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Austin Healey parts spares and accessories are available for Austin Healey 100, 100-6, 3000, Sprite, Bugeye (Frogeye) and other Healey models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

Austin-Healey Sprite - Frogeye clutch woes

About 5 years ago I got fed up with trying to get 9-spring clutches to work on my 998cc, so had the flywheel drilled for a 1275 clutch. This worked brilliantly, until last December when it intermittently failed. It just would not disengage every now and then. So the other week I pulled everything out and found that the release plate was rattling around because its retainer had fractured. I have put in a new Borg and Beck 1275 clutch kit and now find that it won't disengage. The whole set-up is identical to what I had before, but the pedal travel seems shorter. I have an adjustable pushrod on the slave cylinder and with this adjusted right out to give maximum travel for the piston, the clutch still won't disengage.

For the record, I have 948 master and slave cylinders, 1275 release bearing (came with the kit), and 1098 release fork as I have a 1098 gearbox. I checked release bearing clearance on assembly and it was minimal. It's difficult to check operation out of the car without the hydraulic connection. Any ideas folks?
L B Rose

Suggest you repost in MG midget forum. Very active site
g Victors

In case anyone is curious, here is the outcome of this saga.

The problem was that with the original 7/8" master cylinder the slave was being pushed too far. I had assumed that the slave would limit the clutch throw, but not so. It was being pushed up against the flywheel, wearing out the retainer which fits over the diaphragm fingers. After fitting the new clutch, a quick fix was to put a bit of wood under the carpet!

I have now sleeved the master down to 3/4" and made a new piston on the lathe. With careful pushrod adjustment it works OK. The pushrod has to be shortened by 1/2", but another problem was that it was thicker than the brake one. Not sure why, but I turned it down a bit. With the smaller piston there is less room for the rod to move up and down with pedal travel, so it binds in the piston. This is why it's shorter, but it mustn't be be too thick either.
L B Rose

I have a strange problem. I fitted a new clutch to my 948cc engine, having had the flywheel skimmed to remove the grooving caused by failure of the previous clutch. Now I find I have very limited pedal travel and a lot of lost motion in the pedal. I tried adjusting the push rod at the master cylinder to take up some movement but I couldn't get much improvement. I wondered if it was a hydraulic problem so pumped the pedal and found I could get a better pedal but then the slave cylinder popped its piston out - clearly there is too much travel now on the thrust release bearing. I'm seeking opinions as to the solution - has the flywheel skim moved the clutch too far away from its original position? Could there be a fault with the new clutch? Would a longer push rod solve the problem? I really don't want to take the engine out again!
NRB Furness

This thread was discussed between 18/03/2015 and 20/05/2016

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