View Full Version : Clutch hose question

02-12-2008, 06:29 AM
I had new clutch master and slave cylinders installed
by a professional shop. Twice the plastic hydraulic hose
blew up while driving and stranded me. Finally, I had it
replaced with braided stainless steel.

Then David the Canada Guy arrived and we installed a
complete, new clutch assembly to replace the mess that
Pedro had.

With the new clutch assembly being much stronger than
Pedro's broken assembly, am I in danger of the braided SS
hose blowing up? I do not carry an extra one because the
one I have cost me $400 installed. I've no budget for a
spare unless this is an item that blows up fairly often.

How common is blowing up clutch lines on the TR6. I worry
because of the very heavy, urban traffic I drive in.



02-12-2008, 06:36 AM
The Lotus' use the same plastic lines you guys have on those 'rumphs, I've NEVER seen one let go unless "provoked" in some manner: abrasion, FOD damage, poor assembly practice. I highly doubt you'll ever need another unless something "outside" has an influence, Dale. Stainless is twice as unlikely to fail.

Don't run over any recap tire remains at speed.

02-12-2008, 07:13 AM
I echo Dr E. these things whether stainless or plastic should last a long, long time... unless they're rubbing up against something.

I'd trace it just to make sure, but I wouldn't worry about it unless that was the case.

02-12-2008, 07:51 AM
Dale - repost your pictures of the original hose explosion. Then we'll know more about what caused that original hose problem.

There were 14 pages of posts on that when you first asked about it last year. Kinda tough to sift through them all again.


02-12-2008, 11:01 AM

I never had any photos of the busted plastic hoses.

New master and slave installed by professional shop.
After that ....................

Summary: The clutch pedal pressure got more and more
difficult to push. Finally the hose burst. The first
one in my garage and I installed a duplicate plastic.

The second burst after the transmission froze up in
2nd gear, after dark and some kids pushed the car away
for a week or two and it was MIA.

Then I had the braided SS hose installed and then David
and I replaced the entire clutch assembly with TRF kit
and the throwout bearing that works good. I thru-bolted
the bearing fork to the new TR4A fork shaft.

Because I drive in very urban, congested streets, I worry
constantly the hydraulic hose will blow up again because
I use it so much. I do my best to shift w/out using the
clutch but in stop & go traffic it is difficult.



02-12-2008, 12:43 PM

I live on the north west side of Houston, Tx (Spring) and my girl lives on the south east side (Kemah). I often drive, around, through and in the city in my TR6. I can't imagine how many times during a given drive that I press in the clutch. I have replaced the clutch on my previous TR6 and also on this one (while I was rebuilding the transmission). I have never had or seen that hose go bad (aside from a little leaking). Your clutch plate or throw-out bearing should wear out long before the original hose -and the hose you have should out last the plastic by some factor. You've got better things to worry about. -Just my 2 cents....


02-12-2008, 12:58 PM

Learn to shift without a clutch (it should be at about 1500 rpms you can slide her in). /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/devilgrin.gif

The only thing that I have ever seen is dry rot and slow leaks.


02-12-2008, 01:20 PM
When I replaced my Transmission with the 5sp, I replaced my clutch cyd too.
I also replaced the original hose with the plastic one, so far all is well.

02-12-2008, 01:28 PM
Hey cuz,(come on now our folks were from the same part of the world, so over here that's considered Ohana).

If the braided steel is teflon lined, should last until about 2075 without any worry of replacement. If it is only rubber lined, well then, you should consider replacing it, before it blows, somewhere around 2030.

That is providing you replace your fluid(if you're not using Silicone) every two years.

That is provided the lines outer cover is not rubbing up against anything. Slight possiblity the line might get abraded through,if it is rubbing against something; but 99.97% of the time the steel line wears what ever it is rubbing against. Then just wrap some sort of insulation(plastic, rubber, etc). between the hose and whatever it is rubbing against. If you are using silicone(which I would recommend) just check the fluid level every 6 or 7 years....

02-12-2008, 05:18 PM

I have my clutch hydraulics filled with DOT #3 brake fluid.

I shift without using the clutch whenever possible.

BUT personally I think it is bad for my car to stop the
engine when traffic stops and then crank my engine back
to life while in first gear to get moving again.

PS: I was not aware you needed to change the fluid. How
do you get the oil fluid out of the system? My fluid is
now 11 months of age and 1200 miles driven on it.

Why do clutch hoses blow up anyway? Mine rubs against
nothing that I can see. But 2 blew up when my pedal
pressure got really, really stiff. Then the pedal fell
to the floor.

thanks as always,


02-12-2008, 05:31 PM
You had some issue with your clutch mechanism locking, probably something DPO did. When the pressure got really high, it exceeded the strength of the hose. The hose was the weakest link. You've since replaced the clutch and the mechanism to disengage it, so you have already corrected the root of the problem. Use your clutch until it wears out.

By your rationale, you should be push starting in gear, so as to not wear out the starter. Don't worry, eventually something (different) will break, and you will not have a spare in the trunk. It's part of the joy of ownership. Enjoy it.

02-12-2008, 05:51 PM
Dale, I harderly agree with Knucklehead, there was a problem in the transmission, fork pin broken and the slave was hitting up against the "C" clip in the slave, otherwise it would have blown the piston out of the slave with all that pressure. The only thing else I have run across was someone installing a much to long of a push rod off the pedal and the pressure never was releasing, wore out a throw out bearing in a hurry. Just make sure you have a bit of free play on the shaft that goes into the clutch master.

Nothing to worry about now, Wayne

02-12-2008, 06:02 PM
Yes Wayne, when I pulled the tranny out, the fork pin
was indeed sheared. I did not know that could account
for blowing up the hoses. Thanks for the info. I'm a bit
more at ease now.

PS: and yes the car was purchased with the pin sheared.
Our friend DPO Pedro informed me that it was normal TR6
clutch action for the clutch to lurch into gear.

Thanks one and all-


02-12-2008, 09:19 PM
I suppose it's like a garden hose with a tight blockage at one end: if you keep increasing the water pressure, then at some point the hose will burst, if no other seal gives first.

02-12-2008, 09:39 PM
Pin fixed, keep giving that fitting at the end of the clutch shaft a pump or two fo grease every 2000 miles,or whenever it feels like it needs it,(don't overdo it) and that new hose is good for a loooooooong time.
I still think you're having withdrawl symptoms.......
It's ok... routine maintenance is all that's needed for a good long time.

02-12-2008, 09:55 PM

Please go back to shifting with a clutch. You are not in a position to be rebuilding a gearbox because you missed a shift. Yes, you will get cocky and keep trying to do it better and faster and one day you'll miss. if these cars were designed to be shifted without a clutch, you wouldn't have one in the car.

02-12-2008, 10:43 PM
My OEM plastic clutch hose blew out last summer; I'd just put it in gear and put some revs on as the light went green, started letting the clutch out and the pedal hit the floor and the tires squeeled; thought the guy behind had hit me. Well I just kept going shifting sans clutch till I got home.
The end of the hose is kind of bayonet fitted/crimped to the connector and it had pulled apart. Still, to put it in perspective, it lasted 34 years and 50,000 miles.
Oh, and Dale, I agree with Brosky, use your clutch!

02-13-2008, 12:47 AM
Okay Dale.

Brake fluid dot 3 and dot 4 is hygroscopic. It absorbs moisture. It absorbs moisture from the atmospher quickly in high humidity environments. Now if you lived in Arizona or New Mexico you could probably get 4-5 years without suffering any problem.

But in Puerto Rico(and Hawaii, and the Gulf States) we "enjoy" more humidity.

The humidity congeals in the brake fluid and breaks down the molecules of the brake fluid. It lowers the operating temp capability of the fluid, it turns acidic and starts "eating" away at the aluminium (british spelling, as we are working on british cars) of the master and slave cylinders.

On the slave cylinder you have a bleeder port, just like on the top of the brake calipers and on the back of the rear wheel cylinders.

What I do is take an old suction pump, like an old turkey baster, and suck out the fluid from the reservoir, take dry lint free paper towels, or rags(old diapers, tee shorts work well) and wipe out the inside of the master cylinder.
Fill the master cylinder and open the the bleed port on the slave cylinder, bleed the slave cylinder until clean fluid comes out and you're set for another couple of years.

02-13-2008, 01:25 AM
I shift without using the clutch whenever possible.

BUT personally I think it is bad for my car to stop the
engine when traffic stops and then crank my engine back
to life while in first gear to get moving again.

Dale please stop this before you bust the transmission, or ruin the starter. You are right, what you are doing now is bad for the engine / starter / transmission.....
You solved the problem with the linkage, you know how to drive a clutch properly, now do it. You checked the free play in the thrust washers a while back and they were fine. I assure you that they are still fine. As long as you drive properly, (ie don't ride the clutch excessively) and don't have a "racing" clutch (you don't) the life of the thrust washers is at least 30-50Kmiles... my engine where everything was really worn out had decent looking thrust washers, and I assure you that the previous owner didn't do anything special to protect them.

You started out with a bum car (and having replaced as much or more of my car in the last three years than you, I know all about that) but you have solved the problems. Stop looking for problems where they no longer exist. On the other hand, if you have discovered that you really enjoy troubleshooting / repairing then we can start looking for a new clunker for you.

02-13-2008, 12:01 PM
Well, looking how high is throttle pedal is, I can understand why he doesn't downshift the way a 6 was designed to downshift....

First he's gotta fix the pedal height, then reroute that cable(either tach or speedo) properly away from the footwell area, or at least higher so his peds don't get impeded by snagging the cable.

02-13-2008, 12:42 PM
going blind again ...

Ron - where did you see the pedal height? I don't see any pictures in the entire thread.


02-13-2008, 07:00 PM
It's on another thread the "Pedals: fore and aft distance" one