Following an 18 month hibernation recently, the clutch felt heavier and stiffer than previously. As I was planning to change the air filter and coolant last night and would be in that part of the car anyway I couldn't see any harm from having a go at this solution:
I didn't move the slave cylinder but I would if I did this job again. Getting the clutch actuating arm off was a pig of a job but a dose of PB Blaster and a cuppa while it soaked in helped. I found the best way was to grip it with a pipe wrench and just keep trying to wriggle it upwards. Next problem was the top bush. There was no way that was coming out without breaking something! A dentist friend once gave me a complete set of old tools and these have been unbelievable helpful over the years. The work around was to use one of the picks to gently ease the rubber seal aside and squirt a mixture of wd 40 and spray grease past it and into the bush. It took a while but I got a fair bit in eventually. I doubt anything worked its way down to the bottom bush but perhaps I'll have another go at this sometime. The arm went back on with copperslip and, quite unlike me, I even managed to put the circlip back first time without pinging it across the garage! Interestingly, it looked like someone had been at the top bush before me as there was some obvious screwdriver marks on it.
I took the airbox out to give me easy access to the bottom radiator hose and I'm glad I did because I found that the locating "pip" on the bottom had broken off leaving (an admittedly tiny) hole but one which allowed unfiltered air in. I bonded it back and I was probably getting tired because I found it quite fiddly to get the airbox located properly. Got there in the end and popped a new filter in, although the old one looked very clean anyway. I was pleased to see new stainless bolts on the airbox.
All the gear linkages got some new grease and the gearbox oil changed. Mind you, the old oil looked and smelt brand new so either it has been done before or 85K isn't enough to warrant changing it. I gave the oil cooler pipes a quick spray of grease and remembered that I'd really like to get hold of the undertray for that side.
While it was apart I gave all the convenient electrical connections a blast of contact cleaner and also gave the maf a quick squirt. I didn't bother with cotton buds or anything else, just sprayed the exposed wire. I had planned to clean the throttle body but by then it was getting on for 11 and I had no carb cleaner. New coolant, intake hose back on and......
Clutch - still pretty heavy compared to most cars but now very smooth and noticeably lighter than it was. I can't claim quite the same results as others, but it is an improvement and I didn't get the top bush out so wouldn't expect quite the same results.
Gear change - just gorgeous! Possibly the best it has ever been and certainly better than any other car I've had.
Coolant - nothing to report apart from I regret not getting a new expansion tank as I can't see through the current one without a torch!
Weirdest thing - engine fans now work perfectly without putting the engine management light on. About 18 months ago I was getting nowhere tracing an intermittent low speed fan issue. A long hibernation and a new battery and the fan started working normally but put the management light on and off with every fan cycle. Now it all just works and I still have no idea what the original fault was.
Unexpected bonus - my ever so slightly lumpy, slightly low idle has been replaced by a perfect 600rpm smooth purr! I had thought that this was because the throttle body needed a clean but I presume that giving the maf a quick blast has done the trick instead. Worth doing every time the filter is changed I'd have thought.
Apologies for the long post but hope it is useful to someone.