A hydraulic clutch release mechanism (fig. 4-5) uses a simple hydraulic circuit to transfer clutch pedal action to the clutch fork. It has three basic parts - master cylinder, hydraulic lines, and a slave cylinder.
Movement of the clutch pedal creates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder, which actuates the slave cylinder. The slave cylinder then moves the clutch fork.
The clutch fork, also called a clutch arm or release arm, transfers motion from the release mechanism to the release bearing and pressure plate. The clutch fork sticks through a square hole in the bell housing and mounts on a pivot. When the clutch fork is moved by the release mechanism, it PRIES on the release bearing to disengage the clutch.
A rubber boot fits over the clutch fork. This boot is designed to keep road dirt, rocks, oil, water, and other debris from entering the clutch housing.
The clutch housing is also called the bell housing. It bolts to the rear of the engine, enclosing the clutch assembly, with the manual transmission bolted to the back of the housing. The lower front of the housing has a metal cover that can be removed for fly-wheel ring gear inspection or when the engine must be separated from the clutch assembly. A hole is provided in the side of the housing for the clutch fork. It can be made of aluminum, magnesium, or cast iron.
The release bearing, also called the throw-out bearing, is a ball bearing and collar assembly. It reduces friction between the pressure plate levers and the release fork. The release bearing is a sealed unit pack with a lubricant. It slides on a hub sleeve extending out from the front of the manual transmission or transaxle.
The release bearing snaps over the end of the clutch fork. Small spring clips hold the bearing on the fork. Then fork movement in either direction slides the release bearing along the transmission hub sleeve.
The pressure plate is a spring-loaded device that can either engage or disengage the clutch disc and the flywheel. It bolts to the flywheel. The clutch disc fits
Figure 4-5. - Hydraulic clutch release mechanism.Continue Reading