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Ready to shoot the thing II--an Latest

Damon

Member
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Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

OK, first off thank you to all who responded to my earlier posting regarding my wife's '78 Midget. Next, an apology on the delay on an update. And finally, another question/problem-grrr!

OK, as a real brief refresher, the car went to the local HS auto shop class to have the timing adjusted, new rotor, and dist.cap installed. When I went to pick it up, it stalled out and was difficult to restart.

Anyway, at the advice of many of you, I replaced the old Lucas coil. Installed a Pertronix Flame Thrower to go with the Pertronix ignition PO installed. While doing this, I noticed one of the spade terminals to the coil was broken inside the plastic sleeve. OH great-this is it--I thought! Finished the repair and install, and started the car. Started right up! YAHOO!
Then, as I went to put it in gear and test drive it, the clutch goes right to the floor and the car jumps and stalls... and I can't get it restarted...OH great!
I lift the hood and notice the hose from the clutch cylinder to the slave cylinder had come off...hmmm must have bumped it.
Replace hose, bleed slave cylinder and try again, but can't get the car started.
OK, I fire up the compressor and remove the fuel line into the fuel pump and blast the fuel lines back towards the tank. Again, no start. So, unable to get a pressure gauge and taking the next step, I ordered a new fuel pump, install it back near the tank rather than under the hood like the PO had done, and now the car runs and starts wonderfully!! Is it fixed?? That leads us to the rest of the story...

Now the next question, or problem...I can't get the clutch to engage to get the car in gear and test drive it! UGGGHH!
I'm trying to figure out what could have happened that the clutch won't engage, just horrible grinding sounds and a hard to move shifter. There is pressure in the clutch pedal and no more bubbles coming out of the bleed, and no leaks I can see underneath. I used DOT 3 Brake fluid to fill the clutch cylinder and bleed it, could that be the problem?
Any other ideas?
I still may shoot the thing, just maybe now not with such a large caliber as I wanted to earlier!!
 

sparkydave

Jedi Knight
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Re: Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

Damon, there are several threads on bleeding Midget clutches. The 1500 clutch is a nasty one to do because the hose arches higher than the master or the slave, often trapping an air bubble up there. Different folks have different ideas on how to bleed them, but what works for me trying to purge all the air is to bleed it once by the book (with two people), or using a vacuum bleeder like a Mityvac. Once it's bled once, stomp hard and fast on the pedal several times, and that should get rid of the air pocket in the hose. Bleed it again, and you *should* be on your way. Since that hose is translucent you might even be able to see if there's an air bubble in it.
 

aeronca65t

Great Pumpkin
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Re: Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

If the clutch is properly bled, it's probably wear at the fulcrum pin area of the pedal.

The top of the clutch pedal has a hole in it. A fulcrum pin goes through this hole and connects to the rod that goes inside the clutch master cylinder.

Often, over years of use, the hole in the pedal gets elongated. If there is even a *little* wear, it's like giving up half your pedal travel at the "foot end" of the pedal.

Take the cover off the pedal box and look to see if the fulcrum pin is sloppy in the hole in the pedal. it should be a tight fit. I usually weld the hole up and re-drill it, but I suppose you could get a replacement if that's the problem.

One more thing: I find that it's a bit tough to fully bleed the clutch system in my car. One thing may help: have someone pump the pedal a few times and hold it down. While it's down, loosen the clutch hydraulic line where it goes into the clutch master cylinder. This will "bleed" the upper end of the line. It's messy obviously, but it may help if the pedal is still spongy.
 

jlaird

Great Pumpkin
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Re: Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

Their is air as folks commented in that line.

It has to go. What ever works will do the trick. You do not need new parts or anything else other than a good buddy to run the pedal while you bleed.
 
OP
D

Damon

Member
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Re: Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

OK Got the clutch good and bled, used a friend's MightyVac and got 'er done. Clutch is nice and firm now, there must have been some air in the lines when we got her, as the pedal is now much more firm--feels like a clutch should!
Ran the car up and down the road, looong test drive with a few stops, shutting it down and restarting, and IT'S ALIVE!! She's running great now, don't know which of the items (new coil, repaired spade terminal,fuel pump, or all three) did it, but she's running well now! Just going to replace the catalytic converter (may eliminate it-no emissions here) and she should have full power as well! That will have to wait until my next days off in twop weeks though.
Man, the wife is happy, and when Momma's happy, well, I'm happy!
Thanks for the help guys, it is greatly appreciated!
 

Dadandson

Jedi Trainee
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Re: Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

What a feeling to conquer the beast! Well done.
 

dklawson

Yoda
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Re: Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

Excellent news! Congratulations!
 

jvandyke

Luke Skywalker
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Re: Ready to shoot the thing II--an up-date

Awesome, now drive the wheels off the thing, you'll both have a blast.
 
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