pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
8/8/20 9:56 a.m.

140k miles on the original clutch in my 2011 Suzuki SX4 (fwd) and it's juddering on take-off from a stop when cold.  It's been doing this consistently for the last 3k miles or so at least.  After the fifth or sixth acceleration from a stop, like leaving a stoplight normally, it goes away.  Hooning away from a stop it seems to do this less.  I think it's time for a clutch job.  

I'd like to attempt this at home.  I can deal with no car for a couple of weeks but I don't want to be without one for a month or more.  To keep this project moving I think it best to source everything I could need ahead of time.  There's also going to be those "while I'm in there" things to replace which include things like the radiator hoses (originals) and perhaps motor mounts?  I'll inspect the half-shafts and see if they need any love or not.  There's some exhaust unbolting to do and I'll get new fasteners for that.  I'll also get new bolts for the flywheel itself and some blue Loctite.  I'll get a clutch set with a new throw-out bearing and I guess I should plan on replacing the pilot bearing or bushing (don't know which the car has) as a matter of course at the same time.

I'm not having much luck finding a new flywheel online.  I can have the flywheel machined locally somewhere but my fear is that it will need to be replaced anyway OR it will go to machine shop jail and be there for a month.  My preference would be to not buy a new one but I know how these things can go.  I see new flywheels for the 2007 SX4 online but not the 2011 as of yet and I don't know that they're interchangeable.  Thoughts?

Anyone pulled halfshafts out of a Suzuki SX4 before and have wisdom to share on that?  I assume I should replace the rear main seal in the motor while everything is apart.  What else should I be aware of?

outasite HalfDork
8/8/20 6:43 p.m.

You may have an oil leak causing the above mentioned shuddering. Rear main oil seal, pan gasket, cam cover gasket?

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
8/8/20 7:25 p.m.

I've thought of that, oil or some other contaminant mucking up the friction material, and that won't clear itself up either.  Getting the trans off should make it easier to tell what's what.  At this mileage on the original clutch it's probably not the worst thing to replace now anyway. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
8/10/20 11:23 a.m.

Monday bump; what else should I be thinking of on a fwd clutch job, and how hard should I look for a new flywheel before starting this job, and how likely is the judder caused by contamination?

No Time
No Time Dork
8/10/20 11:40 a.m.

I don't have much to add, but I'm watching since I have an 08 SX4 in my driveway with >180k. Mine fine now, but I'm sure I'll eventually have to do it. 

If its AWD, I'd look at seals and gasket for the transfer case. 

I haven't looked at the slave cylinder to see what style it is, but if it's internal I would replace that while it's out. 

If there's any drips at the rear main, this would be a good time to fix it. 

I helped my son do a front wheel bearing on the one in my driveway, but we separated the ball joint and swung the spindle out to get clearance but didn't remove the axle so I can't offer direct experience.

I used to pry out axles (except VW and Subie), but recently on the Sedona I used a chain around the inner CV joint housing and slide hammer connected to the chain to pop it out. So much easier than finding a surface to pry against under the car. 

93gsxturbo SuperDork
8/10/20 12:01 p.m.

The only gotcha that I have run into on FWD clutch jobs is some require the entire cradle to come down to get enough room to split the trans off the engine.  Not hard even on jackstands but you need a trans jack and will have to disconnect most of the motor as well.

I also recommend picking up the spreader bar from Harbor Freight now to support the engine.  Some cars have 1x motor mount and 3x trans mounts and you will be real happy to have that spreader bar.  

1000 lb. Capacity Engine Support Bar

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
8/10/20 2:52 p.m.

The cradle drops out for this job.  FWD so I don't have a transfer case to deal with.  Battery comes out of the car, rad gets disconnected and drained, etc.  Good call on the spreader bar.  Wondering if I can rent the slide hammer as mentioned; that sounds much nicer than working with a pry bar to get the CV joints out of the trans.  The throw-out bearing is an internal job and the Sachs clutch set that is available that I've found for about $500 includes it. 

Everything else makes sense as well.  I should see how I can get the car into the 1 bay garage I have, nose-out, and still have space for the motorcycle...


No Time
No Time SuperDork
9/12/21 8:46 a.m.

Reviving this thread since I'm going to be doing the same work with my son next weekend. 

How bad was the job? How long did it take? Any tips or trick you found along the way?

I'm figuring on a couple days since I will be helping and guiding, but letting my son do the majority of the work. 

I've got an Exedy clutch kit (including throw out bearing) on the way, Redline MTL-90, and a LUK flywheel so no worries about resurfacing. I also ordered a new cross member to replace the rusted one that runs under the engine. 


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