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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
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Clutch slip and oil contamination on 1.2 FIRE

Hello all

Apologies for shamelessly plugging my own thread...

I posted in the Panda section, but it's dawned on me that the same running gear is used in a few FIAT models, and maybe there are some friendly owners out there who might be willing to share their expertise...

So if I could politely nudge you in this direction where I'm considering changing the clutch and rear crankshaft oil seal to try to cure a slipping clutch, I'd be very grateful for any help.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Clutch slip and oil contamination on 1.2 FIRE

At 102k miles the clutch (if never changed) is probably worn out anyway.
Oil can leak onto the clutch from the crankshaft rear oil seal, sump gasket or gearbox input shaft oil seal - you won't know for sure which is responsible until you have removed the gearbox. But your deduction that it's likely a leaking crank rear oil seal is possibly correct.

The crank rear oil seal can be easily changed after the flywheel has been removed.
1. Note the position of the flywheel so that it can be replaced in the same position. Iirc, there is a small dimple mark indicating the top dead centre position (like a small drill tip mark near the edge of the flywheel close to the ring gear). If no mark can be found, mark the flywheel and don't turn the crank while the f/wheel is off.
(Edit:- The crank can be prevented from turning by either of the 2 methods described at the end of this guide)

2. To remove the seal :- some people just prise it out using a screwdriver, there are also proper 'seal removal tools' (like a lever with a hook on one end). It's important not to damage the sealing surface on the crank. One easy way is to drill a small hole midway between the inner and outer diameters into the body of the seal (there's metal under the rubber surface), screw in a self-tapping/sheet-metal screw, then use a claw hammer or pliers on this screw to prise out the old seal.

3. Clean the sealing surface of the crankshaft where the oil seal will make contact. Often rust will have formed on the part of the crank that is just outside the seal - this needs to be cleaned off. Check that there is no ridge worn into the crank where the seal makes contact. I generally use fine wet and dry abrasive paper to clean up the crank surface. Then clean the crank surface and the seal housing.

4. To fit the new seal:- apply a film of oil or grease to the crank rear surface and the sealing lip of the new oil seal, carefully position the new seal the correct way around, (the sealing lip surrounded by the garter spring faces inwards) on the rear of the crank. then gently and evenly tap it home using a block of wood and a hammer. It's important that the seal lip doesn't get damaged as it's fitted onto the crank and the seal is inserted without being distorted. The seal will need to be driven in until it's flush with the housing.

Then clean off any oil from the rear of the crank, refit the flywheel (clean and apply thread locking compound to the bolts) and torque to specifications. To prevent the flywheel from turning as it's being tightened, either screw in a bellhousing bolt and wedge something (e.g. a lever/ screwdriver) between this and the flywheel teeth, or clamp a vise-grips onto the ring gear to prevent rotation.

Hth,

Al.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: Clutch slip and oil contamination on 1.2 FIRE

Brilliant - thank you so much for that Al Good to know it is a relatively straight-forward case of prising out the old rear main seal, cleaning and renewing.

You're absolutely right, I'm not at all certain where the leak is coming from, and if my car is on the original clutch, then no complaints at all.

I just suspect oil contamination is causing the clutch to slip, and I'd like to be as prepared as possible before pulling the 'box off.

I've read some suggestions that it would be worth replacing the gearbox input shaft bearing and seal as these are known to wear & leak.

Last edited by rmjbn1; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:23.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Re: Clutch slip and oil contamination on 1.2 FIRE

Quote Originally Posted by F123C View Post
At 102k miles the clutch (if never changed) is probably worn out anyway.
Oil can leak onto the clutch from the crankshaft rear oil seal, sump gasket or gearbox input shaft oil seal - you won't know for sure which is responsible until you have removed the gearbox. But your deduction that it's likely a leaking crank rear oil seal is possibly correct.

The crank rear oil seal can be easily changed after the flywheel has been removed.
1. Note the position of the flywheel so that it can be replaced in the same position. Iirc, there is a small dimple mark indicating the top dead centre position (like a small drill tip mark near the edge of the flywheel close to the ring gear). If no mark can be found, mark the flywheel and don't turn the crank while the f/wheel is off.
(Edit:- The crank can be prevented from turning by either of the 2 methods described at the end of this guide)

2. To remove the seal :- some people just prise it out using a screwdriver, there are also proper 'seal removal tools' (like a lever with a hook on one end). It's important not to damage the sealing surface on the crank. One easy way is to drill a small hole midway between the inner and outer diameters into the body of the seal (there's metal under the rubber surface), screw in a self-tapping/sheet-metal screw, then use a claw hammer or pliers on this screw to prise out the old seal.

3. Clean the sealing surface of the crankshaft where the oil seal will make contact. Often rust will have formed on the part of the crank that is just outside the seal - this needs to be cleaned off. Check that there is no ridge worn into the crank where the seal makes contact. I generally use fine wet and dry abrasive paper to clean up the crank surface. Then clean the crank surface and the seal housing.

4. To fit the new seal:- apply a film of oil or grease to the crank rear surface and the sealing lip of the new oil seal, carefully position the new seal the correct way around, (the sealing lip surrounded by the garter spring faces inwards) on the rear of the crank. then gently and evenly tap it home using a block of wood and a hammer. It's important that the seal lip doesn't get damaged as it's fitted onto the crank and the seal is inserted without being distorted. The seal will need to be driven in until it's flush with the housing.

Then clean off any oil from the rear of the crank, refit the flywheel (clean and apply thread locking compound to the bolts) and torque to specifications. To prevent the flywheel from turning as it's being tightened, either screw in a bellhousing bolt and wedge something (e.g. a lever/ screwdriver) between this and the flywheel teeth, or clamp a vise-grips onto the ring gear to prevent rotation.

Hth,

Al.
An excellent post and I can only think of a couple of things to add. The first is that, personally, I'm not keen on using grease in applications where something is going to rely on splashed oil for lubrication. I learned this when I was sent on a course for Borg warner automatic gearboxes (type 35 and 65) anyone remember them? There are lots of thrust washers and other parts which have to be "stuck" in place as you assemble it. We were warned not to use grease because grease doesn't emulsify into the oil so can obstruct oil supply. Use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) we were told because when it heats up it completely "melts" and emulsifies into the oil without leaving any trace behind. From then on I've always used vaseline for anything like this - it provides initial lubrication to lip seals very effectively then melts and doesn't obstruct the oil.

The other thing is I think the front end of the gearbox has to be dismantled to renew the input shaft seal as it is fitted from the inside of the case? In which case I'd be doing the bearing too. I think the seal is integral with the bearing anyway? anyone know? so far I've not had to do one thank goodness! This Video gives you a good idea what's involved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH3EU-mQVhg
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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
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Re: Clutch slip and oil contamination on 1.2 FIRE

Thank you Jock. Yes, the input shaft does have a separate oil seal as well as the bearing. The selector housing and bell housing need to be removed from the gearbox to get access to them.

As well as that excellent video you've linked to, I also found this old thread helpful.

Due to the age (16 years) and mileage (103k) I've decided to go ahead and replace the input shaft bearing and oil seal, the rear main seal and the clutch kit. We'll see if there are any nasty surprises waiting for me...
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