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OK, it may be a coincidence, but I drove my 99 Spider TS to my local indie last week for a new cambelt, variator (usual rattle) and other less important stuff. The car had been sat up over winter, with that journey being its first drive out. Drove fine, no issues, as it was when I put it away last year.

Picked it up today, as soon as the variator kicked in whilst in 3rd the engine revs shot up without increasing road speed and the clutch was clearly goosed / on its was out.:depressed:

The bite point had been a little high but nothing too concerning so came as a bit of a surprise.

So, my question is this: Is it possible that a noisy variator (mainly on start up) being faulty, could prevent the engine from achieving optimum power to such a degree that when a new one is fitted, a dodgy clutch is revealed? Or is this just bad luck?

If so, it highlights what you might be missing out on with a noisy variator and I'm looking forward to feeling the difference with a new clutch.

Car went straight back to FAST on Teesside (top guy by the way) who are going to drop a new clutch in.
 

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Just sods law I think. The cam phasing is mostly for emissions really although might be some power gains. Variable lift and duration systems are better but more complicated to achieve.
 

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I don't think so, my ex 155 2,0 TS 16v had a very noisy variator when I had the ECU timing adjusted to gain more torque at lower revs. It gained 15% more torque and top end power without any problems with clutch bite.
Later I had the variator (and cam belts) changed and no issues with clutch bite then either.
But after being laird up for some time some rust can occur on the gear box input shaft or on the fly wheel if the laird up conditions were damp.
Start by checking the clutch fluid reservoir (or brake fluid if the fluid is shared - its a long time ago I replaced the 155 with a 156) and for leaks.
 
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