Mustang Clutch Installation (79-04 Fox Body & SN95)

Posted 2/13/2015 by Jay Walling

Have you had your clutch go out in your 79-04 Mustang and need to replace it? LRS has you covered with our clutch install guide!

FOLLOW: 79 93 mustang , 94 04 mustang , mustang , clutch , installation , tech , tech guide

Installing a new clutch assembly can be a frightening idea to some, but with this simple how-to, we will show you how. Installation time can vary depending on your skill level, but can be done in your driveway in a few hours. If this is your daily driver you need to be prepared with the new parts to go on to your Mustang. We will go over all of the common items that will be associated with this procedure in this article. Depending on the mileage and condition of the vehicle you may want to have the following items on hand.

  • Either have your existing Flywheel resurfaced or pick up a new one
  • Clutch Fork
  • Pivot Stud
  • Rear Main & output shaft Seals
  • If Equipped with a T-5 you may want to go ahead and get a new steel bearing Retainer

Now let’s get started with the disassembly procedure for your Mustang!

  1. Disconnect the battery.
  2. Remove the shifter boot and the shifter handle NOTE:(make sure the transmission in in the neutral position at this time.)
  3. Apply the parking brake, lift and support the vehicle using a jack and stands.
  4. Mark your driveshaft for proper orientation when reinstalling, and remove from the car. Make sure to plug your output shaft at this time to prevent any spillage of fluid.
  5. Remove the catback to midpipe hardware, unplug and remove the O2 sensor connectors, and remove the midpipe to header nuts on both sides.
  6. Disconnect the smog tube if equipped, and remove the midpipe from the car.
  7. Remove the clutch cable from the clutch fork, remove the cable retaining clip and move the cable out of the way.
  8. Unplug all electrical connectors associated with the transmission.
  9. Remove the speedometer cable and place out of the way.
  10. Leaving the bolts engaged, remove the two crossmember nuts and make sure to support the transmission with a jack.
  11. Remove the four transmission body to bellhousing bolts as well as the crossmember bolts.
  12. Grab a friend for this one, lower the jack and slide out the transmission. NOTE:(the transmission is not to heavy but can be awkward to remove by yourself)
  13. Remove the tow starter to bellhousing bolts and place the starter assembly aside.
  14. Remove the two lower bellhousing to block plate bolts, then remove the remaining six bellhousing to block bolts.
  15. Remove the bellhousing from the car.
  16. Remove the six pressure plate retaining bolts make sure you have a firm hold on the pressure plate at this time, nothing else at this time will be holding it on.
  17. Remove the six flywheel retaining bolts, and remove the flywheel and the block plate.
  18. Thoroughly clean all components and inspect them all at this time.
  19. With everything disassembled, this is the perfect time to give it all a look over. First off the input shaft bearing retainer, check for any grooves or excessive wear marks and replace as necessary. Make sure to check the bellhousing spacer plate for any wear marks around the starter hole. Thoroughly inspect the pivot stud and fork on the inside of your bellhousing. Next inspect the rear main seal for any sign of seepage or leaks; this is the perfect time to replace since all of these parts have to be removed to swap it out. Same thing goes for the pilot bearing, all of the parts are out, you might as well replace at this time. The clutch cable, quadrant, and firewall adjuster need to be inspected and replace as need be. If the flywheel has any signs of bluing or check marks just replace it! Do not attempt to resurface; doing so will cause the proper operation of the new clutch to suffer. If it shows normal rotational wear, you do have the option of having it resurfaced. Make sure to inspect all hardware for rounded edges and any signs of cross threading, replace if necessary. Once everything is fully and cleaned up it’s time to go back in with the installation.

    1. If replacing the rear main seal, pry away to remove, clean all surfaces and reinstall with a thin film of fresh oil to lubricate the new seal.
    2. If replacing the pilot bearing, you can go to your local parts store and rent a slide hammer for removal. Insert the slide hammer and remove the center roller first. Follow up by removing the outer shell of the bearing next. Tap the new bearing into place.
    3. Position the block plate back into place using the block dowels for alignment.
    4. Align the flywheel assembly with the holes on the crank, (this will only go on one way) and reinstall all six of the bolts. Torque to 75-85 Ft/lbs. of torque.
    5. Apply a thin film of grease to the pilot bearing and spray down the flywheel with brake clean to remove any impurities on the surface.
    6. Install the new dowel pins if equipped on the flywheel.
    7. Apply a very light dab of thread locker to the pressure plate bolts; slide the alignment tool on the new clutch disk with the raised portion of the disk facing away from the flywheel. Engage the new pressure plate onto the dowel pins and loosely tighten the pressure plate bolts. Make sure the disk and the alignment tool are still centered and torque the pressure plate bolts to 12-24 fl/lbs. in a cross pattern.
    8. Remove the alignment tool.
    9. Apply a tin film of grease to the pivot stud pocket on the clutch fork, all of the areas the throwout bearing will contact and the stud itself. Engage the fork onto the pivot stud.
    10. Reinstall the bellhousing and torque the six bolts to 39-54 fl/lbs. and then install the two lower block plate retaing bolts.
    11. Apply a thin film of grease to the input shaft and bearing retainer of the transmission.
    12. Grab your friend again, lift and slide the transmission into place. Support with a jack and slide the crossmember bolts back into place to take the weight off of the trans.
    13. Install the four transmission to bellhousing bolts to 45-65 ft/lbs.
    14. Install the crossmember nuts and tighten them down.
    15. Reinstall the speedo cable, electrical connections, starter, clutch cable, mid pipe, catback hardware, driveshaft, shifter handle and boot.
    16. Reconnect your battery.
    17. Check for proper operation and adjust if need be.

    Now you can enjoy your Mustang again! For all of your drivetrain needs make sure to check out all we have to offer at Late Model Restoration!


About the Video

Mustang Clutch Installation (79-04 Fox Body & SN95)

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Published on 2013-10-25
Is the clutch in your Fox Body or SN95 Mustang slipping or making some awful noises? Then it is time to tackle the Mustang clutch replacement project! With the help of, selecting the correct clutch, clutch components and installing your new clutch doesn't have to a major headache. We have plenty of tech articles to help you diagnose those all too common clutch problems and issues (see them below). We also have this clutch installation video to help you with your replacing your worn out clutch in your Stang. If at any point you still feel a little lost, you can also call any of our Mustang Enthusiasts customer service reps at 1-866-507-8871.

Installing your new clutch will require roughly a full day from start to finish. Follow along in this video as Jmac walks you through all the major components of this project. Don't forget we have all the most popular clutch kits such as Ram and Exedy Clutches. We also have all the driveline components you need to finalize the installation. These include clutch cables, quadrants, firewall adjusters, flywheels, aluminum driveshafts and hardware.



JONATHAN MCDONALD: If you've ever wondered if you could put a clutch in your Mustang, yes you can. And we're going to show you how to do it right in your driveway. Of course, we're going to be on a lift, just so we can film it a little better. But you will need average mechanical skill and a pretty good selection of tools.

Also, beyond your new clutch kit, you're going to either want to have your existing flywheel resurfaced or pick up a brand new one. Couple other things to keep in mind. Depending on the mileage of your car, you may want to go ahead and pick up a new clutch fork, a new pivot stud, new flywheel and pressure plate hardware, a new rear main seal, and a new transmission output shaft seal. If your Mustang is rocking a T5, well, then you probably want to go ahead and upgrade to a steel bearing retainer as well. Follow along. We're going to get started with the disassembly.

Disconnect your battery. Remove the shifter boot and remove your shifter handle. Make sure the transmission is in neutral and the parking brake is off with the car chopped. Jack up the car and support the jack stands.

Mark the drive shaft and pinion flange for orientation, and remove the four drive shaft retaining bolts. Slide the drive shaft out of the car and plug the transmission tail shaft seal. Remove the catback-to-midpipe hardware. Unplug and remove the O2 sensors, if equipped, and remove the two midpipe-to-header retaining nuts per side. Disconnect the smog tube, if equipped, and remove the midpipe from the car.

Remove the clutch cable from the clutch fork. Pull the bell housing-to-cable retaining clip and slide the cable free of the bell housing. Unplug all electrical connectors from the transmission. Remove the speedometer cable and position it out of the way.

Leaving the bolts engaged, remove the two cross-member retaining nuts. Support the transmission with a jack. Remove the four transmission-to-bell housing bolts as well as the cross-member bolts.

Lower the jack and slide out the transmission. Grab some help if you need it. The transmission isn't heavy, but it is awkward.

Remove the two starter retaining bolts and slide the starter out of the way. Remove the two lower block plate bolts, and then remove the six bell housing-to-block bolts. Remove the bell housing from the car. Here you can see the reason our clutch failed was one of the disk hub damper springs relocated itself.

Remove the six pressure plate bolts hanging onto the pressure plate so it doesn't fall on you. Pull the pressure plate and disk off the flywheel. Looks like the disc hub broke, allowing the spring to come free.

Remove the six flywheel retaining bolts, holding onto the flywheel so it doesn't fall, and remove it from the engine. Pull off the block plate. Thoroughly clean everything for inspection.

With everything taken apart, now's the opportunity to slow down and thoroughly inspect everything. Pay close attention, because I'm going to walk you through everything that you're going to want to take a close look at.

Start out with your input bearing retainer on your transmission, especially if it's a T5.' If it's stock, it's probably worn, has several grooves in it, and you'll want to go and upgrade it to a steel bearing retainer. Ours has already been done sometime in the past, and it's still good to go.

Your bell housing spacer plate-- if you notice any wear around the starter hole, through it away, put in a new one. An egg-shaped starter hole will cause your starter bolts to come loose, and you'll probably even have engagement issues between the starter and the flywheel.

Inside your bell housing, thoroughly clean and inspect your pivot stud and clutch fork. If either one needs replacement, replace both. That way you don't have wear issues down the road.

On the back of the motor, take a look at your rear main seal. If it shows any signs of dampness, replace it. All this stuff has to come out to get to it anyway, so you might as well do it now. Same thing with the pilot bearing. If there's any signs of wear, just go ahead and replace it. you. can run up your local parts store and rent you a slide hammer and a pilot bearing tool, and it'll make the job extremely easy.

If your car still equipped with a stock clutch cable and quadrant, it really is time to go ahead and upgrade to an aluminum quadrant and an aftermarket adjustable cable. If you already have an aftermarket adjustable cable and it's got some years on it, and it feels a little bit draggy, go ahead and replace it. It'll make your new clutch feel a whole lot better, and it'll keep you going down the road without any failure opportunity later on.

If your flywheel has a nice hue of purple and blue little check marks all over it, go ahead and chunk it. It's not worth resurfacing, because those spots are now hard spots, and it will not wear evenly, even if you have it resurfaced. If it shows just normal rotational wear, we do have the option to drop it off at a machine shop and have it resurfaced, or you can go ahead and replace it with a brand new unit.

Take a look at all of your hardware. If there are any rounded-off heads, any stripped threads, get new hardware. You don't want to have anything break or strip out on you when you're going back together.

For all you '79 to '85 owners, this is for you. Because this car is an '85, it still had the original 10-inch clutch in it. This is a perfect opportunity to go ahead and upgrade to the 10 and 1/2-inch that would be found in an '86 to '95 Mustang. This literally is just bolting on new parts, as the flywheels are the same diameter and the same bolt pattern, so they'll bolt right onto the crankshaft. You will need a 10 and 1/2-inch clutch, obviously, and you will need new clutch hardware.

The difference is on the '79 to '85, the hardware is standard thread and it has a shoulder on the bolt, and that's what locates the pressure plate. On the '86 to '95 10 and 1/-2inch version, there's actually dowel pins in the flywheel to locate the pressure plate, and it uses metric bolts to retain it to the flywheel.

Once everything is thoroughly cleaned, inspected, and replaced if necessary, now you can go back together with your new clutch. If you're looking for more tech videos for your Mustang or Lightning, be sure to subscribe to to see everything we have coming down the pipe.

If replacing the rear main seal, simply pry it out of place, clean the area, lightly lube the new seal, and tap it into place, being careful not to damage the lip of the seal on the crankshaft flange.

If replacing the pilot bearing, use a slide hammer and pilot bearing tool to remove the pilot bearing. The center roller of the bearing will come out first. Then reinstall the tool and remove the outer shell. Tap the new bearing into place.

Position the block plate back onto the bell housing dowel pins. Align the flywheel holes. Don't worry-- it'll only go on one way. Install the six bolts using thread sealer and torque to 75 to 85 foot pounds. Quick tip-- you can use a couple of pressure plate bolts and a pry bar as a flywheel holder when tightening the flywheel bolts.

Make sure the pilot bearing has enough grease and spray down the flywheel with brake cleaner and thoroughly wipe it down. Install the three pressure plate locating dowel pins into the flywheel. Apply a very light threadlocker to the pressure plate bolts.

Slide the supplied alignment tool into the clutch disk. The raised part of the disk faces away from the flywheel. Engage the pressure plate onto the dowel pins and loosely install the six pressure plate bolts. Make sure the disk and alignment tool are still centered and torque the pressure plate bolts to 12 to 24 foot pounds in a cross pattern.

Remove the alignment tool. Apply grease to the pivot stud pocket on the clutch fork along with a thin film in the areas that the throwout bearing is going to contact. Slide the throwout bearing into place and apply a very thin film of grease to the face of the bearing and a little to the top of the pivot stud. Engage the fork onto the pivot stud. Reinstall the bell housing and torque the six large bolts to 39 to 54 foot pounds.

Install the two small lower bolts. Apply a thin film of grease to the input shaft and the bearing retainer sleeve. Don't put too much, as you don't want it to sling out and get all over the clutch disk.

Lift and slide the transmission back into place. Support with a jack. Install the two cross-member bolts. Install and torque the four transmission-to-bell housing bolts to 45 to 65 foot pounds.

Install the cross-member retaining nuts. Tighten them down. Follow up by reinstalling the speedometer cable, electrical connections, starter, clutch cable, midpipe, catback hardware, drive shaft, shifter handle, and boot.

If you're running just an aluminum quadrant and adjustable cable, run up your adjusting nut against the clutch fork until there's no slack, and then give it a couple extra tightening turns. Run up your lock nut and tighten it down. Test the clutch.

Whenever you push the pedal in all the way, if it doesn't disengage all the way to where you can get it in gear, then crawl back under, loosen up your lock nut, tighten up your adjusting nut a couple more turns against the clutch fork. Tighten your lock nut back up. Try it again. Do that until you get a good pedal feel.

If you've thrown a firewall adjuster into the mix, well, then all you need to do is tighten up your nuts down at the clutch fork and then use the firewall adjuster to make all your final adjustments. Screwing it out away from the firewall will tighten up the cable. Screwing the adjuster in toward the firewall will loosen the cable.

And there you have it-- whole clutch installed. Visit for many more in-depth videos just like this one.