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Old 07-20-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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New Clutch

Hi,
I took my Boxster into my mechanic today for an Airbag light and had to have my second seatbelt receptacle replaced. The mechanic looked over the car and everything is in great shape, however he mentioned that my clutch is on its last legs. I have 52k miles. He said it could be anywhere from a week to a year before it fails, but I would like to schedule getting it done so I don't get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Is this around when I should need a new clutch?
Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:33 PM   #2
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It would depend on your driving style and how the car is used.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:21 PM   #3
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I just replaced mine a few months ago at 70000kms, thats around 45000 miles, so it seems that you have afew months left probably There is a guy on e-bay that offers a great deal on the clutch kit and the flywheel wich is the most expensive part, his name is gripforce
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:27 AM   #4
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I hate it when mechanics say that without basis. At my 30k service, my then dealer tech said that my clutch needed replacement soon, and that this was normal since they don't last long. I didn't notice any signs of failure...ie. Slipping, so I told em no thanks. That was six years ago. I'm now at 62k miles, and still on the same clutch, and it still works fine thanks. Just them trying to write up unnecessary jobs for folks who don't know better.

Let me tell you from personal experience of when your clutch fails, since it happened to me once on a previous car... The clutch will start slipping, and when it does, you will step on the gas and see the revs rise, but your car will not move in conjunction with the revs going up. The car will still move, but much slower than it did before, and not move with the revs as it used to. You can see early signs of this slipping if you go up a hill and then dump your gear lever to a very high gear like 4th and then floor the gas pedal, and then see the revs rise quickly, but the car doesn't move with the revs going up. Regardless, even when the clutch starts slipping, it will still give you enough time to drive it to a shop. I drove my BMW with the clutch slipping for a few days like that before getting the clutch replaced. I don't recommend you driving long distances when your clutch is slipping, as that may also ruin your flywheel, but just want you to know that in most cases, even with a failing clutch, you do have time to get it to a shop and you won't be stranded. When the clutch totally fails after driving it continuously while it's slipping, it will finally not allow the car to move at all, so you can step on the gas and see the revs rise, but the car will not budge forward at all. Don't let your mechanic trick you into doing an expensive job like that unless it is absolutely needed!

There are folks with Boxsters that have over 150k miles on them with their original clutch. If you don't abuse your clutch (ride the pedal or high rev starts), there's no reason to believe it is on its way out.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I am not really sure what to think, I might have to get a second opinion from another mechanic. But operating under the assumption that I do need a new clutch, I was told it costs about $1200-1300 and a day of work. Is that accurate?
Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000
Thanks for the advice. I am not really sure what to think, I might have to get a second opinion from another mechanic. But operating under the assumption that I do need a new clutch, I was told it costs about $1200-1300 and a day of work. Is that accurate?
Thanks!
That is a fair price if that includes the labor. Again, if your car is driving normally, no need to replace clutch.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:01 AM   #7
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Thanks, I am going to take it by my dads mechanic and see what he thinks. I don't think my driving style is wearing it out too quickly, I don't sit at red lights with the clutch pushed in and 99% of my shifting is smooth, however I can't account for the 17k miles the previous owner put on the clutch.
Right now it drives fine, but the clutch pedal is very stiff. And I have a feeling if it is slightly slipping I may not notice because I am used to it. I am planning an 800+ mile road trip at the end of August, so I would rather be save than sorry.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:17 AM   #8
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check to see if it slips. put it in 4th at around 3k RPM's and floor it. if the clutch is slipping, the revs will start to climb, but the car's speed will not increase.

absent any slip, i wouldn't worry about changing the clutch. once it starts to slip, take it in.

FYI, my OEM clutch lasted about 125k miles, and i race the car.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:25 AM   #9
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Hate to go offtopic but are you still looking for an engine for your car?
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:33 AM   #10
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Hate to go offtopic but are you still looking for an engine for your car?

actually, i just picked up a 3.4L. haven't had a chance to install it yet.....
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insite
check to see if it slips. put it in 4th at around 3k RPM's and floor it. if the clutch is slipping, the revs will start to climb, but the car's speed will not increase.

absent any slip, i wouldn't worry about changing the clutch. once it starts to slip, take it in.

FYI, my OEM clutch lasted about 125k miles, and i race the car.
That right there is awesome. Kudos.

I agree with getting a second opinion and going by the way the car feels. You should be able to tell in any car when the clutch is really going, and that slip test insite mentioned should definitely be the tell.

Sounds to me like the OP's pretty nice to the car and not trying to cover the rear end in rubber, so I'd say don't even worry yourself about it for at least another 20k, since only 35 of that 52 is your own, and I really doubt the PO would've put that much of a hurting on the clutch in 17k.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:53 PM   #12
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Depends on a lot of variables.

My 99' had the clutch replaced at 20k due to a funky smell...the clutch somehow developed a blue fungus...

My 01' S had the clutch replaced at 50k,it was super heavy and started slipping.

My old 90' Jetta had the original clutch from the factory when it got scrapped...240k on it,I'm not kidding.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000
Thanks, I am going to take it by my dads mechanic and see what he thinks. I don't think my driving style is wearing it out too quickly, I don't sit at red lights with the clutch pushed in and 99% of my shifting is smooth, however I can't account for the 17k miles the previous owner put on the clutch.
Right now it drives fine, but the clutch pedal is very stiff. And I have a feeling if it is slightly slipping I may not notice because I am used to it. I am planning an 800+ mile road trip at the end of August, so I would rather be save than sorry.
I bought my 2000 Boxster S in January of 2009 with 65k miles on the odometer. The car had been to the dealer just before the sale, and the repair order had noted that the clutch pedal was heavy. I didn't get around to replacing the clutch until about 6 weeks ago, at over 67,000 miles. It's just a weekend/fun car, so I put few miles on it.

The clutch pedal started out stiff when I purchased the car and became stiffer with more use. The engagement point became somewhat erratic, and the amount of travel it took to engage the clutch (but NOT the clutch pedal travel) became shorter, which made the car progressively harder and harder to drive smoothly. Eventually, the engagement became so quick that I would occasionally stall the car when pulling away from stops. I never did detect any slip.

The new clutch is a night-and-day difference. The engagement is very smooth and progressive, due mostly to the fact that there is now a pretty long pedal travel distance between initial clutch bite and full engagement. The clutch can now be slipped and modulated when engaging like any other normal manual transmission clutch. I'm much happier driving the car now! Prior to the clutch replacement, It was getting to the point that I didn't like driving my Boxster because of the hair-trigger clutch engagement. I'm glad that I didn't wait for the clutch to begin obviously slipping before replacement.

BTW -- I bought my Sachs clutch kit from Gripforce Clutches via Ebay. It appeared to be a legit Sachs kit as opposed to a counterfeit. I did the work myself, so my total cash outlay (including some clutch fork parts) was around $400.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #14
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Rick3000 I agree with everything Blue-S said & nothing BoxtaBoy said although his info is correct for most vehicles just not boxsters. My S clutch wore out @ 50,K miles with no warning other than car became very hard to start from stop smoothly. Had to replace flywheel too. The object of the game is to replace clutch before you have to replace flywheel since it can't be resurfaced.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:05 PM   #15
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These cars are hard on clutches, even when driven normally. I seldom see a clutch make it past 50K without being worn to the point of replacement. I have seen them worn into the rivets at 40K miles on many occasions.

Remember:
When that clutch goes it takes a 1K buck flywheel with it that can't be resurfaced.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:17 PM   #16
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I just did this work on my 2000 2.7L. I mainly wanted to replace the IMS bearing with the LN bearing and figured at 83k miles it'd be a good idea to change the clutch and flywheel. The flywheel didn't pass the official test but the clutch wasn't overly worn out. What I did notice is that like the earlier poster said it had become "grabby" and difficult to shift smoothly. New clutch and flywheel feel great and engage over a longer travel. Very nice. I feel I could have continued with the old clutch for a while anyway if I had to and I can't imaging it would have been worn out at 50K when it looks like I replaced it at the proper time at 83K. I did all the work myself in my garage and it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

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Old 07-21-2010, 06:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby

Remember:
When that clutch goes it takes a 1K buck flywheel with it that can't be resurfaced.
So when replacing the clutch and the flywheel is still good, do you recommend anything be done to the flywheel to address any wear, burn marks?
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:37 AM   #18
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Ok, now I'm not trying to go against the wise expertise of the folks here on this thread, but I know 3 folks with Boxsters with over 150k miles on their original clutch, and one with over 225k miles on their original clutch. As I said before, I also was led to believe that my clutch needed replacement at 30k (because they said my clutch was heavy), but am now at 62k with the same clutch, so I just can't believe that it is normal for a clutch to fail on these Boxsters at less than 50k miles, unless you are abusing the clutch.

Also, I have read of at least 2 threads on this board whereby owners stated specifically that their clutch was starting to slip, and so can't believe that the Sachs clutch in the Boxster fails differently than they do in all other cars. Here's a thread on how a guy experienced clutch slip at 92k miles on his Boxster: Problem with acceleration

Perhaps it is a good idea for the OP to change his clutch now if he is experiencing difficult shifts, but I really don't think he should change it just because he's at around 50k in miles, absent any symptoms.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:33 AM   #19
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Clutch slip test (slightly different from stated earlier): Go into 5th gear (or any top gear) slightly below 2000rpms going up the incline of a hill and floor the gas pedal.

If the RPMs shoot up, your clutch is slipping. If your car is bogging, obviously not accelerating, and your RPMs aren't moving, then your clutch is holding.

Doing this test puts the most load on the clutch that it sees, so if it doesn't slip during this test then it's still able to hold almost any load.

50k on a clutch is normal for:

- Clutches that see a good amount of high rpm launches in 1st gear (i.e. 3000+ rpms and slipping the clutch out during it)

- Clutches that are undersized for the engine's torque

I don't know any reason why either of these would apply to a properly driven street 2.5/2.7 liter boxster....the clutch seems appropriately sized, and my 2.5 liter at least responds easily to less than 2000 rpms when launching (A bit jerky though at 1000...probably just the engagement point moving around on me).

If a mechanic drives a car and pronounces it's clutch going when no slipping is occuring, then I would personally doubt the mechanic's assessment.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:32 AM   #20
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Those people with 150K on their clutches are going to need a new flywheel when they do change them..
The clutches in these cars can function fine and be chewing the flywheel all to hell for a few thousand miles.

Needing a preventive for a clutch change and running the car into the ground without preventive measures are two different things. If you run the car until it requires a clutch it will require more money to be spent.
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