So, the old VX may need a new clutch in the near future. So far, it's not bad but has the following symptoms:
The release bearing is starting to make noise at idle(sometimes annoyingly) , and it goes away/quiets down with the clutch pedal depressed. It also has occasional disc slip on WOT between 1st and 2nd gear.
That's from what I can gather so far. Therefore, I started looking into replacement kits.
NAPA offers their house brand, also a kit by ALTROM?
I notice several offerings from SACHS and also RHINOPAC.
Not sure how reliable Beck/Arnley brand is for clutch(though their other replacement parts seem to be good quality) and AC/Delco has an offering as well from a more domestic 'brand' though probably made in China?
Don't procrastinate...you don't want to score your flywheel. If that happens then you'll have to get more of it machined off before it's ready to use.
For my Buick I used a clutch from Napa, a pressure plate/clutch cover assembly from Autozone, and a release bearing from Advance Auto. (Mismatched parts were the only way to put it together, no kit would fit.) I'll try to remember to check brand names but they were pretty generic. 15,000 miles later I'm quite happy with it. I get some clutch chatter when I first drive on rainy days but I think that's rust forming on my flywheel.
Yes- you need to open it up and replace the release bearing if it is making noise. Typically worn out clutch disks will slip at highway speeds in the highest gear.
I've had pretty good luck with autozone clutch kits. Just be sure the hub springs are nice and tight before you install it (I had one new clutch disk that lost one of its springs about 4 months after I installed it).
Perhaps it's the release bearing only then? It feels like there is a delay in power to the wheel and the engine revs high for a moment before making power again.
The times this happens(occasionally so far) is only under WOT between 1st and 2nd. Riding in gear hasn't been an issue, nor is normal acceleration. I was told that was a symptom of disk slippage, but maybe it's all the same symptom of the release/throwout bearing? At times the vehicle feels like it's slightly dragging when coming off the clutch pedal from a start even in 1st.
PS: Not sure if the original clutch/flywheel components etc. have ever been replaced. The car was driven by an old lady prior, so I'm sure the flywheel is going to need plenty of work, but I have a shop that is willing to work on the flywheel for me, they are the pros.
Your VX might have a bad input shaft bearing or mainshaft bearing. If so, you will need to remove the tranny from your car, no matter what. Fun! Fun!
I know, because I replaced the mainshaft bearing on the transmission of my second 92 VX myself in 2006. The bearing has a nylon/teflon cage with six ball bearings (i think) held in place by that cage. On my tranny, the cage had almost broken completely apart. If it had all those ball bearings would have been ground up by the input shaft. As it was, some of the ball bearings were pretty chewed up. I wish I had kept the bad bearing. I still have the old pilot bearing as a keepsake of my "adventure".
My VX had what seems to be the same issue as yours. The best way to describe a bad ISB or mainshaft bearing is it sounds like marbles rolling around in the tranny when the engine is in neutral and the clutch is engaged (pedal out). The sound disappeared when disengaging the clutch (pushing the clutch pedal to the floor).
I replaced the clutch at the same time with an Exedy kit from Ebay. Don't go with cheap parts on the clutch, my friend. It's really difficult to access the clutch unless you pull the engine from the car. I wish I had. I ended up dropping the tranny down from the engine with the VX two feet off the garage floor with three ton jack stands. Much easier to pull the engine if you have the tools.
Then, of course, you need to disassemble the tranny to replace that bad bearing - that's really fun too!
I would have to agree with jadziasman that your input shaft bearing may be going out. Mine fell apart but lucky didn't destroy the trans. it would be a good idea, when you remove the trans to do your clutch, to open up the trans and check all your bearings. I was able to get my bearings through the shop i work at for $110 made in japan, but that was shop price. You can pick those trans up pretty cheap but it would be better to rebuild if you are going to keep it for awhile.
Also, go SACHS for your clutch kit, that is what I use and it has been working great. I don't know about Napa's brand but I do know to try your best to never buy Autozone or Advance parts. Their parts are usally nothing but China crap.. I don't remember where SACHS is made but it is good quality...i do my best to try and get Japan parts..my car is made in Japan so i but japan parts...just my opion, i hope it helps...
Wow, I'm blown away. I'm going to run this by my mechanic and see what they think. I have heard a lot of 'clatter' lately when the idle gets really low while in neutral at full/operating temps. Perhaps the noise is from the ISB/mainshaft bearing? It seems like that noise is over by the drive belts, though, so I'll run this by my mechanic and ask what they recommend as regards this transmission and removing it in order to replace the ISB or mainshaft bearing(same part?).
Thanks again guys.
Also, as regards the clutch kit itself, I will probably get the standard SACHS kit, but I may go with another option. The shop I use quoted me $350 labor on a complete clutch job, perhaps the labor would be the same if I provided my own ISB or mainshaft bearing? Is that the same part? It'd make me want to ask them to inspect upon removal to see what is recommended.
I bet we have the same noise, I also suspect it to be the throwout bearing...
The more i think about it it has to be the ISB...mine only makes it when sitting in neutral with out the clutch pressed in....my trans is at 298,000 so its probably about time! I've done one before and its PIA...but doable, just take your time and follow the manual or pay someone
As for clutch choices you cant go wrong with exedy, Ive had one in my first vx and one in my vx swapped del sol...and its about time to swap one into my current vx...I prefer the feel over the stock clutch too, its also not to stiff if you were concerned...good luck!