Project Cappuccino: Clutches, Oil Leaks, and Kei Car Oddities
Homemade Cappuccino Clutch Installation Tool
The Cusco kit does not include an alignment tool for the new clutch. This is a pretty serious issue as a misaligned clutch disc makes installing the transmission very difficult. The Cappuccino input shaft is so tiny that most universal tools won’t work either. We ended up making one out of a 5/16” nut driver taped to a ¼” socket with a ⅜” drive and extension. The nut driver fits into the pilot bearing in the flywheel and the socket is almost the right OD to fit into the clutch disc splines. Getting the transmission on still required a bit of persuasion, but our tool did 90% of the job.
Cusco Cappuccino Clutch Installed
With the clutch cover installed and torqued down, we can move to our transmission and get it ready to reinstall.
Cappuccino Vs Samurai Throwout Bearing
The source of our annoying whirring noise was the throwout bearing. The old bearing is on the left, the new Samurai bearing on the right. The construction is slightly different, but the important dimensions are all the same.
Samurai Throwout Bearing Installed
We cleaned out the bellhousing, greased up the input shaft, and the Samurai bearing slipped right into place on the release fork. It is important to note that Suzuki recommends two different lubricants for the input shaft. Standard petroleum-based grease goes on the splines and throwout bearing while lithium grease is used on the snout where it goes into the pilot bearing.
Cappuccino Transmission Reinstalled
With everything prepared, we could get the gearbox back into place. We filled the gearbox with just over a quart of Royal Purple 75W-90 gear oil (seriously, that’s all it takes) and adjusted the tension of the clutch cable. From that point on, the rest of the installation is just the opposite of removal.

After a few hundred miles of break-in, we are happy to report the Cusco clutch ticks all our boxes nicely.  It is a bit heavier than our old clutch, but still very light overall.  The engagement isn’t bad but it can be grabby at stoplights.  It bites hard making for great autocross launches.  The resurfaced flywheel has solved our high engagement problem as well.  The new throwout bearing has removed all of our clutch noises.  For a pure street car, I would recommend the clutch that we removed (which I believe is an Exedy OEM replacement clutch) which was featherweight on the left leg and engaged a bit more smoothly.  We never had issues with it slipping even with our sticky RE-71R tires.  However, for a mixed-use car like our Cappuccino, we believe the Cusco clutch will be the better choice in the long term.

However, we are not yet done with our Cappuccino!  While we were under here we replaced a few other things.  We’ll be back soon to tell you all about the other driveline parts we installed to help freshen up our 30-year EA-11R.

More Project Cappuccino

Road Trip Part 1

Road Trip Part 2

Witchcraft & Wizardry

Blitz DTT and Wrapping Up The Interior

Better Braking With Project Mu 

Modern Tires, Ancient Car

A Terrifying Problem

Sources

Cusco

MegaZip

J-Tune Performance

Royal Purple Lubricants

JTC Auto Tools

3 comments

  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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