The mechanical principle of the self-adjusting clutch alignment tool is quite simple. Its only function is to ensure perfect alignment between the clutch friction plate and the pilot bearing (also known as the guide bearing) at the end of the crankshaft. Aligning the friction plate and the pilot bearing by hand is not difficult. The real problem comes when you lower the torque and clamp the pressure plate behind the friction plate.
During this process, the friction plate can easily be knocked out of place. This is something you need to get right the first time. Otherwise, if it is not centered, you will not be able to get the transmission into the spline curve. Simply align the tool to support the friction plate while you install and tighten the pressure plate, and it will not move. It will remain aligned, and the installation of your gearbox will be easy. To illustrate this point, consider the splined portion of the input shaft of the gearbox that mates with the friction plate after the transmission is installed, while the rest of the input shaft is connected to the sleeve bearing at the end of the crankshaft.
The self-adjusting clutch alignment tool is only necessary when installing a clutch, as it helps to reduce the guesswork involved in aligning the friction plate manually. These clutch alining tools are typically made of injection-molded plastic and are easy to manufacture. This is what makes them cheap and easy to obtain. In fact, most aftermarket clutch kits come with a free alignment tool. When selecting a self-adjusting clutch alignment tool, the most important thing is to match the number of splines on the tool to the number of splines on the input shaft. If you only want to repair one car and you know exactly what size you need, consider buying a tool to avoid cluttering your mechanic's toolbox.
If you are working on multiple cars or running a garage, it makes more sense to purchase a suitable alignment tool kit with multiple different size pins. Even so, it is recommended that you carefully check the size range and make sure it is suitable for the cars you intend to use it on. Want something that is almost universally applicable? Consider researching a universal self-adjusting clutch alignment tool. These are not specific sizes, so you really can't go wrong. Therefore, if you need only one self adjusting clutch tool that can do all the work, this is a great option.