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TR2/3/3A Clutch cratered - precautionary tale


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Noticed a strange noise when the clutch was engaged which was quickly getting worse with each shift. By the time I got home it was grinding with lots of loose metal sounds and finally pulling into the garage it was bogging the engine down. No biggie - been there done that.

Decided to pull the engine along with the tranny so I could plug a couple of leaks in comfort and clean everything off. Also, no biggie. Lots of very fine brass particles inside the bell housing, the throw out bearing was destroyed with ball bearings, etc all over the place. The brass sleeve which holds the throw out bearing had been majorly "machined" by the fork to a much smaller and useless size. Hmmm. Replaced everything except the fork and before buttoning it all up decided to start the engine, test the new clutch. Started right up but when I depressed the clutch, a terrible grinding noise was heard. I said something like "fiddlesticks."

This time I just pulled the tranny and inspected. No strange wear marks were detected. Hmmm. Though about it a couple of days and decided that perhaps I had installed the new brass sleeve incorrectly and it therefore engaged the pressure plate too deeply, thus the grinding noise. It was a wild a$$ guess...Okay. Replaced the fork this time and reinstalled everything. Same test procedure and same grinding result and immediate shut-down. I would have kicked the dog but we don't have one.

I then decided to start it up again and depress the clutch several times so that I might see evidence of wear and properly diagnose the problem. Well about the third time the grinding noise ceased, the clutch operated smoothly and all was well. I have replaced the clutch on numerous British sports cars and never experienced a grinding break-in noise before. Had I realized that I would have spared myself an unnecessary tranny pull. This is a Borg and Beck setup.
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