I'm in the process of cobbling together a custom clutch fork/pivot/throwout bearing setup for a classic Chevy with a reproduction clutch, but I'm having difficulty measuring the clutch pressure plate travel to ensure that the clutch is adjusted properly. Trying to measure the travel from the rear surface of the throwout bearing while someone else presses the clutch pedal results in different measurements depending on which part of the bearing I measure from, so I was hoping to test the clutch adjustment instead by inserting either the alignment tool or a spare transmission input shaft into the clutch disc, and checking that the clutch spins freely while a helper presses the pedal.

Is it typical to be able to spin the clutch pressure plate in this way by hand if the clutch pedal is pressed, or does it require more force than that even with a properly-adjusted clutch?

1 Answer 1


Once you release the clamping force of the pressure plate, the clutch centre plate should rotate freely - if it does not then that will cause difficulties changing gear.

if you release the clamping plate pressure you need either the gearbox input shaft to locate the centre plate or the alignment tool - if you have nothing the centre plate will drop out of alignment.

  • I understand that the pressure plate releases the clutch when pressed, but my question is whether a typical clutch has too much friction or weight to spin by hand even when disengaged fully. My goal is to be able to properly test the clutch without having to completely reinstall the transmission.
    – rb54
    Mar 26, 2019 at 4:18
  • Put the car in gear, clutch down and rotate one of the drive wheels - block the other, wheel and therefore clutch should rotate - hard because you have to turn the complete drive train. If you had made it clear in your question that the transmission was fitted it would have helped... Saying you wanted to insert an lignment tool or spare input shaft implied the trans was not fitted...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 26, 2019 at 7:32

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