Transmission Clutch Basics
All Jeeps with Manual Transmission
Manual Transmission Clutch
The clutch is an often overlooked part of a manual transmission. Without a clutch the vehicle would have no way to disengage the power to the drivetrain enabling the vehicle to stop, start, or to even shift gears. The clutch is located inside a housing between the engine and the transmission. The housing is shaped like a bell so it's called the Bellhousing. The clutch is attached to the engines fly wheel and the output shaft from the transmission then is inserted into the clutch disc to allow the engine to turn the shaft when the clutch is disengaged.
For example, angular contact bearings are matched with hydraulic systems, and are designed to remain in “constant contact” with the clutch diaphragm spring fingers. As a result, these bearings utilize a self-centering feature that compensates for misalignment by centering the bearing equally on the diameter of the diaphragm spring fingers. This reduces noise, heat, vibration, and bearing wear while increasing the life of the clutch system.
Standard release bearings, by comparison, aren’t designed for constant contact applications. Instead, they are engineered to work in conjunction with mechanical actuation systems because the release bearing thrust face is in contact with the pressure plate fingers only during clutch actuation. Contact time is so short that slight misalignment isn’t a factor.
The most recent change in release bearing technology is to integrate the clutch actuation systems and released bearing into one component. This system is referred to as a CSC (concentric slave cylinder). It eliminates the need for several additional components including the fork, bearing retainer, pivot ball, and traditional style release bearing.