* A throwout bearing can be installed backwards. To install correctly, the larger end goes to the front or pressure plate, the smaller end toward the rear. Also, the clutch fork fingers must be located properly on the wear surface to be installed properly.

* Check the spring clip on the clutch fork where it holds the throwout bearing. Make sure it's working before you install it. They sometimes break off or bend out of position.

* Adjust the clutch fork to work in the center of its range. Adjust the clutch linkage if it's mechanical. With hydraulic clutches, check for any possible binding. The idea is for the entire assembly to function smoothly and consistently without binding.

* If you're having trouble lining up the clutch fork, there is an adjustable clutch fork pivot ball available. It can adjust 151/416-1111/416 inches.

* If you've bent the clutch linkage, there are replacement units available made from heat-treated, 4140 chrome steel.

* Use only approved fasteners when mounting the flywheel to the crank and the pressure plate to the flywheel. The same holds true for automatics and mounting flexplates. Always check the length of the bolts so they don't bottom out. Use the crisscross method of tightening, and they'll need to be torqued. Also, do a rotation check so they don't impact the block after they pass through the crank.

* If you have a damaged ring gear, it can usually be replaced. Manufacturers sell replacement ring gears that fit both steel and aluminum units.

* Make sure the new clutch disc is installed correctly. It has an offset. If it is in backwards, it will bend and run out of balance. It could take the pressure plate with it when it goes, too. Always make sure the sprung center of the disc is facing away from the flywheel.

* A pilot tool is a good thing to have. You can make one from the input shaft of a broken tranny or buy a metal or plastic one locally. There are many different sizes out there. The spline and the length and diameter of the tip have to match. Clutch kits usually come with pilot tools. Always use the tool instead of your tranny to line up the components.

* When inspecting the flywheel, make sure the crank's flange is clear of all burrs.

* Sometimes there are lever blocks in a new pressure plate. After it's torqued into place, remove the blocks from between the levers and cover.

* Check your shifting linkage and replace all worn pieces, pilot points, and bushings.

Using OEM Parts
* On stock cast-iron flywheels, small heat cracks often appear on the surface. It is normal unless they extend to the center of the recess, in which case it's junk and you need to get it off the car.

* On Fords it is advisable to beef up the bellcrank with some triangulation. Welding on some reinforcement can help this piece work better under higher pressure. Take the piece off the car and wash out the grease. Blast the part, inspect for cracks, and weld on the extra reinforcement. Paint the part, install it into the car, grease it, and you're done.

* Certain engines come with a counterweight in the flywheel to compensate for the lack of counterweight in the crankshaft. This is known as Detroit balance, and those parts usually have a different listing in the catalogs. Make sure you know if yours has such a weight.

* For all types of cars, using a simple stud kit for attaching the pressure plate has benefits. It's easier overall. Put the clutch disc in place with the pilot/spline tool. Hang the pressure plate on studs and you won't have to hold up a heavy steel pressure plate while working the bolts into the flywheel. If you mess up the threads on the studs, the flywheel is still good. It makes good sense, considering how inexpensive a stud kit can be.