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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #31
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Can't really see enough from your pic, and not having been up under a Punto dash, could it be that loosening the nearest mountings of the plastic panel might allow it to be heaved up enough to release the cylinder?
I guess the garage will do something similar, or they might have just said 'remove the whole panel'.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #32
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
I guess the garage will do something similar, or they might have just said 'remove the whole panel'.
I think you may be right with this PB. It was only about 45 minutes from closing time and they were busy on Saturday when I went in, but the foreman and one of the mechanics came over because they were interested to hear how I'd got on with doing the selector seal. When I first mentioned about my tribulations with the M/Cyl various derogatory noises were uttered and it was mentioned that bits of the underdash need to be removed to gain access - unfortunately they were busily trying to finish up before knocking off time so I didn't get the chance to ask more in depth questions.

To be honest with you I'm feeling fed up with it and I'm really quite happy to hand it over to them, although, I suppose, it means I'll be blowing all the saving I made by doing the selector seal myself - Ah well, c'est la vie! - and, of course, my boy needs the car back to get to his work.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #33
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

To be honest, I would have taken something sharp to that offending plastic.

I have a similar problem with the heater fan resistor on my wife's Panda. It's located at the top of the heater case hard up against the firewall. The inside is easy to see if you open the air recirc flap, but the business side looks impossible.

Access might be possible to someone with arms as long as a chimp. It's looking like the steering motor will have to be removed to get to it. Even then there's no certainty.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #34
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Quote Originally Posted by DaveMcT View Post
To be honest, I would have taken something sharp to that offending plastic.

I have a similar problem with the heater fan resistor on my wife's Panda. It's located at the top of the heater case hard up against the firewall. The inside is easy to see if you open the air recirc flap, but the business side looks impossible.

Access might be possible to someone with arms as long as a chimp. It's looking like the steering motor will have to be removed to get to it. Even then there's no certainty.
Thanks Dave, that's cheered me up a bit. Would have been even better if our printer hadn't decided to chuck in the towel! How do they make a reasonable quality printer for the same price as, or less than, a master cylinder? Oh, silly me, just look at the price of the inks!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #35
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
How do they make a reasonable quality printer for the same price as, or less than, a master cylinder? Oh, silly me, just look at the price of the inks!
Smug mode = ON
I've got an HP Laserjet 1018 (mono) bought in 2005 that's still going strong. It cost me 50 and I can get TWO 2000 page toner toner packs for under 10.

Smug mode = OFF
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #36
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Getting back to the theme of this thread. My younger boy's Astra. Actually it wasn't strictly speaking "on" the driveway because that is already full of Panda and Punto. Also my ibiza is using up "my" bit of kerbside parking so the Astra (2007 1.6 estate) had to be parked with 2 wheels on the drop curb across the bottom of the run up to my house. So why was it paying us a visit? Well he (No2 son) rang earlier that day (this was Monday) to say he had a checkup at the family dentist and then a couple of customers to see in Leith - so he'd be down our area - about signage on their shop fronts. The car's making a "funny" noise, could I look at it?

I was having a wee tidy up in the front garden as he turned into the road end and could hear the noise from there! I'd thought it might be that he'd taken the pads through to the metal but it turned out to be a stone - quite a large one - trapped up the back of the N/S rear caliper rubbing against the inner part of the hub - haven't seen this in a long time. I couldn't shift it with the caliper in place but once removed the stone just about jumped out on it's own. Unfortunately the caliper was being uncooperative and refused to go back on until I'd wound it's piston back in a couple of turns! Luckily it did so nice and smoothly (unlike the Jazz last week which needed a new caliper) I checked both sides and the pads looked only about half worn so that is good.

Having sorted this so easily I realized I had at least an hour in hand before he was due to return so I decided to just give all the running gear a wee check over. All looking good, steering, suspension etc. O/S rear shocker just weeping slightly so will need to be done before next MOT. He has a friend with a garage who had done his tracking recently when he'd replaced the front tyres. They had found his lower front arm bushes to be in very poor condition (probably still the originals?) so he'd given permission to fit new ones before the tracking job. I decided to remove the front wheels so I could properly inspect the front pads etc. The wheel studs were done up so tightly I only just managed to slacken them with my 600 mm breaker bar and a great deal of effort. He would have had no chance of changing a puncture at the roadside if he had to. I thought this "thing" of over tightened wheel nuts was pretty much a thing of the past these days with most workshops torquing them? I think he's going to have a word with his pal about it.

Oh, by the way Dave, I went and bought another inkjet - cringe - Cannon Pixma MG5750 - special offer at Currys - Oh dear, will I never learn? Anyway I'm giving inkjets one last try. If it goes the same way as the two Epsons I've wrecked I think I'll try a mono laser next.

The Punto went into Harrisons at 8am this morning to get it's master cylinder done. (as mentioned above) He's taken it with just 2 days notice when they normally have around a two week lead in so I'm extremely grateful to them. They are working it around existing jobs, I may see it back last thing tonight - which would be good as my older boy is back from their summer hols and he's on an early shift in the morning so the car would be very useful - but more likely it's going to be sometime tomorrow. I arrived just as they were finishing a cup of tea and starting work and I was able to hand the keys to the chap who will actually be doing the job which was good as I could fill him in on exactly what I'd been trying. (this is why I much prefer small garages - can you imagine being able to talk to the mechanic working on your car in the main dealer?) As he headed off, with the keys, towards the Punto, I said "you'll have to fill me in on how this is done when I return to pick her up" - "Oh, don't know about that" he said, "Trade secret you know!" Don't know if he was joking or not? Suppose it doesn't really matter though as we've only the one Punto in the family and I'm not planning on doing anyone else's! Gona be interesting to see what he charges me at the end of the day?
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Last edited by Pugglt Auld Jock; 3 Weeks Ago at 17:07.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #37
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
it turned out to be a stone - quite a large one - trapped up the back of the N/S rear caliper rubbing against the inner part of the hub - haven't seen this in a long time.
I seem to remember the early Metros suffered a lot with this, used to hook most stones out with a bit of hooked wire. I'm sure they introduced a modified shield. Like you, not seen, or heard this in a while.
Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
Oh, by the way Dave, I went and bought another inkjet - cringe - Cannon Pixma MG5750 - special offer at Currys - Oh dear, will I never learn? Anyway I'm giving inkjets one last try. If it goes the same way as the two Epsons I've wrecked I think I'll try a mono laser next.
My main printer is a mono laser, clever thing that prints both sides. When it reports toner low, there's a 'reset fix' involving a sequence of button presses that allows it to continue until pages come out with bits missing.
My inkjet is so rarely used, the ink is usually dried up, so expensive to buy new cartridges for each print job of a few pages.
Inkjets have an internal counter that eventually says 'end of life'. The cartridges sit on a pad, which drains into a tray inside. The ink of course dries, but the solids do not go away. The machine calculates when the tray is full of dried ink, and then stops working. It is possible to dismantle and clean it out, but the software needs a reset, which can be done at a cost, usually more than a new printer.
Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
"Oh, don't know about that" he said, "Trade secret you know!"
Quite likely to involve brute force and possible breakage of unimportant edges, so whilst effective, not a good idea to share.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #38
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

I bought an HP OfficeJet Pro 8725 for making marketing leaflets. It does dual sides and in full colour and includes a scanner and copier so its HUGE.

Its actually cheaper to run than a colour laser and double sided A4 is less cost than commercial who will only do full colour. = expensive. You do have to avoid switching on auto updates and do not buy the HP cartridge contract. When used to its design capacity the ink contract will cost a fortune and it wont let you use carts from any other source even HP.

The only way to do it cheaper would be a (second - hand) washing machine size commercial laser that uses bulk toner.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #39
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Well, I've got the Punto back. The foreman at the garage was very nice to me - he actually did the job himself - and was perfectly open with me as to what had to be done. It basically involves the partial removal of the pedal box (and maybe some other ancillary bits and pieces - I'm not so sure on this) Having attempted to remove the master cylinder I can vouch for the awkwardness of all this I certainly wouldn't like to try unless I absolutely had to. I'm not sure if you could safely cut away enough plastic to do the job otherwise and it's worth thinking about the fact that the bits you would have to cut away are what actually form the seal against the bulkhead to stop engine bay fumes entering the cabin!

The downside is that the original problem is little improved! Although there is a small improvement and the pedal has a slightly "harder" feel to it, it still goes a long way down before freeing the driven plate. This misdiagnosis is solely down to me as I specifically asked them to change the cylinder and supplied the new one. They are being very nice at the garage and told me not to beat myself up too much over this as their diagnosis, given the symptoms, would have been just the same.

I've been looking very carefully at what I can see and there's one very interesting observation - the release arm which the slave cylinder pushes against is now moving roughly the same distance as Becky's when the pedal is fully depressed. You may remember that when observed previously this arm was only moving about half the distance that Becky's does (although Becky is a Panda the release arm and clutch assembly are almost identical) so the fact that little improvement is experienced in clutch operation is very puzzling. I've been back and had a chat with the guys at the garage (and we must remember they specialize in Fiats so see a lot of them) The reasoning we've arrived at is that, with the new cylinder fitted and a noticeable improvement in stroke now being seen at the slave cylinder, it's been very likely that there was a master cylinder problem. The mystery though is, why, with plenty of movement on the release arm, is the clutch not freeing? We've jointly arrived at the conclusion that there must be a problem inside the bellhousing - release bearing (but it's not noisy) release arm (more likely perhaps) or something to do with the clutch cover, possibly damaged diaphragm fingers? Anyway it's agreed the box is going to have to come out for a look see. It's going to be a cruel coincidence if there are actually two separate issues here?

At this time the car is still drivable as long as you take care to fully depress the pedal with each gear change so my boy is using it to get to his work. He has a shift change coming up on the 30th which gives him 3 days off so the car goes back to the garage on Monday 30th - if it doesn't croak it before! He's got a bit of paper in his pocket with the breakdown number on it just in case! Multiple crossed fingers, toes and anything else you like, will be most appreciated.

Regards
Jock
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #40
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Quite likely it needs a new clutch. On lots of these small Fiats, the clutch diaphragm spring wears, the fingers wear and the actual diaphragm gets stiff.
This sort of wear happen squite quickly if the driver regularly rests their foot on the clutch at stops, instead of selecting neutral and relaxing, but it still happens, just takes longer, if we are careful with it.

There have been issues with the release fork bearings in the gearbox casing wearing, allowing the fork to twist a little and lose some movement, but not had one reported on here recently, so maybe something for older boxes only.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #41
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
Quite likely it needs a new clutch. On lots of these small Fiats, the clutch diaphragm spring wears, the fingers wear and the actual diaphragm gets stiff.
This sort of wear happen squite quickly if the driver regularly rests their foot on the clutch at stops, instead of selecting neutral and relaxing, but it still happens, just takes longer, if we are careful with it.

There have been issues with the release fork bearings in the gearbox casing wearing, allowing the fork to twist a little and lose some movement, but not had one reported on here recently, so maybe something for older boxes only.
From all the observations I've made I'm now convinced the problem lies with the clutch assembly or release mechanism. I do find it quite strange that there is no hint of "strange noises" from within though? - and although the pedal goes almost to the floor before the driven plate is freed the clutch bites ok and doesn't slip under full power - If the diaphragm fingers/release bearing were badly enough worn/damaged to give the symptoms I'm seeing, surely there would be some sort of rubbing/grating/clicking/etc type noise going on? But there's not! Your last suggestion of release lever being either bent or worn interests me as that scenario would seem to fit the symptoms better. What does a worn one look like? any chance you've got an illustration or can post a link to one? Is it the end of the fingers (where they bear on the release bearing) that wear? Can the arms bend? Can the shaft twist? The exterior release arm (the one the slave cylinder rod pushes against) looks as it should. Any help on what to look for would be greatly appreciated.
Yours in frustration.
Jock
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #42
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Quote Originally Posted by Pugglt Auld Jock View Post
no hint of "strange noises" from within though?
- If the diaphragm fingers/release bearing were badly enough worn/damaged to give the symptoms I'm seeing, surely there would be some sort of rubbing/grating/clicking/etc type noise going on?

But there's not! Your last suggestion of release lever being either bent or worn interests me as that scenario would seem to fit the symptoms better.
The finger ends can wear almost to failure without any nasty noises. The bearing, which of course wore with it, continues to bear nicely against the worn surface. They do tend to cause a bit of a noise if a finger breaks though, as the bearing will often then jam.

The release shaft does not bend. It pivots in the gearbox housing in two bushes. These wear allowing the shaft to lean a little according to pressure, which changes the way the bearing contacts the pressure plate fingers. Then it wears more quickly, but often without any tell-tale noises. The bushes are I think replaceable without too much swearing.

Usual problem is just release fingers worn. The diaphragm gets stiffer with wear and debris, the fingers take more pressure, wear increases, reducing movement. The ends of the fingers can start to flex, creating more lost movement.

A new, good brand name clutch, and you'll wonder how you suffered so long with the extra effort.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #43
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

Yes PB, I think a close look at the release fork, where the release bearing sits on it, is going to be a good place to start. I agree, It seems to fit the symptoms best doesn't it. I had the slave cylinder out when I was doing the selector shaft seal and didn't notice any obvious play in that top bush, who knows about the bottom one? Do the arms of the fork suffer from bending?

I have a memory of one make of car I worked on long ago with this type of release fork set up but the fork was secured to the spindle with a single bolt which screwed through the base of the "Y" profile and into the spindle - the end of the bolt, where it entered the spindle was not threaded (more like a smooth pin) with the threads running up to the head of the bolt which engaged with threads in the "Y" of the fork, so the bolt/pin was taking all the force to actuate the clutch as a shear force through this one bolt/pin. It was common for the end of the bolt to gradually shear which gave a very similar symptom to what we have here with, when the bolt/pin sheared right through, a pedal which went to the floor and no clutch actuation. I think the Fiat fork assembly is welded though from what I can see of it in Mr Haynes publication, and it's not really a "Y" either being two "fingers" which are welded to the spindle, so that scenario doesn't apply.

I'm chomping at the bit to have a go at this myself. Frustratingly I've got the tools and knowledge to do it but have to accept that age and arthritis are acting against me. I had a very successful but big spinal op a few years ago to relieve some of it and another life saving abdominal quite recently so don't want to jeopardize the relatively good health I enjoy at present. I know that Harrison's specify Valeo and I've got faith in that brand. Think I'll just politely mention about the release fork when I'm handing it over at the end of next week but being Fiat specialists I imagine they'll be switched on to the possibility? I'll update here when there's an outcome.

Stay safe everyone
Jock
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #44
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

The release fork is welded to the pivot shaft. There have not been any reports as far as I remember of those bending or breaking, just the bushes wearing.

Unlikely to be clutch fork/lever. Almost certainly just the clutch itself, and Valeo is OE I think, and a good brand. I'd prefer them or LUK over any others.
As a specialist, they'll ccheck the bushes anyway, but unlikely to be the problem.
Stop worrying.
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Re: What shared the drive with your panda?

My Punto had a horribly heavy clutch action and was still not releasing properly. When opened up the pressure plate fingers were grooved by the release bearing though there was never any noise from that bearing. It also had a delayed pedal action making the clutch engage with a thump. A new clutch kit solved all that.

The Panda clutch was not especially heavy, so I didn't spot that it was worn. After a while, I noticed the delayed pedal action which was beginning to get heavier. When it was opened up, the pressure plate fingers were grooved.

My wIfe's 1.2 has a heavy clutch pedal. She happy enough but I've put myself on notice to get the clutch done. I have a few back problems but as it will be a driveway job with Jacks I'm not too worried about getting the gearbox off/on the car.
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