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Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
09-11-2017, 07:45 AM
Post: #1
Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
Good morning all,

Had a bit too much fun this weekend and ended up with no clutch. I’ve only had the Syncro three months now, but suspected the clutch was on its last breath for a while now. Did some rock crawling this weekend, but when I realized the clutch was hanging on a thread it was almost too late. Limped home, as there was no signal to send for help and now Sycnro doesn’t even budge when I put car into gear and release clutch.

All this to say that I believe the friction plate has given up the ghost. I’m eager to do it myself, as I’m wanting to learn the ins and outs of the Syncro, but I’ve not done anything like this before. In my ignorance, I’m feeling confident that I can do the job; I do have two questions though:

While I’m taking the transaxle out, and especially the clutch, should I be looking at/doing/replacing anything else other than Pressure plate, disc, release & pilot bearing?
Can I just buy these items from someone like Goldwagen, or is there something ‘better’?

Thanks in advance!
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09-13-2017, 09:36 AM
Post: #2
RE: Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
To attempt answering my own question:

Other than the parts I’ve mentioned above, I’ve read on the internets that the following should also be checked/replaced:
• Crankshaft oil seal
• Felt ring
• Flywheel O-ring
• “Oil slinger” – More info here: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewto...p?t=342440

Other good to replace while you’re there items:
• Fuel line hose from firewall to fuel pump
• ???
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09-13-2017, 11:05 AM
Post: #3
Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
(09-13-2017 09:36 AM)Jacobus Wrote:  To attempt answering my own question:

Other than the parts I’ve mentioned above, I’ve read on the internets that the following should also be checked/replaced:
• Crankshaft oil seal
• Felt ring
• Flywheel O-ring
• “Oil slinger” – More info here: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewto...p?t=342440

Other good to replace while you’re there items:
• Fuel line hose from firewall to fuel pump
• ???


Fuel like might be difficult as it runs over the tank(unsure if you will get the old one out, nit to mention a new one in...

Re-grease your rear cv's(replace if looking suspicious)
Replace the cv boots(not with GW brand) Gommet is a good brand if you can get hold of it.

Starter "pilot bearing" in the gbox casing might be a good idea to replace.



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09-14-2017, 09:58 AM
Post: #4
RE: Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
Thank you, I'll check it out tonight. Finally got the gearbox etc. out last night... paid a lot of school fees. I'm sure I can help a lot of people with advise on how not to remove a transaxle. Not sure what goes where anymore either. Typical older vehicle where no two bolts are the same.

I've had to remove the hydraulic line from the slave cylinder, as I couldn't get to the second bolt to get the whole bracket out. The Bentley says to bleed the line under pressure. What has your experience been? Can I just drain it by pumping the clutch pedal, or would I require some tool/workaround?

And then a big question I want to ask. I know the T3s prior to '90 came out with a 3rd/4th gear that has stress raisers. VW fixed it after that. My question now is, I've got a 89 so I either have the infamous gear, or I don't. Should I open up the gearbox to find out? Can you open the gearbox to check, and then just replace the gaskets, or does it become a matter of "while you're there, replace bearings etc..." I'm not keen on working on the gearbox now, as I'm not experiencing any issues/symptoms of anything going bad. It's a case of, if it's as simple as undoing a few bolts, check the gear, renew gaskets and close everything up. Thoughts?
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09-15-2017, 07:09 AM
Post: #5
RE: Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
syncro gearbox is not really a do it your self thing, if you want to repplace the gaskets and seals and bearings, have a professional to it,

IMHO if there are no issues with the box leave it alone, more often than not you end up with more hassles after fix stuff that is not broken,

BTW, what are "stress raisers" ?

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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09-15-2017, 10:39 AM (This post was last modified: 09-15-2017 10:41 AM by Jacobus.)
Post: #6
RE: Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
(09-15-2017 07:09 AM)syncromad Wrote:  syncro gearbox is not really a do it your self thing, if you want to repplace the gaskets and seals and bearings, have a professional to it,

IMHO if there are no issues with the box leave it alone, more often than not you end up with more hassles after fix stuff that is not broken,

BTW, what are "stress raisers" ?

Hi Stuart,

Thanks. That’s my gut feeling as well. I think I’ll leave it alone… for now…
As stress raiser is effectively as stress concentration due to something like a sharp corner. In this case, it’s due to a rookie mistake on the side of the mechanical Engineer who designed the first iteration of the gear. Here’s a good article on the issue (http://www.gowesty.com/tech-article-details.php?id=78), however, there are a few documentations of it on forums. It seems the magical number is around 200k where the gear fails. My syncro is on 180… It’s fine if it fails when I’m 100m away from home. Just scared it decides to give up the ghost somewhere in dark Africa!
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09-15-2017, 01:39 PM
Post: #7
RE: Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
only ever seen one broken on an Sa built syncro, in 20 years of doing this

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
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09-18-2017, 02:21 PM
Post: #8
RE: Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
(09-15-2017 01:39 PM)syncromad Wrote:  only ever seen one broken on an Sa built syncro, in 20 years of doing this

Thanks Stuart.

I'll trust it'll hold then.

PS. I couldn't get a pilot bearing puller anywhere in Middelburg... I'll never attempt to get another pilot bearing out without the proper tool; unless I missed a trick, but struggled for about an hour to get it out.

Learning a lot on the workings of the Syncro though, which I'm loving.
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09-19-2017, 09:00 AM
Post: #9
RE: Clutch is gone - wanting to fix it myself
(09-18-2017 02:21 PM)Jacobus Wrote:  
(09-15-2017 01:39 PM)syncromad Wrote:  only ever seen one broken on an Sa built syncro, in 20 years of doing this

Thanks Stuart.

I'll trust it'll hold then.

PS. I couldn't get a pilot bearing puller anywhere in Middelburg... I'll never attempt to get another pilot bearing out without the proper tool; unless I missed a trick, but struggled for about an hour to get it out.

Learning a lot on the workings of the Syncro though, which I'm loving.
we use bread and a spigot shaft, works like a dream

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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