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Repair shop replaced clutch rubber boot; now feel vibration in clutch and gas pedals

17 June 2007
San Jose, CA
A shop put in a new stock clutch in my '93. The new clutch worked BEAUTIFULLY. They did notice that the rubber boot (I think it covers where the clutch arm goes through the clutch housing) was missing and ordered me another one. So 3-4 weeks after the clutch replacement, the boot came in and they installed it. Since then I feel a constant vibration/rattling in the clutch pedal and also to some extent in the gas pedal. It feels like I can feel a ratty throwout bearing spinning but it's there whether I have the clutch engaged or not. Furthermore, the clutch started chattering a little bit after they installed this boot and the chattering has gotten worse during the four weeks since then.

They say that they can't find anything wrong and all they did was install the rubber boot. Any ideas what could be causing this? One hypothesis is that the boot is telegraphing vibration into the arm which transmits it to the clutch pedal and the gas pedal (but no vibration in the brake pedal, for some reason). And the clutch chattering is mystifying--it was silky smooth the first thousand miles or so. I'm very gentle on the clutch, by the way, though last week I had to back up on a steep hill and there was a very strong burning smell (though the chattering and vibration were happening before this incident).

Any ideas?

First the Rubber boot is just there for protection of the internals, so it is not going to cause any vibration.

I would guess that they did not go thru the initialization process with the clutch plates on your car...ask them if they did or know how this is done.

Read about it here:


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If the clutch was working properly before the boot install it is not an initialization issue. If the clutch was not initialized properly it would not disengage properly after the original installation.

But the way, this initialization process is only used in the dual plate clutch to set the start position of the intermediate plate for the dual disk setup. It is unique to the OEM dual plate clutch.

What you want to check is for proper lubrication on the throw out bearing sleeve, although again, if it was "perfect" when you got it back it is hard to imagine grease issues in such a short time.

In order to install the boot, they had to remove the clutch slave cylinder. That mounting should be checked again, JMO......

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Update: The shop removed the boot, and now the clutch engagement is smooth as silk! All I can think is that either the boot was binding the lever arm or the mechanic did something that he's not telling me about (he did have sort of an attitude when he went out on a test drive with me--who knows what he's doing). The gas and clutch pedals, though, still have rattling/vibration in them, just as strong or even worse. I'm currently trying to find another shop nearby that does NSXs to bring the car in for a second opinion. The original shop says that they can't find anything wrong or figure out how replacing the clutch could cause vibration in the pedals.

A side note is that, starting about eight years ago and slowly getting worse over time, the shift lever had gotten stickier and stickier, eventually not even going into gear at all for a few moments sometimes. The new clutch completely eliminated that problem (they also put Redline oil in my transmission at the same time)--the shift lever glides in and out smooth as silk now! I wonder if the lack of the boot caused junk to slowly accumulate inside the clutch housing and make the shifting sticky, or maybe the clutch wasn't even fully disengaging. Anyway, I'm worried about leaving the boot off, but that chattering whenever I engaged the clutch was really bugging me.

The whole situation is a bit mystifying...
Did they adjust clutch pedal after the install? Where does it start to bite now? Boot won't cause any vibration - make no sense. Where are you located?