Alex34

Focus MK3 1.6 diesel clutch release bearing

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Hello all. Looking for some advice. I'm pretty sure my clutch release bearing is on it's way out and even had this confirmed with one of the AA roadside assistance guys. So the plan is to replace the entire clutch kit with flywheel, slave cylinder etc.

I wanted to know,

1) is there anything else I should have replaced while this work is being done?

2) I've only ever used a Ford dealer for work on this car as I've only had to service it. Should I consider an independent garage to do the work vice a Ford dealer?

3) if I go with an independent garage, what brand clutch kit should I get?

4) is this a common issue with MK3s? Mine is a 64 plate with just over 70K miles.

Any advice would be a massive help. Thanks in advance.

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1.  Just the clutch kit with slave are the main parts.  The DMF may not even need replacement at 70k.  

2.  A trusted independent should be able to carry out a clutch job on these easily and given the labour times for this job, should be a lot cheaper too.

3. LUK or Sachs.  Definitely not Transmech!

4.  Yes, the Mk3s are notorious for clutch faults, both with the plates and the slave.

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19 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

1.  Just the clutch kit with slave are the main parts.  The DMF may not even need replacement at 70k.  

2.  A trusted independent should be able to carry out a clutch job on these easily and given the labour times for this job, should be a lot cheaper too.

3. LUK or Sachs.  Definitely not Transmech!

4.  Yes, the Mk3s are notorious for clutch faults, both with the plates and the slave.

Thanks!

Are the aftermarket clutch kits better than the oem ones then?

I just took it to an independent around the corner from my workplace which came highly recommended. They reckon a bearing in the gearbox is gone as well. So... I'm not the happiest of chaps right about now. I could understand if I treated the gearbox roughly but the clutch is smooth and shifting is smooth. Even the tech there said the same. All this for the sake of two bearings that probably cost less than a tenner to manufacture.  

Is there any likelihood Ford would offer any solution/contribution for this? 

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38 minutes ago, Alex34 said:

Thanks!

Are the aftermarket clutch kits better than the oem ones then?

I just took it to an independent around the corner from my workplace which came highly recommended. They reckon a bearing in the gearbox is gone as well. So... I'm not the happiest of chaps right about now. I could understand if I treated the gearbox roughly but the clutch is smooth and shifting is smooth. Even the tech there said the same. All this for the sake of two bearings that probably cost less than a tenner to manufacture.  

Is there any likelihood Ford would offer any solution/contribution for this? 

Ford don't make clutches, they buy them in from brands like LUK and Sachs, it's the design that's the issue though, not the brands fault, Ford wanted them to be made so cheaply that they don't last like older cars clutches did.  Aftermarket brands like Transmech are even worse.

Input shaft bearing is also common on these unfortunately.

Ford won't show any interest in helping financially as the car's well out of warranty.

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

Ford don't make clutches, they buy them in from brands like LUK and Sachs, it's the design that's the issue though, not the brands fault, Ford wanted them to be made so cheaply that they don't last like older cars clutches did.  Aftermarket brands like Transmech are even worse.

Input shaft bearing is also common on these unfortunately.

Ford won't show any interest in helping financially as the car's well out of warranty.

Thanks for the info Tom. Guess I'm screwed then. Are there any upgraded clutches or gearboxes I should consider instead of the like for like replacement parts?

Otherwise I think I'll just be buying another car.

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4 minutes ago, Alex34 said:

Thanks for the info Tom. Guess I'm screwed then. Are there any upgraded clutches or gearboxes I should consider instead of the like for like replacement parts?

Otherwise I think I'll just be buying another car.

There aren't any standard upgraded parts as far as I'm aware.  If the car's still driveable currently I'd sell or PX it for something else personally, but there's no guarantee you're not buying a lemon.  Do remember these parts have lasted 5 years/70k though...so if you do go ahead with the repairs it should give you a few more years at least.  It does seem to be more down to luck than how hard the car is driven though.

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7 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

There aren't any standard upgraded parts as far as I'm aware.  If the car's still driveable currently I'd sell or PX it for something else personally, but there's no guarantee you're not buying a lemon.  Do remember these parts have lasted 5 years/70k though...so if you do go ahead with the repairs it should give you a few more years at least.  It does seem to be more down to luck than how hard the car is driven though.

Thanks again Tom. You've been a massive help. It will be decision time for me then.

You have any idea what the ballpark figure would be for gearbox and clutch replacement?

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8 minutes ago, Alex34 said:

Thanks again Tom. You've been a massive help. It will be decision time for me then.

You have any idea what the ballpark figure would be for gearbox and clutch replacement?

No worries.  As a very rough figure for 3pc clutch kit replacement at an indy garage I'd suggest around £400.  

If the DMF needs replacing as well, you can add another £300 to that.

A good used gearbox would add another ~£250.  BUT it depends what's actually wrong with yours, if it's just the input shaft bearing it may be cheaper to have it repaired.  No extra labour for fitting a new gearbox as the old one has to come out for the clutch change anyway.

 

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11 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

No worries.  As a very rough figure for 3pc clutch kit replacement at an indy garage I'd suggest around £400.  

If the DMF needs replacing as well, you can add another £300 to that.

A good used gearbox would add another ~£250.  BUT it depends what's actually wrong with yours, if it's just the input shaft bearing it may be cheaper to have it repaired.  No extra labour for fitting a new gearbox as the old one has to come out for the clutch change anyway.

 

Thanks Tom.

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Right.... so here we are.

A Ford dealer took a look at the car this morning and pretty much said the same thing. They knew what it was before even taking it for a test drive so that pretty much says it all.

The quote from them is £1400+ to do the work; that's labour, an entire clutch assembly with DMF, and replacing the two bearings inside the gearbox. My problem with this route is that once it's all put back together, the only warranty i have (gearbox wise) is the two bearings they are replacing. Three months down the road should a different bearing inside the box go, I would be back where I am right now. I have contacted Ford Customer Care with my concerns and raised a case. I'm not expecting any major breakthrough with them but if they can work out an arrangement with the dealer that I can have the assurance of a 12 month warranty on the gearbox once the work has been done then I think that would more than suffice. [Cost breakdown is £673.20 for labour, £745.14 for parts]

On the other hand, I have gotten a full quote from the recommended independent garage that did the test drive on Tuesday and interestingly enough it is £1400+. The difference with their quote is the Clutch kit is LUK from Eurocarparts that comes with an optional lifetime warranty for an extra £30 and the gearbox is being overhauled by a another company which comes with a 12 month warranty. I spoke with the guy that would doing the overhaul and he explained the process to me as completely stripping down the gearbox, cleaning all the parts under pressure, and replacing all of the bearings as a minimum. They inspect all of the components and if they think anything else needs replacing they replace it. So the warranty is for the entire functionality of the gearbox once they are finished with it. His take on it is if anything goes wrong within that period, it's because of something they should have noticed during the overhaul. [Cost breakdown is £390 for labour, £582 for gearbox overhaul, £466.56 for clutch kit and oil]

Armed with this information and based on the experience you lot have with these cars and "Ford vs Independent" what do you think the best move forward would be?

As for selling/part exchange, I think I will lose out on the same amount it costs to fix it or even more. No dealer is going to miss the bearing noise when they inspect it.

Thanks again for any input you guys can offer.

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Given the full gearbox overhaul, and the warranty on both that and the clutch, I'd say the independent is probably the best way to go out of those 2 options.

For me personally, there's absolutely no way I'd spend that much repairing a car...knowing my luck the engine would blow up a week later. :laugh: 

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6 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

Given the full gearbox overhaul, and the warranty on both that and the clutch, I'd say the independent is probably the best way to go out of those 2 options.

For me personally, there's absolutely no way I'd spend that much repairing a car...knowing my luck the engine would blow up a week later. :laugh: 

Dude, I'm stressed enough as it is mate. Don't give me any more ammunition. Lol.

Trust me, that scenario has run through my head more than a few times already. But what to do? If I try to sell it privately I will take more than a £1400 hit on the current value and it will pretty much be the same if I part exchange. Either way I lose.

If I fix it I can part exchange or sell it straight away or chance running it for another 10 / 11 months then get rid of it. Either way you slice it I'm gonna take a hit.  

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What else do I need to be wary of with these cars?

 

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34 minutes ago, Alex34 said:

What else do I need to be wary of with these cars?

 

Injectors, air con, water leaks, coil springs, horn and other interior electrics are probably the other main MK3 issues.  Potentially due an expensive stop start battery soon.  And the cambelt is recommended at 125k, although most people wouldn't push past 100k so depending on your weekly mileage that may only be a year or so away.  Reason I mention it is because if you try and sell in a year's time, buyers will want money off for the belt change instead of the gearbox.

It is a difficult situation, I don't envy you having to make the choice!

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Slight thread bump.

What are the symptoms of a failing DMF?

I'm planning on swapping the clutch next month as the bite is high and there's an occasional slight slip, she's about to hit 100k so its another thing I don't need to worry about when we take the long trip to Cornwall for the holidays.

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43 minutes ago, igol said:

Slight thread bump.

What are the symptoms of a failing DMF?

I'm planning on swapping the clutch next month as the bite is high and there's an occasional slight slip, she's about to hit 100k so its another thing I don't need to worry about when we take the long trip to Cornwall for the holidays.

Metallic rattling at idle and a heavy knock felt through the clutch pedal, especially at low rpm under load.  They are difficult to diagnose until they're really bad though, some movement and noise is normal due to the way they work.  If you keep driving with a badly slipping clutch you can also burn high spots into the DMF which would be a cause for a replacement as well, you would only know that after removing the clutch though.

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The 1.6 TDCI has a dual mass flywheel that uses grease instead of springs to dampen the vibrations. On the 1.6 TDCI failure of the dual mass flywheel is very rare. 

If there are no symptoms of dmf failure at all there is no need to replace the dmf. However the dmf should be inspected thoroughly when the clutch is replaced. If there are any doubts about the dmf or the dmf shows heat damage (as a result from driving with a worn clutch) the dmf should be replaced. 

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Thanks guys.  No symptoms so far and I'm pretty gentle on the clutch and swapping it as a preventative measure hopefully all will be well when I'm poking around in there.

Anything else to be aware of on a clutch swap on them?  I'm thinking it should be pretty straightforward especially without the joy of trying to lift a Landy transmission into place while it wobbles around on the trolley jack.

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