Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 79

Thread: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

  1. #1
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    162
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Howdy folks, been a while... Otto is our 1960 Bugeye with a 1275 and 4 speed tranny. I did brakes all around and rear hub seals last year with help from many of you.

    Today, I drove the car across town and he did fine, but I noticed the clutch becoming stiffer as I drove... like harder to push down than when I started. This has happened before, and it was no worse this time. After a few miles and the engine nice and warmed up, at a light, I noticed something off as I pulled out. Like the clutch slipped just for a split second... maybe. That's a guess... I don't know it actually slipped. At the next light, as I pulled out, it definitely slipped... engine reved up... there was clunking noise I didn't like and I couldn't get the driveline to engage much... it did catch and lurch enough to get into second. There was a Sheetz store right there and I was able to pull off into the parking lot and stop. Here's were it seems really weird. If I start the engine and put the car in first gear, and give it smidge of power, it seems to be passing the power to the wheels and the car tries to move forward... but it can't... like it's bound up in there. It acts like there are chocks in front of the wheels. Of course, I didn't give it much power.... and there is some minor noise that seems to come from the back. The sound is hard to describe, but it doesn't sound good. Metal on metal, kind of squeak, low clunk ... BUT.... if I shut the engine off, put the car in first gear.... I can push the car around freewheeling like it's in neutral.

    What would be screwed up in a way that will bind the car up when the engine is running, but then let the car roll free while in gear with the engine off?

    I haven't started any diagnosis yet... just had him hauled back to the garage. Wanted to see where you guys thought I should start.

    Thanks in advance!
    Mike

  2. #2
    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Apollo Beach, FL
    Posts
    5,460
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Pressure plate broken perhaps. Don’t like freewheeling when engine is in gear. It doesn't Sound like a good thing. Good luck.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

  3. #3
    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    2,491
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    12
    Thanked in
    12 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Sound from the back could suggest a broken axle. Also maybe the diff but I think those things are pretty stout.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    '73 MB 450SE
    '04 Saab Arc
    http://enfoprefect.org

  4. #4
    Luke Skywalker Roger's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Richmond,Texas
    Posts
    1,671
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    For most of your description it sounds like a clutch actuation problem, like fluid not returning to the master cylinder. Right now your clutch is almost fully disengaged.
    Roger
    Ancient Briton
    '67 Lotus Elan S3
    '72 Lotus Europa TC
    '05 Lotus Elise

  5. #5
    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18,553
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    54
    Thanked in
    51 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    IIRC there are issues with with the 1275 and the clutch release lever bending - and the newer thrust bearing failing. I think the clue is on your first sentence RE: clutch. as I type, could maybe a spring as well
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

  6. #6
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    162
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Well... I did swap out the rear bearing and seals... maybe this ham handed novice messed the job up. Still.. can't see a broken axle both allowing the free wheeling engine off AND binding up under load with engine on. So... next step is some hands on diagnosis. Any advice on how to check to see which part gave up the ghost?

    I've never messed with a clutch before... this will all be new for me.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    938
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    I'm definitely not an expert in this particular area, but: can you get it home (tow; whatever). Jack up the rear with jackstands under the rear axles. Get a companion and try rotating the wheels from each side, with it in neutral. Heck, put it in gear and see what the wheels feel like. No real wisdom, but maybe learn something. Good fortune - I'd bet on a clutch issue. Doug
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

  8. #8
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    162
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    That's what I thinking as a starting point... make sure the differential is still full and I didn't run it dry... put the car on stands and see what they feel like in the air.

    One thing I can't figure out. Is inspecting / repairing / changing the clutch an engine-out operation?

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18,553
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    54
    Thanked in
    51 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeamondo View Post

    One thing I can't figure out. Is inspecting / repairing / changing the clutch an engine-out operation?

    Thanks!
    yup
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

  10. #10
    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Apollo Beach, FL
    Posts
    5,460
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    But it’s not hard to do. There is a checklist available and ev3n a novice can get the engine and tranny out in a few hours. One can do it but better with at least two and another to fetch beer and provide moral support.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

  11. #11
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    162
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Thanks for moral support.... I'm pretty sure I can handle the pull if needed. Gives me an excuse to pick up a used hoist, I suppose. Worried about the overall time to do the job as I have exactly negative 4 hours of extra time per week right now.

    Here's a thought. If it turns out I need a new clutch or new clutch parts.... am I crazy for wanting to swap the whole thing for a Datsun 5 speed instead?

    How much should one budget for a 5 speed conversion beyond the acquisition cost of the tranny? I can't find any pricing info on the kit at Gerards'Garage....

  12. #12
    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    2,491
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    12
    Thanked in
    12 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Gerard said he does not currently have any kits available and it may be a while before he does since he needs multiple orders to control the cost. The Rivergate kit starts at about $700 and there are a couple of options that might be interesting.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    '73 MB 450SE
    '04 Saab Arc
    http://enfoprefect.org

  13. #13
    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tuscaloosa and Orange Beach, AL
    Posts
    2,804
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    13
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    7
    Thanked in
    7 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Mike,
    Heres a link to Rivergate and you can always give Will a call, he’s very helpful.
    Rut
    http://www.rivergate5speed.com/about_kit.html
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


  14. #14
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    938
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Keep life simple: finding the Datsun 5 speed may take time and that 40 year old transmission is not inexpensive. You'll need the Sprite clutch assembly with the Rivergate kit; Gerard uses the Datsun clutch. I used to be able to swap out the transmission in our Bugeye in maybe 8 hours, with help to remove and install the nose piece. I'm sure you could do it faster, but there's always going to be some surprises. And pick up a Haynes manual, or - better yet - a reprint of the original shop manaul plus the Haynes. You can always find stuff on-line etc., but I like hard copy that's been vetted. Doug

  15. #15
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    162
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Hey guys... thanks for the support and info! And thanks Rut for the info in the PM! Very helpful.

    I finally got a chance to take a closer look today.... wanted to take the car out of the shed and try and move it around on the flat, but I couldn't rig up my come-alongs to get it back in... so I just worked in the shed. My main goal was to see if maybe.. just maybe.... it's a rear end problem. Put the ass end on stands and took out the filler plug.... looks like plenty of oil, so I didn't run it dry. As I turned the wheel while looking in the filler hole, I realized I had no idea what it's supposed to look like in there. So I made a video you all could see it too!

    NOTE!!! At the beginning of the video, I say the car is in NEUTRAL... but I had that backwards... it's in GEAR in the first part. After moving the wheels that way, I walk up front and put it neutral and then repeat. You can watch the video, but here's also a quick description...

    IN GEAR... I can turn the rear wheels, but it will kind of bind up as I'm turning them.. it gets to a point where it binds up and becomes hard to turn them. Looking in the filler plug, you can see the gears turning around. Also... as I turn the pass side wheel, the other side will turn a little, but not consistently... seems like they ought to be connected directly in there. THEN... and here it gets cool.... I turn the drivers side, car in gear, and the gears in the rear end don't move at all. They might more just a tiny fraction of an inch.. you can kind of see that in the video.. but the wheels turns freely and the gears don't move in the rear. Then... in Neutral.... the parts in the rear move with the wheel on the passenger side... on the drivers side, they do as well.. but then stop... so the connection from wheel to inside the differential may be suspect... shouldn't it be a direct connection there? Have a look at my hastily filmed video and see what you think!

    Thanks!
    Mike

  16. #16
    Yoda TOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Floe Ice, Antarctica
    Posts
    6,191
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    19
    Thanked in
    19 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Binding slightly and opposite wheel turning can be absolutely normal if it still has drum brakes. Pull the wheels and drums, try it again JUST to eliminate slightly out-of-round drums.
    Neutral, brakes not dragging, opposite wheel will easily turn opposite direction unless you have some kind of locker rear end.
    Jam a block of wood under the opposite tyre, or remove the opposite wheel and jam a bar between two wheel studs and the ground, try it again.

  17. #17
    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    2,491
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    12
    Thanked in
    12 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Put it in gear so the gearbox can't turn. Turn either wheel and the opposite wheel should turn the exact same amount but in the opposite direction. As TOC said, a little binding would likely be the brakes, no concern. But the opposite wheel must turn the same amount and in the opposite direction. If this does not happen then you could have bad internals but much more likely a broken axle. If it does work as I described then get a helper to try holding the opposite wheel while you turn one. If he can keep it from turning then you still have one of those two problems. If he cannot hold it then you are probably good in the rear, axles and all.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    '73 MB 450SE
    '04 Saab Arc
    http://enfoprefect.org

  18. #18
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    162
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Thanks! I can tell you pretty much for certain that the with the car in gear, back wheels off the ground, turning the passenger side wheel, the opposite did NOT turn the exact same amount. It would start to turn a little but not in the same amount. When making the video, I noticed that the opposite wheel began to move a bit when I reached the spot of slight binding.... so prior to that it was not turning. It certainly was not matching the movement of the other side.

    Am I too early to begin hoping for a broken axle rather than a clutch issue? I'm assuming that's much easier and cheaper?

  19. #19
    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    2,491
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    12
    Thanked in
    12 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Well a broken axle is not cheap but much easier to replace than a clutch.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    '73 MB 450SE
    '04 Saab Arc
    http://enfoprefect.org

  20. #20
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    162
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Help with 60 Bugeye - major drivetrain issue...

    Not to get ahead of myself before confirming the axel.... but I did go check on Moss and see about $275 for a new disc axle. Then I spotted this on ebay...
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Austin-Heal...gAAOSwDO9dEBIP
    About $75 including shipping... seems way underpriced to me. There was also another set for 100... but way rustier than these. What dangers would lurk in using a used axel?

    How do these break anyway? Is it likely stripped at the point it goes into diff, or do they normally snap somewhere along the shaft?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •