I have a very interesting problem with my '97 ford escort. This is a 5 speed car with about 100,000 miles total. I've driven it for 4 years.
I started getting a scraping rotational noise (just noise, the response, feel, and function is all the same) when the clutch petal was depressed. I took it to three different mechanics, all of whom said it was likely the Throwout Bearing, and that the whole clutch may as well be replaced while they were in there. I got it replaced, then drove to Michigan for the holidays. Near the end of my return trip, the clutch started making the same noise (about 1000 miles later, almost all highway).
So in a nutshell, I replaced the clutch, and 1000 miles later, it started having the same problem.
What could cause a clutch to break? I'm thinking alignment, wheel bearings (I do get some front end vibration at high speeds), pilot bearings, bad CV joint. I don't know. Seems like something on the way to the wheel that's out of whack and stressing out the clutch. Does any of that sound plausible? Anyone else have any idea what could cause a clutch to go out, or do we think it was improperly installed?