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 nets 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!

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