How to Change a Clutch Plate on a Ford Escort

Written by gus stephens
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The Ford Escort was a front-wheel drive compact produced in North America from 1981 - 2003. The 1999 Escort came standard with a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine and a 5-speed transaxle on manually shifted vehicles. Clutch replacement is a routine procedure on high-mileage vehicles as clutch facings wear and pressure plate springs weaken. Access to the clutch is possible only after removing the transaxle, a different and involved procedure. However, once the transaxle is out, clutch plate removal and renewal is a straightforward job.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Socket wrenches and sockets
  • Universal flywheel locking tool or equivalent
  • Clutch alignment tool for Escort

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  2. 2

    Raise the vehicle and support it on jack stands.

  3. 3

    Remove the transaxle unit.

    Clutch Pressure Plate Removal

  1. 1

    Make an alignment mark on the plate and the flywheel so they can be reassembled in their same relative positions if you plan to reuse the same pressure plate instead of replacing it.

  2. 2

    Mount the flywheel locking tool on the flywheel to prevent it from turning when loosening and tightening clutch bolts.

  3. 3

    Insert the clutch alignment tool through the splined hole in the clutch disk and into the pilot bearing in the flywheel.

  4. 4

    Loosen the bolts securing the clutch pressure plate to the flywheel gradually, one at a time. Follow a crisscross pattern in loosening the bolts so that pressure is relieved evenly and the plate is not damaged.

  5. 5

    Inspect the pressure plate and clutch disk for wear and damage. Always take the opportunity to replace at least the clutch disk if you have the transaxle removed.

    Install The Clutch Plate

  1. 1

    Clean the flywheel surface with an alcohol-based commercial cleaning product.

  2. 2

    Place the pressure plate over the clutch disk and position them against the flywheel. If you are reusing the same pressure plate, line up the alignment marks you made on the flywheel during disassembly. Insert the clutch alignment tool to hold them in place.

  3. 3

    Install the pressure plate-to-flywheel mounting bolts and tighten them gradually in a crisscross pattern. Torque the bolts to 12 to 24ft. lbs.

  4. 4

    Remove the clutch alignment tool. Remove the flywheel locking tool.

  5. 5

    Reinstall the transaxle.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use any petroleum-based cleaners to clean the flywheel, pressure plate, or clutch disk.

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