B18C / B16B Clutch change, how-to

Saint Matt

Twistin' Throttles and Bangin' Models
Aug 18, 2009
Hi, here's my guide for changing a clutch on a DC2, should be near enough the same bar the airbox on an EK9. Let me know what you think

Parts needed – Clutch kit, Gearbox oil (MTF 94 etc) 3 litres to be safe, flywheel can be changed too without much more effort.

Tools needed – General socket set (make sure you have a 10mm multi hex socket), torque wrench, pry bars and punches are an advantage, as is a clutch aligner if you have one (Exedy’s *might* come with one, mine did but I know others don’t, I have this still if anyone wants to borrow it)

Really you need a mate to help you out in this, to hold the brakes on at certain points and also to help you lift the box in as it is a heavy thing, also it’s generally good when you’re undoing engine mounts and stuff to have someone around to help out if anything should go badly wrong.

I changed my clutch due to a bit of slippage but mainly dragging after going on track. It was hard to get into gear over 3k rpm, as the splines on the gearbox shaft were dry as a bone making the clutch plate stick. Also my clutch pedal was always heavier than standard (again due to the dry splines), if yours is too you might want to get it checked out. Here’s a video of clutch slip driving along, constant throttle, just dipping the clutch. It should snap straight back to where it was, but as you can see it doesn’t.

I did it on my drive and in total I’d say it took me about 4.5 hours including taking all the pics and stuff. As I did it on my drive I did struggle taking pics underneath the car due to access and light, I’ll try and explain everything as well as I can but if there’s something you are having problems with then it’s no problem for me to put my car on a ramp at work and take pictures.

1. Firstly, disconnect your battery (remember to turn the back-up alarm off if you have one) and remove your airbox and the bracket. The pipe can be folded up behind the strut brace out of the way. If you have an AEM etc you’ll need to remove it fully afaik. If you didn’t already know, your bonnet can open even further than normal with the use of a second set of holes for the bonnet prop, might be obvious to some but if you didn’t know it was there you’d find some bits frustrating :)


2. Next, remove the two 10mm bolts from the clutch hose bracket, and also the two 12mm bolts from underneath the slave cylinder. The slave cylinder just pulls out. Once removed, do NOT press the clutch pedal until you have refitted and bolted up this cylinder! Once off, just tuck it up behind the ABS modulator if you have one,



3. Also on top of the gearbox there is a bracket which holds an earth on, undo the couple of 12mm bolts and tuck it up with the clutch slave. If you’re being a pansy and using an engine crane or something you can leave the bracket on and undo the 10mm bolt for the earth strap itself to retain the lifting eye. There’s also a little plastic holder for the coolant hose which you can remove.


4. Next I took off the starter motor, there’s a black spade connector that just pulls out and a 12mm nut which holds the live on. Remove these and unclip the wiring harness clips. There’s two 14mm bolts holding it to the engine



5. Next remove a couple of connectors, one from the reverse sensor on the front and one from the speed sensor at the back above the driveshaft.



6. Now crack off the nuts on both front wheels, pop out the centre cap on the driver’s side wheel and undo the driveshaft nut, get a mate to hold the brakes on while you undo it.


7. Jack your car up using the tow eyes under the front bumper. You need to get it fairly high as the box needs to come out underneath the driver’s side wheel arch. Put some axle stands under the jacking points under the sills.



8. Take your front wheels off, on the driver’s side at the front of a wheel arch is a hole with a 19mm nut. Undo and remove this nut, then remove the three 17mm bolts on the gearbox front mount.



9. Now the bad news if you are a UKDM owner with a stock manifold, your downpipe will have to come off. 98 spec JDM manifolds are ok, it is a struggle but possible without taking the manifold off (you will have to take the heat shields off though), 96 spec owners I’m not sure but I’d bet you will have to take it off. It’s because of the access to the gearbox bolts underneath and the most forward one. Make sure you douse the nuts and studs in WD40 as if they snap you’re screwed, new manifold time. Three 14mm nuts from the underside at the front, and 2 bolts holding it to the cat at the back, two more 14mm nuts for the bracket, unplug the 02 sensor and remove it. If you haven’t had a new downpipe-cat gasket within the last couple of months or so then you will probably need another, it’s a few quid from Honda.



10. Next, drain your gearbox oil. Put a bucket or tray underneath and remove the drain bolt with a 3/8 ratchet and extension if you need. It’s next to the driver side driveshaft. Once drained put the bolt back in and tighten it up to 39nm.


11. Now, undo the horseshoe shaped bracket holding the driver’s side suspension damper to the lower arm, 14mm up top and 17mm nut and bolt at the bottom. You may have to knock the bolt out with a punch or a screwdriver if you don’t have one. It can be tricky to manoeuvre it out but it will come so don’t smack anything haha.

12. Remove the split pin or R clip from the nut on the bottom ball joint, and remove the nut. Put the nut back on a couple of turns and hit the arm itself at the end with a hammer, this shocks the ball joint into separating from the arm. Do NOT hit the ball joint itself upwards, you will ruin the threads and it will get you nowhere! Do this on both front hubs.


13. Now that you’ve separated the hub from the lower arm, use a pry bar (or a flat-headed screwdriver if you don’t have one) to pop the driver’s side driveshaft out from the gearbox.
It should just push out of the hub too to completely remove it.


14. Now, underneath, at the back you’ll find your gear shift linkage. Pull the little rubber gaiter back towards the gearbox and take the circular clip off to reveal the bitch pin. This is not a fun part of the task lol, so be prepared for much swearing. This is a LOT easier with a punch, though I have heard of people using the tapered bolts from the power steering pump but I haven’t tried that. Hit the pin upwards for what will feel like a million times before it pings out. Then undo the 12mm bolts and slide the other bar off the gearbox.



15. Next, undo the three 14mm bolts holding the middle driveshaft to the block, these are to the left of the oil filter as you look at it from the back. Get a mate to help you by pulling the passenger side hub out, and slide the shaft out of the box. Put a sandwich bag or something over the shaft end to stop any crap getting on it.

16. Next, you need to remove all the bolts holding the engine to the gearbox, most are 17mm though there are two 19mm ones for the engine mount at the back that you get to from underneath. Leave one easy to get to bolt in by 5 or 6 turns at the top, this is to stop it falling out completely. You also need to remove the bolt from the back engine mount to the block, this is to let the engine swing down to physically remove the gearbox.

17. Next, place a jack underneath the gearbox and remove the side mount, 2 nuts and a bolt, all 17mm. Lower the gearbox down gently, one mount will hold it but you don’t want to break it.



18. Now the part where you have to man up! Personally I used a garage crawler to drop the box onto (not literally lol) so it could be moved around under the car easier without scratching the **** out of the drive. You’ll need to pry the gearbox off the engine as the dowels will be holding it in place. Separate them and undo the bolt. You might need a mate to help you lower the box off, or you might be a double hard bastard like me and lift it out yourself lol (I jokes I jokes). Either way, lower it onto the crawler or whatever you are using (if anything) and slide it out the side, it’s a bit awkward but it should come. I was a bit preoccupied with this lark so no pictures of actually taking it out but at the end you’ll be left with this if all goes well;


19. Remove the six 10mm multi-hex bolts holding the clutch to the flywheel and take it off.

20. If you’re putting a new flywheel on the remove the eight bolts in the middle and remove it, fit your new one and tighten the bolts to 103nm in sequence, tighten one bolt then tighten one opposite, until all are done. Always double check!

21. Put your new clutch on, put all 6 bolts in loosely, insert your clutch aligner making sure it goes fully into the hole in the flywheel like so;


22. Tighten the six 10mm bolts to 25nm in the same manner as the flywheel, criss-cross pattern. Don’t forget to double check :)

23. Next up is your release bearing. Get your gearbox and pull the bearing forward and slide if off the fork. Clear any crap out from the bell housing, give the shaft a bit of a wire brushing if it is a bit rusty like mine was and grease it all up with copper grease or any other grease for splines. Don’t put too much on or it will go everywhere haha


24. Hold the clutch fork out, and fit your new bearing. Make sure it’s on right, gonna be a bit of a bitch if you get it wrong. Make sure the hooks go round the fork properly. Also make sure where the bearing slides in and out are coated with grease as this is what causes a stiff pedal like mine.


25. Right, now for it all going back together. Onto the crawler or whatever you’re using, and slide it under the car.


26. Now, making sure you’ve eaten your weetabix this morning, lift the gearbox in. I felt it was easiest to lean over the wing and lift it from the top, it’s not *that* heavy but it can be awkward. You might need to rotate it a bit to get it into the clutch properly. Once it’s in continue to support it until at least one bolt is all the way in, this is where a mate comes in handy. You do not want to just let it hang on the clutch, this is very bad for the plate and can snap it, avoid at all costs!

27. Tighten all the gearbox bolts, making sure it’s going in straight, to 64nm for the top 17mm bolts, 57nm for the lower two 17mm bolts and 24nm for the 12mm lower bolts.

28. Jack up the gearbox again and refit the side mount buts and bolt, tighten them to 64nm.

29. Refit the three bolts for the rear engine mount, tightening them to 118nm.

30. Fit the front gearbox mount back on, slide it though the mount on the chassis and put the three 17mm bolts in first, tighten them to 83nm. I couldn’t find a torque setting for the nut but I tightened it to the same as the rear engine mounts @ 118nm

31. Slide your middle driveshaft into the gearbox, you may have to slide the driver’s side in too and turn them both back and forth a bit to get them fully in, these diffs are fussy about alignment haha. Tighten the three 14mm bolts on the bracket to 39nm

32. Slide your driveshaft into the hub on the driver’s side, and fit both the front hubs back into the arm. Tighten the lower ball joint nut to 49nm, and if you can’t get a split pin through the hole in the joint properly tighten it a bit more until you can.

33. Now, place your drain tray/bucket underneath and remove the 17mm hole above the gearbox drain hole and fill the box with oil. You can do this either through the breather pipe at the top (has a rubber cap on you need to take off) or through the hole itself if you have a syringe, through the level hole is the easiest way by far. Fill it until oil starts to come out of the level hole, then refit the bolt and tighten it to 44nm

34. Refit your downpipe if you have a UK spec manifold or a 96 spec if you needed to remove it. Put some exhaust paste round the two pipe faces that meet the manifold and also the donut gasket. If you have a 98 spec, refit your heat shields if you took them off, tightening bolts to 24nm. Tighten the downpipe-manifold nuts to 54nm, bracket bolts to 16nm and cat nuts to 22nm. Plug in your O2 sensor and clip the connector back on.

35. Plug in your speed sensor and reverse switch, refit the earth strap and tighten the bolts to 22nm. Refit the plastic hose clip.

36. Refit the clutch slave cylinder making sure the ball end (lol) goes into the fork properly. Tighten the 12mm bolts to 22nm and the 10mm bolts to 10nm. You can test the clutch now by pressing the pedal, it should be smooth with no odd noises. If it does make some weird noises, you’ve failed lol, take the box out again and make sure the clutch release bearing is on properly etc

37. Refit your starter motor, tighten the bolts to 44nm for the mounts and 10nm for the cable nut. Push the spade connector back on properly and clip the wiring harness clips back on. Refit your airbox bracket and airbox, push the rubber hose back on locating the little peg thing.

38. Refit your wheels and lower the car down, tighten the wheel nuts to 110nm. Refit the driveshaft nut and tighten it to 181nm, then stake in the nut into the driveshaft. Refit the centre cap and you’re done

Take it out and make sure the clutch works ok, don’t go trying to make it slip or anything just yet, drive it sensibly for a tank or so. If there’s anything I’ve forgotten (probably is) then please post up and let me know. Also if you’re having trouble or don’t understand what something means feel free to PM and I’ll help out however I can. Just to be safe, you are doing this at your own risk, not my fault if you drop a gearbox on your toe/leg/head etc so be careful

HTH, Cheers, Matt