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Herald 1200 clutch problem


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[face=Arial]Hi all,

help needed again, I'm afraid.

I have a Herald 1200 that I am trying to get back on the road. I have unseized the engine and now got the car running very nicely after a little tlc with the Solex carb.

My next task was brake and clutch hydraulics. Brakes are all fine, but the clutch/ hydraulics are causing me a problem.

I have rebuilt the master cylinder and fitted a new slave cylinder and the problem is thus:

I put clutch fluid in the master cylinder and bleed the system as normal using an easi bleed system. Air bubbles come through, fluid goes clear and all appears bled.

When I depress the clutch, it has not enough  "hardness" to it and is very reluctant to return back to the top. If I start the engine, I cannot select a gear and so the clutch/ mechanism is inoperative.

I can put the car into gear when not started and power goes to the wheels.

To me, it appears that the mechanism is not having any effect on the clutch. Could this be a stuck clutch plate or something else?

Help appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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apart from the "lack of hardness" it does sound like a stuck clutch - especially considering the engine was seized so the clutch can't be in much better condition!

Some don't like my method, but... I get the engine warm and see if that releases it. If not I jack the back up, start in gear, give it a rev with the clutch pedal down and then jab the brakes. The shock can release the clutch. Another method is to wedge the clutch pedal down over night and hope that lets it go. However, considering your engine was seized I'd be expecting a very stuck clutch and would be looking to remove the gearbox to release and inspect it.

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also make sure the pedal pivot is not seized, it can stop the Mcyl fully returning and the recuperation valve(reservior  end of cyl) does not close
so you loose hydraulic performance, there must be some small free play between the pushrod and the M Cyl piston.when pedal is 'back'

the stuck disc idea is very likely, but you should still get a pedal pressure reacting against the cover springs /or diaphragm.

check the withdrawl lever  pin has not dropped out or the bell housing, thats common loss of movement.

as is wear in the pedal clevis and fork.


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IIRC early cars with coil spring clutch have a different pedal return spring arrangement compared to cars with diaphragm clutches at this gives a very weird feeling pedal if the wrong parts are used in combination.  However, although that might explain the funny feeling pedal it doesn't explain the lack of function.  Some good suggestions on that already.


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Thanks all,

I'll check some of these things out.

@ Casper - The bleed nipple for the slave is on the top of the slave cylinder

As I say, there is more resistance once bled, but not enough and certainly not enough "spring" in the return of the pedal.

I rebuilt the master cylinder and wondered whether that may be at fault - fluid getting past the seals and hence a lack of pressure?

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