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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

I have been browsing on here for a couple of weeks now but this is my first post. Seems like you have a great forum here :)

I bought a 156 2.0 TS a couple of weeks ago. Apart from needing a new thermostat, which I replaced last weekend, it was running fine but I am starting to get problems with the clutch and I need some advice on diagnosing what is wrong.

The problems started earlier this week when I noticed the clutch pedal stopped coming up fully when I released the clutch. It would stop about three quarters of the way up and then after a few seconds would 'ping' up into the fully released position. Other than this there were no other problems until Friday morning when I jumped in the car, started up and then really struggling to engage first gear. I got to work OK but changing gear was difficult, especially engaging first. This has now continued for the last two days.

So far, I have checked the brake fluid, which I believe runs off the same reservoir and the fluid level is just below max, so that is OK. I had a look at where the hydraulic line goes into the top of the gearbox (I believe the slave cylinder is inside the gearbox on the 2.0 litre) and although I could see no fluid leak I noticed that the large rubber cover was not fitted properly and neither was the small metal clip on the fluid line. In fact, the rubber cover was the wrong side of the clip, so I removed the clip, fitted the rubber cover properly and refitted the clip properly. Unfortunately, this has made no difference but does suggest someone has been fiddling in that area before - perhaps they have had a go at bleeding the clutch.

The other thing I have noticed in the last day or so is that the bite point is very low to the floor. I am sure it was not like that when I first got the car.

I have done some searching on here already and the symptoms I have got seems to suggest that the master or slave cylinder is at fault. Is that right? I am handy with the spanners myself so if the fault is the master cylinder I may have a go at changing it but as I suffer with a bad back I am not keen on removing the gearbox on my driveway to change the slave cylinder this time of year!

So, I need some advice please folks. Is it worth bleeding the clutch to see if it helps? Can I work out whether the master or the slave cylinder is likely to be the problem? And lastly, if I carry on driving it as is for now, how likely it is that I am going to breakdown ... I only do a ~5 mile journey to and from work each day and have ADAC breakdown cover ...!

The car is a 1998, S plate and has 99,000 miles on the clock and other than the clutch issue it drives nicely.

Thank you in advance :thumbs:
 

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I'd try bleeding the clutch before anything else, inspect the master for any leaks, and keep a close eye on the bottom of the gearbox belhousing, any fluid there is a sure sign of the master cylinder, which is a gearbox off job.

Master cylinder is relatively easy, if a bit fiddly and a new one can be picked up for around £50, perhaps the pinging up Of the pedal points to a broken spring inside the cylinder?
 

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sorry to jump on this thread. but i believe the master cylinder is in the cabin attached to the pedal??? am i mistaken? or do you mean the slave cylinder under the battery box???
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd try bleeding the clutch before anything else, inspect the master for any leaks, and keep a close eye on the bottom of the gearbox belhousing, any fluid there is a sure sign of the master cylinder, which is a gearbox off job.

Master cylinder is relatively easy, if a bit fiddly and a new one can be picked up for around £50, perhaps the pinging up Of the pedal points to a broken spring inside the cylinder?
sorry to jump on this thread. but i believe the master cylinder is in the cabin attached to the pedal??? am i mistaken? or do you mean the slave cylinder under the battery box???
Thanks for the replies, guys. I will need to remove the undertray to keep an eye on the gearbox bellhousing but it sounds like that could be worth doing. As Jonny says, I think it is the slave cylinder that is inside the gearbox on these and the master cylinder is above the pedals.
 

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My bad, I meant slave is in the box, not master :rolleyes:

I did mine a few weeks back, and had similar symptoms, albeit not to the point of not being able to select gears.
 

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I got my master cylinder on my 156 JTS reconditioned about 3 weeks ago as the clutch was taking close to the floor after a long run and it was leaking. I decided to get it reconditioned as it was the quicker option in New Zealand. The cylinder itself needed to be honed down to remove the internal scaring and the seals were quite worn. Like amfalconer said it is feasible that the spring inside the master cylinder may have snapped making a pinging noise; I also imagine this would make quite a mess of the inside of your master cylinder. You should also inspect the vertical (green?) spring that is attached to the brake booster housing.
If you do replace it, it is a good idea to also replace the cheap o-rings on master to slave cylinder pipe. My local mechanic told me it would be harder to put it back in than pull it out but he was wrong, especially if you lube up the seals and tie the master to slave pipe to the car so that you can push the master cylinder back onto the pipe.
If you do try and do it you might want to put towels over the door sill so that your back doesn't get quite as sore.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies guys :thumbs:

Sorry, I was not very clear in my first post. When I said the clutch would 'ping' up into the fully released position I didn't mean it makes a ping type noise just that the clutch suddenly comes up to it's normal fully released position on it's own. The noise is probably the exactly the same as you would get if you just slid your foot off the clutch pedal sideways whilst it is 3/4s of the way up.

Anyway, this afternoon I have bled the clutch. I started off using Gazza82's guide but as I didn't have a willing helper to hand I resorted to using a Gunson Eezibleed kit in the garage which I used to use on the wife's Ford Ka when she had it.

Initially, there seemed to be a lot of air in the fluid and it was a bit dirty. I let the system bleed until no air was coming through and just clean fluid (probably about 0.5 of a litre). I then put the battery tray and battery back in and took it for a short drive. The clutch now feels much better than it ever has in the two weeks I have had the car.

I suspect there may still be a fault with the master cylinder as the fact someone had been tampering with the hydraulic line into the slave cylinder before is a bit suspicious but it's better for the moment so let's see what happens. :)
 

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Hey,

I have just sorted a similar issue with my 1.8 TS. Exact same symtoms, I replaced the master first and the problem went away for about a week. Then I bought a Slave and Clutch for the car and replaced both. - Problem gone.

The Salve was not leaking, yet it was clearly the problem as while playing with it after replacing it was doing some weird stuff like not releasing / compressing properly even though it wasn't leaking.
 

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Sorry to restart this thread but I have the similar problem.

The clutch bite point on my 1.8 156ts is very low to the floor and I have noticed a small leak under the car. If I pump the clutch for a bit it gain pressure and I can change gear but leave it for a length of time and the pedal feels loose.

From what I have read I believe its the Slave???

Is this a DIY or a garage job and how much am I looking to pay to get it done?

Any help or How To's would be great at this time!!!

:confused::cry::confused::cry:
 

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Hey, thought i might butt in... my 156 was garaged for best part of a year, started her up now and then, but the clutch pedal would stick to the floor sometimes and takes a few mins to ping up again, got the car on the road one year and took her for a drive, with pedal sicking to floor, and next minute i couldn't select any gears and she stalled, turned out the clutch was going for a long time, and as a result put allot of strain on the slave cylinder/ thrust bearing, and looked under the car when i broke down (couldn't start her as she was perminantly in gear) and it was pi**ing clutch fluid
 
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the gear box has to come out to change the clutch slave, its 4 hours work when you know what your are at.
 

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good videos on 'YouTube' type in Eric the car guy, he changes a clutch & slave cylinder on a focus, bout 2hrs worth in 4 parts :)
 

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In my case it was a garage job as I would trust myself to take the gear box off and get it back on in a day!

The slave cost me around £60 and I also had the clutch replaced too while I was there. The clutch costs around £150. The guy I went to put both in for £160 and its done the job. (took him about 4 -5 hours)

Even though it would save you money not to replace the clutch, several people advised me to do it as you would hate to spend all that money getting the slave in only for the clutch to go on you a few days, weeks, or months later.
 
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