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Clutch Problems

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Having spent the last few months fixing my 200 TDI Defender, I naively thought I had fixed all the major problems. :)

Only to now have the clutch give up on me. :( It started to judder occasionally when pulling away from cold, but now slips once the motor comes on full boost (12 psi). There is no evidence of oil or fluid from the flywheel housing, so I can only assume the friction plate is worn or the fingers on pressure plate are weak.

It has done 88,000 miles.

Although I would change this myself, I do not have a workshop so I will have to pay somebody else (Ouch).

So here are the questions: -

1)Would it be worth fitting a 130-friction/pressure plate? If so dose any one have the part numbers or advice?

2)What sort of cost am I looking at for the whole job?

3)Dose any one have a recommendation? Who I can trust to do a decent job without ripping me off, I am in Maidstone in Kent.

4)Also should I be looking at the transmission whilst its apart. There is a noticeable increase in the amount of gear noise at around 35 mph on light to medium loads (3rd and 4th gear) and a clunk/clack when changing up gear under load particularly in 2nd & 3rd. Dose anyone have any advice as to weather this is accepted as normal.

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1) not sure, i thought about this and then said bugger it and bought a standard def 90 item

2) Give some thought to doing it yourself. All you need is an engine crane to do the gearbox with 'relative' ease. One from machine mart is £170 ish, which is what you would pay for labour on the job (at least probably) but you get an engine crane out of it. Les Hanson on here can change a clutch without using a crane, but I'm not convinced les is normal having done the disco with a crane.

If you got it done at a garage - at a guess 3 hours labour?

3) no idea

4) you won't really have the transmission apart so you won't be able to see anything. As you probably know LT77s have a reputation for wearing the output gearbox spline which feeds into the transfer box, this can put clunk in the system.

To check for this first take the PTO cover off then remove the bearing inside and finally the transfer gear. You might even be able to tell with just the pto off and rocking the car and looking for relative motion.

However there are LOADS of places where clunk and slack in the drive train can occur, in no particular order:

drive flanges on the wheel hubs

cv joint wear

worn flanges on the driveshafts

wear in the diffs

propshaft ujs

wear in the centre diff

so check the most likely first, i.e. propshafts, it may be that your noise and clunkyness are related to them - never discount the impossible on a LR :)

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Borg & Beck clutch kit is £85 inc VAT, reinforced clutch fork is £15, silly little clippy things are 70pee. Labour is £110. Time to do it is normally around 4-hours, but siezed nuts (especially at this time of the year :P) , are a problem, and it may drag out a bit. There's a thread in the Tech archive on how to do it. A garage is going to sting you at least £35 per hour for labour (lol!)

Anyway - with a crane:-


Not quite the clutch, but near enough :-


Replacing the clutch on any defender - regardless of age, is much the same (girly Disco's are a bit different tho :D ) . Definitely a DIY job, even if your mechanical skills are limited. The job looks intimidating, but in reality it's just nuts and bolts, and a degree of care.

Les. :)

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a crane on a disco? WHY? trolley jack & a the standard bottle jack is all you need. i know a bloke who did a defender with just some rope - take the floor out & put a loop of rope under the gearbox & over the roof. you have enough movement to slide the box back to get the clutch out then. not ideal but it works.

about the only fancy tool you want (not need) to do a clutch is a clutch alignment tool, i think mine cost about £5. its a straight forward job really, but do fit a reinforced clutch fork while you are in there.

as said above, check for spline wear on the output shaft thats probably your clunk - its expensive to fix properly though.

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Thanks for all the replies.

I am sure I could do this, but I have lost the garage/workshop I was renting :( .

I will try to check the wear on the gearbox spline and determine whether the box needs replacing before going any further.

I have already replaced the prop shafts, and rebuild both front hubs with new cv's and swivel bearing housings etc. I have not touched the diffs but the front halfshafts and flanges were good.

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I did the clutch on my old defender, it took quite a while as we changed the transfer box at the same time...

we did it outside, on my Dads driveway, no need for a workshop, but then that was in July...

if you look at Les's tech thread on doing the defender clutch you'll see you can do it by moving the gearbox back, so no need for an engine crane.... its a straightforward but physically tough job...

if you've got a mate who can help you, it'll be done in a day. :)

Les did the clutch on my Disco, i couldn't be bothered to get involved, as i needed it done before i went to morocco.. and for the money it wasn't worth getting dirty, its my disco that features in the Discovery clutch tech thread.... make sure you change the cluch fork/ arm... because its a real weak point and will break...

Les does a nice line in welded, reinforced ones.... :)

Oh, and he fitted an AP clutch to my disco, as apparently they're stronger than Borg & Beck ones...

i'm in gravesend, so not far from you, theres two places near me that i certainly wouldn't use.... PM me if you want to know who i'd recommend you stay away from... <_<


theres one called Roberts Cross Country Vehicles near you somewhere... i've only heard good things about them... :)

or Gigglepin 4x4 are Kent somewhere, and he's supposed to be good... :)

I use RJ Harvey in Essex, for my MOT's and things, he's a good bloke and knows his stuff... he did some welding on my Dads Disco for its MOT and did a very good job, for a reasonable (cheap actually) price... he's in rayleigh, so only about 25 mins on the Essesx side of the Dartford crossing. :)

hope this helps.... :)

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i've seen a lot worse, about 50% of the splines had gone on my box when i checked it. kept the mainshaft (after i rebuilt the box, for it to die in 450miles) just for the sake of it. still at least you know whats up now.

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Looks like replacement gearbox and drive gear, Rod :( At least you know the problem now.

As for doing work on the side of the road - just about all of mine is really. I freelance L/R stuff for a couple of local garages, and occasionally customers have a driveway/parking bay. I do spend most of my day in the gutter though :D

Les. :)

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I'm very new to LR's, where do I find a stronger clutch for, I've determined that my shifting woes are a bent fork. Since I'm in the middle east, if I can't get one from the UK, is it possible to straighten the one I have and reinforce it?

1985 110 4dr p/u conv

V8, 5spd

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twice - that was keen Mo, just to make sure it was in there properly the second time i guess.

:) No James, the britpart one that I fitted first leaked even worse than the one I replaced so it was engine out again a week later to fit a genuine one, which leaked a bit a first but has now stopped, :) I'm not sure if that's good or bad, thinking about it now :blink:

Rod, better to find that now than in a couple of months time !


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