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Strange clutch incident


piper109
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My wife was driving my 300tdi. New seals were fitted to both clutch master and slave cylinders a few months back.

She came up to a light and the clutch pedal went to the floor and the engine stalled. The pedal would not come up so she pulled it up with her foot and it came back with a pop. A couple more tries and it started working again, coming back with a pop each time.

She was able to drive on and by the time she got home the pedal was completely normal, engaging at the usual height. I asked her to check fluid level and it was normal.

I know the pedal has an over centre helper spring which will hold the pedal down if there is no resistance so that's why it stayed down and then came back with a pop.

I'm trying to figure out what happened. Maybe there was some ice inside the cylinder which pushed the seal open and then moved away. It was above freezing at the time but it had been below overnight.

I don't think air got in as these seem to a devil to bleed but the pedal seems normal again.

Any ideas??

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so I don't think that is the problem.

I agree, fork failure is terminal, and besides, it doesn't have the same symptoms as you described above, anyway.

Determining whether the slave or master is at fault is the issue here. I would suspect the master cylinder, as a fault with the slave wouldn't affect the way the pedal returns.

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I am suspecting the master cylinder too but I cleaned it out thoroughly a couple of months back with very fine wet and dry and replaced the seals with the original brand. The bore was good and it has been working fine otherwise.

I kind of feel that if the slave cylinder was faulty, the reservoir fluid level would have dropped and air might have got in but does not seem to have happened.

Steve

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I kind of feel that if the slave cylinder was faulty, the reservoir fluid level would have dropped and air might have got in but does not seem to have happened.

Yes, if the slave seals were faultly, the only place for the fluid to go is in to the bell housing, where you would find it leaking. That said, very small leaks are often held by the rubber dust seal on the end of the slave cylinder.

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i have this exact same issue on my 300tdi defender. Happens once in a blue moon and when it does happen i just flick the pedal back up with the lip of my boot and press the pedal 3 or 4 times and it returns to normal. Might happen once a week or once in 2 months...

On mine it is definitely not the slave cylinder as i recently changed the clutch and slave and all the other gubbins down there whilst it was in bits. I reckon its the flexi hose going from the master to the slave, possible collapsing hose when the oil is sucked back into the master and stopping the slave from releasing. Until it does it alot and becomes a major problem, i will just live with its 'nuances'. :ph34r:

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Interesting. That flex is very stiff. Mine at least would be difficult to collapse.

I plan on flushing out the old fluid just in case some moisture has collected in there which could turn to ice. It may do nothing but it cant hurt. If it persists I might replace the master cyl I suppose.

I'm wondering if that infamous damper could be causing trouble. I do not know what its failure mode is.

Steve

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