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clutch on its last legs?


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Hi all

My 300tdi defender 1995 has 135k on the clock and I'm starting to wonder if the clutch is on its last legs.

When it's first driven from cold, for the first mile or so, it judders and the clutch operation is harsh (it judders in the transmission play). There isn't any oil in the bell housing which would maybe cause this. Also the clutch bite is at the very top of the pedal, in fact just under the free play.

The land rover changes gear perfectly when warm, faultless in fact. However when cold it's a different story with 2nd gear. But I beleive that's the nature of the box not the clutch.

Lastly, when idling, especially first run of the day, there is a noise and bearing chatter which silences when the clutch is depressed, again which is much less when warm.

If I am due a clutch soon, how many no towing miles would you expect it to have left?

And for someone who has never done a clutch before, engine or gearbox out?

Many thanks all.

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Sounds like it's at the end of its life Josh. It could last 5 miles or 5000 miles there's just no way of knowing.

Replacement is a straightforward enough job for which I would remove the engine. You can do it by pulling the gearbox back but there's not much room to work unless you have it up on a hoist.

Remove the engine with an engine hoist and the clutch area is easily accessible and visible and the bell housing is not obstructed so you can comfortably Fit a new clutch fork and release bearing and the fiddly little clips.

I've done it both ways and it's engine out for me :)

Mo

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Plan to change it Josh, when it fails it will do so in the darkest, wettest, coldest, least accessible place it can find. It hasn't really got long.

Mo

Thanks again Mo. I think I'll start saving my pennies. Hope to do it myself though. Got to start somewhere

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Mo, do you need to take the radiator out for the engine out method, and 'just' move the engine forward? ( I have one with 177k on the clock, just wondering if I shouldn't be thinking on the same lines)

Yes, otherwise you will be replacing the radiator too! you will need a viscous hub spanner 32mm to remove th fan, - left hand thread.

Also need to check flywheel carefully - I've had three over the years with hairline cracks on the surface from clutch slip overheating the flywheel. The first time back in the early 2000's I just put a new clutch in and ignored the cracks, only to have the clutch fail again in six months and 5k miles the cracked flywheel had completely worn the friction material away down to the rivets - the pressure plate side was perfect still.

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I'd concure definitely plan to get the clutch changed, you're getting a valuable pre warning...

On how you change the clutch is a bit more dependant on your equipment I'd say, I favour the engine out method as I've got a decent crane some space and a concrete floor, other folk prefer the gearbox back method, a bit more fiddly, but doable on the said of the road... :)

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If the gearbox doesn't want to change in 2nd gear when cold. But is perfect in every gear when warm.

Should I get that reconned too?

Change the gearbox oil for fresh mtf94.

Hard to select second from cold I'd very common, in fact almost normal, for an r380. I've found fresh correct oil can help with the shifting.

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Change the gearbox oil for fresh mtf94.

Hard to select second from cold I'd very common, in fact almost normal, for an r380. I've found fresh correct oil can help with the shifting.

Thanks for the reply. It's got fresh MTF94. Just found a good how to guide on getting the engine oil. So I may just do that and leave the box in

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Cackshifter, it's a good opportunity to change your coolant too :)

Josh, what oneandtwo said, no point in trying to find things to throw money at, your land rover will find those ;) Check for oil leaks from your rear crankshaft seal and be prepared to change it if necessary. I don't agree with obsessive rear crank seal changing, if it's not leaking leave it alone.

The whole job should take 2 people a day first time out. Last time I did it out took 4 hours start to finish :) hardcore ;)

Mo

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Cackshifter, it's a good opportunity to change your coolant too :)

Josh, what oneandtwo said, no point in trying to find things to throw money at, your land rover will find those ;) Check for oil leaks from your rear crankshaft seal and be prepared to change it if necessary. I don't agree with obsessive rear crank seal changing, if it's not leaking leave it alone.

The whole job should take 2 people a day first time out. Last time I did it out took 4 hours start to finish :) hardcore ;)

Mo

Thanks all. Mo don't you think I should change the crank seal regardless? I wouldn't say it leaks but there is a slight seep from it.

R380 has new mtf94 in it. The 2nd gear when cold is becoming quite difficult now, but if the engine is coming out ill leave it alone.

I'll reinforce the clutch fork too. I can pick up a borg & beck clutch for £65. So if you guys think that's a good make I may go for that?

Can I just confirm something? Would you change I now, or wait until it fails? Fortunately it's not my daily drive.

Thanks everyone for your help

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There's a lot to be said for changing it at your leisure rather than having it fail on you at the side of the road somewhere. And if there's a weep from your rear crankshaft seal then I would say it's leaking and needs changing. If it's dry then leave it.

It's something that's been at the back of my mind now with mine, done 80k in it and no idea when it was last done before I bought it so thinking I should do it soon to pre-empt it - there's also a lot of other jobs I can do which are a lot easier to achieve with engine out to help push me down that road. Doing 30k a year in it I'd rather do the job on my own terms over a weekend than get stuck out at work somewhere.

Of course you can't predict everything, something else could go bang or the new clutch could fail 1,000 miles later. But that's just the chance you take with cars! And if it's not your daily driver then perhaps it's not necessary to change it until it does fail, as you won't necessarily be stuck when it does. Your call really, but I always prefer to plan jobs which helps spread the cost of them.

As for branding, my plan is to go with the Valeo 130 clutch, seems to be the de facto replacement for all Tdi vehicles. But a Borg and Beck version of the same kit would most likely be no different. Definitely worth fitting an HD arm, or modifying it yourself to reinforce it.

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There's a lot to be said for changing it at your leisure rather than having it fail on you at the side of the road somewhere. And if there's a weep from your rear crankshaft seal then I would say it's leaking and needs changing. If it's dry then leave it.

It's something that's been at the back of my mind now with mine, done 80k in it and no idea when it was last done before I bought it so thinking I should do it soon to pre-empt it - there's also a lot of other jobs I can do which are a lot easier to achieve with engine out to help push me down that road. Doing 30k a year in it I'd rather do the job on my own terms over a weekend than get stuck out at work somewhere.

Of course you can't predict everything, something else could go bang or the new clutch could fail 1,000 miles later. But that's just the chance you take with cars! And if it's not your daily driver then perhaps it's not necessary to change it until it does fail, as you won't necessarily be stuck when it does. Your call really, but I always prefer to plan jobs which helps spread the cost of them.

As for branding, my plan is to go with the Valeo 130 clutch, seems to be the de facto replacement for all Tdi vehicles. But a Borg and Beck version of the same kit would most likely be no different. Definitely worth fitting an HD arm, or modifying it yourself to reinforce it.

Thanks retroanaconda appreciate the advise. I'll go for the valeo 130 version then.

As long as you all agree that it is "on its last legs" then I can start planning replacement in all aspects.

No doubt when I come to do it ill be posting back here in need of some help haha. Thanks again everyone

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Not had the experience myself to guess whether yours is on its way out or not to be honest. Could easily be though, and I would trust he judgement of others with more experience (Mo etc.).

Judder can be caused by loose/sheared transmission mounts too, so it's worth checking those. And I would expect the bite point to be at the top of the travel, after the designed-in free play of the pedal linkage there should be immediate engagement of the release bearing as the hydraulic system is self adjusting.

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Thanks Retroanaconda . Ive been doing some research tonight into how to do it. Quite looking forward to it beleive it or not, and learning too.

My clutch pedal inself it very jerky and not smooth, i can iron out the jerkyness if my leg muscles can take it. Is there a way i can lubricate the clutch pedal, its not the hydraulic system, im sure of that. It sounds dry in the pedal box to tell the truth. Just so i can look after the tranmission before i get the clutch replaced. Im abit unsure what to lubricate inside the pedal box with (If at all) Incase i damage some seals.

thanks

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Just to add weight to the 'change it or get stuck argument' - that's EXACTLY what occurred to me. Miles from home, in a field. Just before an enormous dumping of snow a few years ago (2009?)

Getting it recovered was issue enough, but then I had to navigate a week's worth of some of the worst snowfall for years in Gloucestershire in my mother's Megane cabrio!

We had a look at the timing belt whilst the engine was out, and that had basically frayed to bits too. Lucky save!

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Thankyou for your input too guppy.

I best get it changed then. I will check the clutch pedal adjustment as Mo has advised me just incase.

I'm not sure if this is related? But when the underneath or the engine bay is pressure washed. For a good week or so the clutch judders uncontrollably. Related?

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