Currently reading:
Technical Known clutch problem?

TommyGuy

New member
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
5
Greets,

Short story long: When I press the clutch all the way to the floor, something (throwout bearing?) squeaks, and plot twist, the clutch starts re-engaging. Very lightly, It's hard to get the gears in while stationary and impossible to get reverse in without cringing. This started yesterday after ~500 km highway and some high RPM racing up some mountain roads.

Plot twist number 2: I replaced the clutch and throwout bearing 5 months (6000 km) ago. I replaced it due to a squeaking throwout bearing. My 2004 Sporting 1.4 95hp only had 55k at the time. 17 years old, so I figured the bearing died of age. The parts I used

So yeah, I'm guessing that the throwout bearing is being pushed too far and too hard. That's what killed the first bearing and perhaps the second one. I say perhaps as there is no noise partially engaged only when flooring it. The old bearing screamed partially engaged. Is this a known problem? I checked the forums and people complained about broken diaphragm springs and worn clutches, but no constant replacement if the throwout bearing.

I glued a strip of rubber matt (15mm) under the pedal to stop the pedal from going all the way, but i'm planning to drive 5k in April and i'd like to get my car home under its own power, and keep the car of course.

This morning I stopped by the local FIAT and he said he doesn't know of this problem. He obviously recommended to change the clutch again with OEM parts and check the whole actuation system, 800 euros. Either I destroy my wallet or my back again. :(

Any insight would be great.
 

vexorg

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
680
Does the clutch need bled?

I suppose if you were over compressing the thrust bearing then that would give strange results like you describe, but the mechanics of the arm/fork usually prevent this in a normal car, cant speak for your engine.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
5,585
Location
Edinburgh Scotland
Could be worth giving it a good bleed first as it's easy to do and costs next to nothing (assuming it's a hydraulic clutch? I know left hand drive Pandas are cable operated so if your's has a cable maybe it needs adjusted?) However, if we assume it's hydraulic, unless you've fitted a new actuating arm or other non standard parts I can't understand why a standard setup - master cylinder, slave cylinder, release (actuating) arm and release bearing - can possibly be over compressing anything. I've never heard of the brand of clutch you've used so don't know if it's a well engineered product or a "cheap and cheerful" alternative. I think it more likely the cover assembly may be where the problem is. If you do have a cable operated system then, if it's over tightened, it might be pushing the release bearing too far and over compressing the diaphragm?
 
OP
OP
T

TommyGuy

New member
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
5
Does the clutch need bled?

I suppose if you were over compressing the thrust bearing then that would give strange results like you describe, but the mechanics of the arm/fork usually prevent this in a normal car, cant speak for your engine.

I don't really see how a bleed would help though :/

but the mechanics of the arm/fork usually prevent this in a normal car
That's what i'd think too. Master and slave cylinder have their respective diameters which can't change and there is like geometry to change. Sized correctly nothing should happen.


Could be worth giving it a good bleed first as it's easy to do and costs next to nothing (assuming it's a hydraulic clutch? I know left hand drive Pandas are cable operated so if your's has a cable maybe it needs adjusted?) However, if we assume it's hydraulic, unless you've fitted a new actuating arm or other non standard parts I can't understand why a standard setup - master cylinder, slave cylinder, release (actuating) arm and release bearing - can possibly be over compressing anything. I've never heard of the brand of clutch you've used so don't know if it's a well engineered product or a "cheap and cheerful" alternative. I think it more likely the cover assembly may be where the problem is. If you do have a cable operated system then, if it's over tightened, it might be pushing the release bearing too far and over compressing the diaphragm?

As mentioned above it's a self adjusting hydraulic clutch. For what I know its all stock. Do you know the length of the actuating arm on the gearbox? I can measure it out. I can't find the replacement part to lookup. RIDEX is an ok brand. Haven't heard anything bad from them. It wasn't bad quality.


There is a little inspection port on the bell housing. I'll take a look and see if anything grenaded itself. Otherwise there are no abnormal noises when stationary.
 

vexorg

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
680
Bleeding was on the off chance that you press the clutch and then it's slipping back as the air compresses meaning it's not fully releasing when you have the clutch in.
 
OP
OP
T

TommyGuy

New member
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
5
Bleeding was on the off chance that you press the clutch and then it's slipping back as the air compresses meaning it's not fully releasing when you have the clutch in.
I haven't noticed any behavioural change. The clutch engages and disengages normally and at the same points. Its the last part that has changed. Changed with scary noises and stuff...
 
OP
OP
T

TommyGuy

New member
Joined
Nov 10, 2021
Messages
5
There is a little inspection port on the bell housing. I'll take a look and see if anything grenaded itself. Otherwise there are no abnormal noises when stationary.

I looked in, you cant see much. You can see the flywheel, and pressure plate housing and the screws holding the 2 together. All 6 screws are there and I cant see anything broken on the pressure plate.
Before that I took off in 2nd gear with the handbrake on the 1st click. No shuddering or anything, everything is round.


I ordered a new clutch. Gonna swap it out and probably sell the car. Idk yet... :(
 

AndyRKett

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
12,194
Location
Norfolk UK
When you change it again,

1. make sure you put the clutch in the right way round.
2. Always change the thrust(throw out) bearing with it.
3. Inspect all the components make sure the clutch arm isn’t bent.
4. Bleed the bloody clutch. Not sure why you’d order a whole new clutch without checking this little basic that two people advised.
5. Don’t ride the clutch, foot off it completely if you don’t need it, might be you who is killing the clutch
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
5,585
Location
Edinburgh Scotland
When you change it again,

1. make sure you put the clutch in the right way round.
2. Always change the thrust(throw out) bearing with it.
3. Inspect all the components make sure the clutch arm isn’t bent.
4. Bleed the bloody clutch. Not sure why you’d order a whole new clutch without checking this little basic that two people advised.
5. Don’t ride the clutch, foot off it completely if you don’t need it, might be you who is killing the clutch
Your 5th point is one that many people would do well to heed. I largely taught my older boy to drive with a few paid lessons as his test date neared to bring him up to speed on the finer points - driving instructors have a whole load of little things to do which make passing your test first time more likely - the cost of a few lessons is money well spent. By the time the other two learned to drive I was working foreman of a garage workshop and had hardly a minute of spare time so both took extensive lessons from instructors. Both passed first time so, although quite an expensive exercise compared to my "DIY" effort with my oldest boy, it was money well spent.

Regarding the "riding" of the clutch pedal. My instructor, "old" Mr Scott who taught me and my siblings to drive back in the very early 1960's, was very strict about clutch pedal use. "Your left foot should be resting on the floor unless you are actually operating the clutch and the pedal should only be depressed to operate the clutch, not held down to the floor with the car in gear because you are not quite ready to move"!! My oldest boy drives like that because I taught him to do so, he's now in his '50s and has never had a clutch problem on any of his cars (and I would know because I've looked after all of them) The other two, my daughter and younger boy, were "serial clutch murderers" due to having been taught to select first gear well before they needed to move off. I think this is actually quite a good strategy for an inexperienced driver who may well have trouble selecting gear, feeling the clutch bite point so stalling the engine when moving off. But once you've got the hang of it all there's no need to sit with the clutch depressed for extended periods of time stressing out the release bearing and other related components. Granted that back in Mr Scott's day many cars still had carbon type release bearings so would not take kindly to this sort of treatment. In fact the first two cars I owned (a 1930 Morris Minor and a 1936 Morris 8) both had carbon type release bearings, However, even with the ball race type release bearings commonly in use today, I think it's still good practice to keep your foot off that pedal unless you're actually operating the clutch.

Yesterday I walked down Ferry Road to the temporary library - The main library is still closed following it having been used as a covid test centre - and I witnessed the most gross abuse of a clutch I've seen in a very long time. I was about to cross a side road when a modern Mini Cooper came zipping up and stopped ready to turn left onto the main road - no sign of the driver applying the new regulations which would have allowed me to cross in front of the car. Mind you, I have to say, with just a very few exceptions, I'm not noticing any drivers up here complying with these new driver/pedestrian regulations - and I walk a lot every day. Anyway, back to this Mini driver. The traffic on the main road was pretty light so were able to move off immediately which they did so. The driver raised the revs to somewhere in the region of 4 to 4.5 thousand revs - sounded horrific - and slipped the clutch until the car was barely rolling (about 20, maybe 30, yards onto the main road) whereupon 2nd gear was engaged, revs went back up to somewhere around "ballistic" and the clutch was still being slipped as the car turned right just before the petrol station. I suppose the clutch might have been slipping due to being worn out (which, with this type of abuse, might be expected) but I rather suspect that it's driver abuse/ignorance which is at the root of it all. I continued my walk to the library with the "delicate" aroma of burnt clutch lining "assaulting" my senses!
 

vexorg

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
680
That's two slightly different issues, one is bearing wear, and the other lining wear.

I dont agree with some of the modern teaching methods, try tell them that!!

I do have to tell myself off for sitting with the clutch in now. A bad habit due to stop one of the car's stop-start working as it was a bit slow to get going again after the engine stopped at the lights - easier to keep the clutch in and keep the engine running.
 

AndyRKett

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2011
Messages
12,194
Location
Norfolk UK
Yesterday I walked down Ferry Road to the temporary library - The main library is still closed following it having been used as a covid test centre - and I witnessed the most gross abuse of a clutch I've seen in a very long time. I was about to cross a side road when a modern Mini Cooper came zipping up and stopped ready to turn left onto the main road - no sign of the driver applying the new regulations which would have allowed me to cross in front of the car. Mind you, I have to say, with just a very few exceptions, I'm not noticing any drivers up here complying with these new driver/pedestrian regulations - and I walk a lot every day. Anyway, back to this Mini driver. The traffic on the main road was pretty light so were able to move off immediately which they did so. The driver raised the revs to somewhere in the region of 4 to 4.5 thousand revs - sounded horrific - and slipped the clutch until the car was barely rolling (about 20, maybe 30, yards onto the main road) whereupon 2nd gear was engaged, revs went back up to somewhere around "ballistic" and the clutch was still being slipped as the car turned right just before the petrol station. I suppose the clutch might have been slipping due to being worn out (which, with this type of abuse, might be expected) but I rather suspect that it's driver abuse/ignorance which is at the root of it all. I continued my walk to the library with the "delicate" aroma of burnt clutch lining "assaulting" my senses!
This is sadly not uncommon. Many a time I’ve heard the yell of an over revved engine to turn round and see a car barely moving clutch being slipped.

When I worked in the motor trade I worked with a guy who believed himself to be an expert driver because he could “drive anything” firstly I’ve never known anyone to have so many accidents, secondly his chosen method of driving any car would be to keep blipping (for want of a better word) the throttle while alternately dropping the clutch so the car would be at between 3000-5000rpm and the car would jolt forward as the clutch would intermittently catch, never have I known anyone to use a clutch so unintentionally badly.

Now I say unintentionally because at that time we would get sent on car delivery or pick up missions so there were at least two occasions when I did not want to make a very long journey and the clutch would mysteriously fail within the first 10miles…. It’s amazing how quickly you can murder a clutch.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
5,585
Location
Edinburgh Scotland
I do have to tell myself off for sitting with the clutch in now. A bad habit due to stop one of the car's stop-start working as it was a bit slow to get going again after the engine stopped at the lights - easier to keep the clutch in and keep the engine running.
I really don't like stop/start for many reasons - for instance when used with a "normal" pre-engaged type starter and what about heat soak and degradation of lubricant with these modern turbos, I could go on. Better just to let it tick over. Only problem is I sometimes forget to punch the cancel button after starting the engine!

Regarding moving off from traffic lights? perhaps a wee bit of a delay in fire up would be a good thing. I find if you have the vehicle in neutral and watch the "other" lights you can then, as the "other" lights go from green to orange, depress your clutch, select gear and you're ready to go when your lights cycle to green - but NOT before! In fact I think there's a positive advantage to this as the time taken means you are rarely ready to move as your lights go from red to orange and those waiting with gear engaged are often moving off on the orange. I also like to look both ways before allowing the clutch to bite just to make sure there's no one running the red across in front of you - I often observe other drivers in front, just out of interest, and it's very rare indeed that you see any movement of the head which would indicate that they are checking for crossing traffic or cyclists to their near side - No, they just blast off regardless.
 
Top