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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1500 clutch judder

dear all just got my 1500 back from that paint shop so has not been run in anger for about six months, I took it out yesterday and found that in order to prevent the clutch from juddering heavely I had to let the revs drop off, and although this works fine, is this symtomatic of a lack of action that will ware off after a good run or should i be looking at anything else.

many thanks Douglas
df mccabe

Any evidence of engine or gearbox oil coming out of the bell housing?

Dave Rhine ('78 1500)

Echoing Dave, clutch judder is usually a symptom of an oil leak. If the oil seal at the rear of the crank goes leaky, it can get oil on the clutch bits, and there you go. It's engine-out to fix.

Gryf Ketcherside

Clutch operation of the 1500 midget is (surprisingly) mechanically robust (eg the clutch 'fork' works fine even without the fork pivot pin that should be a friction fit in the bell-housing).

I concur with the previous posts:
judder = contaminated clutch linings (oil).

Oil contamination could come from the engine side (leaking crankshaft oil seal) or the gearbox side.

Early 1500 Midgets didn't have an oil seal fitted in the (clutch side) of the gearbox housing. Rather, it relied on a 'scroll' that is machined in the gearbox's first motion shaft - the idea being that gearbox oil is prevented from entering the bellhousing by the action of the rotating 'scroll'. As I discovered to my cost, the 'scroll system' doesn't prevent gearbox oil entering the bell housing if the car's gearbox is fully charged with oil and the car is parked, facing downhill, on a steep incline. Might be worth bearing in mind.

Andy Hock

thanks chaps, issue has now been fully diagnosed as a leak from the gear box side with the gearbox out is the scroll easy enough to replace and is there any special tolling required


df mccabe

If the problem has arisen as a result of the car being left for an extended period facing downhill, then you may get away with spraying something like brake cleaner onto the clutch plate. It won't of course cure the underlying problem, but may be worth trying as a quick fix until you next plan to take the engine out.

Guy Weller

guy thanks for the tip the judder has gone for now but should it come back, to use you tip how would i access the clutch plate without the removal of the engine.


df mccabe

This thread was discussed between 30/05/2010 and 06/06/2010

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