear, then lower it. If you have trouble sliding it back then you're probably not coming straight back with it. Make sure the transmission stays level and straight as it comes back.

Unbolt the pressure plate and remove the clutch disk. You will have to undo each bolt a little at a time, you will feel the spring pressure being relieved as you do this. Use a criss-cross pattern as you undo the bolts.

Parts Cleanup, Parts Replacement, Reinstallation

Pack the back of the pilot bearing with grease for easy removal.

While not required, it is recommended that you remove the flywheel and have it resurfaced at this point. Mark the flywheel in the center with the crankshaft to ensure you reinstall it in the same position. Most transmission shops can resurface it for you. Reinstall and torque the bolts to 19 ft lbs, followed by an additional 90 degree turn. Use Loctite on all bolts you reinstall. Clean the surface of flywheel with brake cleaner to prevent any contaminants from ruining the surface.

Remove the pilot bearing either before, during, or after flywheel removal. I used the age-old trick of packing the back of it with grease, then hammer in a bolt that just fits inside the bearing. The pressure from the grease will drive out the bearing. It's messy, but this works like a charm.

Clean out all of the grease and install a new pilot bearing. I just use a socket that is the same size as the bearing to drive in.

Install the new pilot bearing after cleanign out the grease. Install the pressure plate and clutch. Clean the clutch fork and lubricate moving parts.

Clean the machined surface of the pressure plate with brake cleaner. Position the clutch disc on the flywheel and insert the clutch alignment tool to hold the disc in place. The side of the disc that has the springs sticking out goes towards the transmission. Install the pressure plate and finger tighten all bolts (use Loctite). Make sure the alignment tool is installed all of the way. Tighten the pressure plate bolts in a criss-cross pattern, you will feel the spring pressure build up as you tighten them. Torque to 14 ft lbs.

Inside the bellhousing on the transmission, snap off the spring on the throwout bearing fork and remove the fork and bearing. Clean out the bellhousing with brake cleaner. Lube all contact points on the fork and the input shaft with high temp grease. Install the new throwout bearing and fork in bellhousing.

Now you're ready to put it all back together. No special words of wisdom here, it's just the reverse of what you did for removal. Just remember clean parts are happy parts and Loctite, Loctite, Loctite! The torque for the transmission to engine bolts are 53 ft. lbs. This job took me about 6 hours working alone.

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