Replacing the Clutch of a 2009 Subaru Outback

The Story

I guess the last post I made as about the trip to Maine.  Toward the end of the trip, aka during the drive home, I noticed that the clutch was making a slight ‘whirring’ sound when pressed. Turns out this was either the throw out bearing going out, or the throw out bearing having gone out and the metal sliding on the clutch springs.  Shortly after getting home, the slight whir turned into a full on screech as the bearing totally locked up and started grinding the metal of the bearing against the metal of the clutch springs.

I bought the parts, and following a guide I found online for a Subaru Impreza, managed to change the clutch… three times.

The first time, I used a non-OEM clutch from Valeo that according to spec would work, looked and felt like it would work, but alas didn’t work.  I thought maybe I did something wrong, so I took thing apart and tried again (attempt #2) with the same results.  I could kind of drive the car, but I could never fully disengage the engine from the transmission even with the clutch all the way down.  It was like driving a manual without synchros – if I got the engine to transmission speed matched then I could shift.  What this meant is that if I stopped the car if had to turn off the engine, put it in gear and start the engine in gear.  I did drive like this just a little bit to see if there might have been a need to wear the pressure plate in or something like that, but that made no difference. Continue reading