Technical Punto HGT 1.8 How to remove gearbox to replace clutch

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Technical Punto HGT 1.8 How to remove gearbox to replace clutch


New member
Dec 13, 2021
2003 Punto HGT 1.8 clutch replacement. Did this on the weekend, no pics sorry, just the steps we took in case it's useful for anyone else. Hopefully I didn't miss any steps as this is from memory the following day.

1. Remove airbox and pipes, battery and tray, left side wheel and wheel liner/splash shield.
2. Disconnect clutch slave cylinder (2x bolts on top of gearbox) - don't disconnect the hose and don't loose the push rod which I believe can fall out of the rubber boot if you not careful.
3. Disconnect the gear selector cables (snap off the ball joint at the end, remove the metal clip locking to the bracket from each then push the cable back thru the hole till you can lift it out of the bracket).
4. Drop the exhaust downpipe, you can release it from the exhaust manifold and the flexi will let it droop out of the way, just don't let it bend too much or will damage the flexi. Also don't forget to unplug the 2x O2 sensor wires first (easiest to just unplug the wires than remove the sensors).
5. Remove starter motor (this is probably the hardest part to get out), we found it best to remove the 2x sets of power wires (held on with nuts) from the back of the starter motor, remove the plastic support bracket under the intake manifold, then remove the 3x bolts holding in the starter (all bolt in from the starter motor side not gearbox side which makes them very difficult to get to). We had one person with the socket and extensions under the car and another above to guide the socket onto the bolt heads. You will need various length extensions and a flexi/swivel joint to get to all the bolts.
6. Remove the left-side axle, take off the axle nut (recommend a rattle gun), rotate the axle to get to all the hex bolts on the gearbox end, tip - find a point where the tool is straight-on to the bolts as these are easy to damage/slip if your tool isn't in straight. Also don't damage the CV boots in the process.
5. Put a jack under the engine to support it, then remove the rear gearbox bracket under the car, and the side mount (take the 3x bolts off the end of gearbox and the top bolt off the mount, lower the engine and box till the bracket can be removed.
7. Put another jack under the gearbox and undo all the bolts and nuts holding the gearbox on, there are several 18mm and a couple of 13mm (? from memory) on the bottom.
8. Make sure you unplugged anything going into the gearbox (I think there is only 1x plug from memory)
9. Jiggle/pry the box back away from the engine. Note if it doesn't separate double/triple check you have removed all the bolts/starter/brackets/etc. Note the thin metal flywheel cover stays on the engine side when the gearbox is removed.
10. Pull the gearbox away from the engine. Note it is sitting on the engine output shaft, as well as the right-side axle and a big stud above the right axle, so you have to move it back before it can drop down. You cannot just slide it all the way off because it will hit the frame/crossmember. So you will need to raise/lower/twist the engine till you can get it back far enough. We had to lever the engine away from the firewall a bit for it to clear.

Once gearbox is out, change the clutch/etc, there are plenty of generic instructions for this. Putting back together is the reverse, except actually getting the gearbox back on is way more difficult. Try not to damage the rubber seal for the offside axle while your shoving it on. You need to try and get the gearbox as straight as possible (parallel with engine) for everything to line up and slide in. Also sometimes the splines in the clutch or the axle are off and wont let it slide in. Rotating the flywheel a fraction can help, but usually it fights you for hours and just will not go on, then suddenly it just slips on easy - it's weird. You may have to lever the engine/box to get clearance with the frame again.