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Old 2 Days Ago   #31
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

All good stuff from Jock.

I have a copy of eLearn, the Fiat manual, so out of curiosity I had a look. Torque figure given is 1daNm, which is 10Nm, even lower. Barely more than finger tight. I'd have thought it would need more than that to compress the diaphragm spring, and of course that needs to be done before any thought of final tightening. As Jock says, once used to spannering, you get a feel, and most mechanics only use a torque wrench for the critical stuff, such as hub nuts and cylinder heads, the rest being 'appropriately tight'.

You've changed all the obvious probable causes of a heavy clutch, slave, master, and clutch itself. The release bearing needs to slide along the sleeve in the gearbox, and if worn, can tilt a little, and become tight. The release arm pivot bearings are also a possible tight spot, sadly, both require gearbox out.

Have you checked the pedal pivot?
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Old 2 Days Ago   #32
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post

Have you checked the pedal pivot?
Yes, the pedal pivot seems perfect. No side to side play, nicely greased and no sign of wear. The pedal feels very light and smooth without the master cylinder hooked up to it
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Old 2 Days Ago   #33
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

Quote Originally Posted by portland_bill View Post
'appropriately tight'.
Appropriately tight Bill? Must remember that one - I really like it!

We had several degrees of tightness. There was "not tight enough you idiot" - "Nice 'n tight" - "very very tight" (only the second very started with an F) and "OOPs that was far too tight, where's the ezzy outs?" (sure there was an F in there somewhere too)
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Old 2 Days Ago   #34
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

15Nm is fine.

spotlessly clean

check the gearbox input shaft for horizontal moment

I use a drop of threadlock some cars do some don't I now just do all

there's no way to guess 15Nm. I have a small 1/4" torque wrench. Even that would struggle at 10Nm there not Good at there minimum setting. Torque wrenches should be stored at there minimum setting otherwise the spring weakens.


I tighten them diagonally opposite until they just pinch down then go round torqueing them down

seeing as you have had a problem I would check the pressure plate is flat


there's a few different types of release bearings if it plastic on the inside make sure its not marked up. Both plastic or spring steel types should slide easy on the tube in the gearbox and snap into place on the release folks.

the release folks should move freely both in the twisting motion and vertical. There should be a lot of vertical play. This is held in place when the release bearing is snapped into place


What make of clutch have you tried ?
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Old 1 Day Ago   #35
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

Quote Originally Posted by koalar View Post
What make of clutch have you tried ?
Earlier post said AP from a Fiat box, but this has set me thinking.

I was not aware that AP were OE suppliers to Fiat. I expected Valeo or LUK.

BUT! Some manufacturers still offer 'remanufactured' or 'reconditioned' clutches, as an alternative, and it appears form ePER that Fiat do. Recon clutches are usually sourced 'locally', so are not transported between countries. When reconditioning a clutch, the quality varies, and whilst any manufacturer marks should be removed, this does not always happen. When dealing with clutch warranty for a major parts supplier, we often had such units returned claiming to be ours.
A proper recon should dismantle the cover and replace the diaphragm spring with new, every time, as these get heavy with wear/use. If this is a recon done by AP themselves, I would expect this to have been done, so should be OK. However, if not an OE supplier, the diaphragm may be a little heavier than OE if 'near enough' is selected, rather than make a specific one for this application. I've seen diesel springs used for petrol applications many times. Even if this is a new unit, if AP are not OE, a heavier diaphragm may be used.

What was the Fiat part number purchased? This will show if new or reconditioned.

Any new clutch should be carefully inspected before fitment. Starting with, "was the box sealed?". It is not unknown for unscrupulous garages to replace a clutch due to oil contamination, or another reason with a clutch that is not noticeably worn, then clean the old one very well, and return it in the original box for refund, stating 'not used'. Then sadly, the next purchaser gets the old one.

How does the gearbox attach to the engine? Is it direct to the engine block, or is there a backplate? Backplates can get bent or cracked when hit, if the driver runs over something, then the whole thing flexes as the clutch is pushed.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #36
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

should have added to clean the splines on the gearbox and make sure the plate moves freely along them


now to grease or not to grease there are two camps an you can argue both ways

in fact I have two gearboxes here and one has had a new clutch and hasn't Been greased. The other is straight out of a 500 and has.

personally I use a tiny bit of High melting point grease move the disc up and down the spines and then wipe as much as possible off.

it works for me. If things work for me I tend to stick that method.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #37
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

Quote Originally Posted by koalar View Post
now to grease or not to grease there are two camps an you can argue both ways

personally I use a tiny bit of High melting point grease move the disc up and down the spines and then wipe as much as possible off.

it works for me. If things work for me I tend to stick that method.
Always a dilemma, as no lubrication leads to the plate sticking as the shaft rusts. But any lubricant can fly off and contaminate the friction linings.

Whilst dealing with warranty clutches, I have seen a lot of contamination from copper 'grease'. That should never be used as it has very little 'cling' and will fly off easily. A very tiny amount on the lining can cause judder, a blob the size of a pinhead can spread across the face and be enough to cause judder. I've seen one clutch contaminated with copper grease that had managed only a about 50 metres before starting to judder. (Maestro/Montego 1.3 & 1.6 were prone to judder anyway, and the gearbox inner shaft seal would leak, so that caused a lot of problems. The release shaft passed through the centre of the mainshaft, requiring a tiny seal. A VW gearbox, but strangely more trouble in the Austins than any VW.)

Your normal grease, used sparingly is a lower risk, as any on the lining should burn off, whereas the copper stuff will not. There is a risk that any grease may attract dust, and the clutch will create some of that of course.

A recommendation, from AP themselves during a factory visit, is to use graphite. A graphite spray is easy, but the shaft and splines can be rubbed with a soft pencil, then the excess wiped off. Good lubricity, won't attract dust, but tedious to apply. A use for a builder's pencil.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #38
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

Quote Originally Posted by koalar View Post
should have added to clean the splines on the gearbox and make sure the plate moves freely along them


now to grease or not to grease there are two camps an you can argue both ways

in fact I have two gearboxes here and one has had a new clutch and hasn't Been greased. The other is straight out of a 500 and has.

personally I use a tiny bit of High melting point grease move the disc up and down the spines and then wipe as much as possible off.

it works for me. If things work for me I tend to stick that method.
I very strongly agree with what you are saying here. In my opinion the problem you are addressing when "greasing" the gearbox input shaft splines is that of the driven plate not being free to slide on these splines and thereby not freeing from the flywheel properly when the pedal is pushed down. The reason for applying "grease" to the splines on the input shaft is therefore not to "lubricate" but to stop/minimize/delay the formation of corrosion which will causing the driven plate splines to "bind" on the input shaft splines. To achieve this you only need the very thinnest layer of grease. So apply some grease to the splines, work the driven plate to and fro on the splines to distribute the grease and then use a cloth to remove all but the very smallest trace of the grease. Any appreciable "blobs" of grease are only going to get thrown off onto the new lining/flywheel/clutch cover anyway greatly to the detriment of their operation! Remember this assembly is rotating at crankshaft speed so anywhere from, probably 800/900 rpm at idle to 2500/3000 rpm cruising down the motorway or even 6000 rpm in a moment of madness! No blob of grease I've ever heard of can withstand that, however I couldn't tell you how often I've cringed at the sight of one being assembled with the shaft thick with grease. The only exception I would mention is that if you have a plain bushed spigot in the flywheel a wee dab of grease in it is a good idea but if it's a ball race then there's no point. Of course most of our wee Fiat's don't even use a spigoted input shaft at all.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #39
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

There's some great information here. A real wealth of experience, thanks again.

The Fiat clutch I fitted was from Shop4Parts, p/n S4P3168 (71752235). It didn't mention reconditioned and I assumed it was new. I've had the car from new and the clutch I took off was definitely AP so I can tell you that AP was an OEM supplier to Fiat.

I'd like to be in the position to tell you that all is well but sadly I haven't finished refitting it all yet. It took ages to get the clutch plate aligned (the Laser universal tool is no use for a small clutch) and I had mislaid the one that I made last time so I had go bodge up another one from a variety of old sockets, bars and heat-shrink. Then I had some trouble refitting the gearbox because I had no one to help me today. But it's back on now and I just need to refit a few ancillaries. Hopefully all will be OK.

Oh yes, and there is a backplate. and what a pain in the bum that is, flapping around and jamming itself in difficult positions as you wrestle with the gearbox. But I'm happy that it's all nicely bolted up now. Time will tell.
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Last edited by onecleanfinger; 1 Day Ago at 18:42. Reason: extra information
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Old 1 Day Ago   #40
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Re: Clutch heavy. (almost) everything replaced

A smear of high solids anti seize paste on the splines should be ideal. Enough to avoid fretting and stick/slip will not be enough to fling off. Ordinary copper grease is really not suitable - too thin and oily.
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Old 15 Hours Ago   #41
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Well I popped out after work and finished the job. All good, biting point is much higher now, clutch is smooth and pedal feels normal. So my loose pressure plate bolts were causing the gear engagement problem. I really can't say what caused the heavy clutch, perhaps the mechanical advantage of the hydraulic system and leverage if the fork operating arm are less advantageous when the biting point is very low?

Many thanks for everyone's superb advice
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