Porsche 996TT Clutch/RMS Oil Leak RennsportKC

Normally I don’t give away all my secrets, but my good friend Lin has been putting off changing the clutch in his 997TT for a couple years now. He let our friend Steve drive it on one of our Journeys to find the 67 caddy for our Grand Canyon trip (http://vintageroadtrip2010.wordpress.com/), and well the rest (the clutch) is history. I figured he was putting off the work because he doesn’t have directions…..I mean he built a big garage and put in a nice lift JUST to do this job 🙂 So I’m gonna help out a little 🙂 Porsche states that the engine/trans have to be dropped to change the clutch in a 996TT or 997TT. The labor rate is something astronomical like 24 hours. I’ll show you how this isn’t the case, and I’m not sure why anyone would go to that much work when it isn’t needed. This way has a few parts that can be far more frustrating than dropping the engine route, but very doable. Sometimes you have to walk away and come back later. Years ago I posted an almost step by step process over on 6speedonline and rennlist, so I am sure it is floating around there as well, just not with pictures.

There are a couple of special tools you will need, the big ones being a tranny jack and the other being an engine support tree. (God help you if you are attempting to do this on jackstands). You will want a really long 6×1.0mm bolt (6inches at least) for removing the clutch pin, and a stud puller (optional).

The patient ready to go.

See……you can haul the kids around in a Porsche….no need for a minivan!

When you put the car on the lift, make sure the rear arms clear the bolt next to the lift point as that will need to be removed. Don’t use the wheel lifts as you will want to spin the wheel to remove the axle bolts.

This car was suffering a big oil leak. It was diagnosed as a rear main seal by another shop, but that is really rare in the TT’s. The spray pattern just doesn’t match that of an RMS leak either. But with nothing obvious, I move forward.

After disconnecting the battery, you can remove the 6 axle bolts on each axle and go after the starter. 13mm and 10mm nuts for cables, and 15mm nuts for the starter. The top starter nut is done with an extension and is all by feel as you can’t see it.

With the starter out, you can see one of the 4 bellhousing nuts/studs. I usually remove this upper stud to make transaxle removal easier. This time I didn’t to prove it could be done….it sucked but came out. The stud is slightly longer than the others, so you have to really shove the transmission forward a long way to clear it, and coolant lines get in the way, etc.

The stud removed as am not going to fight that going back in, lol.

Next we can pull down all of our undercarriage braces, crossmembers etc. The 2 side angle braces come off with a 15mm bolt, 16mm bolt, and a 15mm bolt hidden up on top. Ratcheting wrench makes access easiest for this one. Then the silver crossmember comes off with 2 15mm bolts. When you undoing these, stick your bolts back in the holes so you know where you got them from. I have done this job so many times i throw everything in a big bin, but I know each bolt belongs 🙂

Then detach the shifter cables. One little metal retaining clip on the plastic fitting, remove that with a pick, then pop the cables out of their holders. The ball and socket ends can be removed by putting a prybar in the gap and giving it a twist to pop the ends off. Remove the sensor connector off the passenger upper nose of the trany.

Remove the main crossmember. 16/18mm Top’s are slotted, so just loosen the upper bolts. Remove the lower bolts. Use a pry bar to work it out between the crossmember and the subframe. It is a tight fit, but you can walk it out the bottom.

With the bellypans removed, next drop the front black tranny support (trans is still supported to chassis by main mount). 2 15mm bolts and 4 15mm nuts. That will allow you to get to the three front driveshaft bolts.

Marked in red….

With the black plate and shaft bolts removed, use a pry bar to move the driveshaft forward and out of the transmission. Once it drops out, you can simply slide it backwards and out of the car. The front is just a spline joint with nothing holding it in.

Then the fun starts. The slave cylinder. Removing this is 10 times easier than installing it…..and it still sucks. Easiest thing to do is to remove the accumulator. It takes a 27mm wrench (there are two versions, one is a smaller wrench irrc) that is ground very thin…and bent….and…..special tool KEW (TV Reference, one of my favorite shows…..GO!) Which I for some reason have at home…..so i had to remove it with the accumulator attached. 2 15mm bolts and a 13mm bolt. Did I say this part sucks?

Then remove the 3 10mm bolts holding the plastic trunk to the tranny so we can get to the clutch fork mechanism. Lot of work to do through that little hole!

Ok, now for the sake of pictures, I’ll show you this part on another car that I had the motor out of. You can’t see any of this while you are doing it….it is all done by feel.

First, if you notice at the top of the transmission, there is a brace protruding. Held on by 2 torque screws. If you remove this, it will allow you and extra 2 inches to clear the body when pulling the transmission.
Again, what is involved in pulling the TT transaxles from the engine. Step 1, remove the plastic vent (3 bolts)

Step two, remove the 10mm bolt and bracket.

Step 3, pull the rubber plug that, along with the above bracket, hold the clutch shaft and bearings in place.

This can be a real SOB to get out. It is soft plastic, and you can barely get any grip on it. This one came right out, some others I have done, there wasn’t much left of the plastic plug. I use a pair of standard pliers, opened to the wide setting. This will allow the nose to get through the small access window and allow you to grab the plug and pull it out. I usually try and grab the widest part of the rubber plug, versus the narrow shoulder that I am holding it by in the picture.

Like this.

Once that is out, use a long 6mm bolt, thread it in to the end of the clutch shaft and pull straight out.

Don’t let this picture fool you, that darn bolt isn’t long enough…i got lucky.

Next put a support under the engine case, and get your transmission jack attached to the transaxle. Note, this tranny is long and heavy, so make sure it is secured properly! Remove the 3 remaining 15mm nuts for the bellhousing, remove the 2 15mm nuts holding the transmission to the body, and start angling it down. It takes a pretty big angle to clear everything. Lower the engine tree a little, then the trans jack, then repeat until you have the angle. On the 997TT, you probably want to pull your exhaust tips so they don’t hit the bumper. A pry bar helps you walk the transmission off the engine, and the clutch fork will fall out so be ready to catch that. The angle of the dangle needs to be perfect when removing and installing the trans or it will fight you. Make sure the transmission slides off at the same angle the engine is hanging. You can watch the upper and lower gap on the bellhousing to determine if you need to angle the transmission more or less.

Cooling lines: The 997TT setup is slightly different, but if you don’t want to fight moving the transmission around all the lines, get some hose clamp pliers (4) and pinch off each end and remove the middle piping. I weasel the 996TT’s around the hard lines after hanging them off the body, but you could clamp and remove them as well.

Once the trans was out, I found our leak. Mainshaft seal on the transmission and the slave cylinder. What a mess!

As you can see, our RMS is nice and dry

What a mess!

The offending seal!

A good shot of the engine supported with the tree.

And one of the upper stud removed from the engine case

Stay tuned for part II!

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One Comment

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January 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Great write up as usual.

….in the queue for 2013…maybe.

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