We take a look at the clutch lever system in a five-speed manual VW transmission and show you how it works and how to replace it.
Clutch Release Lever
In this video I’m going to overview the clutch lever system in the VW 5 speed transmission system. I’m going to teach you about the clutch release lever, the ball pin, the clip, and how to replace all three, including the throwout bearing.
To start with, let’s look at how this clutch system works. Basically, whenever you press on your clutch pedal, the clutch slave cylinder presses on this lever and pushes the lever forward. When the lever gets pushed forward, the Clutch Release Bearing also gets pushed forward, and this pushes on the pressure plate, which releases the pressure on the clutch disk itself. It pivots on the ball pin, which is located right here. There’s a few different ways that these systems can fail, so you want to inspect them before you put the clutch back on the car. One, the clutch release lever can bend. This typically happens if you had a clutch failure or the flywheel came apart, something like that. It’s also common in the 2005-2006 Jetta TDI with the BRM motor. That BRM motor is also known for wearing through the ball pin. We’ve taken many of these out of cars where the ball pin has worn through and actually put a hole in the clutch release lever.
These are all the components: we’ve laid them out on the bench. This is the clutch release lever, the ball pin goes in this slot. On this end is where the clutch slave cylinder presses down. This is the ball pin itself. New ball pins, you’ll see, are metal at the bottom with a nylon bushing at the top. What hold the clutch release lever to the ball pin is this clutch clip. Not much to it, but they’re only two bucks and bend easy. Lastly is the throwout bearing. Whenever you do a clutch you really need to replace the throwout bearing. They do wear out over time and are just as difficult to replace as the clutch. At idparts.com we include these with our clutch orders.
Now that we have everything laid out in front of us, let’s get started on replacing the components of this car. The first step in removing the clutch release lever is to disengage the clip. It’s right here and you can see how it sticks through the lever. Take your fingers and pop it. Then, you can pull the lever out. This lever isn’t bent or cracked, but we’ll replace it anyway just to show you. Also on this lever is the clutch throwout bearing. We’ll replace it because it’s worn. You can do that by pushing down on these tabs here.
Now that we’re in the transmission we’re going to take off the clip by just prying it out. Right here is the clutch release ball pin. The easiest way to remove the ball pin is the 17mm deep socket and an extension on a ratchet. With the ball pin out of the car we can see that it’s worn through a lot of that top nylon bushing, so we’ll install a new ball pin. Now with the old components out of the way we’re going to assemble the throwout bearing with the clutch release lever. The bearing goes on the back of the lever, away from the ball seats. We’re going to line up these two ears and clip them into place. We’ll take the ball pin out and put in a new one. Finally, we’ll take the clutch release lever clip and clip it to the release lever. The bottom will catch on the bottom edge like this, and we’ll push the top edge through the hole. OK, with the clip and throwout bearing we’ll put this back in the transmission. Slide it on and push the release lever and the clip onto the ball pin. It will click, and that’s it. With these new components installed, we’re ready to put the transmission back on the car. Thanks for watching.
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