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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, let's say that I take it easy on the clutch with no burn outs or high rev engagements. Most of the driving is on suburban roads and freeways. How long should a clutch last in these conditions?
 

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So, let's say that I take it easy on the clutch with no burn outs or high rev engagements. Most of the driving is on suburban roads and freeways. How long should a clutch last in these conditions?
I've wondered that myself. Off the top of my head I can't think of any times I've seen or heard of a manual trans Challenger actually wear out a clutch from normal age/mileage. I've heard of them failing due to huge horsepower, nitrous, twin turbo hard launch on drag radials type driving yes (though at which point they are probably swapped out for an aftermarket clutch anyway). But normal wear and tear? Not so much.

Either it's because not enough people actually drive them enough to mile them out, or they are extremely durable, or both. Me personally I have daily driven manual Challengers for the better part of a decade now (holy crap time flies when you're having fun) along with occasional track use. I have yet to wear out a factory clutch.
 

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2011 SXT Built in the Canada Plant
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There is no said exact life expectancy of a Manual Clutch Pressure Plate and Throwout Bearing in a Manual Transmission Vehicle. The more its used the faster it wears in time which is a given. Road Climate say in FL would be different then in Tenn is the roads flat or in the Hills and Mountains? Do you ride the Clutch a lot some do even though they dont pound the gears... If you drive normal you can get a good deal of reliability ...
 

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2020 Challenger R/T Scat Pak
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There's no set answer for sure. We lived in the foothills of the Rockies (very hilly) for a period of years and put 220k miles on a car (not a challenger unfortunately) and gave the car away with the clutch assembly still working just fine. Over time the pedal got lower to the floor but it wasn't affecting how it operated. Last I'd seen the car and it was at 239K with the same clutch.

DeWFPo
 

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I got 154,000 miles on a pickup and that included a good bit of towing. It also includes teaching my kids how to drive a manual vehicle. It was sold with that clutch and believe it got many more miles after I had it.
money thing is it always was in neutral at a light or in traffic, I never kept it at the floor for any length of time.
I’d think these cars can last a long time too.
 

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..... It also includes teaching my kid how to drive a manual vehicle. ..... it always was in neutral at a light or in traffic, I never kept it at the floor for any length of time.......
The same here. DeWFPo
 

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2020 Dodge Challenger Hellraisin Scat Pack
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So, let's say that I take it easy on the clutch with no burn outs or high rev engagements. Most of the driving is on suburban roads and freeways. How long should a clutch last in these conditions?
You can avoid the burn outs and high rev engagements but still exact a horrible toll on clutch life expectancy by other (bad) clutch habits. Using the clutch to hold the car from rolling back at a stop. Or leaving the transmission in gear and holding the clutch pedal down while waiting for the light to change. (Kiss the throwout bearing goodbye before its time...)

Using the clutch like a brake easing out with the transmission in a lower gear to slow the car. Or down shifting at too high an RPM and failing to "rev match".

Excessive clutch slipping to get the car underway. Or worse to adopt the start in 2nd gear behavior because there is so much "torque". Another bad habit is double clutching. This subjects the throwout bearing to more wear and tear. A clutch job regardless if it was prompted by a slipping clutch or a failed throwout bearing costs the same.

If the clutch hydraulic system is bleedable don't bleed this on schedule.

Avoid the above and you should be able to get 100K or more miles from the clutch with no problems. And 100K in my experience is being very conservative.

I have driven a number of cars to 150K miles (and one to 317K) miles. Only one car required a clutch in that 150K miles. The clutch felt fine, was not slipping and the pedal did not require a large amount of effort to work (a sign of a worn clutch), but the throwout bearing emitted a horrible squeal every time I pushed the clutch pedal down. One clutch pedal press before it was fine. The next press it squealed and thereafter every time I used the clutch. At the dealer upon removal of the transmission it was found the throwout bearing had failed and seized.

Had the opportunity to view a clutch in one of my cars (Porsche 996 Turbo) when the transmission was out to address a leaking rear main seal. I can't recall the exact miles on the car but it was close to (pretty sure over) 100K miles.

I brought my handy depth micrometer to the tech's bay and measured the wear. Zero wear.

Here's a pic...

Amber Orange Metal Close-up Office equipment


The distance from the disc surface to the rivet is how wear is determined and the depth I measured (I think 1.7mm) was the new disc dimension. The disc was considered worn out when the depth was but 0.3mm. Drove this car to 161K miles and the clutch was still fine even then.

With another car I drove it to 317K miles on the factory clutch. Now I admit that based on how much clutch pedal pressure was required -- obvious after having not driven the car for around 30 days -- it was clear the clutch was worn out and had I kept the car I was ready to have the clutch done. I felt at 317K miles I got my money's worth.

These cars require very little clutch slipping to get the car under way. It is not the torque that is a real factor in this regard -- even my VW Golf Tdi with just 90hp and 136 lb ft of torque required no real clutch slippage to get moving -- but the flywheel mass and energy it contains. Just a few RPMs above idle with a smooth clutch release can have the car moving smoothly and promptly from a stop. Time after time after time. And very important in this context with minimal clutch slipping.

As an aside it does not require any where near the total amount of torque the engine has to get the car moving. With my 2020 Scat Pack I observed torque -- via Performance Pages -- while taking off from a dead stop on level ground and the torque read about 60 lb ft.

All you can do is avoid the bad habits and follow good habits with regards to clutch usage and in general car usage and the clutch will last as long as it can given other factors.

Now with my 1st car -- an 88 Tempo -- the clutch failed -- started slipping at around 35K miles. I did not abuse the car in any way. It so happened I was able to via some BBSs -- remember those? -- learn that other owners of the same model of car had experienced similar early clutch failure and had the clutch replaced with some good will. Armed with this I took the car to a handy dealer and received a new clutch with 50% of the parts and labor as goodwill. I drove the car to almost 80K miles on this replacement clutch and it was still fine.
 

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2020 F8 Scat Pack 392 6 Speed Stick
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Hi,

Never had many clutch failures, throw out and pilot bearing failure has been comon on my 01, 07 ram trucks right around 50-60 thousand miles, second throw out in the 07 lasted about 150,000 and the clutch looked fine. Although every time something happened I replaced everything.

Regards,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rockster, I do agree with the bad habits mentioned and I don't do any of those. I do downshift and rev match for that. I also never rest my hand on the shift lever, not clutch related wear there, but trans. Now my daughter in her Mustang, that's another story.
 

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Rockster, I do agree with the bad habits mentioned and I don't do any of those. I do downshift and rev match for that. I also never rest my hand on the shift lever, not clutch related wear there, but trans. Now my daughter in her Mustang, that's another story.
Good for you.

With any luck you should get a good long service life from the clutch in your car.

OTOH, your daugher and her car and its clutch? Not so much. If you can't get her to adopt better clutch habits at least urge her to save up for the (est) $2K a clutch job will cost her sooner than she thinks.
 

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Hi,

Never had many clutch failures, throw out and pilot bearing failure has been comon on my 01, 07 ram trucks right around 50-60 thousand miles, second throw out in the 07 lasted about 150,000 and the clutch looked fine. Although every time something happened I replaced everything.

Regards,
Jim
To be sure the tech and I went over all the clutch hardware and everything looked good to me and the tech agreed and said everything looked new. Had he even mentioned any concerns regarding anything I would have had him replace the item at least and if the disc, pressure plate, release bearing, or flywheel exhibited any signs of distress or wear I would have had him replace the clutch hardware.

But the disc, the pressure plate, flywheel, everything looked just fine, the release bearing felt fine showed no signs of distress, and he never even hinted anything was warranted.

At least I don't think he replaced the release bearing. If he did I do not recall it.

I do recall he did replace the needle bearings in which the clutch actuator shaft rotated. He said it was SOP to replace these every time the transmission was out of the car regardless as to why. These cost a few bucks and did not add to the labor cost. The installation of these was "fiddly" he said but getting the old ones back in was equally fiddly.

After the RMS was replaced I drove the car another 50K+ miles and there was no sign of any issues with the clutch. I sold the car to the local Porsche dealer where it had been serviced since I bought the car in 2009. The current shop foreman who had worked on the car a number of times -- but was not the tech that did the RMS job -- gave the car an excellent condition grade.

The flip side is with the Mustang I didn't even hesitate but when I took the car in and the cause of the noise was confirmed I said to replace "everything" at the tech's discretion. I didn't even bother to look at the clutch hardware. Probably should have just to know what a clutch (at least this clutch) looked like after 150K miles.
 

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I do recall he did replace the needle bearings in which the clutch actuator shaft rotated. He said it was SOP to replace these every time the transmission was out of the car regardless as to why. These cost a few bucks and did not add to the labor cost. The installation of these was "fiddly" he said but getting the old ones back in was equally fiddly.
Hi,

Throw out bearing is a easy swap, while doing a clutchswap, pilot bearing on the other hand sucks to replace, usually try the pack with grease method, messy, but works, just need a rod very close to trans input size.

Years ago back mid 90's they were bushings and would hardly cause issues for most, as most were a oillite, self lubricanted, bearings eventually wear, unless greased regularly, and those are impossible to lube except when servicing the clutch.

With all the heavy lifting involved in swapping clutch parts, its safer insurance to swap everything vs have to swap something a month later, and worse it it damages another part you just replaced.

Regards,
Jim
 

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Hi,

Throw out bearing is a easy swap, while doing a clutchswap, pilot bearing on the other hand sucks to replace, usually try the pack with grease method, messy, but works, just need a rod very close to trans input size.

Years ago back mid 90's they were bushings and would hardly cause issues for most, as most were a oillite, self lubricanted, bearings eventually wear, unless greased regularly, and those are impossible to lube except when servicing the clutch.

With all the heavy lifting involved in swapping clutch parts, its safer insurance to swap everything vs have to swap something a month later, and worse it it damages another part you just replaced.

Regards,
Jim
The needle bearings I spoke of was not referring to the pilot bearing/bushing but the needle bearings which supported the pivot shaft inside the bell housing that rotated when the clutch pedal was pushed down and caused a fork to push against the release bearing to release the clutch.

A pic of the shaft:
Audio equipment Technology Microphone stand


A pic of the fork it worked:
Machine Automotive engine part Silver Cylinder Nut


Have to admit I do not recall if the tech replaced the pilot bushing/bearing. If he believed it necessary I'm sure he would have. I pretty much gave the senior techs carte blanche to do what they felt was necessary and proper for a correct service/repair. For example the exhaust system had to be dropped for some things, the RMS repair being one of them. The exhaust system had for each bank where the exhaust bolted ot the turbo a metal o-ring which sealed the turbo to the exhaust pipe. These o-rings were replaced every time the exhaust was removed..
 

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Hi,

Ah, haven't seen this arrangement until now, any needle bearing is going to require lube/grease eventually or it will fail.

It's a lot of work dropping the trans on any vechile, exhaust, brake cables etc...

That's why I mentioned you should replace all wear items, bearings, seals, unless you want to risk doing it twice.

Hopefully your mechanic was one who thinks this way vs let them pay me to do it a month from now mind set.

Regards,
Jim
 

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2018 Scat Pack SHAKER in Plum Crazy- GONE :-(
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Yeah, traffic and hill starts kill a clutch. Plus some are just good/bad from luck. I know I beat the hell out of the clutch in my 1981 Dodge Van and it was still good at about 113K miles, and the same time we had a 1980 Sunbird with 4 speed and some clutches only lasted about 9K miles. Always wore out the pressure plate side. Once we got the flywheel turned, (probably was overheated/hardened) and it helped to grab, we got 38,000 the next clutch. As my dad used to say, we "had that transmission on a zipper" we did it so many times. When I was a skinny teenager, I could do it myself in 7 hours, getting the cast iron transmission back in was tight and a chore. And there was no room up under that little RWD car. All the other manuals I had, never needed torn apart for a clutch. Some had a lot of miles as well.
 
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