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A vehicle’s clutch is responsible for transmitting the power generated by the engine to the gearbox. When you change the gear to get the car moving at the start and change the gears subsequently as you drive, the clutch allows interruption in the transmission by disengaging it from the engine during these gear changes. If the clutch works correctly, it will move with just the right amount of freeplay. It will not slip from low freeplay or drag from excessive freeplay.

The clutch has four main parts. Alongside a cover plate that is affixed with a diaphragm spring, there is a pressure plate and a driven plate. Then there is a release bearing.

The cover plate is fixed to the flywheel with bolts. The driven plate lies between the flywheel and the pressure plate and is faced with friction material on both sides to better grip them and smoothly take up the drive when the clutch is engaged. When you depress the pedal to disengage the clutch, a release bearing gets pushed against the diaphragm spring center and makes it release the clamping pressure. The pressure plate then stops clamping the driven plate to the flywheel. As a result, the power transmission gets interrupted and you can change the gears.

To ensure its smooth functioning, the clutch may need adjustments from time to time. Depending on your vehicle, you may need to adjust your clutch after every 6000 miles. You can do that using clutch adjustment tools.

What is a clutch adjustment tool?

Clutch adjustment tools, which are also known as clutch alignment tools, are devices made of nylon or injection-molded plastic that you can use to align the clutch plate into the pilot bearing. When you do this, it is essential to make sure that the clutch plate is aligned with the flywheel and can engage with the input shaft from the transmission.

Before using a clutch adjustment tool, you need to ascertain that it matches your transmission. The input shaft’s splines should line up and engage with the tool. If the tool doesn’t fit the pilot bearing, get another one that does.

Why is a clutch adjustment tool needed?

You need a clutch adjustment tool when fitting the clutch as it can make the installation process much easier. It will save time and the frustrating experience of lying under the car for a long while to get things right. If your clutch is misaligned, the release bearing will not be able to centralize itself on the cover plate diaphragm. There will be a misalignment between the engine and the gearbox. That could lead to several problems such as the uneven wearing of the clutch, gearbox damage, and frequent clutch failures.

How to use a clutch adjustment tool?

To use a clutch adjustment tool, do the following:

Select a clutch alignment tool that has the same number of splines as the clutch. With the clutch disc facing the right way, insert the clutch adjustment tool into it, ensuring it fits correctly through the disc splines.

The flywheel at the back of the engine bolts to the crank in which there is a central recess for the bearing. Push the clutch adjustment tool’s tip into the bearing and lock it in place to keep the clutch immovable against the flywheel.

Then place the pressure plate against the flywheel and use bolts to fix it in place.

Move about the clutch adjustment tool a little to check if it can move about well and fits correctly into the bearing.

Now use a three-step bolt tightening process consisting of hand-tightening, half-torque, and full torque to torqued to spec the fix the bolts in a criss-cross pattern. When you tighten the bolts, the gap between the pressure plate and the flywheel will lessen.

Then draw out the clutch adjustment tool and install the transmission.

After you have finished with the clutch adjustment, go on a test drive and assess how well the clutch works. There ought to be no issues now with its smooth functioning. If something still feels off, you may need to readjust the clutch again or have a professional auto mechanic give it a once-over and adjust it for you.