Thought I’d post a few tips from my recent DMF and clutch change on my 20V that may help others. The noise engaging the clutch was starting to turn heads and was getting worse rapidly so I thought I’d better do something sooner rather than later….
This is a tough DIY job to do on the drive. You need good tools and it can turn into a nightmare if seized bolts snap off. I debated about paying for this to be done or not. In the end I went for it but I have to say I’m not sure I would do it again. Please note that much of this does NOT apply to the 1.9 diesels. The 20V has the F40 gearbox with a conventional “push” clutch driven by a concentric (ie internal) slave cylinder. The sub-frame also has to be dropped on the 20V for the gearbox to come off (unlike the 16V). I would suggest if you are not comfortable with suspension work on the 156 that you are best passing on this job.
I took the sub-frame off completely and didn’t regret this. Lowering it will probably be OK (eg using studs or prising it down if you have helper/s) but access will be much harder. I took the decision to unbolt lower wishbones with driveshaft and hub as one as I didn’t want to risk damaging the lower ball-joint gaiter in my (nearly new) lower wishbone. However, that meant the usual wrestle to get the lower wishbones lined up on reassembly (though getting the actual sub-frame back was quite easy). It would certainly have been easier for reassembly to have left lower wishbones on the subframe and removed the hub and driveshafts together. Those lower ball-joints can be hard to split though.
OK, this is what I did;
Remove battery, battery carrier and drain gearbox oil (if you forget a LOT comes out with the driveshafts popped out). The drain plug is Ribe and quite soft. You may need the help of a cold chisel to get it moving so bank on needing a replacement. The fill port (on top) is a conventional Allen head and came off OK (on my car at least). Prise out the little clip next to the clutch slave bleed point after which the pipe will pull out and can be plugged to prevent fluid loss. Remove plastic arch liner from gearbox side. Remove both brake callipers and cable tie out of the way.
Remove exhaust from front cat to back box. Release hand-brake then unbolt the transmission tunnel bolts but leave the rear two bolts in so it can drop at the front enough to allow the sub-frame to drop. Break upper ball joints, track control arm joints and drop link joints. Unbolt the lower wishbone bolts. Pop the gearbox side drive shaft out of gearbox - two screwdrivers to lever on the cup will work fine – mine was not tight. Unclip the ABS sensor wire from various points and pull out hub/wishbone/driveshaft from gearbox side. If you break the connector by the strut top and pull the cable through then you can take the whole thing away from the car without disturbing the ABS sensor (easily damaged). On the gearbox side, also unbolt the two rear strut bolts and remove the strut to give you more room. On the other side, you have to remove the 3 somewhat awkward 13 mm bolts that clamp the outrigger bearing for the (long) driveshaft. With the lower wishbone bolts removed the driveshaft and bearing should then pull out of the housing/gearbox – mine came out easily with just a tug as (to my surprise) there was no retaining circlip on this side. Place hub/driveshaft/lower arm beside car (if you want to pull the ABS sensor wire through then you would have to remove arch liner as well).
Support engine and gearbox. Remove rear engine mount that bolts to subframe and gear box mount (Ribe). The gearbox one has an extra steady bar to the front of the engine that is a bit tricky for access. Remove upper engine mount by timimg cover (it gets stressed when the engine is lowered). Unclip upper intercooler pipe from inlet manifold.
Support sub-frame and remove the sub-frame bolts (three 18 mm bolts and one 15 mm per side). Remove the steering rack bolts (21 mm) which are very tight and needed a big breaker bar. Do not forget the small bolt for the power steering pipe bracket on the gearbox side. There is no need to disturb the ARB bolts (inside sub-frame) Drop sub-frame and remove. Carefully lower engine/gearbox until there is room for the box to slide out. As you do this check cables/pipes as necessary to prevent any damage. Un-pop the two cables from selector mechanism by carefully prising them upwards. Unbolt, the two 13 mm nuts and one 13 mm bolt that holds the cable mount onto the gear-box further back and pull out of the way. The actual gearbox is held on by two 18 mm nuts, two 18 mm bolt (dont miss the one behind thermostat), two 15 mm bolts and the three (13 mm) starter motor bolts. With the engine/gearbox lowered and sub-frame off you can get a spanner to the awkward two upper starter-motor bolts from underneath quite easily.
There are nice long locating studs for the gearbox so it is quite easy to slide the gearbox in/out. Its less heavy than I expected but you really need a helper as its hard to slide out from under the car with it sitting on top of you
The slave cylinder/release bearing/mainshaft seal is held in by three ribe bolts. They are made of cheese and easy to round off. I started using a Torx socket by mistake and ended up having to drill one out. Replace with new or with conventional Allen head bolts. The clutch is held on by “Torx/Ribe” type male fixings. I didn’t have any suitable sockets and nor did Halfords so I ended up buying a EPL rail of sockets from Machine Mart (Laser 5150) which appeared the closest fit and did the job fine. Once the clutch is out you are faced with six extremely tight ribe flywheel bolts that just laughed at my ½” impact gun. You will need to buy or make a flywheel locking tool and then brace the engine against the chassis (and possibly floor as well) so you can swing a suitable extension without twisting engine around. I needed a willing helper with 4 foot extension bar while I made sure the ribe socket remained square to the bolt. Its pretty obvious the noise I was getting was from the DMF. The inner on the old one rotated about twice as far as on the new one. Also there was a lot of in/out play (absent from new DMF) accompanied by a horrid rattle
The clutch on these is self-adjusting. You must make sure that the little springs in the cover are fully compressed before you fit the cover (knocks in transit can disturb the setting). You must then ensure that the cover is bolted slowly and sequentially to the flywheel. Any distortion to the cover can cause the mechanism to trip. If it does trip then there are guides on the internet on how to reset (basically use a press to engage the clutch then spin the setting ring with a screwdriver).
Reassembly is then the reverse of removal but trickier. I lined the clutch plate up by eye and the box went on first time. Maybe I was lucky but the long studs for the box help location. The clutch bleeder is a little odd. You need to prise the clip partly out then it will rotate to allow bleeding. I found it bled very easily by suction using a 50 ml medical syringe. I refilled with Castrol Syntrans Multivehicle 75W-90 Fully Synthetic MTF which improved the gearchange. Getting the sub-frame back was quite easy. I guess the more you leave attached to the sub-frame the harder it gets.
Hope that helps,