Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Technical info on the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix including do-it-yourself info
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mntn-biker
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Re: (tiiguy)

Postby mntn-biker » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:50 am

Seem like you need to delicately go gorilla on them if I recall correctly
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tiiguy
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Postby tiiguy » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:47 am

Yeah, finally got em off, but I needed 16" Channel Locks to do it. Hope they go back on a lot easier.

So far this car has been bullet proof, but I'm starting to question Toyota's design process. Judging from other posts, I still have more surprises to come.


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Serj22
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Postby Serj22 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:36 pm

I don't know about you guys but I just pulled the cotter pins on the cables with regular cheapy pliers with little effort just leaning over the top of the motor. The links were bright white so they were easy enough to see while reaching back there.

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Bedlam
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Re: (tiiguy)

Postby Bedlam » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:53 pm

Quote, originally posted by tiiguy »
Yeah, finally got em off, but I needed 16" Channel Locks to do it. Hope they go back on a lot easier.

So far this car has been bullet proof, but I'm starting to question Toyota's design process. Judging from other posts, I still have more surprises to come.

that is what we used. that size channel locks for a leverage point and a pry bar against them. Only other annoying part is the rear engine mount designed by a MORON.

when reinstalling them, make sure that the gap of the spring clip is facing down so it won't bind on reinsertion. Use a dead-blow hammer or hit against a block of wood to pop them back in. The boot is metal and can take some soft hits with ease. If you lined up the clip properly you will be greeted with a comforting pop of them locking back in.

for people having trouble with the shift cables. you can reach in to work on them easily from the drivers side wheel well. The pins come out by hand with little force. The bracket holding both cables is not something to be removed while in the car. You can reach in with a Large flat blade screw driver and twist the retainer clips free from the bracket. Once those clips come off, the lines will be free of the transmission.

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realred96
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Postby realred96 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:34 am

Have not been on in a while. It looks like some of the information is obsolete in my original post.

Since my 3rd clutch just went (110K miles) I will try to update this using everyone's advice. Stand by!

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Laserbeak43
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby Laserbeak43 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:28 pm

fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!!
the pictures always go away when i need them!!

sideshowalan
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby sideshowalan » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:11 am

Somebody archived it on this site: Pictures and everything.

http://wehavescissors.blogspot.com/2009/12/changing-clutch-in-pontiac-vibe-or.html
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gypsydoctor
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby gypsydoctor » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:09 pm

Why does the starter need to be removed? It seems to come in from the engine side of the flywheel and looks to be out of the way. EDIT: Oh, because the bolts pass through the bell housing. The top one comes from the transaxle side.

I've just started this job on my 2005 Matrix. One thing I learned so far is that the clips that hold the shift cables to the bracket came off easily by spraying with Liquid Wrench and then clamping the top 1/4 inch that is bent over with 6 inch Vise Grips. First twist to break the corrosion, then pull up. Came right off. (I'm talking about the "upside-down U" clips on the bracket, not the cotter-pin-like clips.)

I got the left driveshaft out of the differential with a pry bar resting against one of the differential bolts, plus a big hammer. For the right side I used the "crossbar" that goes front to back for leverage. Both had snap rings and were very tight.

Danthesignman
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby Danthesignman » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:39 pm

Ok ,I give up , how does the GT 6sp RH axle come out . I`ve been at it for 2 hours with a slide hammer and a pry bar . Where exactly does it come apart ?

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thebarber
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby thebarber » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:48 pm

Danthesignman wrote:Ok ,I give up , how does the GT 6sp RH axle come out . I`ve been at it for 2 hours with a slide hammer and a pry bar . Where exactly does it come apart ?

there are ridges on the cup that runs into the transmission. get a bar about 8" long (i used a concrete chisel) and bang with a rubber mallet

the key, however, is draining your gear fluid and leaving a fill hole open so youre not fighting the vacuum of the sealed transmission
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby gypsydoctor » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:58 pm

On my 2005 Matrix 5-speed both driveshafts were difficult. I got the left driveshaft out of the differential with a seriously-heavy pry bar resting against one of the differential bolts, plus a big hammer. For the right side I used the "crossbar" that goes front to back for leverage, and the same heavy pry bar. Both sides had snap rings and were very tight. My big slide hammer was useless.

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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby Danthesignman » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:02 am

thebarber , do I have to remove the two bolts that hold the pillow block bearing that supports the jackshaft ? Does anyone have a picture ? Are You saying the dust cup immediately outboard of the diff is where I hammer and the whole thing moves ?

Danthesignman
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby Danthesignman » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:45 am

BTW , thanks in advance !

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thebarber
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby thebarber » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:47 pm

Danthesignman wrote:thebarber , do I have to remove the two bolts that hold the pillow block bearing that supports the jackshaft ? Does anyone have a picture ? Are You saying the dust cup immediately outboard of the diff is where I hammer and the whole thing moves ?

Yes.

You'll also want to remove the 3 17mm nuts under the wheel bearing to give you the room to push the axle out of the transmission
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby Danthesignman » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:46 pm

Got it out ! Wow , clutch was toast , not going back together until tomorrow though .
THANKS AGAIN !!!

gypsydoctor
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby gypsydoctor » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:56 pm

I just put in the third replacement clutch in our 2005 Matrix which has about 98000 miles. This time I used a Fidanza 2.1 (http://www.fidanza.com/2Point1.aspx) Let's hope it lasts longer.

I used the steps described at http://wehavescissors.blogspot.com/2009/12/changing-clutch-in-pontiac-vibe-or.html. Here are my additional notes.

The clips that hold the shift cables to their bracket came off easily by spraying with Liquid Wrench and then clamping the top 1/4 inch that is bent over with 6 inch Vise Grips. First twist to break the corrosion, then pull up. Came right off. (I'm talking about the "upside-down U" clips on the bracket, not the cotter-pin-like clips.)

At the wheels, I removed the axle bolt and the 3 bolts from the ball joint, and the driveshafts came right out. I got the left driveshaft out of the differential with a heavy (3/4 inch diameter) pry bar using one of the differential bolts as a fulcrum, plus a 3-pound hammer. For the right side I used the "crossbar" that goes front to back for leverage, and the same heavy pry bar. Both sides had snap rings and were very tight. My big slide hammer was useless.

I supported the engine with a come-along attached to a sturdy support beam and a chain attached to two bolts threaded into the cylinder head. This was helpful to fine-tune the engine position when I was about to drop the transaxle. Be careful not to pull too much and pull the car off the jack stands! I also put some extra shoring under the car in case something like this happened. A friend of mine recently had a car fall on him--not a pretty picture.

I removed the front engine/transaxle mount in one piece, and the left mount in two pieces after removing the long pivot bolt. I also took the bolts out of the crossmember that runs front to back. It would not come out because one stud passes through it, but it was probably helpful to be able to swing it out of the way.

It looked impossible to remove the 3 bolts holding the rear mount to the transaxle. I removed the long pivot bolt from the rear mount, working from the driver-side wheel well using about 2 feet of socket extension. I loosened the rear mount by taking off all six bolts and nuts connecting it to the frame, so it would wiggle in place. The "head" of one of the rear mounting studs, whose nut is recessed into the the crossmember, broke free and started to spin when the nut was about half way off, so I never got the mount off completely. I was able to swing it enough to get the transaxle out with its half of the engine mount still bolted to it. It would have been a good idea to use some Liquid Wrench everywhere, even when using an impact wrench, to help prevent spinning the studs.

There are 6 bolts holding the transaxle to the engine (in addition to the two starter bolts). One of them, the upper one on the back side, loosened a few turns and then got harder and harder to turn until I could no longer move it, even with an impact wrench. Apparently it was corroded. I was able to cut off the head with a Dremel tool and an EZ cutoff wheel. Later I found that that the end of that bolt passes all the way through the transaxle housing, so I could have hit the other end with some Liquid Wrench.

With the 6 bolts out, I was able to pry open a gap about 1/2 inch on the front side, but the back stayed mysteriously closed up. After a lot of struggle I discovered that there was a frozen/corroded dowel pin between engine and transaxle just below the two mounting bolts on the back side. I eventually got it loose with a big hammer and a screwdriver with just the right amount of taper to force a small crack open. This frozen pin was just a few inches from the previously-mentioned frozen bolt; there was no obvious reason for the corrosion. I suppose salt water can wick into the cracks. There is another dowel pin near the top front mounting bolt.

I used a $79 scissor-type transmission jack from Harbor Freight, with the strap pretty well caught by hardware on on top of the transaxle and the strap's tightener to the front. It was a bit awkward but definitely useful. I had a helper while lowering the transaxle. It would have been easier to lower the unit if I removed the remaining parts of the shift linkage, particularly if working alone.

The clutch comes with an alignment tool, and a plastic donut that fits into the hole in the flywheel to simulate the missing pilot bearing. I measured things, and there would be zero clearance at the end of the transmission shaft with this donut in place, so I did not use it. I just measured the gap between the alignment tool and the diaphragm fingers all around.

Getting the transmission back in was straightforward--with a helper. It was easy to get the two halves of the rear mount lined up.

I got the driveshafts back in by hitting the outer end with my 3 pound hammer while a helper held them and pushed.

When putting back the plastic splash shields, I used stainless steel screws and nuts, after bad experience trying to get off rusted fasteners on plastic parts without breaking the plastic.

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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby bonehead16661 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:14 pm

Does anyone have the specs on how much torque to use on the various bolts? My main concern is the cover over the clutch plate (6 bolts). The rest I'm not too worried about, or I found elsewhere.

bonehead16661
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby bonehead16661 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:21 pm

Nevermind, I found it. 14 #ft, it was in the original rundown, I just didn't see it. :-P

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realred96
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby realred96 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:01 pm

Wow, 8 years later and my write up is still here!

We still have the GT and it is still STRONG! :twisted:

-Jim from Houston
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Salsa Guy
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby Salsa Guy » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:22 pm

realred96 wrote:Wow, 8 years later and my write up is still here!

We still have the GT and it is still STRONG! :twisted:

-Jim from Houston

You need to visit more often...
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realred96
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby realred96 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:16 pm

Update, I put another clutch in about 2 years ago and 13K miles ago.

I ended up using an EXEDY stock clutch kit for a change of pace.

So far no issues whatsoever, so the quality must have improved since 2003.

It actually feels perfect even 2 years later.

The motor / tranny mounting design STILL SUCKS! :x
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hotbug1776
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby hotbug1776 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:22 am

I'm still troubleshooting, but i think I may be in the market for a new clutch. Will be replacing the flywheel as well (MWR Racing flywheel, 8.8 Lbs.). I'm getting intermittent slipping during shifts, but not during hard acceleration. I'm still looking at which clutch to buy on a budget, and I know the general consensus is ACT or Excedy, but I'm also looking at Centerforce, they have a lot of race proven features and life extending options and advice. they have counterweights to increase pressure with RPM, and true dual friction surfaces. I'm still in the troubleshooting phase and will be exploring the lesser cost solutions first. I only want to change this clutch one time if possible.

end massive old thread bump.
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Re: Changing the clutch in a Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix

Postby mattposter » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:36 am

I know this is an old thread but I just did a clutch in a vibe so I assume many people also still are. Plenty of great info here. I ordered a Luk brand clutch because in the pic of the kit it showed two alignment tools. One for a car with a pilot bearing and one that was intended for the vibe with no pilot bearing... however the kit only came with the one that doesn’t work for the vibe. Since I have a small lathe in my garage I was able to make a piece to adapt the alignment tool to work with the vide. I know not everyone has a lathe. But maybe there is another way of doing this. Just thought I’d post what I cam up with. I made it out of aluminum and just glued it to the end of the alignment tool.
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