Clutch Pressure Plate

Pressure plates must be carefully inspected before being placed back into service. An initial visual inspection of the pressure plate, clutch disc, and flywheel can usually be done through an inspection cover. To inspect the plate’s surface, the engine and transmission will have to be separated, and the pressure plate removed from the flywheel.

Remove a clutch plate in a criss cross pattern.

Remove the pressure plate bolts a few turns at a time, and in a crisscross pattern. Failure to do so can result in a warped pressure plate. Inspect the pressure plate for warping and hot spots. This part is often replaced when replacing a worn clutch disc.

Inspect the plate's surface for cracks, scoring, and chatter marks. They leave dark and then light spots around the plate’s surface. This can be the result of a worn disc or incorrect free-play adjustments. Free play is the distance between the release bearing and the pressure plate fingers. Anytime the clutch slips, it's creating heat and damaging the pressure plates surface.

Clutch release bearing location.

Excessive wear on the diaphragm’s fingers can be caused by a defective or worn release bearing. These fingers fan out as the disc wears, reducing free play and riding on the release bearing. For constant running release bearings refer to the manufacturers manual for specifications.

Any defects on this surface cannot be removed like its counterpart the flywheel. The flywheel is removed from the vehicle and resurfaced if within specifications. Disassembling and resurfacing the pressure plate may be hazardous due to intense spring pressure, and should be left to the machine shop.