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Sudden clutch failure

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:24 pm
by elansprint71
Driving home from Oulton Park yesterday I suffered a sudden loss of
clutch fluid and ended up on a tow rope.
On inspection it seems like the piston in the slave cylinder has been
pushed right out of the cylinder, never in 30+ years of driving have I
had cause to change a clutch, so this is probably the area where I know
least about a car!
What are the most probable causes of this catastrophe?

There appeared to be no unusual noises when the engine was running, if
the thrust bearing had come to pieces, or something similar I would have
expected some kind of racket. Is it possible that the release arm has
failed or come off its pivot?

Help!!!


Cheers,

Pete.

Sudden clutch failure

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:38 pm
by "Martin Stuart"
Was the slave cylinder still retained by its circlip? I've had the circlip dislodge, resulting in the slave cylinder simply pushing itself out of its mounting.

Other than that, yes, chances are the release arm has failed or come adrift. Either way, you'll need to split the engine and box to solve the problem, I'm afraid.

Martin

----- Original Message -----
From: Pete Taylor
To: ***@***.*** ; Rick Cumberbatch
Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2006 3:29 PM
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Sudden clutch failure


Driving home from Oulton Park yesterday I suffered a sudden loss of
clutch fluid and ended up on a tow rope.
On inspection it seems like the piston in the slave cylinder has been
pushed right out of the cylinder, never in 30+ years of driving have I
had cause to change a clutch, so this is probably the area where I know
least about a car!
What are the most probable causes of this catastrophe?

There appeared to be no unusual noises when the engine was running, if
the thrust bearing had come to pieces, or something similar I would have
expected some kind of racket. Is it possible that the release arm has
failed or come off its pivot?

Help!!!

Cheers,

Pete.

Sudden clutch failure

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:33 pm
by Bill Barry
Why did you need to be towed? Did the clutch fail engaged or released? If
engaged, you can still drive. It's just a bit of a pain at stops as you
need to start it in gear! I've done it when my car had clutch failure and I
didn't want to wait around or worry about connecting a tow rope.

-----Original Message-----
From: ***@***.***lto:***@***.***
Behalf Of Pete Taylor
Sent: 11 June 2006 15:29
To: ***@***.***; Rick Cumberbatch
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Sudden clutch failure


Driving home from Oulton Park yesterday I suffered a sudden loss of
clutch fluid and ended up on a tow rope.
On inspection it seems like the piston in the slave cylinder has been
pushed right out of the cylinder, never in 30+ years of driving have I
had cause to change a clutch, so this is probably the area where I know
least about a car!
What are the most probable causes of this catastrophe?

There appeared to be no unusual noises when the engine was running, if
the thrust bearing had come to pieces, or something similar I would have
expected some kind of racket. Is it possible that the release arm has
failed or come off its pivot?

Help!!!


Cheers,

Pete.

Sudden clutch failure

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:38 am
by Lincoln62
Pete

The clutch is not a complicated device. Your diagnosis of the release
arm failing or coming adrift also would be my first choices for the cause.

I assume the rod from the slave to the arm was still in place? If it
has broken or fallen out the piston would come straight out. I doubt
that a throwout bearing or pressure plate spring failure would let the
piston come far enough to have it come out.

Pete
66S2

Pete Taylor wrote:

Driving home from Oulton Park yesterday I suffered a sudden loss of
clutch fluid and ended up on a tow rope.
On inspection it seems like the piston in the slave cylinder has been
pushed right out of the cylinder, never in 30+ years of driving have I
had cause to change a clutch, so this is probably the area where I know
least about a car!
What are the most probable causes of this catastrophe?

There appeared to be no unusual noises when the engine was running, if
the thrust bearing had come to pieces, or something similar I would have
expected some kind of racket. Is it possible that the release arm has
failed or come off its pivot?

Sudden clutch failure

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:02 am
by Guest
Pete



My thought is that the return spring on the slave cylinder broke, the
actuating rod fell out and the next time you put your foot on the clutch
the piston popped out.



Maybe as simple as replacing the piston, rod and spring and oil.



Rod



Rodney Stevens

CSIRO Minerals

phone 02 9710 6701

Mobile 0432 506 427

Web: http://www.minerals.csiro.au/



Personal Web Page

http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rodjohnst ... mepage.htm



_____

Pete Taylor wrote:

Driving home from Oulton Park yesterday I suffered a sudden loss of
clutch fluid and ended up on a tow rope.
On inspection it seems like the piston in the slave cylinder has been
pushed right out of the cylinder, never in 30+ years of driving have I

had cause to change a clutch, so this is probably the area where I
know

least about a car!
What are the most probable causes of this catastrophe?

There appeared to be no unusual noises when the engine was running, if

the thrust bearing had come to pieces, or something similar I would
have

expected some kind of racket. Is it possible that the release arm has
failed or come off its pivot?

Sudden clutch failure

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:27 am
by gjz30075
--- In ***@***.***, Pete Taylor <[email protected]> wrote:
Is it possible that the release arm has
failed or come off its pivot?

Pete,

You might be able to see what's wrong by pulling the boot out of the
way and peeking inside. Maybe the arm came off its pivot or the T.O.
bearing came adrift. Doubt if either case can be fixed without engine
removal but its best to investigate further but pulling it.

Greg Z
'72 Sprint

Sudden clutch failure

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:09 pm
by elansprint71
Peter,
The rod was still in place (just) the piston was pushed out of the cylinder where it twisted to one side, allowing the fluid out, fortunately I still have all the pieces.
I'm almost convinced it is the arm or it's pivot- time to get the overalls on!

Cheers,
Pete.

Peter Walker <***@***.***> wrote:
Pete

The clutch is not a complicated device. Your diagnosis of the release
arm failing or coming adrift also would be my first choices for the cause.

I assume the rod from the slave to the arm was still in place? If it
has broken or fallen out the piston would come straight out. I doubt
that a throwout bearing or pressure plate spring failure would let the
piston come far enough to have it come out.

Pete
66S2

Pete Taylor wrote:

Driving home from Oulton Park yesterday I suffered a sudden loss of
clutch fluid and ended up on a tow rope.
On inspection it seems like the piston in the slave cylinder has been
pushed right out of the cylinder, never in 30+ years of driving have I
had cause to change a clutch, so this is probably the area where I know
least about a car!
What are the most probable causes of this catastrophe?

There appeared to be no unusual noises when the engine was running, if
the thrust bearing had come to pieces, or something similar I would have
expected some kind of racket. Is it possible that the release arm has
failed or come off its pivot?