Violent shaking when engaging clutch

Hi there, new member here. I have a 98 Ford Explorer Sport V6 with a 5-speed and 4wd (mechanically Identical to the Ranger) and I’ve been having a problem ever since the new clutch was put in.

The previous clutch cracked in some way and took the pressure plates with it, so it has an all new clutch and plates, installed by a friend who has a shop. Ever since getting the new hardware, I get a violent vibration when letting out the clutch in First or Reverse from a stop. Friend says it’s probably the flywheel, and that fixing it is more trouble than it’s worth-- just live with it. If I rev the throttle a bit while letting off the clutch, it engages much more smoothly, but if I do this at idle it shakes violently.

The one weird thing is that it doesn’t do this when the engine is cold. For the first ten minutes of driving, the clutch engages smoothly like any other car, but as the engine comes up to temp the shaking returns. This doesn’t sound like the flywheel to me…

Any ideas?

Take it to a real mechanic for a check. Sounds like your “friend” installed something wrong, or used a defective part.

Loose or missing transmission or engine mounting bolts. I did a clutch on my Tundra and forgot the mounting bolts on one side. it did the same thing.

Clutches used to be adjustable when none of them were hydraulic. If the release point was too low to the floor you could get chatter and shake. Maybe the push rod can be lengthened. I have not had the problem since I had a 1969 car.

Then there is the broken motor mount or transmission mount that could do it. There could also be a problem if you have a pilot bearing with worn out rollers. Loose bolts at the bell housing is another good one. I just noticed Pattycakes post which just appeared as I was typing this. Good one. Problems can happen even if our friends are good mechanics.

I am going to make the assumption that your friend did not resurface or replace the flywheel when he did the clutch. This should have been done, the chattering you are feeling will eventually damage your new clutch as well. Incorrect installation can also cause a new clutch to chatter. I would look for a new shop to evaluate the problem.

Yes. The flywheel should at least be deglazed, resurfaced if needed. And also the pressure plate is coated with a gummy coating to prevent corrosion which if not washed away will cause severe chatter.

X2 Rod Knox. A juddering clutch is a symptom of oil or grease on one of the friction surfaces.

A warped or glazed flywheel is the first suspect. If your friend did not service the flywheel during the clutch job then oops; he made a mistake for which he now has a vested interest in not redoing.
“Live with it…” is a bit distasteful way of buck passing in my opinion.

Other possibilities could be a bad pilot bearing, leaking rear main seal which is contaminating the new disc, worn trans mainshaft bearings, excessive engine crankshaft end play, damaged transmission mount, driveline problem, etc; all of which should be checked as part of a clutch job.