Smell of burning clutch in a car with a recently replaced clutch

Hey folks!

I have a 2003 Subaru Forester, manual transmission, about 185,000 miles. I had the clutch replaced back in March. It’s happened several times over the past, oh, two weeks or so, that I’ve been driving and smelled that telltale smell of burning clutch. Each time it’s been shortly after I’ve started driving with a cool engine, and it’s usually when I’m in 5th gear, going about 60 on the highway-foot not on the clutch, not shifting, not driving with any additional load or stress on the car, not even driving uphill. The gears all shift fine and it doesn’t feel like it’s slipping, but I know that smell can never be a good thing so I’m wondering if anyone has any insight into what’s causing this and how serious it might be. Thanks!

Assuming the entire clutch kit was replaced, there could be several reasons.

Insufficient free play in the clutch pedal.

A problem with the Hill Holder if so equipped.

A clutch cable not adjusted properly. (See free play…)

A problem with the guide sleeve (holds the throwout bearing) hanging up on the nose of the transmission housing. (This should be thoroughly checked with every Subaru clutch job. Many people are unaware of it.)
There is a stainless repair sleeve available to fix this problem. Steel guide sleeve; soft aluminum case nose. Not hard to see why there would be an issue…

Hope that helps.

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Just possibly it’s the smell of a dragging brake caliper. Have you checked for an overheated brake after a bout of heavy braking?