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What else to replace while doing 1.4TDi clutch? Crankshaft oil seal?

Mr K

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My release bearing has been making noises when cold for a year or so, so I thought it was time to get my hands dirty. I have my 3-part LuK clutch kit as recommended by many, and I took off the gearbox last weekend. The car is low mileage at 97k miles , but coming up to 17 years old. Anyway, I found the crankshaft oil seal was keeping the oil in and looking in great condition. There's no sign of a leak from the gearbox input shaft seal. Basically, everythings fine apart from the release bearing.

The clutch friction plate has enough life for another 150k miles, consistent with reports from high mileage owners (measuing depth to rivets, new vs old). The pressure plate is fine, and hasn't been damaged by the occasionally sticky release bearing. They're the original parts, Audi-branded LuK components, by the way. I'm half tempted to throw the lot back together with only a new release bearing, but will use the full 3-part kit as I'm not skint.

The release fork, ball stud (with red nylon top), retaining spring are all good, I mean very good. The flywheel is in great shape, with a very smooth and flat mating surface. Regarding the flywheel bolts, the manual says replace, but apparently most pro mechanics re-use, with threadlock of course. That's my intention, having done so with other cars in the past - anyone done this and regretted it?

I'm pondering replacing the crankshaft oil seal and gearbox input shaft seal, but we don't do many miles in this car - only 2-3k pa. Looking at the high mileage threads, almost no-one is reporting seal failure. If it's not happening below 130k miles we'll be good for another 10 years. I'm seeing conflicting advice on more general forums. Lots of experienced folk saying don't change if not leaking. Others saying crankshaft oil seals last 100k miles, so replace (more generally, not necessarily applicable to TDis). I'm concerned about ending up with a leak if I do replace them - if it ain't broke, etc. Plus there's the green issue - don't replace good parts...

Any advice based on high mileage experience please? Will be putting it back in at the weekend (Sat 13th Nov 2021 if you're reading this after then )


Picture of the Audi/BRUSS seal (p/n 038103171B)


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I wouldn't do it.

As you said: It is ok and if you renew it, it could be leaking.

On top of that the exchange is not that easy and there might be special tools needed (at least for the BBY and AUA motor codes it is definitely recommended to use a special tool).


I owned many cars with high mileage on them (300k+) and I never had issues with the crankshaft seal or critical leakage.


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  • 9 months later...

Just to follow up, I only replaced the 3-part clutch kit and re-used all bolts, etc,. After 9 months and 3000 miles (5000 km) all is still well with the car, which has just completed 100,000 miles :)


Instead of a clutch centring tool I used water to glue the friction plate to the pressure plate in my freezer, and that worked perfectly. It helped that it was winter; it gives you more time to bolt up the pressure plate before the ice melts, but you don't need much time and it should work well at most times of the year if it's frozen together at -18C. All you do is wet the pressure plate after laying it flat, friction surface facing up. Then carefully sit the friction plate on it and align centrally by eye and feel using the outer edge. Place carefully in the freezer, leave overnight. Have everything ready and get it bolted on quickly. I first came up with this in the early 90s when I had to change a clutch on a Fiat Uno in freezing weather...

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