Technical 2005, 2.8jtd clutch

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Technical 2005, 2.8jtd clutch

Spuggyhawk

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Joined
Feb 4, 2022
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2
Location
Midlands
Hi
Sorry this could be long post..
Over the last few years we have had an intermittent clutch problem on our Motorhome, ducato 2.8jtd.
Last year traveling to a site about half way there I noticed the clutch started to squeak, then a little further and the clutch became stiff.
It was winter and we had the heater blowing on feet and thought to myself it is quite hot down at foot level so I turned heater off, after a short while the clutch got easier and no squeaking.
Last week traveling to a site with the heater on feet the clutch became stiff again and this time as we left the motorway the clutch stayed down when I pressed it.
We sat at the side of the road wondering what to do next.. engine still running and heater still on, I then decided to call for breakdown so turned the engine and heater off.. however by the time they had arrived the clutch peddle had come back up and had full pressure.
So my thoughts turned to is the heat from the heater causing the problem or is the problem somewhere else within the clutch system.
So today without the van running and the clutch peddle operating as it should I set up an hairdryer to blow on clutch pedal and master cylinder and low and behold after a short while my clutch became stiff… a little longer and it stayed down.
I then removed the heat and waited and after a while the peddle came back up and full pressure was there.
I find this very odd to say the least and by doing what I have done I have proved that the problem is at the peddle/master cylinder and heat related…do you agree??
Has anyone else experienced this problem?
I have also asked this question in some Motorhome groups and it seems this is quite a frequent problem with fiats.
The master cylinder is plastic and I’m told this is the problem and is effected by heater when blowing in the footwell.
I was also told there is a metal version of this master cylinder and that would be a better option to fit but I am struggling to find one….. so anyone know if there is a metal option and if so could you point me in the right direction please…maybe a link.
Thanks in advance for your help 👍
 

Ocwobio

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Sep 29, 2013
Messages
404
Don't know about metal cylinder option, but maybe depends on year of vehicle? Is it possible you need to oil the pedal pivot, not letting oil on the foot pad or push rod to cylinder? I'm not sure if there would be a need for a small amount of grease on the ends of the push rod, of a type that won't rot the seals, like silicon grease?) . Is there any way you can put some shielding round the thing to insulate it? I suspect though that lubricating the pedal pivot will be helpful.
 

RalphM

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Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
353
Had a similar problem on our Panda got some red rubber grease likely silicone grease would do
and pulled the seal off the end of the slave cylinder and put some of this in there put the seal back
it got better over 2 or 3 days and as been fine for a few thousand miles since.
 

jackwhoo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2017
Messages
4,825
Hi,

Great diagnosis thoughts and technique absolutley love it.

Perhaps tackle the clutch petal pivot first as may be the cause and possible easier than master cylinder .

Could you direct hot air at pivot point only?

30 years ago a friend had a mini that brakes were sticking on/dragging the pedal pivot sleeve had seized in pedal.

Best wishes

Jack
 

Anthony489

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Nov 3, 2014
Messages
732
Hi Spuggyhawk

I don't have full details of the clutch setup for this vintage, but a commonly used arrangement has a small "over centre" spring as part of the pedal mechanism. At the top of the pedal travel you are pushing against this spring. Part way down the spring has no effect. Further down the spring action reverses, and it is now assisting your foot in fully depressing the pedal. The idea is to lighten the clutch action.

As you release the pedal, it initially returns due to the main clutch plate diaphragm spring acting back through the slave cylinder and the hydraulics. If this action is weak for some reason, it may not have quite enough strength to overcome the small spring mentioned above, and the pedal can stop rising any further and remain stuck part-way down (it comes back up if you hook your foot under it and lift). The whole pedal action can become a bit of a balancing act, and the slightest change in pedal mechanism friction can make the difference between the pedal returning or not.

If this is your setup, I suspect that for the time being avoiding excess heat drying out the lubrication (add a shield ?) and applying a bit of fresh lubrication around the clutch pedal mechanism may be enough, but in the longer term if things get worse you may have to look at bleeding and/or replacing the slave cylinder.
 

Communicator

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Aug 3, 2019
Messages
1,012
In support of Anthony489's post above, here is a link to a relative section of an online version of Fiat eLearn. (Saves me copying from my CD to pdf, in which procedure the definition of diagrams is degraded.)

A few years back, due to a minor leak, I had to change the master cylinder on my 2006 x244. eLearn included bleeding the brakes when changing the master cylinder, but I managed without when using the attached procedure, which will be useful if the master cylinder needs changing. One of my major concerns when planning the work, was lining up the components when attempting to reinsert the clevis pin through the pedal and cylinder. In the event this was relatively easy.
 

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Spuggyhawk

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Joined
Feb 4, 2022
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Location
Midlands
thank you all for your replies
i have now got it booked in at the garage, I have told them what happens and what I think but I have asked them to diagnose and repair.
my problem with trying to fix it at home with lubrication,or shielding is if I braked own again I would have to be recovered because I don’t have the facility to tow it home as it’s nearly 3800kg and my recovery company won’t recover more than once for the same problem without charging me.
thanks for your help 👍
 
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