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Clutch problems - or is it the gearbox!?


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I've recently got myself a 1500 and have been sorting out various odds & sods to get it into a reliable state although it is MOT'd and drives :-)
Engaging 1st gear is tricky to say the least, even with the clutch fully depressed you can feel the engine has come under load, so following the excellent advice in a previous thread I've looked at the linkage to the master cylinder and theres quite a bit of wear in the clevis pin so new one en route!

Is this enough to cause such a problem engaging 1st? I can't see any problems with either cylinder and i'm not loosing any fluid so I'm guessing no leaks. Also when engaging reverse I hear a clanging noise, might this have anything to do with the price of eggs??

Any ideas or advice very gratefully received!

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As well as the clevis pin - you can try making sure the slave cylinder is as far forwards into the bell housing as possible.  Loosten the pinch bolt and gently tap it forewards.  Some people even file the slave cylinder to allow it to go further forward but that shouldn't really be necessary.

You don't mention whether you have bled the slave cylinder.  Although not leaking there could be air in there.

Think the reverse noise is down to the same problem and yes it sounds like its down to the clutch not being fully released.

If it comes to it that you need to replace the clutch its not the worst job (though pretty tedious) in the world but set aside a fair amount of time first time you do it.  If you're gonna do that come back for advice.

Good luck  :)

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Worn clevis pin
worn clutch pedal hole  ..elongated
worn push rod             ..elongated
worn clutch pedal bearings
worn thrust washers
worn clevis pin
worn forks
worn release bearing
worn clutch linings
wrong master cylinder

all add up to a LOT,  so no real clutch move ment, :-/ :-/

should keep ye going for a night, !!!


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Thanks for all this great advice!
I'm planning on doing the following in this order until the problem gets better . . .
- Bleed the hydraulics,
- Check position of slave cylinder re:Doug's advice
- Overhaul and fit the repair kit for the master cylinder
- Look for this pin that goes through the bellhousing
. . . ask you guys about the missing thrust washer scenario!

Any more tips welcomed  ;)

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I had the exact same problem, my 1500 had been sat for two years when i bought it, clutch had seized but this was expected, free'd it off and had already stripped and free'd the slave cylinder and bled the system, when driving it though i had about 10mm of pedal movement if that, before the clutch fully engaged.

The problem was the clevis pin that attaches the clutch pedal to the pin that pushes the master cylinder had worn slightly, only abit but though i would fix it so drilled it out to 9mm on both the pedal and pushrod, fitted a bigger clevis pin and now have a clutch pedal as expected and lots of travel, all it cost was 30mins of work and a new split pin.


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Hello all,
Now then, I have fitted a new, slightly larger clevis pin (as the one fitted was very worn as advised!), I have also bled and topped up the hydraulics. This has resulted in a much stiffer and more positive clutch  :), however, its still a nightmare to get into 1st. . .
where is this pin supposed to be which likes to drop out? I have a vertical hole in the bellhousing on the drivers side which doesn't look like it has a pin in it, is this it!?? (see photo)

Shall post a couple more pics, also the gearbox  mounting rubbers are very distorted as if the whole lot has been shoved back quite substantially! might be next on the list?

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Hi Jack,

I thought I'd reply to your PM on here. After all, it'll probably be useful to someone else in the future!

The hole you've taken a picture of is the right one. Here's a slightly clearer picture of the hole on my spare alloy bellhousing.

If you have a look on here (http://www.canleyclassics.com/catalog.asp?category=200208031759193385743157) you will see what's supposed to be there. You need to be looking at parts 5, 6 and 7!

Basically there should be two bronze bushes in the bellhousing. I think you're PM said the crinkly washer was sticking out of the top? The crinkly washer should be in the release arm and the pin should go through the lot! I can't remember if the pin has a head on it or if it's grooved for an E - ring. Either way - a replacement shouldn't fall out. I was lucky when I replaced mine because everything was lined up so I was able to drift the crinkly washer in through the bellhousing. If you can't get the hole in the bellhousing and the release arm lined up you're probably best taking the whole thing apart.

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Thanks very much!
Something about mine doesn't look quite right, i'm not really looking forward to taking it all to bits but I think that might be whats going on!
I've read the Haynes manual several times on how to remove the gearbox so I shall give it a crack. If anyone one else can shed some light on what a missing pin looks like i'd be very grateful  :)


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Thats what I was thinking!?
If this pin has dropped out (which I'm not entirely sure if it has), would the clutch work when I finally manage to engage 1st?
Whats happening at the moment is that I fully depress the clutch (feeling OK amounts of resistance), 1st is a real pain to select, sometimes I do manage and the clutch does hold but revs drop slightly. Selecting other gears is much easier and doesn't seem to put the engine under any duress.

Apologies for all the questions, I'm keen to find out what the problem is before I go taking anything to bits!
I also followed the advice on the Canley website for spotting missing thrust washers, I see no movement of the crank pulley when a mate depresses the clutch so fingers crossed . . !

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When there's no pin the clutch feel's right (good movement and resistance) but because the other end of the clutch arm isn't fixed some or all of that movement is lost. This might mean the clutch slips or it's difficult to get gears. On my car it manifested itself as being just about all right on 1st and 2nd but anything else was a right mission to select . It was the first time I'd ever driven a spit and I thought 'how the hell do owners live with this!?'. Then I was told about the missing pin!

You said on your PM that you'd poked a bit of wire down the hole? You wouldn't have been able to do that if the pin was missing 'cos the pin would've been sticking out both ends! Its looks absent in your photo too so that's definatly a problem if not the problem. As you've got to take the box out to sort the pin anyway, you might as well take a look and see if there's anything else lurking in the bellhousing causing grief while you're there. I'd probably replace the clutch too while I was there (unless it'd been done recently) - but that's just me!  :)

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Marcus, theres a part of me thats just not ready to do that right now!

No, I couldn't push any wire through, but apart from a small scrap of something (crinkly washer?) sticking out the top, no sign of a pin!  Looks like i'm going in, shall update!

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  • 2 months later...

It's alive!!
Finally had the gearbox out and had a good look around. I found a friendly and very cheap mechanic down the road who did it in his spare time, which is good because it took a fair amount of his spare time and was a two not one person job (for me anyway!).
The pivot pin was still present but we replaced it with a new headed one for good measure, turns out it was excessive wear on the cover that was causing the difficulty, so he replaced that, but the clutch plate seemed fine (thinner than the new replacement I got, but fine) so we kept the new one for another time!

So she runs like a beaut now! Am working up the distances away from the house and looking forward to getting a garage with my new flat.

Seems to have developed a fault with the rear indicators though, hazards work on the front but not on the back, and indicating just turns the front light on constant, not flashing. . . Started off as only the LHS but now both :-/

This happened to anyone else??

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Cool! Glad you got it sorted! This is what happens with triumph ownership - you fix the big problems, then you get loads of small problems and then eventually you get some sort of reliability! As for your indicators. I haven't had an lighting problem yet that wasn't fixable by cleaning the earths or replacing the relays!

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