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Good morning all (or afternoon if you're in the UK).  

I've got a weird problem with a 1980 TR-7.  My wife let the car sit for about 6 weeks during the height of the summer here in Florida.  The weather cooled off enough to drop the top and go for a spin the other day and when she got out to the garage she couldn't get the vehicle into gear.  

The clutch "feels" fine, an inch of play and then reasonable resistance past that point.  

With the engine off we can take the car through the gears.

With the engine running you can't put the vehicle into gear with the clutch depressed (or otherwise)

If you start the vehicle with the engine running, the vehicle in gear, and the clutch depressed, the car will lurch around as if you were starting it without the clutch.

The fluid in the master cylinder for the clutch is at the right level (it's a bit milky looking)

Any ideas?


Michael O'Leary
Jacksonville, FL

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Sounds like a stuck clutch. I seem to recall reading that some people have freed the clutch by jacking the back end up, starting it in gear to get the wheels turning, then with the clutch in applying the brakes. Maybe Beans has some better suggestions.

FYI mine currently is parked up for much longer than 6 weeks and clutch works OK  

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Thanks for both suggestions - I think I'll try to unstick it in reverse (up on jack stands) and clear the driveway behind me in case there is a problem.

I'd like to do it on the road but I'd have to push it around my neighborhood to get it started and my wife's knees won't take that  ;)

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4576 wrote:
... What problems do people have with bleeding the clutch? ...

It can be very difficult to get the air out, due to the relative large hose diameter,
in combination the long downward route of the hose.

If renewing the fluid, remove the old fluid from the reservoir with pipette (or similar).
Then fill with new fluid, and flush the system till the reservoir is almost empty.
Repeat this two or three times until the fluid that comes out is clear.
Make sure you don’t get air in the system by emptying the reservoir.

beans wrote:
... Some info on my recent experiences with the TR7 clutch ...

Clearly something wrong with the link, see if this works better ...

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Update:  I jacked the car up and set the rear up on stands.  Battery was weak and barely started the car in gear but it finally cranked.  I ran it with the car in gear for about several minutes, depressing and releasing the clutch.  I then pressed on the brake pedal to stop the rear tires and NOTHING happened.  The tires continued to spin (car was in 1st gear), it was like there were no brakes at all.

Brake fluid was full.  Clutch fluid is full.  Rear wheels continue to spin when in 1st gear, on stands, and brake pedal depressed.  Clutch does not engage at all.

Is there some common thing linking the clutch and brake pedals that would keep both of them from working?



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clutch and brake systems totally separate.
To free the clutch with the wheels in the air, best to let the engine warm up (this warms the clutch too, should help) then run the car in 2nd or third gear. Keep the clutch pedal firmly down, but keep blipping the throttle. This is much more gentle, but may take a little while.

Re rear brakes, does the handbrake work?? I suspect it is a twin master cylinder thingy, so maybe that needs attention, or rear wheel cylinders seized. I am guessing pretty humid in Florida, may be the cause of sticking.

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I'd like to thank everyone for their input on this problem!  I made a second attempt today after work, starting the car in 5th gear as junkuser suggested and the clutch immediately disengaged!  The brakes also stopped the rear wheels when it was in 5th - I didn't check to see if it stopped them in 1st.

I was really excited to be able to correct the problem in my own garage - it wouldn't have been possible without your help! :)

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