Crunchy Clutch

Standard & modified running gear

Crunchy Clutch

Postby magnette » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:33 am

Hello - newbie here.... Apologies for diving right in with a problem but I have a clutch issue that is causing me - and a couple of garages - grief, so any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated!

I have a standard 1098 saloon - original engine, standard running gear throughout. Before I bought it, it had the gearbox rebuilt, and since I've owned it, it's had the engine rebuilt. However, it is all standard. When I bought it, the clutch was juddery in reverse, and when the engine was rebuilt it had a new Borg & Beck clutch fitted.

At this point it gets weird - after the engine rebuild I noticed an occasional hard, crunching action on depressing the clutch pedal. Not every time, not too bad - I raised it with the mechanic to look at on the 1st service. It got progressively worse over the next 1000 miles - you could hear the noise outside the car and inside when you pressed the pedal. The noise was a horrible, knuckle-snapping noise, a real CRACK/SNAP and you can feel it through the pedal.

Anyway, after a while, it went back and had a new clutch fitted. Again, a Borg & Beck one. We found that the pressure plate on the one removed made a terrible creaking noise when it was out of the car so assumed it was that. The Thrust Bearing had large chips out of it around the central hole.

This new clutch was really heavy, overloaded the engine, started slipping and started making the same snapping/crunching noise within a day. It started smelling very strongly when I was driving at about 50mph on the flat. The mechanic didn't have space/time so it limped to a new classic car garage as an emergency (I didn't think it was even going to get home!) It turns out that this latest clutch was showing signs of having been extremely hot after just 48 hours light use - also the thrust bearing was again chipped and damaged all around the centre hole.

So it gets another new clutch - again, Borg & Beck. It's now nice and light, no judder, smooth and lovely. I got 10 miles from the garage, changed gear and SNAP! The pedal starts making the cracking, snapping, crunching noise again! It is now back at the garage and I am waiting for a diagnosis.

Does anybody have any idea what could be going on? The snapping noise is truly awful and, to me, does sound like the noise of the graphite being nibbled/scraped off the bearing - imagine the sound of crumbling graphite off with pliers. Certainly the bearings show a lot of damage.

Or, is it the linkage? Is the linkage maybe pushing the bearing 'over centre' so it slides along at an angle?

A concern of mine is that the gear box or the engine is causing this. 3 clutches have now gone this way so simply swapping these is not helping. Can the gearbox or engine be out of line and causing it? The car runs smoothly and rolls along ok when you've got your gear and leave the clutch alone.

Please help! I'm running out of time, money and patience!

Thanks in advance!
magnette
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Re: Crunchy Clutch

Postby Sleeper » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:41 am

1) Borg and Beck are now far east rubbish...unless you have NOS ( new old stock ) , probably the same with the clutch release bearings.

2) I does sound like the pressure plate is not aligned or as you say going "over centre" .

Sorry , no help other than that.

John ;)
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Re: Crunchy Clutch

Postby magnette » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:44 pm

What is a better brand? Although I think the problem is not the clutch.

Can the pressure plate be realigned or shimmed, or could the gearbox input be out of line?

Sorry, I'm not technical!
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Re: Crunchy Clutch

Postby Panky » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:00 pm

There should be a little bit of play at the clutch end of the linkage, if it's too tight then the plate could go over centre or the bearing be always touching the plate causing wear. Easy to check before you start pulling it apart again. Also have a look and make sure the lever on clutch pedal spindle hasn't been lengthened to 'extend' the travel a bit.
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Re: Crunchy Clutch

Postby magnette » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:18 pm

Can the spindle be lengthened, and would that be obvious? The car is in a garage at the moment so I'm trusting the guy to spot this sort of thing.

Presumably the linkage from the pedal itself can't throw the bearing out of alignment?

Is this an unusual thing? I can't find anything like this online!
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Re: Crunchy Clutch

Postby Panky » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:13 pm

If there's not enough play at the adjuster then it could happen. I'm only guessing by suggesting the crank on the clutch pedal shaft could have been modified but three clutches in such a short time points to something else rather than the clutch itself. Out of interest was the spigot bearing in the flywheel changed?
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Re: Crunchy Clutch

Postby magnette » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:26 pm

Not sure - can that affect things?
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