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Thread: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Hi All,

    Very frustrated after a short ride and stop at a friends to, AGAIN, feel the clutch slipping quite substantially.

    On April 6, I posed that I had experienced a slipping clutch and found the full level of Red Line MTL, set days before, had fallen to the half mark on the trans dip stick. As stated then, when initially installing the Red Line MTL some 5 years ago, it had leaked throuogh the "O" ring into the closed Solenoid compartment and locked up the OD. Seeing the issue, I dropped the level of RL-MTL to below the Solenoid cross-over shaft/"O" ring and continued with success until, being overconfident, I filled the OD to the FULL mark with the additional RL-MTL. After a short drive in which all was well and working properly, the car was returned to the Garage where it sat for close to a month.

    When finally having good weather, I took the car for a local run and began to experience clutch slippage to the point of just making it home. After that experience I decided to return to the 30W which had performed well and without issue for the previous 30 years. After filling with the 30W Non-detergent oil, I took the Healey on 2 separate drives and all seemed well . UNTIL Today. Though starting off as a delightful drive through the back roads of town with the Beach Boys blasting from the radio, the clutch performed well. However, when taking off , after having stopped to socialize with a local friend for 20 min., the clutch began SLIPPING quite obviously.

    As a result of the original incident, I had thought the RL-MTL had leaded into the bell housing and somehow had gotten onto the clutch disk/pressure plate/fly wheel causing slippage. This would have satisfied as the reason for the slippage as RL-MTL is a slippery synthetic. However, I became unsure, after going to 3W, as all seemed good and, even if the MTL did get on the clutch surfaces, any deposits were greatly diminished and now not affecting the clutch's performance.

    Today's experience is a continuation to that story and, although all seemed good for the greater portion of the drive, the clutch is again slipping.

    Since, with age, I would find pulling the trans both difficult and disheartening (dismantling the interior when I finally got it as I want it), I would appreciate any thoughts and ideas to both identify and verify the cause of the issue and with suggestions for a fix (hopefully not validating the need to pull the trans).

    Sorry for being so longwinded,
    Ray(64BJ8P1) since new

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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    I know my transmission leaks much more when filled to the full mark. Leakage is much better when the level is 1/2 or less. I don't know how the fluid level compares with the input shaft level, but I've not had any clutch slipping. It sounds like you shouldn't fill it to full.
    John, BN4

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Usually oil leaking into the bell housing says " change Clutch "--Dang!

    OH!-Additionally:
    Over time the RMS finish on the flywheel may have gotten too smooth , which requires a regrind at the machine shop.
    Last edited by Keoke; 05-26-2018 at 05:00 PM.
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Seriously doubt if the tranny oil has anything to do with your clutch slipping. The drains in the bell housing usually do a good job keeping oil from either the engine or transmission off the clutch plates -- even if both the engine and transmission leak profusely (they usually do!).

    Your clutch could simply be too worn, you don't say how old it is. The linkage (either hydraulic or mechanical on the 100) should be checked to make sure the clutch throwout bearing is actually being released fully. There should be zero pressure and even some free play on the throwout bearing when the clutch pedal is released.

    If the linkage is OK, you probably will need to bite the bullet and replace the clutch. I have done these without too much disassembly of the interior. Once you remove the seats pealing back some of the carpet can let you get the tunnel off.

    Or, you can just nurse the slipping clutch for quite a while. If you avoid hills, keep the rpm's off the torque peak (around 2500 rpm) and treat her gently, you may be able to enjoy your Healey for another summer!
    Bill Sullivan
    Albuquerque, NM

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Thanks ALL for your responses. It is a frustrating day with first the Healey Clutch, then my John Deere lawn tractor started to have problems and now the wireless mouse stopped working. May just be best to not touch another thing for the rest of the day.

    John,
    You may be right as I ran the Red Line for 4 years at half and all seemed to work perfectly. However, prior to the Red Line, I had no difficulty with 30W at Full since new and had no difficulties as well. I am wondering if the Red Line has affected some of the trans seals.

    Keoke/Bill,
    I have a strong feeling that, ware or no, I may have to pull the trans and replace the clutch. However, although I do drive with vigor, I have always been very good on having clutches last around 200K on all my cars (family or sports) and the Healey's replacement clutch (as part of my total redo in 1985) only has around 50K miles. However, that being said, I can say that the quality of many of the parts purchased did not seem equal to the originals and, in many cases, had opted to rebuild originals rather then using the new.


    Thanks again for your considered answers and suggestions,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)
    Last edited by RAC68; 05-27-2018 at 04:26 PM.

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    John-Update,
    Waiting for the trans to cool and settle, I then checked the fluid in the trans and found it still full. Additionally, I have not noticed a substantial amount of oil from under the bell housing opening. This leads me to think that if not a sudden waring out of the clutch disk, it could be the remaining contamination of Red Line penetrating the clutch material (similar to when the axel leaks fluid on the rear brakes.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Following up on Bills comments. If the hose in the clutch hydraulic circuit is swollen shut (a known failure mode), it could be restricting return flow and keeping the clutch partially released.
    Marv J

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Wouldn't oil on the clutch plate cause it to stick more than slip? Swill up the plate.

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Healeysince59 View Post
    Following up on Bills comments. If the hose in the clutch hydraulic circuit is swollen shut (a known failure mode), it could be restricting return flow and keeping the clutch partially released.
    Marv J
    You could troubleshoot this by disconnecting the slave cyl pushrod from the operating lever and see if the lever returns to a position further forward than that allowed with the pushrod in place. That would show the slave piston is not seating all the way. If that's true the problem could be either in the slave, the hose or the master cylinder.
    Steve Gerow
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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Ray,

    No offense intended, but I think you have a case of wishful thinking going on. I had extensive leaking from the rear main 'seal' and some leakage from the front seal on the gearbox for over 110K miles in my BJ8. When the clutch finally did start slipping and I had to pull the gearbox--along with the engine--there was no evidence of either lubricant on the clutch plate or cover (but one of the springs on the disk was broken). The clutch only slipped once or twice in a 5K mile trip, but on the next trip the slipping got more serious. When I got the engine and gearbox back in I overfilled my gearbox with MT-90 and had extensive leaking out of the hole in the bellhousing from the gearbox seal. I pulled the gearbox again due to it jumping out of fourth and the inside of the bellhousing was coated with oil but the clutch assembly was dry as a bone. I think your clutch is slipping from premature wear or some sort of failure with the cover (I've heard rumors of some clutch disks failing prematurely).

    Bob

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRandy View Post
    Wouldn't oil on the clutch plate cause it to stick more than slip? Swill up the plate.

    NO, it generally puts a slick finish on the clutch plate pads.
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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Hi All,

    Wicked rains hear yesterday and spent the time cleaning up. Intend to get under the car in the coming week to check the condition of the hydraulics as suggested by Bob, Marv, and Steve. I must admit I am hopping to find that malady as it would be a much easier solution to address. However, if that doesn't prove out, I am beginning to think that, as Bill suggests, putting off pulling the trans in search of an easier solution would be over.

    Has anyone used an engine hoist to help pull their trans and OD? If so, how, where, and with what did you attach it to the unit?

    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Ray, I too would check the hydraulics first. But I am also curious about at what point your clutch pedal is engaging the clutch. Is there any play left in the pedal movement? Also, does your clutch pedal do most of it's work near the top of it's travel. In my experience the loss of play in the pedal and engagement near the top of its travel means there is not much friction surface left.
    About TV Shows-
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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Quote Originally Posted by RAC68 View Post
    Hi All,



    Has anyone used an engine hoist to help pull their trans and OD? If so, how, where, and with what did you attach it to the unit?

    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)
    Ray,

    Here's a guide to tranny removal:
    http://www.healey6.com/Technical/Remove%20Tranny.pdf

    I can't imagine a cherry picker would be much help in removing the tranny and overdrive. The most difficult part is sliding the unit back to disengage the main shaft and a cherry picker would restrict that movement. I've used one of these HF tranny jacks to help in removal: https://www.harborfreight.com/automo...ack-61232.html It's even more useful in reinstalling as it will get the tranny to the right level and give some support as you will likely need to twist the tranny in order to get it to seat,

    Don't shortcut removing the seats as you'll find there's some wrestling the tranny around to remove it and it's really easy to damage the interior parts. Use some moving blankets to pad out the interior. I've always rolled it out through the passenger's door, and make sure to pad that area really well, too.

    Good luck, not a fun task. At least it's not an E-Type where the recommended clutch replacement procedure is to remove the bonnet and pull the engine.
    Rick

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Hi All,

    Vette,
    The clutch peddle feels and works as usual and doesn't feel any different from normal and operational. There was no signal felt that would suggest anything wrong at the peddle even when the clutch starts slipping. Although I hope to find something wrong with my hydraulics, I am not at all expecting to find a problem their. Since the slipping started shortly after refilling my trans from half to full with the Red Line MTL and then discovered it back to half, with a mess on the trans behind the bell housing. There was some absorbed oil stains on the folded cardboard boxes (thick and absorbent) placed under the car to catch the drops, so when pulling from the garage, it seemed normal as the cardboard was stained but oil was not running or pooling.

    Rick,
    Thank you for the info. I remember separating the trans from the engine to be a real bear and may even appear as if 2 bears now.
    I was thinking that the engine hoist could be positioned to strap the transmission and slightly lift as the straps could be used to push/pull the trans back. Do you think it would be useful in this manor?

    Last thoughts Before...
    After cleaning under the car and changing to 30W-ND, I too the car out with all acting normal (clutch held fine) for 2 short runs (under 5 miles). The last short run was fine in the beginning but the clutch then started to slip and continued while driving the short distance home. The next day, when checking the fluid in the trans, the level was still at full and the bottom of the trans was reasonable clean and dry. This makes me think it is still from the original problem and could be resulting as the clutch gets warm/hot. My thought is that the clutch could have absorbed some of the Red Line and expels it when the clutch increases temperature. I guess the only way to prove or disprove this hypothesis is to pull the trans.

    One last question: With the transmission out, what would you seal to secure the transmission for Red Line or other synthetic fluid?

    Thanks All,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    re: "... what would you seal to secure the transmission for Red Line or other synthetic fluid?"

    What I did:

    1) new front and rear seals (duh)
    2) I put fresh copper washers under grade 8 flat washers under the bolts that fasten the bellhousing to the gearbox. I used blue threadlocker on the bolts after cleaning the threads on a wire wheel and chasing the holes in the gearbox (no lock washers)
    3) gearbox top got grade 8 flat washers under the bolts with blue threadlocker (all are blind holes)
    4) all gaskets new, with a thin (as possible) coat of Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket ('#3' I think)
    5) gearbox drain plug got teflon thread sealant
    6) big brass cap on OD secured with both teflon thread sealant and #3 on a new fiber washer. Torqued the snot out of it.
    7) rear of OD, brake ring and front OD housing got a thin coat of black silicone sealant/adhesive (no gasket here)
    8) OD actuating shaft got new O-rings on both ends

    Not a drop from either the bellhousing, gearbox or OD in a few hundred miles with Redline MT-90.

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Quote Originally Posted by RAC68 View Post
    Hi All,

    After cleaning under the car and changing to 30W-ND, I too the car out with all acting normal (clutch held fine) for 2 short runs (under 5 miles).
    The next day, when checking the fluid in the trans, the level was still at full and the bottom of the trans was reasonable clean and dry.


    This makes me think it is still from the original problem and could be resulting as the clutch gets warm/hot. My thought is that the clutch could have absorbed some of the Red Line and expels it when the clutch increases temperature. I guess the only way to prove or disprove this hypothesis is to pull the trans.

    One last question: With the transmission out, what would you seal to secure the transmission for Red Line or other synthetic fluid? Thanks All, Ray(64BJ8P1)
    Don't Use Synthetic.

    Ray, even though Bob said that he had experienced a lot of leakage with no clutch saturation, I wonder if while running at high speed with a leaky front seal and synthetic oil that the clutch could have gotten saturated. It is curious that your trans oil level deminishes with synthetic but not with ND oil. I am running 30wND and my trans never shows any loss of oil. "thank God". I check it every spring and haven't added any in many years. Also my oil level is right at the "full" mark. I would keep the ND oil in it and try to run it for awhile and see if it gets better. Although I suspect that a saturated clutch won't heal itself.
    HAVING SAID THAT, i have just been reading the book called "Works Wonders" by Marcus Cambers about the rally years of BMC and Rootes. Their trick for clearing up a slipping clutch during a rally was to spray Carb Cleaner or some other such STUFF into the bellhousing to quickly get the clutches to stop slipping after they had some oil saturation problems.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Hi Bob,

    Wow. I can understand why your trans doesn't leak. I did all the common things but didn't seal the bolts and the "O" rings did leak MTL when it was installed following a 20+ year period with 30W which didn't leak. That was a perfect answer to my question … I would not have expected anything less from you. Thank you Bob.

    Update Took the Healey out today for a further test and all seemed to work well. Although I only went 10+ miles in 3 circles staying close to home, the track took the Healey through town roads that called for multiple full pattern shifting at speeds from 50+ down to 15 mph with multiple Turns and Stops. Being quite conscious of clutch peddle action and feel, all seemed to perform crisp and sure with the clutch grabbing slightly high then the middle of peddle travel. Getting home, I pulled into the garage and placed a clean dry news paper under the bell housing drain hole and transmission. After 2 hours of standing, no oil was deposited on the paper.

    Although this seemed to indicate all could be well, I have been here before and still concerned enough to continue preparing to pull the trans.

    Thanks Bob,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    Hi Vette,

    The carb cleaner is a good trick. Yes, I often wonder if the Red Line was absorbed into the clutch and, with use and heat, migrates to the surface and smears the pressure plate. When at rest for some extended period, clutch and pressure plate are again pressed together and the oil could be reabsorbed into the clutch. When starting out, the cold clutch and pressure plate allow very small amounts of oil to be readmitted to the surfaces and this process increases with operational time and heat. At some point, the oil is sufficient for the clutch to slip. Although through multiples of this cycle, the amount of clutch contaminating oil will diminish, when can you trust that that time has past? Although I like driving through and around my town, I would like to feel I could be secure to go further.

    Vette, I get and agree with your point. How many cans of carb cleaner should I carry to attend a show in North Jersey, NY, Mass, … ?
    Thank you,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Clutch Still Slipping after replacing 30W-Non-Det. for Red Line

    I would think a good sloshing at one exercise would clean it good.
    About TV Shows-
    "...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

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