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Thread: Clutch not working when hot

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Dec 2018

    Posts:    987

    So I pulled the clutch master and removed the cer-clip. Got the rod off.

    E6FD09D4-FA94-40D1-AD23-2B0C04550A31.jpg

    Then I cut it and welded a piece in. It added about .240Ēin length. This piece has reverse leverage, so the 1/4Ē translates to more than a 1/2Ē in pedal travel removed. (Note to self, grind off cad plating before welding)

    5332A21E-5B10-4EBF-A062-8BBBE4BF74DD.jpg

    Installed it back in the car and bled the system.

    The clutch works much better. Now the pedal only moves a 1/4Ē or less to take up the play. Of course I canít claim this is the fix because I spent a lot of time bleeding the system.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Jack's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Posts:    236

    My VIN:    10110

    Club(s):   (SEDOC) (DCUK)

    I don't think anyone mentioned it yet.
    But I recall either a write up or a vendor post maybe special t auto back in the day. Where it talked about the possibility of bent clutch forks causing play or general clutch travel issues. Anyone else remember that? Next time your in the valley wouldn't hurt to pull the rubber back and take a look.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northern NJ

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    My VIN:    10757 1st place Concourse 1998

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I don't think anyone mentioned it yet.
    But I recall either a write up or a vendor post maybe special t auto back in the day. Where it talked about the possibility of bent clutch forks causing play or general clutch travel issues. Anyone else remember that? Next time your in the valley wouldn't hurt to pull the rubber back and take a look.
    There was also an adjustable link offered that went on the clutch pedal to try to remove as much play as possible so as to give all the travel you could get. All of these "fixes" did not correct the problem, the plastic hose would expand due to the heat and caused the loss of full travel. Lotus's of that era also suffered from the same problem and the fix is the same. We call it "Red Hose Syndrome", they call it "Soft Pedal Syndrome". The other thing to do is to change the fluid at least every 2 years so the cylinders don't corrode, tear up the seals, and start leaking. If you drive on a wonky clutch you damage the roll pins inside the transmission by forcing shifts. If you have play in the shifter linkage replace the rubber bushings and make sure everything is adjusted well. Keep an extra shifter bolt in the glove box in case you break it. Old, bad fluid can act as if you have air in the system. The water in the fluid turns to steam when it gets hot.
    David Teitelbaum

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Dec 2018

    Posts:    987

    Clutch and reverse problem

    Today I drove to a restaurant with my wife. Everything was fine. I parked the car and had dinner and drinks with friends. We were there for three hours. It was late afternoon when we arrived and it was dark when we were leaving. Of course it was hot when we got there, but it was noticeably cooler when we came out.

    After starting the car I tried to shift into reverse. It would not go into reverse. It was as if the clutch did nothing. The pedal felt normal, but it would just grind gears if I tried to force it. It would grind in forward gears also, but I could force it in first or third. I ended up pushing the car back out of the spot. Than I forced it in first. After getting it moving, I was able to shift somewhat normal because of rpm matching. Hereís the kicker. When I got home, (about 7 miles) the clutch worked fine. I could shift into any gear (including reverse) while sitting still.

    I know air in the system can cause trouble, but how did it fix itself? Is there any other explanation besides air in the system?

    The other thing I have noticed in the last few months is almost always the first time I shift into reverse, it goes into second. Itís like I get in the habit of expecting it to go in to second. Iíll try it. Then shift back to newtral and back into reverse again. The second time, it will go in to reverse even though I do it the same way. Is there a linkage adjustment that needs to be done?

  5. #15
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

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    My VIN:    5003 Never placed Concourse

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    You don't mention what the fluid level was when this happened. Yes, there are linkage adjustments that can be found in the manual. One thing that helps a lot is to replace all the bushings throughout the linkage if you have not already done so.
    -----Dan B.

  6. #16
    Daily Driver ssdelorean's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  NW Ohio

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    Check your shift linkage bolt. Sometimes those act up just before breaking.
    Shannon Y
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    ---
    1st angle drive - 58,027 miles (20 years) -- original
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    over 245K miles

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Dec 2018

    Posts:    987

    Quote Originally Posted by dn010 View Post
    You don't mention what the fluid level was when this happened. Yes, there are linkage adjustments that can be found in the manual. One thing that helps a lot is to replace all the bushings throughout the linkage if you have not already done so.
    Fluid is full.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssdelorean View Post
    Check your shift linkage bolt. Sometimes those act up just before breaking.
    It just did it this morning again. Would not go into reverse, but would go in first without too much trouble. I guess I need to break out the manual. This sucks because I have a problem with my truck right now. Of course itís 100 degrees in the shade.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
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    Location:  San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.

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    You may have more than one cause of these problems.

    Grinding when trying to engage any gear out of neutral: Clutch not disengaging. If disengagement problem is intermittent then it can be either clutch or slave leaking internally - at some times and not others. Especially if you can sometimes pump it and recover disengagement. Yes, the system has to be fully bled to work properly in any case, as you mention.

    Grabbing 2nd instead of R: Crossgate cable adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by Helirich View Post
    Today I drove to a restaurant with my wife. Everything was fine. I parked the car and had dinner and drinks with friends. We were there for three hours. It was late afternoon when we arrived and it was dark when we were leaving. Of course it was hot when we got there, but it was noticeably cooler when we came out.

    After starting the car I tried to shift into reverse. It would not go into reverse. It was as if the clutch did nothing. The pedal felt normal, but it would just grind gears if I tried to force it. It would grind in forward gears also, but I could force it in first or third. I ended up pushing the car back out of the spot. Than I forced it in first. After getting it moving, I was able to shift somewhat normal because of rpm matching. Hereís the kicker. When I got home, (about 7 miles) the clutch worked fine. I could shift into any gear (including reverse) while sitting still.

    I know air in the system can cause trouble, but how did it fix itself? Is there any other explanation besides air in the system?

    The other thing I have noticed in the last few months is almost always the first time I shift into reverse, it goes into second. Itís like I get in the habit of expecting it to go in to second. Iíll try it. Then shift back to newtral and back into reverse again. The second time, it will go in to reverse even though I do it the same way. Is there a linkage adjustment that needs to be done?
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Dec 2018

    Posts:    987

    So I lifted the car and tour apart the console. The fore and aft tube(s) has some play in the ends, but the mechanism for moving it seems good. That play would only force me to move the shifter slightly more. The cable linkage looks fine up front. I canít really tell about the rear till I get some help. (I need to see it move.) In any case, no smoking gun.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Rich's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.

    Posts:    1,914

    My VIN:    0934

    Club(s):   (NCDMC) (DCUK)

    Correction to my post in bold, also a note below about where the crossgate cable adjustment is done:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    You may have more than one cause of these problems.

    Grinding when trying to engage any gear out of neutral => Clutch not disengaging.
    If disengagement problem is intermittent then it can be either the master or slave leaking internally - at some times and not others. Especially if you can sometimes pump it and recover disengagement.
    Yes, the system has to be fully bled to work properly in any case, as you mention.

    Grabbing 2nd instead of R => Crossgate cable adjustment
    Note: For the crossgate cable adjustment, yes, you'd to get underneath to sort that out at the transmission. DWM page F:07:01

    But you don't need to see the shifter move to check or make the adjustment although having a helper might save you some time. See "Checking Adjustment" in the manual.

    Martin G. posted a fine video about this adjustment.
    Last edited by Rich; 06-23-2022 at 05:57 PM.
    March '81, 5-speed, black interior

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