1996 – 2001 Audi A4 2.8L V6
Vehicle In This Guide:
1998 Audi A4 2.8L V6 / 5 speed manual / 94,000 miles
After doing the timing belt, valve cover gaskets, and couple of other small repairs it is time to tackle the last big thing; the clutch. Along with the clutch I will be replacing the rear main seal (also called the rear crankshaft seal) and the input shaft seal on the transmission. Although this guide is specifically made for the 2.8L engine, a lot of the information can be applied to the whole Audi A4 B5 generation (1994-2001).
Update – 11/22/2011: The Audi now has a little over 126,000 miles;on it and the resurfaced flywheel is holding up well. No slipping so far.
Update – 04/15/2013: Last year my Audi A4 was involved in an accident and had to be junked as a result. Wish I could have kept it longer as I wanted to see how many miles I could get out of the resurfaced flywheel. The car had around 132,000 miles when it was junked.
Required Parts & Tools:
- Torx set, Hex set, and a triple square socket set.
- A couple of long socket extensions and some swivels. Also find some kind of bar for leverage.
- Sachs (or any other) clutch kit. Should come with release bearing, pilot bearing, clutch disk, and pressure plate.
- Optional: New flywheel.
Preparation And Disconnecting The Driveshaft
1. Put the car on jacks. I would not use anything smaller than 6 ton because they provide not only the correct support but also plenty of height.
2. Remove the exhaust by following the Audi A4 Exhaust Removal Guide.
3. Remove the exhaust heat shield ( if there is one). The shield covers the drive-shaft and is secured with 4 small bolts.
The drive shaft must be disconnected from the transmission and moved out of the way. Because of the two-piece design and the rubber center bearing, it is crucial that the drive-shaft is aligned properly during re-installation. If you have to completely remove the drive-shaft, make several marks so that you will be able to reinstall it correctly.
4. Remove the bolts from the front of the drive-shaft. These are allen bolts. Apply e-brake to keep the drive shaft still. If you are only moving the shaft out of the way, then remove the shield from the transmission and slide the drive shaft out of the way.
I removed the bolts from the rear of the drive-shaft.
And finally removed the center drive-shaft support bolts. Once those are removed, the drive shaft could be taken out of the car.
5. Remove the front axle shields. Start with the driver side. Use the 2′ extension and a swivel to reach the shield bolts. These are allen bolts, again. Might have to play around with different extensions to reach these.
6. Do the same thing on the passenger side. I couldn’t access the passenger side top shield bolt with the extensions. Instead I got it by feeding a wrench from the bottom. Tricky.
7. Disconnect all the electrical connectors. The nice thing about the 5 speed is that there are only three. All of them are on the driver side of the transmission.
Removing The Slave Cylinder And The Transmission Bolts
8. Remove the slave cylinder.
Extension to the rescue. Use a swivel to reach the allen bolt.
Once the bolt is out, slide the slave cylinder out. Little room to work with, so be patient.
Next step is to remove all of the transmission to engine bolts. There are a total of 9 bolts and the diagram below will show their locations. This is looking from the rear of the transmission.
9. Start by removing bolts 1, 2, and 3. Shot of the passenger side.
You can try and use a wrench to remove the 16mm bolts from the transmission but I find that there is an easier way. Connect two 2′ extensions, a swivel and reach from behind the transmission. Play around with the position because there is stuff that will get in the way. Maybe easier if you disconnected the shifter rods first. If you need more room, remove the transmission mounts and tilt the trans+engine down.
Finally reach in with your hand and put the socket on. This is a shot of the passenger side. FYI, these bolts were on tight. There is some kind of hose in the way so space is limited, but it is possible to remove the top bolts using this method.
10. Continuing down the passenger side of the transmission. Remove 4 and 5. Fairly easy to get out. You may have to use a 16mm open ended wrench to reach #5. You do not have to remove the starter.
11. Drivers side of the transmission. Remove 8 and 9. Pretty straight forward.
12. Remove 6 and 7.
Here are all of the bolts. Some of them are different.
Disconnecting Shifter Rods And Dropping The Transmission
13. Disconnect the the shifter rods.
- 10mm bolt. When you remove this you will probably find that you cannot slide the joint off of the rod. What you have to do is twist it back and forth while pulling. It will come out.
- 8mm allen bolt. Little room to work with but can be done.
14. Remove the bolts from the front axles (at the transmission side) by using a 8mm triple square bit. A nice tip that I got from someone else is to tap the bits with a hammer to make sure that it is all the way in. Follow up by disconnecting the axles from the transmission. In my case, once all of the bolts were out the axles would not disconnect. I took a big hammer and hit it a couple times and it broke free. Set the axles on top of the transmission mounts.
15. Final step is to remove the transmission mounts. Place the jack under the transmission and remove the 3 bolts holding each mount in place. The metal brackets can stay attached to the transmission.
16. Double check that everything has been removed and get ready for the scary part. Slide the transmission back so that the input shaft clears the pressure plate and then drop it down. Transmission jack is a nice tool to have but you can still do it with a regular jack.
Shot of the pressure plate
Shot of the flywheel.
Stock clutch is toast. At the time of this repair, the car had roughly 94,000 miles.
There is a big debate on whether to resurface and reuse the original flywheel or buy a new flywheel. While I chose to have mine resurfaced I still recommend that you buy a new flywheel. When you resurface the flywheel you run the risk of throwing it off balance. The springs in the flywheel wear out as well and require a flywheel replacement as well. Spend a little more now and save yourself the headache of doing everything over again later. At this point I wanted to replace the rear main seal and the input shaft seal. Click on the respective links to read those guides or continue to the next page to see the clutch installation instructions.
Installing The Clutch And The Transmission
1. Install the flywheel. Use new bolts and tighten to 40 lb-ft + 180 degrees. Tighten the bolts in stages and using a star pattern. I tightened all 8 to 40 lb-ft followed by 90 degrees for all of them and finishing off with another 90 degrees for all 8. Mark the bolts so you don’t accidentally over torque them. To prevent the flywheel from turning, find a suitable open ended wrench. Wedge it against one of the guide dowels and have a helper hold it in place as you tighten the flywheel. This method is strange, but it’s free and it works. A better method is to buy the Audi 3242 Crankshaft Lock Tool and use that to keep the flywheel from moving.
2. Use the clutch alignment tool to align the clutch disc and then install the pressure plate. Use new pressure plate bolts and tighten to 18 lb-ft
3. Next step is to install the transmission. Just take it slow and make sure that the shift rods and slave cylinder do not get pinched by the transmission. You will want to have a second person helping you guide the transmission in.
4. Tighten the transmission bolts using the torque specs below.
5. Install the transmission mounts and tighten the bolts to the following specs.
6. Install the slave cylinder and tighten the bolt to 15 lb-ft. I had a lot of trouble with this step. You won’t be able to slide the cylinder back in with your hand. Find a screw driver and bend it a little. Feed it into the mounting hole and use it as leverage to slide the cylinder back in. Slightly rotate the the cylinder back and forth as you feed it farther inside the transmission. Once it’s all the way in you will see that there is a little indentation on the transmission where you can rest the cylinder without it popping out. Hold the slave cylinder in place with your hand while installing the bolt.
7. Connect all the electrical sensors. The engine speed sensor needs to be tightened to 7 lb-ft.
8. Install the drive axles and tighten all the bolts to 30 lb-ft.
9. Install the shift rods. Tighten the shift rod to 17 lb-ft and the pivot rod (the 8mm allen bolt) to 30 lb-ft. Yeah, good luck getting a torque wrench in there :).
10. Install the drive-shaft. Tighten the front and rear bolts to 41 lb-ft and the center support to 17 lb-ft.
11. Install heat shields over the drive axles. Tighten to 17 lb-ft.
12. Install exhaust. Tighten the exhaust pipe to manifold bolts to 18 lb-ft. The exhaust bracket bolts should also be torqued to 18 lb-ft.
13. Cross your fingers and start the engine.