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Hey guys, sorry about writing another clutch article... I've been searching around the forum and Facebook all day but I am so uncertain about what I should do... (I realized that I wrote a long article so I decided to include a short summary at the end!)

I own the 2010 Lotus Evora and I have just purchased this car this August. As you know, clutch replacement is something that Lotus owners fear, and as a person who bought a ten year old hand-built sports car, I was expecting to replace clutch during my time of ownership.

In fact, Lotus Dealership, which I've changed my clutch master-cylinder with, felt that clutch might be worn as my clutch pedal was significantly stiffer/heavier than newer Evoras or a little bit heavier than NA Evora that one of the employees at the dealership drove. However, both the dealership and I at the time felt that clutch was not in immediate need of replacement... for now.

Recently, I've emailed the mechanic at the Lotus Dealership to talk about replacing my Evora's shiftier mechanism. During the email, the mechanic told me that he was at Lotus mechanic training and had an opportunity to discuss my clutch with other mechanics (I am really thankful to him that he remembered my car and decided to ask questions about it!) and suggested that it might be good idea for me to change my clutch as heavier clutch is a bad sign.

I do believe that this is a good idea, as my car spent most of its time in Texas and the clutch master cylinder failed as I was having a 950-mile road trip back from the seller's house. (If the clutch master cylinder failed for a long time, I wonder what damage it could have done to the clutch.) But, despite the 2000 miles and four autocross events that I've attended, my clutch does not slip when I do the hill-start and speed seems to match the rev during 4th gear pull. (Also, I don't think clutch feel has changed but I daily my car so continuous subtle change would probably go unnoticed.)

So, I am wondering whether replacing the clutch at this point is really necessary, especially considering that it's a $6,500 job on a car that I bought for just shy of 40k.

However, if I do change the clutch, I can attempt to do it D.I.Y as my friend owns a two full-size shop lift garage/shop for his hobby. So I think I have all the necessary tools to work on my car (such as engine stand, hoist, lifter and basic tools).

KakaoTalk_20191209_015859923.jpg
(photo of the shop)

However, although my friends are more experienced than I am, we have never worked on something exotic (I guess weird or unconventional would be a better term here...) as Lotus Evora.

We have experience doing some work with NA Miata engines, installing coil-overs, exhausts, changing engine thermostats and those kind of basic stuff.

Do you guys think Lotus clutch replacement would be too difficult for us noobs?





In summary, these are my questions

1.
Lotus dealers felt that my NA 2010 Evora had a heavy clutch than usual.
But my car's clutch doesn't slip during the hill start and 4th gear (or any gear for that matter) pull.

Should I change my clutch?

2.
My friend owns a garage/shop with two full-size shop lifts with all the basic tools for a hobby.
We do some work on our cars but my friends (including the shop owner) and I am not trained in car repair in anyways.

Do you guys think Lotus clutch replacement would be too difficult for us, noobs?


Lastly, thank you so much for reading, I am bookmarking all the forum posts related to clutch replacement and rear clam removal and a lot of the information seems helpful/scary. If you guys have any additional tips/experience or criticism, don't hesitate to leave a comment... I love my car and I wouldn't mine listening to cold hard truth even if that hurts.
 

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Does the clutch need replacing?
From your description it does not. You are not experiencing any problems so leave it alone.
You can ask the Lotus dealer why he thinks your car is at risk if you do not change the cluth now. He may know of some imminent failure but unless he can be specific as to why now, then I would not change it.

If you need to change it then it is not a technically difficult job. It does need the space and the equipment to remove the clam and engine, but any competent person with the tools could do it. It does take time and patience if you haven't done it before. If you do replace the clutch allow for the possibility of replacing the flywheel, especially for earlier models such as yours. Talk it over with your dealer as to whether the later clutch and flywheel assemblies would fit your car.

If you have the original early clutch cables then change those for the later model year 2012 type.

Good luck.
 

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I would think twice about it. Maybe its a nuts n bolts job, but I would leave it for a trained person used to the gazillion details involved and the proper sequence. I do all of my service wrenching, suspension etc, but in no way am I going to pull a motor/transaaxle. Its a different level of competence that is required.
 

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I would expect that as a "noob" mechanic that you would not be able to change the clutch. There is no 1 part that is particularly hard, but it is a 20+ hour job in the garage and it will be easy to make a mistake.
 

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Do not replace the clutch if it is not slipping. If driven well and not abused, a clutch can last for far longer than most people think. I have had two cars with 200,000+ miles on the original clutch and many more with over 100,000 miles on the original clutch.

What master cylinder was used to replace your failed unit? Original stock? Wilwood or Tilton? Was the diameter the same?

What do you think about the weight of the clutch pedal? Is it too heavy? Have you driven any other early Evora's to compare the weight and feel?
 

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I think even a "noob" mechanic can change a clutch, given enough research and patience. There's at least a few on LT that have done the clutch job themselves, so between them and the service notes, I don't think it's an impossible job. Most things only fit one way, so if you keep a good photo/video log of everything you take apart, chances are you'll get it back together correctly. Just go slow and think stuff out thoroughly.

But I agree with the above responses; if it isn't slipping, there probably isn't a reason to change it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First, thank you all for giving me a good insight!

Do not replace the clutch if it is not slipping. If driven well and not abused, a clutch can last for far longer than most people think. I have had two cars with 200,000+ miles on the original clutch and many more with over 100,000 miles on the original clutch.

What master cylinder was used to replace your failed unit? Original stock? Wilwood or Tilton? Was the diameter the same?

What do you think about the weight of the clutch pedal? Is it too heavy? Have you driven any other early Evora's to compare the weight and feel?
So I've replaced my clutch master cylinder with the BOE unit and I've ordered the correct year. Also, I felt that clutch weight did not change from before I changed the clutch.

Personally, I think my car's clutch is heavy but it's similar to other cars with heavy clutch. However, I've never compared it to other Evora and the dealership did.

Also, I think the clutch master cylinder was broken in my car for a long time before I got the ownership, hence more worried about the clutch - especially because it's a Texas car with hot weather.


Does the clutch need replacing?
From your description it does not. You are not experiencing any problems so leave it alone.
You can ask the Lotus dealer why he thinks your car is at risk if you do not change the cluth now. He may know of some imminent failure but unless he can be specific as to why now, then I would not change it.

If you need to change it then it is not a technically difficult job. It does need the space and the equipment to remove the clam and engine, but any competent person with the tools could do it. It does take time and patience if you haven't done it before. If you do replace the clutch allow for the possibility of replacing the flywheel, especially for earlier models such as yours. Talk it over with your dealer as to whether the later clutch and flywheel assemblies would fit your car.

If you have the original early clutch cables then change those for the later model year 2012 type.

Good luck.

Thank you for the insight with clutch cables! I knew about the fly wheel and other stuff but didn't know about the clutch cable! I will definitely take a look into that! I've replaced my clutch master cylinder with aftermarket one so I think I would need to check the compatibility first!

About the dealer, he wasn't sure about whether the clutch felt right, so he asked other mechanics and person who works at the dealership who used to own early model Evora to test drive the car. The Evora owner told the mechanic that there is more weight to the pedal than Evora he used to own!
 

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He was referring to shifter cables, not a “clutch cable”. There is no compatibility issue with the new clutch MC, as there is no interconnection. I’m in your position, but my clutch was slipping horribly. While the work isn’t extremely difficult, it IS extensive. In a relatively short time, I had the dreaded blue-ball, clutch MC, and clutch. I went all-aftermarket on the parts: Wilwood MC through GRP, shiftr111+, MWR HD clutch and lightweight flywheel. While I was that far in, I did an assessment on various seals and gaskets, added a Quaife LSD, new serpentine, new plugs, Innovative Mounts 85A setup.

Basically, consider where you want to go with the cars mods, do what makes sense and is easy to do with the clam off. DEFINITELY get a download of the Service Notes AND Service Parts List. Each has tons of great diagrams to reference!

Good luck, it’s definitely an adventure.
 

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Yes, apologies for my non technical terms. In the USA it's the transmission shift cables from the gearlever to the rear where they attach to the gearbox that I referred to. They are important for the feel of the gear lever and how stiff or loose the selection of the gears are. They do not affect the pedal.
 

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As others have said, don't replace it until it starts slipping or becomes an actual problem.

Regarding if you should do it... Try it, worst case scenario is you do it wrong and you gotta pay the $6500 anyways. While the Evora is a pretty rare car, the drivetrain is incredibly common. The variances would be accessibility to specific bolts and what, if any, chassis braces you gotta remove to drop the gearbox.

Best thing is, if you do it right, you've learned a valuable skill and saved yourself a ton of money.
 

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“...drop the gearbox.”

That’s funny. On the Evora, you have to fully remove the boot lid, rear clam, airbox, hub carrier/axle assemblies, wiring harnesses, PAS and coolant reservoir/plumbing, just to name a FEW items. The engine must be fully removed out the TOP! THEN transmission de-mate.

It’s a real hoot! Great learning experience. Follow procedure, be methodical, stay organized, take LOTS of pictures pre- and post- the steps. I printed out the sections from the Service Notes to use as a checklist and make written notes on the pages.
1256013
1256014
 

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Maybe some help, I have got a 2011 Evora S, my clutch is heavy. Heavy is a subjective number, so I measured the pressure. Mine is 30 kg or 66 lbs. Got 56.000 miles on it no slipping.
 
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