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Old 06-05-2004   #1
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Strange Clutch problem

Well. A very interesting couple of days.

It started out with Julio's clutch slipping a bit under power. Made me think I needed a clutch which was surprising because he's only done around 40000 miles, . Apparently Adrian had a new clutch fitted at around 22000 miles because he didn't want any clutch slip with the increased power that the turbo conversion would give. There seems to be a school of thought that a Punto GT clutch will fit the Sporting, and so that was what Adrian asked the chap to fit.

When I bought Julio the clutch was a little strange, not seeming to disengage quite enough, yet possibly slipping a little bit - but difficult to tell. At Easter it became obvious it was slipping and so Brian and I decided that we would change it during May bank holiday week. So we started last Saturday.

When the gearbox came off, we looked at the clutch cover and were horrified by the state of the tines as they were so incredibly worn, some had even almost worn through, and some bits had obviously snapped off. (You can see from the picture, the wear rings should never be there, the tines should be flat and even all the way to the end.) The driven plate was also very black and shiny, and had definitely seen better days.

Checking the Thrust bearing however revealed a strange phenomenon: the thrust bearing was off-centre, meaning it's bearing face had been 'scrubbing' the tines and wearing them drastically. You can see how much it's offset in the picture below.

So there was nothing for it but to buy a clutch kit. But when we looked, we couldn't find a PuntoGT clutch that fitted the flywheel, as it had a proprietry spacing for the clutch cover bolts. It seemed that the only straightforward replacement would be a standard Cinqy Sporting Clutch. So we bought one, and took it home.

The next day we looked at the thrust bearing, and discovered that it too, was off-centre. (Pic below). This did not fill us with glee. Thinking this must have been a manufacturing fault, we took it back to the supplier. The salesman then went through a few clutch kits trying to find one that was concentric, (none of them were), before I discovered you could actually 'click' the bearing sideways a bit and force it to go off-centre in every direction if you so wished. This made us think that with a bit of careful persuasion we should be able to centre it, and so with a bit of careful squeezing and pushing the bearing was perfectly centred. But it was difficult to do.


Now, has anyone at all experienced this themselves? It was a new discovery for me, Brian, John (the FIAT Parts Manager) and the bloke from Partco where we bought the clutch. I must say I am very surprised that the thrust bearings are supplied with an obvious offset, without any form of instruction to centralise the bearing. It was more really by luck than judgement that we discovered it. I can only assume that the thrust bearing is supposed to self-centre itself once fitted, but the bearing seemed to require too much force for that. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has replaced a clutch in a Cinq and seen the same thing. I would also be very interested to hear from anyone who has managed to fit a heavier duty clutch kit, either from a Punto or using an aftermarket clutch.

Now all I have to do is find out how well the standard Cinq item handles the power........

Tosh


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Old 06-05-2004   #2
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Just run into my garage to check...

The spare 1242 engine came with a clutch, had exactly the same wear pattern on yours as in the top pic. The release bearing (Valeo / Fiat one) which is in a box on the floor ready to fit if I ever do the 1242 swap was also a good 1/16" of centre, now realigned.

As far as I understand it, the same clutch is fitted to Cinq/Sei sportings, Punto 55/60/75 models.
Hopefully, if it's standard fit on a 75 it should be good for around a 50% increase in power from there (say 110bhp?)

Pete.
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Old 07-05-2004   #3
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I Have a Punto 60 clutch fitted with my 6 speed box - I couldn't tell you what the difference is though. As for the Thrust bearing I didn't notice being off centre. The old thrust bearing was completly mullered aswell as the old clutch, much worse than in your pics, bits sheared off etc. even a chuck of thrust bearing had come off and fell out when we took it apart! - they were both in terrible condition (aswell as the whole gearbox to be honest...)
Matt

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Old 07-05-2004   #4
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Well Pete I'm glad you found out the bearing was off centre before it was fitted. Something to keep an eye on in the future I think.

Now I have the problem of whether the new standard clutch will handle the extra power. Julio is the 118bhp version and so might possibly slip, although to be honest I've driven some cars with considerable power gains over standard in the past which have managed perfectly well on standard clutches. And, as you say, if it will handle the Punto 75 it should be Ok for at least twice that if used sensibly. And in my favour I must say I don't normally go bonkers but then, there are those times when you just have to......

I'll find out soon enough. Julio starts going back together tomorrow.

Tosh

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Old 10-05-2004   #5
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Woah!
Finished late last night but as can be imagined still early enough to take Julio out for a spin. The new clutch is lovely and light, worryingly so I thought at first, but as smooth as I could have hoped for. And if I had any doubts about the clutch not being able to take the power without slipping I don't have any more. The little feller was transformed, and Brian and I went for a wee spinette along the back lanes to check him out.
BIG Grins all round, definitely highlight of the week. And I have missed that power and those brakes so much........

All is well, Julio is back.

Tosh

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Old 11-05-2004   #6
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Excellent! Gonna have to get mine finished now.... just bought a new bumper to mod, want to see if I can get an intercooler and my 235mm 10 row oil cooler in at the same time, with 1242... then it's lower compression and higher boost...:)

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Old 11-05-2004   #7
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Done 4 clutches in cinqs and all had the same wear on them. All the release bearings were loose in the housing though. But I think the release bearings dont slip enough in the release arm and slide across the face of the pressure plate and cause the wear.


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Old 11-05-2004   #8
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Quote Quote:
Originally posted by fixitagaintomorrow
Excellent! Gonna have to get mine finished now.... just bought a new bumper to mod, want to see if I can get an intercooler and my 235mm 10 row oil cooler in at the same time, with 1242... then it's lower compression and higher boost...:)

Pete.
I took a number of photos of the front end during the week so if they're of any help I'll post them. Also I'd be interested in where you fit the cooler - it looks like there are a couple of take-off points on the oil filter housing, but I haven't taken it apart to see what's inside yet. I presume I'd have to blank off an internal oilway to redirect the oil through the cooler though.

Tosh


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Old 11-05-2004   #9
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Quote Quote:
Originally posted by scrw
Done 4 clutches in cinqs and all had the same wear on them. All the release bearings were loose in the housing though. But I think the release bearings dont slip enough in the release arm and slide across the face of the pressure plate and cause the wear.


Steve Wright
That's a worry. What sort of average mileage would you expect from a clutch then? And I would agree with you the bearing isn't free enough, which is why I centred mine very carefully before fitting.

Tosh


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Old 11-05-2004   #10
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oh all lasted over 40k hard miles, just the pressure plates wear out faster than the friction disks, you know they need changing when the clutch goes stiff and cables start breaking :)


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Old 11-05-2004   #11
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Ah so that's why the cables break. But Brian's clutch is still perfect after 60k or so. Having said that it's also going to be dependent upon other things like how much you ride the clutch etc.

Tosh


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Old 11-05-2004   #12
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Quote Quote:
Originally posted by Julio_Scorchio
Quote Quote:
Originally posted by fixitagaintomorrow
Excellent! Gonna have to get mine finished now.... just bought a new bumper to mod, want to see if I can get an intercooler and my 235mm 10 row oil cooler in at the same time, with 1242... then it's lower compression and higher boost...:)

Pete.
I took a number of photos of the front end during the week so if they're of any help I'll post them. Also I'd be interested in where you fit the cooler - it looks like there are a couple of take-off points on the oil filter housing, but I haven't taken it apart to see what's inside yet. I presume I'd have to blank off an internal oilway to redirect the oil through the cooler though.

Tosh


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Photos would be appreciated, please. I'll PM you my email address 'cos I'm inundated with spam as it is, never mind putting the address on an open forum!

The oil cooler is probably just about where your intercooler is now - horizontal between radiator and passenger side spotlight, bear in mind mine has no intercooler (yet - it's still on the garage floor). I'm going for a wide open bumper to get plenty air in, I saw near 110'c on the water while flat out up the mountain section of the TT.

There isn't really enough room on mine to fit both coolers in with the abarth front, so it's coming off.

Pete.
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Old 11-05-2004   #13
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Quote Quote:
The oil cooler is probably just about where your intercooler is now - horizontal between radiator and passenger side spotlight, bear in mind mine has no intercooler (yet - it's still on the garage floor). I'm going for a wide open bumper to get plenty air in, I saw near 110'c on the water while flat out up the mountain section of the TT.

There isn't really enough room on mine to fit both coolers in with the abarth front, so it's coming off.

Pete.
Aha. The front of Julio may be rather different from what you suspect. The Intercooler is where the original radiator would normally be, and the radiator has been modified, turned upside down, and mounted on the passenger side by cutting out much of the downstand bracket for the bumper, and the rad is then slotted into it. Careful manipulation of the hoses to connect with it means it's a tight, but not impossible fit. There definitely is enough room as you can see below



The Fan bracket and radiator mounting bracket need to be modified and slightly repositioned, and the charcoal filter does too, but it all fits together really well with the Abarth front end. If I do ever get to one of the meets you could stick you head under the bonnet and have a good butchers, (unless you're in the Durham area before the end of the month).

Cheers

Tosh



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Old 12-05-2004   #14
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I think cinq clutches on the whole are pretty weak. Mine went after going through a couple of clutch cables at about 38k miles. About 2 weeks later I had to replace the clutch again because the prat who replaced it originally messed up some how. The clutch looked pretty much like the one in the pictures, and that was after 2 weeks!

P.S. That turbo install looks smart! Looks very professionally done. It's a Novitec one isn't it?

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Old 12-05-2004   #15
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That's a mighty fine bit of packaging!
Yep, my rad's still on the driver's side.

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