Project Cappuccino: Clutches, Oil Leaks, and Kei Car Oddities

Last summer we noticed a whining noise coming from Project Cappuccino while sitting at stop lights.  The moment we put the clutch in to grab a gear, that noise went away.  That is indicative of a worn clutch release bearing.  We also noticed the clutch engaged very high on the pedal travel and no amount of adjusting on the clutch cable would fix this.  This was a sign the clutch itself was also worn.  A clutch replacement is a rather intensive DIY job and a perfect winter time project for our Cappuccino while it hides from the Rust Belt salt that will eat it alive.

Cusco Clutch & Throwout Bearing
Our clutch choices are somewhat limited, but our goals are straightforward: we daily drive our Cappuccino in the summer so we want something smooth and chatter-free, but something that can also handle a bit more power and hard backroad or autocross driving. We decided on Cusco’s Copper clutch kit. The copper-reinforced clutch disc should handle anything we can throw at it while being streetable. Cusco’s kit includes both the clutch disc and a reinforced clutch cover.
Cappuccino Clutch Disc & 10mm wrench
This is the tiniest clutch disc I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Here it is with a 10mm wrench for scale.
Cappuccino Clutch & SR20DET Flywheel
Or for a better perspective, here it is sitting on top of an SR20DET flywheel. You can see where the SR’s clutch bit down compared to our F6A clutch. Also, while this is a Cusco kit, it seems Cusco sources the clutch disc from Exedy.
Samurai Throwout Bearing
The Cusco kit does not include a throwout bearing, but a little internet sleuthing determined the Cappuccino and Samurai SUV share throwout bearing part numbers. This meant a quick trip up the street to the local auto parts store net us a replacement throwout bearing.
Cappuccino Belly Pan
Once the car is safely in the air, the first step is to remove the transmission tunnel cover panel to expose the exhaust.


  1. I love how tiny everything is.
    FYI the oversize gasket is meant to be cut off after installation, just before applying sealant.

    1. There were two different layers of silicone when I went in there 2 years ago and I reeeeeeeeallly didn’t want to be removing the entire transmission a third time! It may be small but it’s a PITA!

  2. I purchased the adjustable fly wheel tool you used. How did you get it to line up? None of the holes line up with the tool unless I am missing something incredibly simple.

    1. I put one stud in one of the upper transmission bolt holes (I want to say passenger side top but it’s been almost 2 years since I did this so I’m not 100% sure). Other one went into one of the casting recesses. There’s only one it really fits into. Pretty sure I had the tool set at its shortest length or close to it

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