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Discussion Starter #1
Alright everyone, I got an odd one. This has been going on for probably the past year or just under.

It all started back in June of 2014. I have a 1996 Mustang GT 5-speed that is all stock with 85,000 miles on it. I was driving to work one morning and when I pushed the clutch pedal in my car started screaming like metal on metal rubbing. So I turned around and dropped it off at the Ford dealership. They got back with me the same day saying that it was my clutch that went out. Seemed legitimate to me based on the noise and how the clutch was feeling before it went out. They informed me that at that time the OEM clutch was on BO and I could go with an aftermarket clutch. I was ok with the aftermarket choice and had them go ahead and install the aftermarket clutch. They installed the aftermarket clutch and I got my car back a day or two later.

I drove the car for a week or two before I started hearing a small squeal coming from under the car. Over time I realized that the squeal would go away when I would press the clutch pedal down. Fearing that it was my clutch going out again I took it back to the dealership and had them look at it again. They believed it was a bad clutch kit so they took out the first one they installed and replaced it with the same kind since it was covered by warranty. Again, I got my car back a few days later and began to drive it a couple days a week. About another week went by and the same squeal was back. I drove it for a few days to see if it would go away but it remained and as I drove the car more the squeal would get louder.

I took the car back to the dealership a third time and had them look over it again. They explained that they would like to wait and try to get the OEM clutch kit that was on BO and install that. I agreed and drove my car with the squeal for the time being until the dealership could find the OEM kit. About two months went by and they had no luck. During this time I had worked my way up to the GM of the dealership about my problem.

Finally, after two months of looking the parts department found an OEM clutch kit and had it ordered for my car. I brought the car in a fourth time to have them install the OEM kit. Once they had it installed I received my car back and drove it a few days and sure enough the squeal was back. I brought it back to the dealership and had them look at it and listen to the squeal. At that point they had their entire senior techs look at my car, had talked to Ford directly about what the problem could be. No one really knew what could be causing the squeal.

I did some research myself on multiple different forums and sites; I narrowed the problem down to the pilot bearing squealing. Some people would say it’s the TOB but the way I understand the clutch to work, the pilot bearing is spinning the entire time while it sits on the output shaft of the engine while the TOB is only spinning when the pedal is pressed to the floor, which in turn would only squeal when I pressed the pedal in and my problem is the exact opposite. I talked with the dealership that I had been working with and told them I was going to take it to another Ford dealership to get a second opinion. They agreed and understood.

I did exactly that and the second dealerships techs came back with the same opinion that it was either the TOB or the pilot bearing. I got the diagnoses sheet from the second dealership and returned to the first dealership I was working with and shared the second dealerships opinion. After a few days I got a call from the GM of the first dealership saying that they don’t know how to fix my car. They were completely stumped on what could be causing my problem. At this point it was mid October and I had already put the car away for winter storage. The GM went on to say that they would continue to work with me to find a solution to my problem. I got this statement in writing as well.

Jump forward to April and May of 2015 and I took my car back in to the dealership to see if they could determine what was wrong again since the squeal was getting louder as I drove more. They looked at it for a few days and decided it may be in need of a new flywheel but they were not sure if that would solve my problem. Based on their expertise, they explained to me that they would not feel comfortable installing anything more on my car since they are not sure it would fix my problem and agreed to refund all my money I had spent to this point.

So that’s where I am at. I have had three brand new clutches installed in my car, taken 5-6 trips to the dealership, about 5-6 weeks without my car since it was at the dealership and still have a loud squeal coming from my car. Every time the dealership would replace the clutch they would replace everything including the TOB and pilot bearing. The tech that I was working with at the dealership explained to me that everything in my transmission and my motor are within spec and tolerances and that nothing is out of line when installed. The last bit of information I have is that if there is a slight amount of pressure applied to the clutch pedal the squeal will go away. You don’t have to move the pedal far at all to make the squeal disappear.

So my question is, has anyone else had this consistent problem? Or have any other ideas of what it could be? If you have any questions please feel free to ask me. I’m on here a lot and have used this forum a lot for research and it has helped me solve so many little problems with my car. Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully I can find a fix to my problem with the help of everyone on this forum.
 

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That is your TOB making that noise. I have seen very differeing opinions on this as I have the EXACT same problem as you right now and have done extensive research on this...I am no expert but here it is...

Some say (adamantly) that there needs to be a slight preload on the TOB (which is how it came from Ford the day your car came off the factory floor). Some say (adamantly) that there needs to be 1/8-1/4 inch between the TOB and pressure plate. I have no advice on which way is the correct way. Seems to me, that since it is a bearing and is made to spin (and not slam into the pressure plate every time you press the clutch pedal down), that it needs to have a slight pre-load on it (which is what happens when you are pressing the clutch pedal in slightly and the squeal goes away) to avoid the slight squeal/squeak you are hearing.

One other option to do is to spray some white lithium grease on the shaft and TOB to lube it...that should subside the noise for a little while.

One question....what TOB did the dealer use? I assume a Ford OEM one since the last clutch kit installed was an OEM kit...? The OEM/FRPP TOB should always be used. Aftermarket TOB tend to fail prematurely.

I'm not sure if this helps or not but it might help the dealership you are dealing with with their diagnosis.

Again, I'm not totally sure if the TOB should or shouldn't have pre-load. I, personally (my opinion and soon-to-be practice), will put a slight pre-load on mine when I change mine out...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice to know that I'm not unique to this problem. I'm not sure what the tech did when he installed my TOB, either a pre-load or not. I'd have to ask, I've become pretty good friends with the tech over the last year or so. I assume the same as you that it was the OEM Ford TOB that was installed last since the last and current clutch installed was the OEM. My next thought was the lithium grease this weekend when I have time to raise my car up.
Thanks for the suggestions Jon! Much Appreciated!
 

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No problem. Update us if you get to the lithium grease. I plan on trying that too unless of course I see that the TOB is toast when I go to look at it.
 

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I have the same problem.... but mine is only occasionally like maybe 1/6 the time. It almost seems to be when I acedently slip the clutch excessively but idk. no clue what it is
 
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