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Thread: Clutch Issues

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    Senior Member FlyingCat's Avatar
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    Clutch Issues

    To get up to speed, I have a 1980 Federal Spitfire, no overdrive. When I first got my car, the clutch master cylinder was dry, but there was fluid in the line. So I filled the cylinder, and today I bled the line. Before, it felt like the clutch was really doing nothing. I could shift the gears whether or not I pushed the clutch in. After bleeding the clutch, I can still shift the gears without engaging the clutch, but now the clutch pedal doesn't move at all. Any ideas?

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    Re: Clutch Issues

    How long did this car sit unmoved. It sounds like a long time if the clutch cylinder was dry. The clutch may be stuck in the open position which would allow you to shift gears.
    Usually clutches stick in the engaged position so you can't disengage it. But your sounds like it is stuck disengaged. You may have to open it up.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Clutch Issues

    Presume the car is not moving when you are shifting gears?
    Could be the MC is frozen up and not returning or something in the clutch is frozen up.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Re: Clutch Issues

    You may have multiple problems here! First, I would just either rebuild or replace both clutch master and slave cylinders. Once that's done, you might still find that the clutch driven disc is stuck (happens somewhat frequently on these cars when they sit for longish periods) and may require "creative" ways of freeing it up. You'll know this is the case once the hydraulics are ok but you get nothing but grinding gears when the engine is running and you try for a gear!
    -- Andrew (Andy) Mace, VTR's Triumph 10/Herald/Sports 6 vehicle consultant and keeper of the North American Triumph Sports 6 and Herald Database

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    Re: Clutch Issues

    It hasn't been driven in at least 25 years. I fear "opening it up," but only because I haven't done that sort of thing before. But then, I've never done any of this before. Thanks!

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    Re: Clutch Issues

    I don't think this car has moved on its own in over 25 years. I have a new slave cylinder, but I haven't put it on yet. Sounds like I need a master cylinder, too. Sounds like a place to start. Thanks!

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    Re: Clutch Issues

    Well, then. I have my next project. Just when I thought I was getting down to being able to actually drive it. Oh, well. It keeps me out of trouble.

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    Yoda dklawson's Avatar
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    Re: Clutch Issues

    As Andy said, bad stuff can happen when the car sits for long periods of time. When we brought our GT6 home it had been sitting for 15+ years. The brake and clutch masters were empty except for crystalline white/green crusty growths in the reservoir. I was able to get the masters apart but the bores were ruined. I bought generic aftermarket masters, slaves, and wheel cylinders. I did flush out the hard lines but replaced the rubber flex lines.

    It was certainly worth it to replace everything. I knew everything was new. Confidence in your brakes is imperative and the clutch is certainly easy to do at the same time. If you opt to replace the parts listed above, that only leaves you the brake calipers as a component to "open up" and rebuild. Everything else will be new.
    Doug L.
    '64 Morris Mini Cooper-S 1275
    '67 Triumph GT6 Mk1

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    Re: Clutch Issues

    I have what's left of a Mk2 Spitfire that sat outside under a tarp for maybe 10 years before I got it. It's been in the barn now for well over 25 years. A couple years back, I took the master cylinders off the firewall simply out of curiosity, only to discover that there was still fluid present and the bores and other bits were in excellent shape. Shocked the living heck out of me, 'cause -- as Doug notes -- "bad stuff can happen when the car sits for long periods of time"! I'd have expected much worse, and 95% of the time, what Doug found is what I found!

    I mention this mostly because, for whatever reason, both of the cylinders were the now-rare "tall reservoir" style. They have been cleaned up and rebuilt for use in my cars at some point in the near future.
    -- Andrew (Andy) Mace, VTR's Triumph 10/Herald/Sports 6 vehicle consultant and keeper of the North American Triumph Sports 6 and Herald Database

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