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How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf

LuK clutch kit installed: 620332200


The Volkswagen Golf has been on the road since 1974, with the 30 millionth model built in 2013. On average there are 2,000 models of Golf sold per day worldwide, so the likelihood of seeing one for a replacement clutch is quite high.


No special tools are required, but a two-post ramp is ideal, along with an engine support and a transmission jack. Before starting the repair, if the vehicle is fitted with alloy wheels ensure that the locking key is available.


With the car on the floor disconnect and remove the battery, battery carrier and the air duct pipes allowing access to the top of the gearbox and bell housing area. Remove the clutch slave cylinder and bracket from the top of the gearbox. It is not necessary to disconnect the hydraulics as this can be stowed safely out of the way from the working area. Remove the gear change cables by loosening three bolts from the bracket and unclipping the cables from the selector mechanism; they can then be stowed safely.


How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf


Next the starter motor can be removed by firstly removing the wiring harness and multi-plug. Take extra care not to break the small red tab – this must be pulled back about 3mm to allow the locking tab to lift.


How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf


Remove the earth cable and then the two bolts that secure the starter motor in place before finally removing the starter. The top two bell housing bolts can also be removed at this stage. Install the engine support into place and remove the top gearbox support mounting.


Better access


Raise the vehicle and remove the N/S/F wheel and the lower section of the wheel arch liner to give better access to the gearbox. Then remove the engine under-tray. Disconnect the reverse light multi-plug and then remove the flywheel protection plate.


How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf


You should then disconnect the oil lever sensor plug and remove the swivel bolt from the front of the N/S wishbone, before removing the six bolts from the inner driveshaft flange. With the bolt removed from the wishbone the hub assembly will pull out far enough to remove the N/S driveshaft.


How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf


Remove the six bolts from the O/S inner driveshaft flange – the driveshaft will move clear of the gearbox flange. Then remove the gearbox flange by removing the centre bolt with a 6mm Hex drive/Allen key – some oil may escape as this gives more clearance when removing and installing the gearbox.


How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf


Support the gearbox load using the transmission jack before unbolting the stabiliser link and removing the holding bracket and pendulum support for the gearbox.


How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf


Remove the remaining bell housing bolts and separate the gearbox from the engine and lower the gearbox to the floor. Remove the old clutch assembly from the flywheel. Check the flywheel for signs of heat stress or excessive wear. If the surface of the flywheel is to be skimmed, make sure that the same amount is taken from the clutch bolting surface – failure to check and rectify these areas may cause the clutch to operate incorrectly. Clean the bell housing and remove any debris. If any oil leaks are visible then these must be repaired before refitting the gearbox. Replace the release bearing and fork and ensure any pivot points are clean.


Before fitting the new clutch disc, make sure the input shaft is clean and free from any wear. Put a small dab of high melting point grease (not a copper-based product) on the first motion shaft splines and make sure the new driven plate slides freely back and forth. This not only spreads the grease evenly but also makes sure you have the correct kit. Wipe away any excess grease off the shaft and driven plate hub. Using a universal alignment tool and checking the driven plate is the correct way round (note “Getriebe Seite” is German for “Gearbox Side”), the clutch can be bolted to the flywheel evenly and sequentially.


Make sure any dowels have not become dislodged or damaged and replace any that have.


How to replace a clutch on a Volkswagen Golf


Install the gearbox and make sure the bolts are secured and all mountings are refitted before removing the supporting transmission jacks. When the driveshaft flange is reinstalled remember to check the oil level and top-up as necessary.


Refitting the remaining components is the reverse of removal.


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