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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1500 Clutch

Hello all,

I think my clutch is on the way out, but before I repklace it, there is one symptom that I want to check out:

When engine is cold, clutch is fine (synchromesh a different matter) and works smoothly.

When hot, starts to deteriorate - very crunchy going in (biting point right on the floor), forward creep in first, clatter in other gears. I ran out to Norwich on Friday - 180 mile round trip on hottest day of the year, gear change very reluctant by the time I got home.

I think I'm resigned to changing the clutch anyway, but any ideas why it would get worse with a warm engine?


K Williams

That is NOT a worn out clutch. When a clutch wears out it fails to bite at all. What you have is a clutch that is failing to disengage properly. The most likely cause is the hydraulics (low fluid, air in it, or damaged seals). After that consider inspecting the release arm and bearing and the pedal to master cylinder actuation mechanism. It is definitely not a symptom of a worn out friction clutch plate or worn out springs. A high biting point, or no biting point at all, signifies a worn out clutch.
Ant Allen

I concur with Ant Allen's comments, specifically K Williams' problem lies with the clutch hydraulics.

In fact, I had the same problem which caused me to break down on London's North Circular Road at Hanger Lane in 30 degrees heat - in the usual traffic gridlock - a few years back. Loss of clutch.

Having pulled over and waited half an hour, the engine bay cooled off sufficiently for clutch action to be restored. Having got home, there was no loss of clutch fluid. Anyway, I changed the fluid.

I suspect that excessive engine bay heat causes the dreaded 'red nylon clutch pipe' to go soft and spongy and 'balloon' when the clutch pedal is pressed. I think, at a later date, I did replace the clutch pipe.

The problem hasn't recurred (touch wood!). But I do try to avoid very hot weather and traffic jams when I'm in the MG.

Andy Hock

Thank you both, that gives me something to work with.

I had thought logically that a wearing clutch should have a higher biting point, not lower, but fell into the trap of listening to people who claim 'know better' (aka 'idiots').


K Williams

This thread was discussed on 12/07/2010

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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