I think one of the longest threads I’ve ever posted on Maseratilife.com or SportsMaseratiuk.com had to do with changing a clutch in a F1 Maserati. It’s another reason why I think a separate website is so much better to host this information. Most of the time it just bleeds into the rest of the other forum topics and isn’t found again until a specific Google search is performed.
So you are either a DIYer and want to try this on your own, or you’re a shop trying to expand your experience with these automobiles. Before I get into this subject however, I must warn you. This is not for the faint of heart. You will still need to bring the car to someone who can set the PIS on the car, and also re-write the clutch configuration data so the vehicle knows it has a new clutch in it. This can only be done with an SD2/3 tool or an aftermarket tool like the Leonardo system.
Additionally, be warned, you always need to bed a new clutch in. You should not be taking off like you are in a F1 race as soon as you are finished. No, much rather for the first 500-700 miles your shifts and take offs should be nice and smooth. You will not be going over 55 mph. Your driving should be akin to your grandmother driving a car. I assure you, you will not be happy if you glaze over the brand new friction discs in the car or hot spot the newly re-finished flywheel. If you do so you will have terrible engagement, or you will be taking the car apart.
I want to add here as well, there are really two ways to take these cars apart to do a clutch job, and depending on whether you are doing this yourself or in a shop would probably determine which way you should go. If you are in a shop I would more than likely drop the entire sub-frame with tires and all, you will have the lift to raise the vehicle. Keep the sub-frame/torque tube as one unit, take the torque tube from the bell housing.
If you are attempting this by yourself or with a friend I would leave the sub frame. Loosen it for clearance, and remove the torque tube and gear box from the sub frame but leave it in the car. Either way it is totally up to you. If you are removing the sub-frame with the gearbox and all, don’t take the trunk apart unless you are having clearance issues. You shouldn’t. The sub-frame, gearbox, and torque tube can be removed as a unit if you have the correct tools to do so.
I will be showing here, more of a private setting to take it apart though I do have the car on a lift. My first F1 Maserati I did with cradling, in a small garage years ago, so it is possible. Contrary to what people may think you don’t need a huge garage with a lift to service these cars. If you are a mechanic, or mechanically inclined the tools don’t give you experience or skill you must have that already. If you have that you could do this in a driveway if you wanted to. I once replaced an F1 pump in the driveway of a Client’s car that was a few hours away from me. I laid on cardboard as a make shift creeper. He needed the help, and I didn’t mind doing it.
Take the Trunk Apart
First things first, lets get the trunk apart so you can have enough clearance to slide the gear box back away from the torque tube.
As you can see by the photos above, you simply first need to remove the plastic trim piece around the trunk latch before you can pull the carpeted piece up that sits in the trunk well. You will need a Philips screw driver or a motorized tool of your choosing. You’ll also need this to remove the well itself. This is assuming if you keep stuff in your trunk you have removed it, including a spare tire if you have one.
Next is the actual trunk well itself, again a Philips but you’ll also need an 8mm because there are some studs that come through with nuts on them. The studs should come up at the bottom of the well closest to the latch.
In the last photo above you can see exactly four holes (those are the 8mm studs) at the bottom and two on the side. On the sides its philips and sometimes you need to pull the insulation away to get to them like this:
When you are finished you pull the well out and set it aside. You should see this heat shield next:
In order to take the heat shield out of the way. You have to get under the car. Now I’m assuming if you are at home or have your own garage you should already have the entire car about 2′-3′ in the air. Whether cradling or jack stands, you’ll want to be able to put a creeper under the car and slide back and forth. You’ll also want to be able to drop the entire exhaust to slide it out. So you need to get the car in a position that makes it easiest on you.
When you get under the car you should remove the rear valance, it’s the one below. It will be easier after removing the valance, which is basically torx head bolts, to then remove the exhaust before we remove the heat shield. The 4200 is a bit different how it detaches as there are other bolts inside of the valance on either side. Whereas the pic below just shows torx heads on the outside parameter and sides.
Front Sway Bar and Exhaust
Next we need to remove the front cross member and sway bar in order to drop the entire exhaust out of the way.
The first two photos above show the support cross member that has to be dropped. It’s two, 13mm bolts, on either side that needs to be removed. After doing so, pry it down and remove it. It should be concave and must be put back the same way.
Next you are looking at detaching the front sway bar. You don’t need to remove it, you can just let it hang out of the way. Both caps are easy to spot in the next photos above. I cannot remember but I think they are 14-15 mm. Remove these and drop the sway bar down.
Here is another photo with the cross member and sway bar dropped:
Next we need to drop the exhaust:
Unfortunately, this photo is blurred. But you can basically see that each manifold just before the secondary cats have two bolts. They are hex head bolts and need to be removed.
Here in this photo above on the top right hand side you will see a metal bracket attached by the secondary cat. It’s 13 mm and is holding each cat in the same area. They need to be loosened to drop the exhaust down.
There’s brackets attaching the rear part of the exhaust manifold to the gear box like above. Those also need to be detached. There’s one on either side.
Lastly, you’ll need to remove the pipes from the rear boxes like so, it’s 15mm on each box. Just rock and twist them out:
Removed and out of the way it will look like this:
Okay, now lets get that heat shield out of the way:
8mm nuts on these studs, the front ones are easy, the ones toward the rear of the car will be a bit more difficult. Use a wobble socket with wobble/swivel extensions it will help out. Then fold up the heat shield a bit to get it out of the way. Remove it from the car being careful not to scratch the paint on the rest of the rear valance.
Torque Tube and Gearbox
So you are looking at 8 15mm nuts on each side to the torque tube. In order to reach the 15mm nuts on the top part of the torque tube toward the gear box you need an “S” wrench like this one. However, toward the front you can just use a couple of long extensions with swivel/wobbles like these photos below. Obviously, the impact is optional. You can also get to the top bolts on the other side with an “S” wrench as well:
What you’ll want to do is detach the torque tube closest to the gear box first. You’re not dropping it yet. You will just be detaching it in order to get the gear box ready to slide back out of the sub-frame cradling. Additionally, since you are close to the floor already you can get a jack stand to support the torq tube so it doesn’t hit the floor when you remove it from the gearbox.
Next before we separate the gearbox we need to remove the mounting bolts to the Emergency brake. In order to do so, if you are under the car, you should have it in the air anyway. You can not have the emergency brake engaged to loosen the hardware. It will create too much stress on the cable if it’s engaged.
Here are some photos of what you will need to be loosening:
If you have a 4200’s series car, the E brake will be attached to the Torque Tube. You’ll have to reach around on top, and you’ll also have it bolted into the slot of the side of the torque tube. The GS you only need to disconnect the hangers and brackets. The last picture is the hanger above the gearbox. You need to make sure and detach it or you’ll have a heck of a time getting the gear box out. Here’s a photo of the one above the gear box that was bent when it was done not realizing it was still there:
Next, you’ll go around to reach up into the trunk area. You will see the connecting harness to the gearbox on the left side of the car like so:
Now, you will also see the rear cross member in this photo. But before you loosen those you’ll need to detach the half shafts on either side of the gear box going out to your rear wheels. Unfortunately I don’t have photos for that specifically, but it’s okay because you’ll clearly see where they attach. You’ll need a 13mm socket or wrench. If your car is in neutral it will make it that much easier. Just spin the rear tires to rotate around to the next bolt. Once you are finished push the half shafts out of the way. You don’t have to worry about removing them.
Next is the rear cross member, four 13 mm bolts on either side, but also remember to detach the heat shield on the right side that folds around it. You should have a jack under the gear box. Once you complete this you’ll pry apart where the torque tube is in front of the gear box. This will push the gear box rear-ward in order to separate it. The cradling will support the gear box as you continue to pull it rear-ward and pivot it out of the cradling. If you feel you need a little more space you can un-bolt the sub-frame bolts, 3 on either side to give you more. You don’t need to completely remove them. Here’s what you’ll have when done:
Again you should have already had the jack stand holding the back of the torque tube up. You can just slide the gear box out of the way as a unit.
You will see the hydraulic line running down the torque tube. I don’t think I mentioned disconnecting this from right under the gear box above but it’s a quick disconnect similar to what you’d see on an air compressor. Just push it back and it will detach. Running down the torque tube is 10mm nuts holding the hydraulic line that need to be unbolted before you can take the torque tube down.
Once you’ve done so, you can detach the other bolts on the torque tube. Place a jack to support the front part. Pry it apart from the bell housing and lower it down. Remember this is heavy!
Bell Housing and Clutch Removal
Next up you’ll need to unplug the F1 position sensor wire on the right hand side of the bell housing. I usually just wind the hydraulic line up and wire tie it together to get it out-of-the-way. F1 position sensor wire below.
Next you’ll need to get that swivel/wobble end ready again for the top bell housing bolts. Work your way around until you have them all.
Once you get them all out, just make sure the heat shield is out of the way above the bell housing when you start prying it apart, it will take some persuasion to get it apart. The heat shield begins to sag down a little over time. Just take the end of a hammer and press up. It bends fairly easy.
When you are done this is what you should have:
Next you will have the pressure plate and clutch still on the flywheel:
You should notice nine (9) different hex head bolts around the outside diameter of the pressure plate. DO NOT try and take those out one at a time. You will strip the last couple of bolt holes with the remaining bolts as you take them out. Since you’ll want to resurface the flywheel this would be a terrible situation when you go to reinstall the new pressure plate and flywheel.
What you will do is take your 5mm or 5.5 mm hex head socket, and go clockwise. or counterclockwise. Slowly loosen each bolt about a half a turn. Walk it around just like this to slightly release the tension of the pressure plate to remove it. When it’s off you will have the flywheel like below.
No special tricks for this. Take a socket and take the bolts off, and tap the flywheel off. Be careful as well, it has a bit of weight to it like the pressure plate and friction discs do.
The final step will be your spigot bearing- in the U.S. we usually call it the Pilot bearing. If you don’t have a pilot bearing puller, don’t fret, let me teach you an alternative method.
Basically this method is a way to apply a kind of hydraulic pressure to the back of the Spigot bearing to press it out of the crank shaft. Some guys like to use grease which is going to be really messy. I like to use bread because it’s less messy and you don’t need an air tight seal so the grease doesn’t blow back on you.
So here’s how you’ll do it. Take black electrician’s tape, or a good holding tape like this. Wrap it around your 3/8″ socket extension until it barely fits into the hole in the middle of the spigot bearing.
Next shove bread into the center of the spigot bearing hole until you cannot get anymore in:
Next take a hammer and put the extension right into the hole, and hammer the bread into it. Take the extension out, and put more bread in. Repeat over and over again until the Spigot pops out like this:
Then just clean all of the bread out of the hole. If you’d like, take your new spigot bearing that you have and get a socket that covers the outside edge of the bearing. Now flip the socket around where the rachet would normally go, and hammer the new one into place. It’s supposed to be really snug, so don’t lubricate this at all, in order to get it into the crank.
F1 Position Sensor and Thrust Bearing Removal
When you flip the bell housing up, the first thing you are going to see is the center shaft coming through the middle, the thrust bearing sitting on the sleeve, and the F1 position sensor with the wiring coming out.
The earlier model 4200’s don’t have the star set up like this where there are 5 hex bolts at each point to release. This one is from a GS so it does have it like this. A Quattroporte should also look like this. If it’s a GranTurismo S F1 car, the F1 position sensor will be off to the side a bit. Let me show you the difference- this photo is the GS/Facelift/Quat bell housing:
This one below is the really early model 4200’s assembly:
Before loosening up the hex bolts at the five points you will need to detach the hydraulic lines going to the slave cylinder of the thrust bearing. Additionally loosen the bolts holding the F1 position sensor wire in place.
After you pull the lines out you can remove the 5 bolts that are at each point of the star in the bell housing. Then remove that assembly, it will look like this:
The photo above is how you will do the later models, however, if you have the earlier model without the star mounting, this is what you’ll need to do:
Take the two opposing bolts out on either side of the base of the thrust/slave cylinder sleeve.
Then the thrust bearing mounting bolts:
Please again note you will not have to go through this with the star mounting in the later models.
After you loosen these, you will be able to slightly clock the slave cylinder sleeve in order to get to the hex head mounting bolt underneath it. This older design was a bit of a hassle as you can see. But when you’re done this is what you’ll have:
Now that you have this apart, you can remove the F1 position sensor and it’s mounting base from the bottom of the assembly:
Tips for Installation
The magnet protruding from the bottom of the slave cylinder is a very important piece. This is what the F1 position sensor slides over in order to make the hall effect sensor work. Additionally, do not forget, this is what tells the NCR what position the thrust bearing is in. It transmits the data for clutch wear, PIS, and a host of other functions.
The pin must be pressed out, or you can remove it with a hammer and pin of like size. When you put this back on the new thrust bearing, that screw head ALWAYS faces forward, regardless if it’s a Ferrari or Maserati.
A small digression on this topic. Not long ago I helped a gentleman with his GTS F1 car. The car wasn’t shifting correctly, and throwing F1 position sensor codes. He took it apart and thankfully he sent pictures to me. The clutch had been replaced not long ago. At first, my thoughts centered around the F1 position sensor being faulty. When I received the photos I could tell right away, they had installed this magnet backwards. That, we believe, was the actual culprit though he replaced the sensor anyway. Magnets do have poles, don’t reverse them by placing the magnet backwards. Here are some photos showing what I am explaining:
I normally do not use the OEM thrust bearing from Maserati. They had various issues to begin with, and I feel Hill Engineering makes a more trustworthy component.
When you get ready to put this back together, I am kind of hoping you paid attention to how it came apart. If not here are a couple of pics to help out.
This photo is how the springs should sit in the back of the thrust bearing. Because they can fall out if you’re not careful, it’s best to post these:
Most people think they have to purchase a new flywheel in these cars in order to complete the full service. I know mechanics that merely clean off the old one and re-install. That’s one extreme. The other is to purchase a new flywheel.
You can get away with not doing anything to the flywheel at all. I don’t recommend it. These flywheels develop hot spots because of the F1 system and how it engages. This is especially true when the PIS point is high and it slips more off the line. Maybe some pictures would be better to show you. Here are two flywheels from two different F1 Maseratis:
Hot spots in flywheels will cause the friction discs not to engage the full surface of the flywheel face. It’s basically hardened metal in those areas where increased heat was created.
When flywheels are resurfaced minute amounts of metal are taken from the face, and run out is checked. This positively removes any hot spots and additionally removes any micro cracking on the surface as well. This will affect where the PIS of the car will be set but any tech that knows how to set the PIS, will be unconcerned about this. Before I forget most machine shops will already see where the pressure plate mounts around the outside edge and will take the same amount off here to make sure it’s all done uniformly. If you’re concerned, make sure you mention this to them when you bring it in.
Here are those same flywheels after being machined, hot tanked, and checked for run out:
Please notice the difference in thickness of the top flywheel from the one just below it. The top flywheel is from an early Spyder. The flywheel weighs about twice as much as the one below it. The one below it is from a later model GS. Flywheel resurfacing will only cost about $100.
Clutch balancing comes up from time to time. Here’s my recommendation. If you have the heavy flywheel get the clutch and flywheel dynamically balanced together at a machine shop. If you have the smaller flywheel don’t worry about it and follow the service manual and clock the factory balancing marks 180 degrees apart from each other. Below is picture of a dynamically balanced flywheel. I don’t want to draw this out by talking about tolerance stacking and why it would be beneficial for one and not necessarily the other. I can state I’ve had both tested at machine shops. The thicker ones tolerances were a bit more than the thinner one. I was specifically told not to waste money on the thinner flywheels, but the thicker ones benefitted more from being balanced together with the clutch assembly. I bring all this up because they sell kits to balance the flywheel in the car. I can say with certainty they are not necessary, and I’ve seen people charged for them when the dealership knew they would not use them.
I mentioned clocking the factory marks 180 degrees from each other. When you take the flywheel in make sure they score it so it’s not hot tanked off . But here are the marks on both the flywheel and the pressure plate. It’s the yellow and white lines. When you open the new box of the clutch/pp you will see the factory mark right on the front face of the pressure plate.
As you can imagine, this has been a very long post and I’ve been waiting to say this. The rest of installation, is the reverse of how it was removed. I think I’ve covered everything I could to help out.
Please feel free to contact me if you have a special situation or need consultation on a specific issue.