D1 R380 Clutch Kit Consensus? How DIY friendly?

_ExpeditionMan

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2017
203
19
Texas
All,

The release (throw out) bearing on my truck is making noise at start up. Slight pressure on the pedal makes it stop and thus far no noise in gear. This is very reminiscent of an old Mustang GT I had which had a bad throw out bearing. I'm headed towards Colorado in August so I'm considering doing the clutch job before then. Three questions:

1) What's the forum consensus on clutch kit brand? I see ashcroft offers one although I'm sure I could also source from LRDirect.

2) Has anyone done this job in their garage? Any online guides you recomend? Lessons learned? I.e. pay someone to do it because it sucks

3) What "while you're there" jobs do you recommend? Is the rear main seal accessible once the transmission has been removed?
 

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
638
104
1. I purchased OEM parts.
2. It is challenging to get to the bellhousing bolts but with the right combination of extensions, you can do it. If you have the money it’s always easier to have someone else do it. I was just looking at another web forum where the costs quoted were between $4300 and $2200. It was well worth it to me to do it myself. I’m not sure I would do it on my back though. I have a lift and transmission jack. I’d do it if I was 30 but at 50, I need the lift.
3. Be sure to replace the pilot bearing. I have taken 3 apart and all had pilot bearing issues. Even the ones with 55,000 and 27,000 miles had issues (very loose in the bore). I also replaced the rear main seal and input shaft seal.

** If you have an engine that needs gaskets and seals replaced, you might consider pulling the engine and trans together. I have done that, replacing every gasket and seal I could, clean out the oil pan, lubricate the t-case shifter parts, all new mounts, radiator/heater hoses, etcetera. Clutch is really easy with everything out.
 
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_ExpeditionMan

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2017
203
19
Texas
1. I purchased OEM parts.
2. It is challenging to get to the bellhousing bolts but with the right combination of extensions, you can do it. If you have the money it’s always easier to have someone else do it. I was just looking at another web forum where the costs quoted were between $4300 and $2200. It was well worth it to me to do it myself. I’m not sure I would do it on my back though. I have a lift and transmission jack. I’d do it if I was 30 but at 50, I need the lift.
3. Be sure to replace the pilot bearing. I have taken 3 apart and all had pilot bearing issues. Even the ones with 55,000 and 27,000 miles had issues (very loose in the bore). I also replaced the rear main seal and input shaft seal.

** If you have an engine that needs gaskets and seals replaced, you might consider pulling the engine and trans together. I have done that, replacing every gasket and seal I could, clean out the oil pan, lubricate the t-case shifter parts, all new mounts, radiator/heater hoses, etcetera. Clutch is really easy with everything out.

Thanks for the response Terry. I do not have access to a lift unfortunately, however I am under 30 so that helps. I'm getting a quote from a shop as a data point to see how painful it may be.

Regarding the components, do you know which part number you went with? Atlantic British lists three and LRDirect says the most recent (prior two were superceded) is for 200TDI, 300TDI, or 3.5V8 trucks. Did you replace the rear main (crank) seal while you were in there?
 

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terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
638
104
I did replace the rear main seal. I used a corteco seal. Also, see the photos for the clutch I purchased. Notice the LR Direct listing shows it as branded original equipment. The first photo is the actual listed part number and the second is a photo of what I received. AP is OEM. This was installed in my 96 D1.EB68DA0A-A6A4-4BD7-82C0-E6241905DCE6.png1001BF75-587C-4D55-B870-2076BCA7FFDF.jpeg
 
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terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
638
104
Additionally, I ordered a TO bearing separate from the pressure plate and disc as the listing and box only show it being a plate and disc. However, a TO bearing was included with the plate and disc, much to my surprise. So, I have a spare TO bearing which works out well because I purchased another D1 for parts that came with a new plate and disc still in the box that didn’t come with a TO bearing.
 

Gordo

Well-known member
if your going to do all that work I'd get one of these HD throwout bearings. I put one in my LT95 transmission (a longer one to make up for the engine adapter (LD28 diesel). The bearing is the same but the housing is aluminum. That being said mine is noisy now too. I just ignore it because it a trailer mud truck.
 

_ExpeditionMan

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2017
203
19
Texas
Additionally, I ordered a TO bearing separate from the pressure plate and disc as the listing and box only show it being a plate and disc. However, a TO bearing was included with the plate and disc, much to my surprise. So, I have a spare TO bearing which works out well because I purchased another D1 for parts that came with a new plate and disc still in the box that didn’t come with a TO bearing.

Thanks for the help, this is exactly what I needed.
 

_ExpeditionMan

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2017
203
19
Texas
if your going to do all that work I'd get one of these HD throwout bearings. I put one in my LT95 transmission (a longer one to make up for the engine adapter (LD28 diesel). The bearing is the same but the housing is aluminum. That being said mine is noisy now too. I just ignore it because it a trailer mud truck.

I saw these, along with HD clutchforks were available. What's the benefit of the aluminum housing if the bearing is the same? Is the plastic housing known for cracking?
 

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
638
104
If you have an NAS truck with factory R380, the lever/arm needs no improvement. For diesel, it’s a great idea and needed.
 

robertf

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2006
4,389
140
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Drop the y pipe. Remove the fan, pull the transmission mounts off the frame. Let it tilt. Bellhousing bolts are almost easy to get to at that point

leave the transfercase connected and build the transmission jack adapter. Makes it possible to slide everything back and leave it mostly in place
 
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_ExpeditionMan

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2017
203
19
Texas
Drop the y pipe. Remove the fan, pull the transmission mounts off the frame. Let it tilt. Bellhousing bolts are almost easy to get to at that point

leave the transfercase connected and build the transmission jack adapter. Makes it possible to slide everything back and leave it mostly in place

I'll be swapping the transfer case with a rebuilt unit anyway. Any particular tricks for the bell housing bolts?
 

robertf

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2006
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I think it would be easier to do the transfercase before or after the clutch is swapped, not at the same time.

Theres nothing to the bolts other than getting the o2 sensor clips in the right way. take pictures. Its pretty easy with it tilted down.
 
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_ExpeditionMan

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2017
203
19
Texas
I think it would be easier to do the transfercase before or after the clutch is swapped, not at the same time.

Theres nothing to the bolts other than getting the o2 sensor clips in the right way. take pictures. Its pretty easy with it tilted down.

Great, thanks for the input. I'll just pull them down one at a time and replace them the same way.
 

robertf

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Jan 22, 2006
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Great, thanks for the input. I'll just pull them down one at a time and replace them the same way.
Maybe I wasnt clear. Its really easy to leave them connected and use the lt230 adapter to slide the whole assembly out of the way for the clutch, then reinstall the bellhousing, then disconnect the lt230 and do that job. R380 by itself is a pain to balance on a transmission jack
 

_ExpeditionMan

Well-known member
Dec 11, 2017
203
19
Texas
Maybe I wasnt clear. Its really easy to leave them connected and use the lt230 adapter to slide the whole assembly out of the way for the clutch, then reinstall the bellhousing, then disconnect the lt230 and do that job. R380 by itself is a pain to balance on a transmission jack

It wasn't clear before but now it is. I've seen the drawing for the LT230 tool in the RAVE. While I can weld, I do not have access to one at home or a drill press. Did you fabricate your own tool or work with a local machine shop?
 

robertf

Well-known member
Jan 22, 2006
4,389
140
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Drew it up in cad, modified the plate to bolt up to the harbor freight jack, cut it out on borrowed equipment. I think ive posted the dxf files here before. Ill dig around and post them up tomorrow