Lotus Elan

Clutch Problem

PostPost by: jmesh » Fri May 30, 2008 3:13 pm

Any ideas? My clutch, which had been working great when I parked the car last week, suddenly isn't working.

The pedal is soft, though there's a little bit of normal feeling friction, but less than usual.

Luckily, the best days to drive a Lotus to work are also great days to bike to work.

Jason
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri May 30, 2008 3:53 pm

I think you must first check the clutch fluid, is the cylinder full? any leaks around the slave cylinder or master cylinder (inside the car?) or on the pipes?
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PostPost by: jmesh » Fri May 30, 2008 4:18 pm

Thanks Brian. I think/hope you're right.

I'll check it when I get home.

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri May 30, 2008 5:09 pm

As he said, your current specif ic problem is probably insufficient clutch fluid, but after toppin up you will need to monitor the level frequently as the rubbers in the master or slave cyclinders might be perishing and on the point of complete failure.

On the other hand it might be just a loose joint on the clutch pipe.

====

NB it is very embarrassing when the clutch has no fluid. I had a clutch pipe burst in a traffic jam in Oxford once & I had to have my Lotus conveyed back to london on an RAC breakdown truck.

:oops: :oops: :cry: :cry:
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PostPost by: stuartgb100 » Fri May 30, 2008 5:22 pm

Bill,

Can't say for sure about the Elan family, but I seem to remember a similar lack of clutch in a Locust (long time ago) and being able to change without it, using an ear on engine revs.

Presumably must have started it in gear !!!

Regards,
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PostPost by: MintSprint » Fri May 30, 2008 10:31 pm

Hydraulics are the obvious solution, but the joker in the pack with Elan clutches is the possibility that the C-ring/circlip that retains the slave cylinder on the bellhousing has come adrift, so that when you depress the clutch pedal, the slave cylinder simply pushes itself part way out of its housing!
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Sat May 31, 2008 3:41 am

I'll guess hydralics. Top up the system, pump up the pedal and let us know what happens.
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PostPost by: oldokie » Sat May 31, 2008 5:02 pm

Bill,
Mine burst in Long Beach after the F1 race (now that's traffic), I was able to drive it home but the starter needed a refurb.
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PostPost by: jmesh » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:49 am

I'm pretty sure it's just the hydraulics. The circlip was a problem for the car's DPO, but I had it fixed last year.

Here's my Dumb Owner question of the day: Is the clutch reservoir the one on the right or the left? If it is on the right, it's bone dry. If it's the one on the left, then the top doesn't come off but I need brake fluid!

Also, can I just add fluid into the cylinder and pump the clutch? Or do I need to go through the whole bleed process?

Last (for now), any recommendations on what fluid is best to use? The manual says Girling Hydraulic fluid or any SAE 70 R1, but that was written back in the '60's. If it matters, I'm in the US.

This car deserves a better owner than me!

Jason
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PostPost by: ringe » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:56 am

Jason,

the clutch reservoir is the right one on a LHD car. I'm not so sure about RHD cars. On my car it is the one with the smaller cap.

Regarding fluids: Regular DOT4 brake fluid is fine.

If the master cylinder leaks you should try to clean as much fluid as possible from the footwell because break fluid allegedly dissolves fiberglass

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PostPost by: oldokie » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:56 pm

Should be on the right, rule of thumb: Go by which foot you use. I like Castrol LMA, try Amazon if you can't find it locally. You have to put it in the master cylinder, sometimes you must 'tease' the caps off with a pair of Channel Locks. If it needs 'bleeding after a refill, I've found that just 'cracking' the bleeder for a couple of minutes allows the weight of the fluid to push the air out. It's not a rumor, brake fluid will eat your GRP and paint, so DO find the leak and clean everything up.
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:33 pm

ringe wrote:Regarding fluids: Regular DOT4 brake fluid is fine.

If you enjoy rebuilding your hydraulics every 6 months.
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:42 pm

oldokie wrote:rule of thumb: Go by which foot you use.

Sorry, but that's simply not true.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:05 pm

Frank Howard wrote:
ringe wrote:Regarding fluids: Regular DOT4 brake fluid is fine.

If you enjoy rebuilding your hydraulics every 6 months.


Well I've had dot 4 in for the last 6 years without a problem (O.K. I know I should change the fluid.....but what the hell!) I'll cross that bridge when I have to. :roll:........if it aint broken dont fix it 8)
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:14 pm

Frank Howard wrote:
oldokie wrote:rule of thumb: Go by which foot you use.

Sorry, but that's simply not true.


Explain :?: .......... surely oldokie is saying
left foot = clutch
right foot =brake
(and I am fully aware of the change over system) or is the american system different :?:.........in god we trust :roll:
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