Lotus Elan

Clutch slave cylinder and a noisy bearing

PostPost by: adigra » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:32 pm

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, after I picked my car up from Option 1, the clutch was set very tight, actuating at the very top. As some of you kindly pointed out, it needed adjusting at the slave cylinder. I also noticed that the bearing was quite noisy, clutch in or out.

Adjusting the slave cylinder rod fixed both the biting point and the noise then the clutch was out, but as soon as I press it in it starts whining. This is incredibly frustrating as I had the clutch and the bearing replaced about 500 miles ago, and have only driven the car 200 miles since the clutch was set too tight (to bring it home).

My first question is whether a bearing can really start failing after a few hundred miles even if it was partially engaged the entire time, or if it's possible I was just unlucky with a duff bearing to start with?

Second part of this is that in order to set the clutch biting point properly I couldn't get any clearance at the rod. If I left 2mm, I just couldn't change gears at all. The best I could do is for the nut to just be touching, which meant that the biting point was closer to the floor. If I tried moving it higher the bearing would start whining again.

I'd really appreciate any suggestions. I feel every time I take a step forward I take at least one back.

Thank you very much in advance.
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:18 pm

Oh dear I think it might be engine out time, clutch release bearing noise is.....what it is, can't really be much else. And it sounds like something else is amiss down there in the bellhousing.....I just re-read your other thread and it started by saying you'd just picked up the car from Option One who replaced the clutch. Given the low mileage, is there any reason why you can't drive it back to them, invoice in hand and say "here, fix it"?
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PostPost by: adigra » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:44 pm

The clutch was done by Spyder last August, and the car went into Option 1 for a respray in October, and I did about 300-400 miles in between... Option 1 had the engine out, so they fitted it back in, but replaced no parts. Sadly, the chain of responsibility is now difficult to establish. The car came back to me with some other issues which they are covering to have rectified locally, but it's all starting to feel like I'm chasing my own tail

I am feeling really stupid and really frustrated. I suppose I'll have to have the engine out again, for the third time in 8 months.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:33 am

A clutch throw out bearing would not normally start to fail and whine in a few hundred miles of running against the pressure plate becasue its adjust a little to tight. Possible that its was a dud bearing or not really new when replaced have a good look at it when it comes out.

Before pulling the engine to do the bearing try to establish further why you need to eliminate all the slack in the adjustment to get the clutch to disengage. Check that you are getting full travel of the clutch slave cylinder and release lever when you depress the clutch pedal and the system does not need bleeding and that there are no leaks. it all this is OK then you have something else amiss in the clutch as well as the release bearing..

In my somewhat cynical mind It sounds like the painters "misadjustment" was not a "mistake" but a deliberate setting just to get the clutch to work and the car out of the shop. "It was like that when it came in boss" I can hear the mechanic saying.

life can be frustrating :cry:
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PostPost by: adigra » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:00 am

Thank you Rohan. My mind has become quite cynical the past couple of weeks regarding these issues too.

A thing I noticed while adjusting the slave cylinder was that the clutch release lever seems slightly at an angle towards the slave cylinder pushrod, so the adjustment nut doesn't sit flat on it, but one side touches it while the other has 2mm-ish clearance. However, I don't know whether was a pre-existing condition.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:00 am

The lever should sit flat as it sits on a ball pivot and the other end should be held square by the release bearing guide sleeve arrangment. The levers have been known to crack and this then causes them to bend when in use making release travel longer before they fail completely. A crack in the lever could also cause it to twist. Alternatively there could be something wrong in how it was assembled at the release bearing end with the assembly of the pivoting C section and spring clips to the bearing carrier. .

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PostPost by: adigra » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:17 am

Thank you for that (I always appreciate your input more than I could express on here. I hope to be able to repay you in some way at some point).

I suspected that the angle of the lever indicated a further issue. As I researched all of it today, it became clear it will need proper inspection. I just hope the new paintwork survives the engine coming out again. :cry:
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:14 am

I posted a while ago and someone posted recently but a purchase of an endoscope may help here,slipped into the bellhousing, through the operating arm aperture??

John :wink:

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:31 pm

John,

Have you bought one of these endoscopes? Are they any good? The price seems incredible.

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PostPost by: terryp » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:46 pm

I had a go with my one today. To be honest I couldn't see very much. It would be better with a zoom. The one I bought has an adjustable light and you are able to take still.
AlI saw was that my clutch springs and release bearing looked ok.
I'll have another go later in the week
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PostPost by: adigra » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:17 pm

I decided not to mess around and booked it in with my new favourite mechanic. I took the engine out myself before, but I fear that doing it this time would end in tears, not to mention keep the car off the road for indeterminate time due to my work and/or lack of knowledge.

I think something has definitely gone wrong inside between the clutch change and the engine being taken out and put back in again at the paint shop. It was a mistake not to replace the release arm (as the likely culprit), but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

As frustrated as I am, there is nothing to be done but do it again. In for a penny...
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:15 pm

Richard
I bought one a while ago,as well as inspecting ones piles,dental imperfections, etc,it has been invaluable looking down the spark plug hole etc.etc.etc. for the price it's has been invaluable

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:55 pm

John,

Thanks for the advice. I have always thought endoscopes useful, but have been put off by the price.

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PostPost by: pereirac » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:34 am

I had something similar happen to me many years ago, the clutch suddenly went 'digital' (either fully on or fully off) and very stiff along with strange scraping noises coming from the bell housing. When I removed the engine I discovered that both springs holding the bearing holder to the clutch fork had vanished.... :(
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:00 pm

When I took my clutch apart this winter the little springs were nearly worn through...looks like there are some dodgy repro springs on the market...found some original ones and they are thicker and not shiny but dull.

John :wink:
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