clutch siezed

Clutch, Gearbox, Overdrive, Propshaft, Differential, Drive Shafts, Hubs.
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valencia
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clutch siezed

#1 Post by valencia » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:47 pm

Hello everyone,
If you have had your car laid up over winter I hope it is easier to resurrect than mine is proving at the moment.
I appear to have the clutch stuck or seized in some way. I have good pressure at the pedal and proper movement on the slave cylinder/bell housing lever. The trouble is with the clutch out and engine running I can still select all gears as if the clutch is stuck disengaged all the time. Suffice to say the car does not move.
I have heard of friction plates stuck to the flywheel preventing engagement but not this. The clutch is about 2 years old, say 4000 miles maximum use and it was ok up to 6-8 weeks ago. I did notice over winter that the pedal seemed stuck at the top of it's travel so every few days I gave it some exercise.
Does anyone have any suggestions of how to free things off, I am anxious not to remove the box again.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Mike Hasleden.
1970 mk2 2000.

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Alan Chatterton
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Re: clutch siezed

#2 Post by Alan Chatterton » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:27 pm

Mike,

Sticking clutches quite common in cars that are left for a while, but don't worry.

Two methods. Try the simple one first.

In Neutral, handbrake on, let it tick over for a good half an hour and get the engine and gearbox good and hot. Turn off, clutch down, flick the starter. If you are lucky, this might be enough to break the grip. Then just slip the clutch a little to clean up the faces and you are done.

If this doesn't work, don't try it too much as its easy to burn out the starter motor, then this is the more complex but surefire way of freeing it.

As above, get it nice and warm.

Jack the back of the car off the ground and secure on axle stands. chock the front wheels.

You need two people. One person sitting in the passenger seat with their right leg over the transmission tunnel, holding the clutch down with their right foot.

Second person in the drivers seat, start the car (wheels will turn as the clutch is seized). In 2nd gear.
Whilst the other person holds the clutch pedal down, you increase the revs and then gently apply the brakes, progressivly harder and harder whilst maintaining the revs with the thottle. The clutch will let go, usually with a bang!

There is the other way of starting it in gear, and hold the clutch down, drive it up and down a road going on and off the throttle to shock it. But, this method is dangerous I think, and you need a good empty road.

Try method 1, then if it doesn't work go to method 2.

I have never had this fail and I have never had to remove a gearbox to unseize a rusted clutch.

Best of luck, let us know how you get on!!
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Re: clutch siezed

#3 Post by Charles H » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:32 pm

Alan
You should read the question properly, Mike says the clutch is stuck DISENGAGED. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :oops:
Mike, I am afraid that it probably means a gearbox removal to find the problem. It could be the plate stuck on the input shaft but this is unlikely with a 'correct' feeling pedal. It could be a broken up clutch plate itself, meaning just a new plate required. What clutch did you fit, was it a quality one with the 16 rivets? (Not the three rivet version). It could be an over extended cover plate perhaps, but I think that would not give a correct feeling pedal.
I'm afraid it really will be a gearbox out job to find the problem. Sorry :(
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Alan Chatterton
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Re: clutch siezed

#4 Post by Alan Chatterton » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:10 pm

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

I really should pay more attention!!!

Sorry, you have to remove the gearbox. Suspect the clutch plate has broken, torn the centre out....... seen that a few times!
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Jonathan Lewis
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Re: clutch siezed

#5 Post by Jonathan Lewis » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:15 pm

valencia wrote:I appear to have the clutch stuck or seized in some way. I have good pressure at the pedal and proper movement on the slave cylinder/bell housing lever. The trouble is with the clutch out and engine running I can still select all gears as if the clutch is stuck disengaged all the time ... The clutch is about 2 years old, say 4000 miles maximum use and it was ok up to 6-8 weeks ago. I did notice over winter that the pedal seemed stuck at the top of it's travel so every few days I gave it some exercise ... I am anxious not to remove the box again.
Hi Mike,

It may be wishful thinking but, before going to all the trouble of dropping the ‘box again, it may be worth double-checking that there is no fault with the hydraulics preventing the clutch actuation mechanism from releasing completely. With the clutch pedal in the up position, can you get any free movement at all on the operating arm on the side of the bellhousing, or does the linkage feel like it is in a state of pre-load? If in doubt, you might try putting the car into gear, raising the back end clear of the ground, and seeing if you can rotate the propshaft by hand. If you can turn the prop with everything ‘as is’, but not if you disconnect the slave cylinder pushrod from the operating lever, then you may have problems with the master cylinder (I seem to remember being told that a broken return spring can have weird effects) or a partial blockage in the flexible supply pipe to the slave preventing the latter from recuperating completely.

If, however, there is any free play at the bellhousing operating lever, then I’d tend to concur with Alan and Charles that there are most likely problems within the bellhousing itself; possibly a failed centre to the driven plate, or perhaps a worn release bearing carrier and/or nosepiece causing jamming part-way through the intended operating travel.

Good luck!

Regards,

Jonathan

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valencia
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Re: clutch siezed

#6 Post by valencia » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:21 am

Thanks for the replies, and yes I do think that it's worth considering the hydraulics before dropping the box again. The clutch cover/plate were from Canley Classics but the bearing and carrier are from Chris Witor, I'm afraid I don't know how many rivets there are either.
I intend to get underneath this weekend and investigate further, I'll certainly let you know the outcome. Time to get the tools out,
Thanks,
Mike.

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clutch siezed

#7 Post by Polly » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:43 pm

I had a similar problem, the cross shaft was partially sized, so every time I pressed the clutch pedal, the clutch disengaged further, and did not return. In my case the pedal eventually went solid and could not be moved, but it could well be returning partially.
The slave cylinder returns as a result of the pressure plate springs, but normally is never pushed fully home. You should therefore be able to pull the release shaft back by hand, for some distance before the slave cylinder is pushed fully home. If it doesn't move, suspect seized cross shaft. WD40 and a hammer work wonders.


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valencia
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Re: clutch siezed

#8 Post by valencia » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:21 pm

:D Hello all,
I am somewhat relieved as after getting under the car to dis-connect the slave, I found that the bell housing lever was under constant pressure. I removed the clevis pin, let some fluid out and the pushrod fell off with the lever springing back. The slave seems to have seized part of the way out and despite not being an old part it was corroded near the end. I definitely have drive again when I turn the wheels by hand. I can only blame it on the very damp Lancashire weather, but easily fixed, new slave and master seals are ordered.
Thanks for the opinions,
All the best,
Michael.

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