PLEASE HELP! Am I screwed?

79 Goon

79 Goon

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 28, 2018
26
3
MN
Last summer, I bought my ‘79 Malibu wagon. A previous owner swapped in a TPI (305) + a T5 transmission both from a ‘91 Trans Am. It had a bad & burning clutch when I bought it. About a month ago, I had the clutch and flywheel replaced. It’s a SPEC Stage 1 clutch kit rated for 467 ft/lbs of torque. My engine makes about half that power. Anyway, after driving like a grandpa for the first 200 miles with a lot of stop & go mixed in, the clutch is ALREADY slipping!!!...and burning. It’s a terrible smell too. Normal sedated acceleration from 1st-3rd isn’t too bad but trying to accelerate aggressively while in 4th or 5th gear is useless! I’ll assume my clutch plate is glazed somehow. What would cause this SO SOON?!! My car also has a hydraulic clutch assembly from a ‘01 Camaro and the fluid level was/is good. What adjustment was screwed up or did I choose a poor quality clutch? I researched and it seemed like a decent choice. I REALLY don’t want to spend another $700-$1000 getting ANOTHER clutch kit & flywheel replaced!!!...just to have it happen again only 200 miles later!! Am I screwed? Maybe I should swap in an auto transmission? ☹
 
pontiacgp

pontiacgp

Canadian Prime Minister
Mar 31, 2006
25,395
113
Kitchener, Ontario
first off if you have a 91 T5 those have a great gear package in them. If you are using a slave cylinder set up is there any play in the fork or if you are using a hydralic throw out bearing is do you have a proper gap
 
lilbowtie

lilbowtie

Comic Book Super Hero
Jan 7, 2006
2,660
113
Canton Mi
Slipping -burning smell spells trouble. My first thought are that it wasn't adjusted right - shouldn't have driven with it slipping.
 
Last edited:
79 Goon

79 Goon

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 28, 2018
26
3
MN
first off if you have a 91 T5 those have a great gear package in them. If you are using a slave cylinder set up is there any play in the fork or if you are using a hydralic throw out bearing is do you have a proper gap
I don’t know. I’m not a mechanic and didn’t do any of the work. I know a little about a little. I’m assuming something wasn’t adjusted properly? I know mistakes happen, but this is an expensive one!...for me anyway.
 
79 Goon

79 Goon

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 28, 2018
26
3
MN
Slipping -burning smell spells trouble. My first thought are that it wasn't adjusted right - should have driven with it slipping.
I didn’t notice it immediately because I was driving it so tenderly. It wasn’t smelling either...immediately.
 
pontiacgp

pontiacgp

Canadian Prime Minister
Mar 31, 2006
25,395
113
Kitchener, Ontario
I don’t know. I’m not a mechanic and didn’t do any of the work. I know a little about a little. I’m assuming something wasn’t adjusted properly? I know mistakes happen, but this is an expensive one!...for me anyway.
if you didn't do the work I'd be taking it back to whoever did do the work....
 
pontiacgp

pontiacgp

Canadian Prime Minister
Mar 31, 2006
25,395
113
Kitchener, Ontario
If you don't mind getting your hands dirty you should get yourself some tools and start doing the work on the car yourself. You can make sure the job is done correctly and the money you save on labor can be used for other things, the tools you buy pay for themselves real quick. There is a bunch of guys in here who can answer just about any question you have concerning a G body and popcorn
 
X

xcookpac

Apprentice
Mar 15, 2012
74
8
You need to go through this step by step. First things that I would look for are: i.) engine leaking oil (especially rear main seal); ii.) hydraulic brake fluid leaking from hydraulic clutch assembly; iii.) use a a flywheel turner (if you can access the flywheel) with the engine off and transmission in gear, try to turn the flywheel (this should little you see the slipping occur); iv.) make sure that pressure plate bolts are properly torqued; and
v.) confirmation that the clutch is fully actuated and the throw-out bearing is NOT actuating the pressure plate (IOW when you are not touching the clutch pedal, there should be a little bit of slack between the throwout bearing and pressure plate; based on the 01 camaro reference, you are using a hydraulic throwout bearing).

Best of luck. Let us know what your investigation turns up.

PS And, I second: "if you didn't do the work I'd be taking it back to whoever did do the work.... " from pontiacgp
 
fleming442

fleming442

Geezer
Dec 26, 2013
7,085
113
You need to go through this step by step. First things that I would look for are: i.) engine leaking oil (especially rear main seal); ii.) hydraulic brake fluid leaking from hydraulic clutch assembly; iii.) use a a flywheel turner (if you can access the flywheel) with the engine off and transmission in gear, try to turn the flywheel (this should little you see the slipping occur); iv.) make sure that pressure plate bolts are properly torqued; and
v.) confirmation that the clutch is fully actuated and the throw-out bearing is NOT actuating the pressure plate (IOW when you are not touching the clutch pedal, there should be a little bit of slack between the throwout bearing and pressure plate; based on the 01 camaro reference, you are using a hydraulic throwout bearing).

Best of luck. Let us know what your investigation turns up.

PS And, I second: "if you didn't do the work I'd be taking it back to whoever did do the work.... " from pontiacgp
^^^THIS
Spec clutches are junk; get a McLeod.
 

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