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Discussion Starter #1
Ok,

Monday I had what I thought was my Clutch Slave Cylinder go, biting point rapidly dropped through the floor, until I had no clutch. Drove it back with no clutch (was fun).

Now I came to change it, I seem to remember last time I did it the arm that it pushes against was quite hard to push back. Now it's loose (can move it left/right without a problem).

It could be my memory (and lack of understanding how it all works!) and be expected, or is it something else wrong?

Brake fluid seems to have dropped as well..

Urgent guidance appreciated!

Chris
 

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That doesn't sound good to be honest. That lever should be very difficult to shift by hand.

Are you able to see if the lever is turning the shaft going into the gearbox or not?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes it is
 

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If you have a look at the drawing here :
FIAT ePER

you'll see that that rod, when it turns, presses on a bearing at the centre of the clutch. So I'd say that either that release bearing has collapsed or the clutch itself has failed. Or maybe the brackets on the actuating rod have broken ( much less likely I'd have thought ).

Unfortunately, this, to my mind, is looking expensive ( gearbox out job ).
 

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doesn't sound too good.. I think that the fingers on the clutch diaphragm or the release bearing may have gone for a ball of chalk.. fluid could have gone down because the slave piston is at the far end of the cylinder.. and not returning..

With the engine running was it making a horrible noise when you depressed the clutch ???
what was the milage??
Might be time for a new clutch.. wait for more opinions on here..

If you are reasonably good with spanners it's not as bad a job a some people think.. a bit long winded.. but not bad..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok still the same, thrust bearing has been whining for a while now I guess it's finally gone :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not great with spanners.. Done some bits but I dont think I'd trust myself to do the clutch..

Lets see:
Clutch : £495
Cam Belt : £300 (long overdue and if I'm paying £495 for the clutch to be done I'd better get that done too or 10 miles down the road it will go and destroy the engine.. that's just how my luck has been going recently)
Driveshaft : £50

That's.. £845 on a car that's got 146k on the clock (I have done the rear shocks, brakes all round, discs and all the suspension is powerflexed..)

Is it worth it.. I'm aiming for yes coz I love the car but could I get a mint guaranteed sorted one for that price?
 

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Sorry to hear about your dilemma Chris.
It would appear that the car has reached the crossroads of its life... kill or cure.

If you were doing all the work yourself, it would probably be financially worthwhile; but when you throw in the labour charge, it does (as you rightly point out) make you wonder if it's worth doing.

It comes down to how much you like the car really. If it's otherwise ok and you're happy to keep it, then you'll end up with a decent example that will hopefully become a future classic. If you've had enough, now's the time to cut your losses. The problem with this is, a non-driving 1997 GTV is not worth much :(
Personally I'd repair and keep it.. I think you should find a good independant to do all jobs at once and do a deal on the labour quote. The choice is yours! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@James Bond : It's honestly my favorite car I've ever owned, I've had a bunch of cars including brand new company cars (Vauxhall's but still) and I've never had something that's such FUN.

@seadart : Another GTV obviously.. possibly a GT.. and of course (in our dreams) http://bit.ly/w11jP8

Luckily autolusso is literally round the corner. I'll give them a call on Monday and see if they can check it over, see if that's all the work that's likely to need to be done soonish and make a choice off that. If it's too much.. Then it's gonna have to get SORN'ed and turned into my 'practice my mechanic skills' car.. perhaps I will find out how hard it really is to change a clutch myself :)
 

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Clutch change isn't too bad .. a bit daunting because a gearbox is a big lump of metal.. but if you think of it in stages its ok.. plenty of tea breaks.. and you can put it on here.. and just to confuse you we can all argue about the best way of doing it..
 

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Leave the front subframe in place, don't bother removing when doing clutch and its a much easier job as a result. The hardest thing is getting starter motor off IMO. Weekend job! but you'll pat yourself on the back when you do it and book yourself a nice weekend break to a nice European City with the money you save in labour.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Trouble is I'm a fair-weather mechanic :) I would be easier to work on if it was not my only car.. As it is anything I do has to be completed in a weekend.
 

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Agree with the above, swapping the clutch is only offputting because the 'box is heavy and you're working upside down for a fair chunk of the work! Otherwise, it's just nuts 'n bolts as usual- and not many of them either!!

Do you have any car-savvy mates? Because if so, a good weekend's work will see the clutch fixed and cambelt swapped... saving you hundreds of £'s..

If you want to see it as more of a long term project to learn mechanical skills and you're in need of super-cheap transport, may I suggest a Peugeot 106 Diesel?! I have one, it cost me next to nothing, is totally reliable and has never failed to return over 60mpg average. If you still have a company car, you're sorted!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Lets say DIY is out of the question for now (Divorce, weather and work are all conspiring against me on spending large periods of time under the car).

I've done a lot of work on it in the last year:
Rear wishbones
(Suspension was fully powerflexed when I got it)
Rear Shocks
Decent Discs and pads all round
Clutch Slave Cylinder
Replaced gearbox/engine oil
New thermostat

It's now up to 150k miles..

What else could go wrong that could cost a lot? I dont mind small stuff but I cant afford to spend all that cash and then have to spend more on it in the short term (ie. 6 months). Are there any warning signs for this expensive stuff (Probabily warning signs I may not have noticed.. I'm not good at realising something is a fault and tend to think 'it's supposed to be like that')

It has been losing power on acceleration recently, there's a tiny hole in the exhaust manifold and it seems to get better if I patch it with gungum but that flakes off after a week (really difficult place to get to! But I dont know if thats the solution or it just feels better because I want it to :)
 

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As far as 'usuals' are concerned.. just the belts .. I'm changing my water pump this time it will be 120k ish.. what's your variator like?? take a look at the aux. belt as well.. as for the tiny hole.. screw a self tapper into it until you can fix it properly.. loss of power on acceleration may be just the plugs.. whip them out and check them.. change the oil and filter every six thousand.. keep the oil topped up..look after that engine!!.. keep an eye on the radiator for rot at the bottom.. on an old car, a brake fluid and coolant change isn't a bad idea.. keep th PS topped up..
this summer attack the underside.. remove any rust patches and re-underseal.. you seem to have already done all the big stuff.. 150k on a clutch is pretty good.. most mechanical defects are caused by neglect.. FLUIDS!!..
oils, coolant, hydraulic fluid.. in the winter I empty a tin of WD40 all over the engine bay..everywhere.. looks messy but metal loves oil.. all easy DIY stuff.. and join a breakdow organisation.. I get it free on the insurance.. otherwise they are no worse than most other cars.. in fact I think better than most other cars..
This forum is great.. get on here and ask.. no such thing as a stupid question.. also after a while you will gain the 'knowledge'.. you can't just buy into reliability you have to give it some TLC.. like when your clutch is screeching you will know straight away that its the release bearing.. stick with it and good luck.. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sick GTV is now in with Autolusso.. unless their inspection comes up with other problems that blow the budget then I'm going to get them to do the Clutch/Timing Belt/Driveshaft and hopefully I'll be back up and running again in a few days :)

I always have a problem checking the oil level.. usually there's a blob of oil right on the bottom of the dipstick, a little bit running up one side and then another blob right up at the top. Then I add some.. and then it shows (checking an hour later) full up to over the top line.

Check again a day later and it's doing the same thing again, I never know if it's really low, too full or just right! Tried putting the dipstick in different ways, twirling it round, you name it, sounds silly this should be one of the easiest things and it's a nightmare!

I changed the engine oil completey about 6k ago so it's due again soon, gearbox oil was a pain but that's done (it was down to less than 1 litre in it and it was BLACK)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update: Ned just called me.. apparently when they were doing the timing belt they discovered that the car had the original white plastic pulley still in place. At 148k miles I'm not sure if that counts as a miracle or not :)
 

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Glad you decided to have it done.

Mine (1998 phase 2) was up to 156k when the head gasket went - probably my fault for not heeding the warning signs of a knackered radiator. Well over £1k to fix, with new thermostat, water pump, overhauled starter motor, welded and skimmed head, new valve guides, belts and variator. I had already replaced the radiator. All work done by the local indie (Avanti Autos).

I am so glad I had it done - now up to 161k and running as well as ever.

Enjoy it when you get it back.
 

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Update: Ned just called me.. apparently when they were doing the timing belt they discovered that the car had the original white plastic pulley still in place. At 148k miles I'm not sure if that counts as a miracle or not :)
Jeez Chris you were very lucky indeed, if i was you id buy a lottery ticket.:wow:
 
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