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Old 02-15-2014, 06:37 PM   #1
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Default Arizona Newbie prepping for clutch replacement

Hi. My story begins as an idiot kid playing racing games and watching Initial D. Thankfully, I wasn't annoying enough to go online and post super dumb and generic questions about cars, knowing that I didn't have any money to actually apply any advice I may be given. I lurked forums and googled, but I proved to be less motivated than I believed myself to be and gave up quickly.

Fast forward about 6-7 years, I have a day job and I need to get a new car. Wanting something sporty to fulfill the dreams of my youth, I went to 4chan's Aut/o/ channel and lurked for awhile. Yep, 4chan. I'm not proud of it, but I do think I learned something good out of it. The channel was often hit with kids who likely saw "The Fast and the Furious" movies for the first time. You know, kids who wanted internet assurance that months worth of their minimum wage earnings was worth dropping a few thousand for a project car that was somewhat drivable that they clearly weren't ready for. The channel veterans were always ready with sarcasm, but thankfully, they'd always come down to one safe, serious answer: "Don't get a ______, get a Miata."

I got a Miata. 2001 with manual transmission, 120k miles and as stock as it comes.

Fast forward another 3-4 years and my Miata has 140k+ miles on it. I've been driving on this beat up clutch for awhile and I know it's gonna expire soon. And so my googling has brought me here and I've learned a buttload; mostly to avoid XTD/F1 since their clutch kits are cheap Exedy knockoffs.

tl;dr - I'm a complete newbie who's doing a clutch replacement soon. I usually lurk and I'll probably end up lurking more. Nice to meet everyone!
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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Post some pics!

First time clutch job is a scary undertaking, but it really isn't all that difficult. You'll probably want a helper; makes things go that much smoother.

Get a jack, and some decent stands. Get the car up high, like 20-24 inches. Make or buy a tranny saddle for the jack, or you'll be wrestling the thing in an awkward position. If you follow the Haynes manual, you can have it done in an afternoon with some prep beforehand. I strongly recommend changing the front tranny and rear engine seals while you have everything apart.

Good luck.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:30 PM   #3
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Yes, get a quality clutch. FM or 949 clutches are great deals, and include quality throw out bearings and pilot bearings. Don't forget to grab a rear main seal as well.

And factor in time to resurface the flywheel.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:11 PM   #4
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Plenty of step-by-step clutch writeups... I've got one floating around out there with tons of pics.

Biggest piece of advice... buy a full-length braided clutch line and get rid of the godawful piece of **** curlyQ thing.
Best $32 you ever spent: Miata MX5 clutch line

Here's a couple links:
Slave Cylinder and Uber Clutch Line... for dummies
Clutch Replacement
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:18 AM   #5
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Welcome, Mailorder!
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #6
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I recently picked up a FM Stg. 1 kit and opted for the heavy-duty throw-out bearing that they offer. Also grabbed a SS clutch line to replace the curly hard line. It just feels wayyy better than the stock one (Just holding it). Much heavier and solid. I will see how it does after a few thousand miles of being installed but I have heard great things about it.

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