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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so on another thread i had posted about my guess that my clutch was failing. It seems 99.9% likely that it is.

There are some excellent threads about replacing the clutch however the two that I found were both LE5 motors on base Solstice.

As i have a 2008 GXP I am wondering how different my experience is going to be?

Here are the two most helpful step by step threads i could find (thanks Steelmesh and Skyler Spaeth):
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
PS> Just ordered the DDMworks LNF Clutch. I figured I should get ahead of the game as there is a 3 week lead time.
Apparently it comes with an Exedy Pressure Plate, a Ram 6 puck clutch and a Spec Aluminum Flywheel (as well as a new hydraulic actuator, pilot bearing and the 8x torque to yield flywheel bolts and i ordered with the clutch alignment tool)

Gonna open the M Car Shop Manuals and start reading the "official" procedure.
I am not 100% sure I am going to do this, if i can find a shop worth a damn out here to perform it. I really fear allowing other people to work on the car, especially if i dont know them. Recently had the tires changed and had to essentially sit on top of the tech to make sure the didn't crush my fenders (which they almost did).

Always open to a good suggestion for a mechanic out here in Los Angeles...

If I do do it myself, I will do my best to document the process here. I haven't touched a transmission since high school auto shop in the early 80's (outside fluid changes) but having read a lot of threads and watched a bunch of videos and about to read through the shop manual, I think i can do this up on my 6 ton jack stands....

-My current "unanswered" questions are:
1) Has anyone here tried the "bread trick" on our manual transmission with success for the pilot bearing? (Apparently the internal diameter of the pilot bearing is less than 15MM and outside a slide puller - which i assume i will not have the room for under the car - none of the other "jaw style" pullers will fit without taking them to a grinder to cut them down). All else fails, if the bread trick doesn't work, I can go out and get one and grind it down... boo)
2) It appears i will need to lift the motor to push it forward to get the space i need to drop the propeller/driveshaft as the Torque Arm between the Differential and the Transmission will be a problem?
 

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I don't know how close you are to Banning, but this is a quote from Robotech on the Sky forum from 2017:

Curtis at Pass in Banning (god that's easier to spell than Beaumont...) is a fantastic guy and if he's too expensive then you won't find a better price for the work. In addition, he's worked on 4 Kappas, Skersfan's two Sky Redlines, my Sky 2.4 Turbo, and Skersfan's Mallette Solstice. To say he has a good working knowledge of this car is an understatement...probably one of the most knowledgeable guys in So Cal when it comes to working on them.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know how close you are to Banning, but this is a quote from Robotech on the Sky forum from 2017:
Hmm. 2 hour drive with no traffic... I will check it out thanks John.
 

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I want to point this out.

You didn't think you could fix the hardtop yourself but when you weren't able to locate someone to do the work you decided to have a go at it.
I remember when you bought the first big wheel turbo, it was the same deal.

Now... I am thinking you just need to suck it up, skip of the self doubt and get to fixing your car.

You have proven you have the ability time and time again.You can do this as well.


Now remember the transmission is not going to be in the vehicle when you change the pilot bearing you are going to have a pretty large opening to get something up in there to pull it out.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I want to point this out.

You didn't think you could fix the hardtop yourself but when you weren't able to locate someone to do the work you decided to have a go at it.
I remember when you bought the first big wheel turbo, it was the same deal.

Now... I am thinking you just need to suck it up, skip of the self doubt and get to fixing your car.
Probably going to do just that. Man if i had a lift this would be a no brainer. As it is I will have to do it outside, on Jack Stands and on my driveway (which is textured if you have seen any of my photos posted). Not the end of the world but a little additional fun added. After getting our turbo swap skills down to 3 hours, i dont want to get overconfident. Also, I want to make sure i am not doing this more than one time, redoing the turbo is one thing, pulling the drive line and tranny is another level of "i dont want to ever do that again" :)
SO my questions still stand (plus i thought of another one that seems to have vague answers out there in the interwebs:

-My current "unanswered" questions are:
1) Has anyone here tried the "bread trick" on our manual transmission with success for the pilot bearing? (Apparently the internal diameter of the pilot bearing is less than 15MM and outside a slide puller - which i assume i will not have the room for under the car - none of the other "jaw style" pullers will fit without taking them to a grinder to cut them down). All else fails, if the bread trick doesn't work, I can go out and get one and grind it down... boo)
2) It appears i will need to lift the motor to push it forward to get the space i need to drop the propeller/driveshaft as the Torque Arm between the Differential and the Transmission will be a problem?
3) To grease or not to grease the pilot bearing? If so what kinda grease? I have read that one should grease the shaft and not the bearing, but then i have read that one should very lightly grease both...
 

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1) I did the "bread trick" on mine, worked perfectly. As you said, I could not find any puller for this so I just went with the tried and true DIY trick. No issues.

2) I pulled out the rear differential to make room / make it easy to remove the torque arm. I tried a few things and this was the least annoying thing to do on the floor of my garage.
Then took off the torque arm, and then the driveshaft.
May not be the quickest way to do so, but it was very easy to do so anyways.

3) I greased the pilot bearing with bearing grease, but very lightly.


Probably going to do just that. Man if i had a lift this would be a no brainer. As it is I will have to do it outside, on Jack Stands and on my driveway (which is textured if you have seen any of my photos posted). Not the end of the world but a little additional fun added. After getting our turbo swap skills down to 3 hours, i dont want to get overconfident. Also, I want to make sure i am not doing this more than one time, redoing the turbo is one thing, pulling the drive line and tranny is another level of "i dont want to ever do that again" :)
SO my questions still stand (plus i thought of another one that seems to have vague answers out there in the interwebs:

-My current "unanswered" questions are:
1) Has anyone here tried the "bread trick" on our manual transmission with success for the pilot bearing? (Apparently the internal diameter of the pilot bearing is less than 15MM and outside a slide puller - which i assume i will not have the room for under the car - none of the other "jaw style" pullers will fit without taking them to a grinder to cut them down). All else fails, if the bread trick doesn't work, I can go out and get one and grind it down... boo)
2) It appears i will need to lift the motor to push it forward to get the space i need to drop the propeller/driveshaft as the Torque Arm between the Differential and the Transmission will be a problem?
3) To grease or not to grease the pilot bearing? If so what kinda grease? I have read that one should grease the shaft and not the bearing, but then i have read that one should very lightly grease both...
 

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Premium Member
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
1) I did the "bread trick" on mine, worked perfectly. As you said, I could not find any puller for this so I just went with the tried and true DIY trick. No issues.

2) I pulled out the rear differential to make room / make it easy to remove the torque arm. I tried a few things and this was the least annoying thing to do on the floor of my garage.
Then took off the torque arm, and then the driveshaft.
May not be the quickest way to do so, but it was very easy to do so anyways.

3) I greased the pilot bearing with bearing grease, but very lightly.
Wow. That was quick thanks for that. Good to know i wont be jamming the bread into an unknown oil plug or something.

So you disconnected the drive axles and completely pulled the differential?
 

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Wow. That was quick thanks for that. Good to know i wont be jamming the bread into an unknown oil plug or something.

So you disconnected the drive axles and completely pulled the differential?
That's correct, I removed both axles and pulled the rear differential.

I think the most annoying thing of it all in the end was the god darn fluid hose going from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder in the transmission.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's correct, I removed both axles and pulled the rear differential.

I think the most annoying thing of it all in the end was the god darn fluid hose going from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder in the transmission.
You mean leaking all over the place? Or trying to put it back together?
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ohh. Just thought of another question i keep forgetting to ask.
How high are you getting the car on jack stands that you can get the tranny out on a tranny lift?
 

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I had 3d printed a clutch alignment tool and the tip of it with the measures I took were pretty snug to the pilot bearing so that was very easy to compact enough bread quickly so the bearing came out !

I don't remember how high I raised it, but we pretty much bench pressed the trans out of the car on a roller bed.

Probably around 22-23 inch high on some big 6 ton jack stand, as high as my Torin Big Red 3.5 ton jack went with a puck.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had 3d printed a clutch alignment tool and the tip of it with the measures I took were pretty snug to the pilot bearing so that was very easy to compact enough bread quickly so the bearing came out !

I don't remember how high I raised it, but we pretty much bench pressed the trans out of the car on a roller bed.

Probably around 22-23 inch high on some big 6 ton jack stand, as high as my Torin Big Red 3.5 ton jack went with a puck.
Well i bought a “box o bolts” from a kappa tear down on eBay last year so I am hoping I will have a random bolt that works for the bread.
I am assuming Wonder Bread white loaf is the most hydraulically approved model for that tool :)
 

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the Pillsbury biscuits will also work. Anything that is a dough ill do the job. Using grease is really messy and using the bread works but it can be difficult to get out of the hole. Using dough works like bread but it comes out of the hole easier.

The trick is getting the bolt as snug to the hole as possible so nothing squishes out. It may not be as easy as what is seen in the video and you are going to need to use a 5lb - 8lb short handle sledge to use as the hammer. You are going to have to get some pretty good swings on it so I would sill the hole but leave enough space to put the bolt in and it will stay in without having to get any fingers into the front line, the collateral damage if you missed would not be enjoyable to say the least.

Once the bearing starts to move it will become easier. Breaking it free initially you will probably doing as best you can with a 2 handed swing... Keep in mind you can buy 8' lengths of threaded rod at Home Depot for 10 bucks (electrical isle where the conduit is). You can put the rod into the hole and have it come out the back of the car where you can get a good swing on it.
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I got a box of kappa bolts and the new clutch kit comes with a bearing so worst case I take the bearing for a trip to the hardware store :)
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Mysterious (with unkown origin blue sparkle in rear bumper cover paint)
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dear Diary..
Only 3 more weeks (I hope) till my clutch comes in..
Maybe I should start working on the top again while I wait?
:)
 
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