View Full Version : 100 BN1 Clutch

06-30-2003, 01:25 PM
Just got my hundred started for the first time in around 42 years, YESSS! At first I was able to shift gears while running with the wheels off the ground. After several shifts it began to feel like the clutch wasn't fully engaging. Now I can't shift at all with out some serious grinding. I have checked the mechanical linkage and even adjusted for max movement. Any ideas on what is wrong?


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07-01-2003, 02:04 AM
Thanks Dave and Bill!

Dave, I will inspect the linkage more thoroughly. Everything looked ok at first glance; however, my inspection was rather hasty. What throws me here, is that at first it shifted fine and then I very quickly lost clutch engagement. Unfortunately, I'm guessing its probably sticking and not releasing fully. Thanks for the tip on Cape International. Even if the linkage is not my problem now, I would prefer that it not become one in the future.

Bill, I will test as you sugested if I can't find a problem with the linkage. Hopefully its something simple, although I am prepared for whatever it takes. Things have actually gone better than first expected. The car did run well when Dad parked it. It was parked because he married my Mother and moved to Chicago, not exactly the best place to park a Healey on the city streets. Shortly thereafter the kids came and he never got back to it.

Thanks for the help!



[ 06-30-2003: Message edited by: Dad's54 ]</p>

Dave Russell
07-01-2003, 03:20 AM
I'm a little confused. I thought that you said at first that the clutch was not fully disengaging. Now I'm not sure when you say "lost engagement" If it is not fully disengaging (gears grind but will go into gear with a little force) It is probably a linkage problem. It would be unlikely that the clutch disc is stuck to the flywheel because you said that it worked for a while & I don't think that it would suddenly stick after having recently worked. Also it is not likely that failure to fully release is an internal problem unless the throwout bearing & clutch disc are severely worn. This condition would have come on very gradually.

If certain parts of the linkage are screwed up the linkage itself can bind in both directions. All parts of the linkage & pivot points must operate smoothly under load, lube sometimes helps.

A hard to find problem is sometimes caused by the operating shaft lever (item # 48 in a Moss catalog). The retaining nut gets loose & allows the square end of the lever to partially or completely turn inside of the square hole in the lever. Note that there is also a slotted washer next to the lever which reinforces the assembly.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Dad's54:
What throws me here, is that at first it shifted fine and then I very quickly lost clutch engagement. Unfortunately, I'm guessing its probably sticking and not releasing fully.

Dave Russell
07-01-2003, 03:47 AM
There could be internal problems with the clutch or the release bearing.

If not, the Hundreds are famous for clutch linkage wear, binding, & bending problems, if not outright breakage. These problems reduce the available effective pedal travel. At one end of the spectrum the clutch won't fully release & at the other it won't fully engage since the design has very little tolerance for lost motion in the linkage.

Replacing the linkage parts with new original type will usually cure the problem for a while. There are wear points on two levers & two rods, & a possible failure on a third lever.

The permanent solution is to replace the parts with an aftermarket linkage kit. Cape International has one of the best kits for the Hundred Four. I consists of two levers, high quality pivot ends, & rods. Costs about $120 US though. Stock parts will cost about the same & some of them are not readily available.

Mind you, if the problem is internal, a new pressure plate, disc, & throwout bearing may be needed. But you have to start somewhere & the external parts are sure to be worn.

Healey 100
07-01-2003, 03:50 AM
The clutch may be stuck to the pressure plate or the flywheel -- especially after sitting engaged for 42 years.

You need to check the clutch release linkage first. This car has a mechanical linkage. Make sure the linkage is set to give just a little free play (say 1/2 in or so) at the clutch pedal. If you can't set it properly, chances are there is some problem with the throwout bearing or clutch assembly, and you may as well prepare to do a clutch job.

Once the linkage is adjusted, suggest you do some testing with the engine off. Put the car in gear and release the clutch. Can you roll the car without the engine turning over? If not, the clutch is probably stuck.

If the clutch is stuck, try putting the car on the ground pointed down the road. With the engine off, put the car in first, push down on the clutch, take the brake off and hit the starter. The engine will start and the car will move forward. Hit the throttle and try to jerk the drivetrain to free the clutch. This will usually break it free.

Just FYI, I have started a number of cars that have sat for 30-40 years or more. I usually can get them to run, but eventually they ended up being dismantled and rebuilt. I found that rings stick, seals fail, valves stick, etc. or the engine was just terribly worn when it was parked (who would park a good running car? Can happen, but usually not). I suggest you prepare emotionally for having to do this to your Dad's Healey, this is a great car that should be on the road. But good luck, who knows, you may be able to get it going without major work needed. Just make sure it has oil pressure and sounds like it is getting lubrication. Stop immediately if you hear any knocking or it overheats.


07-01-2003, 01:54 PM
Sorry Dave,
I think I just had my terminology backward. When saying engaged I meant the clutch pedal was pressed and engine not turning trans.

So yes, my problem is that the clutch doesn't fully disengage when the pedal is pressed, making it impossible to shift without grinding.

Sorry about the confusion!
Thanks for your help!

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