How to change the clutch, DMF flywheel, pressure plate, clutch fork/bearing on 2006 VW Jetta TDI

Difficulty: 3/5
back to 1000q: a5 Jetta TDI FAQ and "how to" index


This article shows how to remove and install a new clutch kit, flywheel, pressure plate, clutch fork, or clutch throw out bearing on a 2005.5-06 VW Jetta TDI.

This can also be used on mk5 Rabbit, Golf, or other manual transmission cars.  This article is rated difficulty 3/5 only because the transmission must be removed to get access.  Other than that it's fairly quick and easy.  If you want to remove the rear main seal the flywheel has to come off.  See 1000q: rear main seal replacement for details.

All modern VW with either manual or DSG transmission use a dual mass flywheel (DMF).  See 1000q: DSG FAQ and 1000q: clutch/flywheel FAQ for pictures and details.  Common symptoms of a bad DMF are metallic rattling at idle, poor clutch engagement, shaky idle not related to other causes, or chattering clutch engagement.  On a DSG you may also have strong engine vibration when in gear and stopped or harsh clutch engagement.   Early Sachs clutches were also recalled because they worn down very fast and came apart.  Click here to view the TSB on bad Sachs clutches.  Even though my Sachs clutch still had plenty of life left when it was removed, it had noticeable wear (was replaced due to a loose DMF).  Since most clutches on lower mileage daily drivers come out looking like new, either the previous owner loved to slip the clutch, my Sachs clutch is bad but not as bad as the ones which fell apart, or the loose DMF caused a little more than expected wear.  All new clutches are different and should fix that problem.  The Luk clutches appear to not be affected.  You cannot mix Luk and Sachs clutch/flywheel/pressure plate kits because they won't fit.

DMF are also known to wear the dampening elements and rattle.  I chose to replace the DMF with a new "early" Luk DMF which is supposed to be known for good life.  It also dampens noise vibration harshness when working properly.  If you never want to deal with rattling DMF again you could replace it with a regular solid flywheel from a VW Corrado G60 4 cylinder.  This is a common modification and they have good aftermarket support.  The downside is that the transmission will rattle more at idle due to reduced dampening.  It's most noticeable when stopped at a drive-through with the window open.  There's no rattling during driving and solid flywheels don't fail like DMF can.  G60 flywheels are also much cheaper than replacement DMF.


9mm 12 point socket (for original pressure plate bolts)
6mm triple square bits (for my replacement bolts)
12mm triple square bit for flywheel bolts

flywheel counterholding tool VW # 3067 or equivalent like VW flywheel holder
clutch centering tool VW# 3190a (5 speed), VW# T1009 (6 speed), or equivalent.
torque wrench (see 1000q: torque wrench FAQ for tips)

clutch fork/lever VW# 02j 141 719 c
clutch spring VW# 012 141 741

vr6 clutch kit w/new SMF flywheel


Remove the transmission.  See 1000q: mk5 5 speed transmission removal for more details.  

You must counterhold the flywheel and pressure plate to loosen their bolts.  I threaded one of the transmission bolts back and jammed a prybar in the flywheel ring gear teeth to hold it.  Pic below is from installation.  I suggest buying a proper counterhold tool because it will make your life much easier and the job faster.  The one I had wouldn't fit this flywheel so I had to improvise.  If you have a helper, they can jam a large screwdriver against the ring gear and hold it against one of the transmission bolts.

VW flywheel counterhold tool # 3067 fits in the 18mm bolt holes.  They should be stronger than the 16mm aluminum bolt holes.

Remove the 6x 9mm bolts holding the pressure plate down.

Here is the original Sachs clutch.

Remove the 6x 12mm triple square bolts (yellow arrow on one of them, ignore the blue arrow for now) holding the flywheel.  Make sure the bolt heads aren't catching on the flywheel during removal.  If the flywheel is broken and jammed to one side, use a pry to rotate the bolt holes until they are in position to remove the bolt heads.

Before removing it, note the position of the flywheel TDC mark against the engine.  You can make a mark on the thin metal shim behind the transmission.  The flywheel will only bolt on 1 way due to eccentric bolt holes but this is a good first TDC mark check against the new flywheel.

Here is the TDC stamp on a Luk flywheel.  Here you can see the side profile of the flywheel.  Find the bolt hole that is off from the others, align the flywheels, and compare the TDC stamp marks.  

After removing the flywheel, inspect for oil leaks.

Clean the new flywheel and pressure plate contact surfaces with brake or carb cleaner.  Pictured below are a older Luk flywheel/pressure plate. You want the contact surfaces to be clean of oils and grease.  From this angle you can see the eccentric bolt holes on the flywheel.  It looks different from the original Sachs DMF because it's a Luk DMF.  You cannot interchange Luk and Sachs DMF-clutch-pressure plates because they won't fit.

Install the new flywheel and hand thread the bolts.  Tighten them in a diagonal pattern to 44 ft-lb.  Double check them.  Then tighten them all in a diagonal pattern another 1/4 turn.  They are single use stretch bolts with threadlocker and should not be reused.  

Very lightly grease the splines of the clutch.  Less is better.  Mine had "Getriebeseite" or "transmission side" marked on one face.  That side should face the transmission during installation.

Insert the clutch centering tool VW# 3190a or equivalent through the splines of the clutch and into the hole in the middle of the crankshaft (blue arrow in the earlier pic).  The clutch may have writing on it to indicate which side faces out.  You can also use a socket of the correct diameter.

Install the pressure plate and hand tighten the bolts.  My replacement bolts on the Luk pressure plate were 6mm triple square bolts.  After all the bolts are in place, turn each bolt by 1-2 turns at a time before moving onto the bolt opposite it.  This keeps the pressure plate and clutch even as you tighten it.  Once they are all lightly wrench tight, if you have the stock Sachs clutch, tighten the pressure plate bolts to 15 ft-lb.  If you have the stock Luk clutch, torque the pressure plate bolts to 10 ft-lb.  This is pretty low so I use some medium strength threadlocker to make sure they don't back out.  According to the Permatex data sheet you do not need to adjust the torque value when using blue medium threadlocker.

To install the new clutch fork lever, pull one end of the retaining spring off (white arrow) and the bearing/fork should come off.  Clean the fork or grease the new fork's pivot ball and clutch slave cylinder divot (yellow arrows) during installation.  This will help prevent squeaks inside the bellhousing when you press the clutch pedal down.  Also very lightly grease the inner diameter of the bearing - where it slides against the shaft sleeve.

If you're replacing or shimming the pivot ball (red thing), torque it to 18 ft-lb.  Shimming will change clutch pedal engagement point and I don't suggest using a shim unless you know how much it will change clutch pedal engagement.

If you have any other questions or more tips on changing the clutch/flywheel, please post in the VW TDI discussion forum or search with google: