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Clutch problems


Jessie the dog
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Hi there, I have recently bought a Series 2 that is part way restored, my first and I have been getting it ready to run. I have a problem with the clutch - I cannot seem to engage gears 1 or 2 with the engine running - lots of grinding! I can start the engine with any gear selected and pull away in a reasonable manner. I have bled the hydraulics, adjusted pedal height and also slave with no resolution. I can see the clutch lever moving about 7mm. Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

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So its been standing for some time without being driven?  The clutch plate can get stuck to either the flywheel or presser plate by corrosion.  Sometimes its possible to get it free by brute force but sometimes there's no alternative to dismantling.

Hydraulics - you should feel a very small amount of play at the top of the pedal - then it should get heavier as it operates.  Its important that the pedal returns properly and freely for the system to function properly.

 

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2 hours ago, Jessie the dog said:

 I can see the clutch lever moving about 7mm.

Do you mean the arm and push rod coming out of the slave cylinder ?  If so , it would suggest air still in the system . Another thing to consider is the short flexi-pipe condition - with age the bore degrades and can close up/break up . It should have a lot more than 7mm of travel .

I assume it crunches when trying to engage reverse too ?  

I think we need a few pic's of the Land Rover too ,  another Series 2 coming back to life is good to see :)

cheers

Steve b

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On 3/29/2020 at 11:56 AM, secondjeremy said:

So its been standing for some time without being driven?  The clutch plate can get stuck to either the flywheel or presser plate by corrosion.  Sometimes its possible to get it free by brute force but sometimes there's no alternative to dismantling.

Hydraulics - you should feel a very small amount of play at the top of the pedal - then it should get heavier as it operates.  Its important that the pedal returns properly and freely for the system to function properly.

 

Hi there, thanks for your response. It hasn’t been driven for circa 8 years until last week. I did wonder about the stuck clutch plate and tried shocking it with a start in 3rd gear which I had read about. I have a new dent in the wing now following a high speed exit from the garage!

If it were stuck, how can I now start in gear and then pull away under control? I cannot work that out.

The hydraulic function feels right. There is the loose play and then pretty solid along with movement of the slave.

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On 3/29/2020 at 12:09 PM, steve b said:

Do you mean the arm and push rod coming out of the slave cylinder ?  If so , it would suggest air still in the system . Another thing to consider is the short flexi-pipe condition - with age the bore degrades and can close up/break up . It should have a lot more than 7mm of travel .

I assume it crunches when trying to engage reverse too ?  

I think we need a few pic's of the Land Rover too ,  another Series 2 coming back to life is good to see :)

cheers

Steve b

Hi there, thanks for your comments. Yes, I mean at the end of the push rod, roughly 7mm of movement. I have bled and bled the system. I used a pressurised system connected to the reservoir. It seemed to be effective. I did read about back flushing, but that seems to be for later models?

The semi flexible hose is new as is the slave and master.

Yes, reverse crunches too.

Ref photo’s - I will be happy to. Let me find some. 

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On 3/29/2020 at 11:09 AM, Gazzar said:

There's no synchromesh on 1&2. You should be able to get 1, though.

So normally I’d be double declutching to select 1 & 2? I’ve read about it, but never had a vehicle without synchromesh before. I have tried pressing the club=tech in a few times, but still grinds on 1, 2 & R. 3 & 4 seem to work as does starting it in gear. I haven’t tried to change gear whilst moving.

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There is another point of failure which is the coupling tube between the clutch release shaft coming out of the bell housing and the shaft on the end of the arm the slave pushes on . Either the tube can break out where the clevis pins go through or the pin itself can break , could well be this as you seem to have partial clutch release . Will it go into 3rd or 4th running stationary?

Back bleeding is worth a try on any stubborn fluid bleed . 

cheers

Steve b 

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5 minutes ago, Jessie the dog said:

Hi there, thanks for your comments. Yes, I mean at the end of the push rod, roughly 7mm of movement. I have bled and bled the system. I used a pressurised system connected to the reservoir. It seemed to be effective. I did read about back flushing, but that seems to be for later models?

The semi flexible hose is new as is the slave and master.

Yes, reverse crunches too.

Ref photo’s - I will be happy to. Let me find some. 

 

9EA777F1-B50E-4B6B-8215-1A1256531B85.jpeg

26ED0BBD-8F58-40DD-B6CA-A343C8555C0E.jpeg

302DD10E-D9BC-4648-BA91-B638A42255CA.jpeg

FF0145ED-8E12-4428-9BAB-FF60AE0C58F1.jpeg

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Nice , the body looks pretty original , I think a little build thread is worthwhile . It will be of interest to all of the Series Nut's here and it's a good way to have a long term record of your build.

I'm now getting my teeth into an extensive tidy up on a '68 2A 88 petrol . It looks very similar to yours with the side and indicator lamps on the wings in the same layout and deep sill trims .

cheers

Steve b 

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Steve, it does appear largely original. The engine and gearbox both seem, from the serial numbers, to be original too.
 

I have uploaded a video of the clutch slave. The linkage and pins seem fine and hopefully you can see the pedal moving at the same time. Not sure if it provides any more clues

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10 minutes ago, smallfry said:

Just to be clear, if you start the engine with the clutch pedal down, does it try to drive forward, or can you sit there with the engine running, clutch down and in gear and vehicle stays where it is ?

Hi there, yes I can start in any gear with the clutch down and the vehicle stays where it is. There is a small jolt as it fires up but otherwise stationary until I let the clutch out and off we go.

I should add that it is almost impossible to push the LR out of gear/engine off. An unrelated issue I think, to do with the brakes being new and not setup yet.

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Sounds like the clutch not fully disengaging then. If there are no leaks, and you are happy there is no air in the system, and not too much wear in the pedal clevis pin, try  watching the level of the fluid in the reservoir while an assistant pushes the pedal down. If the level rises, the master cylinder seals have had it.

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1 hour ago, smallfry said:

Sounds like the clutch not fully disengaging then. If there are no leaks, and you are happy there is no air in the system, and not too much wear in the pedal clevis pin, try  watching the level of the fluid in the reservoir while an assistant pushes the pedal down. If the level rises, the master cylinder seals have had it.

The fluid level doesn’t appear to change on either down or up stroke, perhaps a twitch at the beginning and end of the stroke 

I took the cover off the pedal box and tried adjusting the two nuts which didn’t seem to make any difference.

One issue I had when fitting the pipes was that the brake and master cylinder seemed to be in the wrong places and also didn’t match up to the fittings that I bought. I swapped them around to what is shown in this picture.

 

 

image.jpg

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Pipework is correct - as are the cylinders.  Brake cylinder with nut on the end is a CB (Compression barrel) cylinder, clutch cylinder is a CV cylinder.  They do the same job, Rover liked them so much in the mid 60's they fitted one of each - then all CV later on.

 

Bleeding isn't easy due to angles meaning air is trapped.  There are instructions in the workshop manual which even suggest raising the front of the vehicle till the cylinder is level,

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9 hours ago, secondjeremy said:

Pipework is correct - as are the cylinders.  Brake cylinder with nut on the end is a CB (Compression barrel) cylinder, clutch cylinder is a CV cylinder.  They do the same job, Rover liked them so much in the mid 60's they fitted one of each - then all CV later on.

 

Bleeding isn't easy due to angles meaning air is trapped.  There are instructions in the workshop manual which even suggest raising the front of the vehicle till the cylinder is level,

Thanks for confirming the cylinders/pipe work - the manuals seemed quite vague.
I will have another go at bleeding the system. I will also try back bleeding and I am using a pressurised bleeding system which seems very effective.

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Hi there, I tried bleeding the system again, but no success. Back bleeding was very messy and not a good result. Regular bleeding using a pressurised system worked with good incompressible feel to the pedal afterwards. In truth no different than before. Any other ideas?

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Your bleeding seems fine, as does the pipework.
I don't know about anyone else but I can't see the video, sound, yes, vision, no.

The problem appears to be a clutch that is mechanically 'sticking' either through rust (friction plate to either pressure plate or flywheel, or splines to friction plate centre).
Or there isn't enough movement of the external linkage, either between the slave cylinder and the release lever in the bell housing, or between the pedal and the master cylinder.
I cannot compare the '7mm' as I've never measured a working example.

While 'everyone' knows about setting the pedal height for the brakes, the Workshop Manual also contains a height for the clutch pedal. Check and correct this.
The clevis hole at the top of the pedal arm, where it connects to the master cylinder push rod, can wear very oval, but this is normally disguised by the pull off spring attached to the pedal arm. Remove the spring to enable a check for excessive wear at this top of arm to push rod connection point. With excessive wear you may have a lot of free pedal movemnt before the master cylinder moves.
With the arm pull off spring removed you can adjust the external pedal stop bolt to push the pedal arm so that when the pedal moves the master cylinder moves (leave a miniscule amount of play, the Workshop Manual will guide you how much).
After everything is working, reconnect the pedal arm pull off spring.

You say you can start the engine with 1st gear engaged, clutch down, and the vehicle doesn't move.
Do that, then release the clutch and move the vehicle. I appreciate the vehicle isn't road legal, and a test drive would be non-essential in the COVID lockdown, but you clearly have a few yards to move in, otherwise you would not have attempted the 3rd gear start.
Move the vehicle forwards and backwards, initially you may have to switch the engine off to engage reverse, then start the engine again before releasing the clutch.

If you have the space, press and release the clutch pedal while driving to exercise the clutch and induce a bit of movement and slippage, both spline to centre plate, and centre plate friction surfaces to flywheel and pressure plate.

Repeat as required. If the system doesn't improve the problem is not rust around the friction plate, we have to focus elsewhere.

Regards.

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I had this exact problem with my 2a that I didn’t used for five or so years. 
 

The friction plate had rusted absolutely solid to the gearbox pinion splines. This meant that the clutch would release but the friction plate would drag on the flywheel when the clutch was released giving the exact symptoms that you have - you could start in gear with clutch down, slip the clutch and pull away in control however the drag on the flywheel prevented changing gear.

I had to remove the engine to sort it out which was a challenge in itself as the rusted friction plate to splines prevented the engine and box from being split. It took a few days of penetrating oil through the top inspection cover under the gearstick bracket, and then a shaped punch to shock the friction plate free with the engine unbolted and pry bars between the bell housing. Even then it was a struggle as the plate was rusted solid to the splines.
 

It obviously needed a new friction plate when eventually split so I upgraded to the late 2a 9.5” Friction and pressure  diaphragm plate setup which is far better than the earlier three finger release type.

 

Edited by oneandtwo
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David & one and two, thanks for your thoughts and suggestions, very much appreciated and to those who have posted earlier. I am coming to the conclusion that my troubles are greater than setup and air in the system....

It seem my options fall down the shock the seized parts free route or open car surgery (which I would dearly like to avoid). I am blessed with a very large garden (a run of 200’)  so I can do start/stops etc. I know lubricants and the clutch should be avoided, but is there some targeted WD40 application that might help with the first option?

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Yes , through the gear stick front mount hole in the bell housing , you may need two thin tubes joined on your WD40 , the squirt needs to go onto the input shaft splines directly behind the centre plate splined hub so the thin tube will have to go through the diaphragm fingers if it's that style . With the coil spring cover there is much more space between the three release arms . If possible lever the thrust sleeve tophat back .

Then lots of use in the garden and repeat if needed

cheers

Steve b

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3 hours ago, oneandtwo said:

I had this exact problem with my 2a that I didn’t used for five or so years. 
 

The friction plate had rusted absolutely solid to the gearbox pinion splines. This meant that the clutch would release but the friction plate would drag on the flywheel when the clutch was released giving the exact symptoms that you have - you could start in gear with clutch down, slip the clutch and pull away in control however the drag on the flywheel prevented changing gear.

I had to remove the engine to sort it out which was a challenge in itself as the rusted friction plate to splines prevented the engine and box from being split. It took a few days of penetrating oil through the top inspection cover under the gearstick bracket, and then a shaped punch to shock the friction plate free with the engine unbolted and pry bars between the bell housing. Even then it was a struggle as the plate was rusted solid to the splines.
 

It obviously needed a new friction plate when eventually split so I upgraded to the late 2a 9.5” Friction and pressure  diaphragm plate setup which is far better than the earlier three finger release type.

 

Great answer this makes complete sense.

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On 3/30/2020 at 6:04 PM, Jessie the dog said:

The fluid level doesn’t appear to change on either down or up stroke, perhaps a twitch at the beginning and end of the stroke 

I took the cover off the pedal box and tried adjusting the two nuts which didn’t seem to make any difference.

One issue I had when fitting the pipes was that the brake and master cylinder seemed to be in the wrong places and also didn’t match up to the fittings that I bought. I swapped them around to what is shown in this picture.

 

 

image.jpg

I'm not sure the pipe layout is correct, although I'm not 100% sure.

Is the brake master cylinder fed from the side of the resevoir and the clutch from the bottom? If so, that is counter intuitive. In case of a leak on either circuit, the brake master cylinder would lose its supply before the clutch, it should be the other way round from a safety perspective.

As said, I could easily be wrong.

However, even if I'm right and they are the wrong way round, I'm sure it has nothing to do with the problems you are seeing with regards to the clutch.

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