Clutch Conundrum - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 25-05-08 Thread Starter
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Clutch Conundrum

Ever since I've had my Spider selecting 1st and reverse from neutral has been a problem once up to operating temp [seemed ok when cooler]
If i leave the car in gear with the clutch depressed whilst stationary I don't have a problem, its when I put it into neutral at lights or whatever, clutch released, then depress it and try to select first/reverse...until today that is!

Fine on cold start up, no problem depressing clutch and selecting gear, but now if I take it out of gear I struggle to re-select ANY gear once the temp rises above stone cold. Turn off, depress clutch, select gear and start - no problem and I am then able to select any gear... but release clutch in neutral and no gears again!

The bite is low, gearchanges on the move are smooth, clutch action light, no obvious noises so whats happening?

I thought I'd solved the problem a few weeks ago when I removed the tunnel console only to find the front 'box mounting bolt was in there, but not via the chassis!, basically the chunky penny washer was not in place [i found it loitering down the side] so in effect the bolt was not actually holding the 'box to the chassis - full main dealer history as well !!!

Having sorted this there was far less movement in the gearbox mounting than previously and the selection issue seemed improve dramatically....until today.

I've checked the fluid level and slave cylinder for leaks, gearbox level is fine.

OK the car's done 110k, but the gearbox and clutch are lovely when on the providing I don't select neutral when stationary I'll be all right!!

It is definitely temperature related, if I leave it to cool down I have no problems.

Any ideas??
I could live with rummaging around for 1st and reverse occasionally but this will be a right pain in the ar*e!

Considering the mileage I guess a replacement clutch is due, but I'm not convinced this is the reason, if the 'box has been 'floating about' for a while could ther be a linkage issue? and if so, is the linkage adjustable? but then that could not be temp related.
I thought of getting the brake/clutch fluid changed [it is due] would/could 'old' fluid effect the clutch hydraulics?

Anyway for those who are still awake after reading this, I hope there is someone out there who can enrich my life with their knowledge!

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(Post Link) post #2 of 7 Old 26-05-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch Conundrum

OK you must all be asleep!
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Re: Clutch Conundrum

I'd be keen to know the answer to this too, I have a similar problem, hot engine and first and reverse are very difficult to find. No other probs and I have 69k on mine with a nice low biting point on the clutch.

I read something somehwere about a thrust bearing possibly being the cause. If it's this is it likely to get worse as I can't get the car looked at for weeks due to work.

Any ideas much appreciated
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Re: Clutch Conundrum

Sounds like a hydraulic problem to me.

The fluid could be leaking past the seals - when it has been at rest for a while it all seeps back so works. Might not be temperature merely use (it will get hot but time and number of operations rather than temperature may well be the cause).

Get the slave cylinder checked first - then the master.

Good luck.

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Re: Clutch Conundrum

First and reverse are always a little harsh, occasionally its takes a couple of goes if I haven't put the clutch down all the way. I agree with Paul that the slave cylinder is worth a look. A good bleed may sort it but then you have to look at the seals. Also worth checking is the gearbox oil level. It there isn't enough it tightens up as it gets warm which you don't tend to notice when driving along but becomes very clear when engaging from stationary. With that many miles, it would be worth draining and refilling. Not a tricky job once you've got that wretched undertray off.

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(Post Link) post #6 of 7 Old 18-07-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Clutch Conundrum

Sorry I've not been paying attention! I'd given up on getting any kind of response!

Anyway since my initial query I have -
Checked the fluid -OK
Checked and replaced gearbox oil [thought age/mileage might effect the viscocity when warm] OK
Then the problem appeared to get worse!

Then I thought, what about lubeing up the clutch actuator arm on top of the 'box? So I used some marine grade teflon gel - problem solved!!! no troubles now hot or cold.
There is a nylon/delrin bush around the arm, this sort of material is notorious for drying up/expanding when warm or subject to moisture in marine applications and as the engine bay had obvoiusly been steam cleaned prior to purchase that can be my only conclusion.
Thinking about it, my throttle was stiff when I first got the car and i lubed the nylon bush on that and it was fine.

Why not try a bit of good quality high temp grease on your lever before you throw real money at the problem?
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Re: Clutch Conundrum

I am glad that you could sort your clutch problem with only a bit of lube. I have never been so lucky!
Please note that old clutch pressure plates are sometimes not releasing as it should, due to the springs (the little "fingers" that rest on the release bearing) becoming a bit worn or bent or soft.
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