Community Member Credit: Frank / motorvate.ca
Sooner or later you will have to replace the clutch on your Maxima. Since I was removing my transmission to replace a bearing, I decided to change my clutch. It had 145,000* Km on it and it still worked well, but since I had the transmission out, I could not resist.
*The clutch was changed at 50,000 Km under warranty, for a noise.
First you must remove the transmission. Then you will see your clutch as above. (make sure to support the engine, as it only has only one engine mount holding it).
The old clutch has been removed, and the flywheel has been lightly hand sanded with 180 grit sandpaper to remove any foreign material that may be on the flywheel.
Close up of the old pressure plate where the throw out bearing pushed on the diaphragm. The groves are normal for the mileage on the clutch. Right:
The friction disk side of the clutch and the friction disk.. Notice the marks on the pressure plate. This is due to over heating from racing or even stop and go traffic. The friction disk only had .017″ before the rivets would gouge the flywheel.
The friction disk side of the new pressure plate.
The old throw out bearing (foreground) and the new throw out bearing. (background) Always replace the throw out bearing when the clutch is being replaced.
The new throw out bearing and clutch fork installed. Notice there is no machined area on the end of the input shaft, which usually fits into the Back of the crankshaft.
The bearing is known as the pilot bearing.
In the middle of the picture you can see the pilot bearing. In this application, the bearing is there, but it is not used! (look at the input shaft, there is no machined area at the beginning of the shaft)
With clean hands, place the new friction disk on the pressure plate. Lift up to the flywheel, and tighten the clutch bolts finger tight. Insert the clutch alignment tool into the hole in the clutch (where the input shaft will go) until the tools stops firmly in the pilot bearing. Tighten the clutch bolts in a diagonal pattern to spec.
It is not difficult to remove and replace the clutch in the Maxima. I only need one special tool, a $17 clutch alignment tools. In the past on my 91 NX 2000, and my 83 VW GTi, I have used a broom handle cut down to measure about 8″ to align my clutch. This time I wanted the to use the right tool.
Right now, the typical cost to replace a clutch on a Maxima is about $600. (at least!)
My parts cost were: friction disk $120, pressure plate $170, and throw out bearing $48, from the local Nissan dealer. That totals $388 with tax (15% !)
If you do the quick math, I saved $212! That money will go to my cat back exhaust. Vrooom!