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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 1500 Release bearing

Working on my neighbor's 1976, 1500, I note that the clutch pedal goes all the way to the floor and disengages just enough to put the car in gear. Does the 1500 have a carbon release bearing?

Hydraulics have been bled and checked for leaks. I suspect the car is due for a clutch and wonder if, like the A Series, it is a candidate for catastrophic release bearing failure. I suspect everything is worn and the car is simply due for a new clutch.
Glenn Mallory

You might try jacking the driver side front up fairly high so there is more of an angle on the clutch line pipe work.

IIRC, the clutch line goes under the heater box, and that area is like party central for air bubbles to collect and hang out togather without worry of being bled out.

The 1500 normally has a roller throwout bearing.
Kim Tonry

Glenn -
No carbon bearing, it's ball bearing and rarely fails, esp without noise. But, the release arm is pivotted on a pin in the bell housing which is known to fall out. It's on the opposite side from the slave, hole points straight up & down. The pin is held in by a corrugated friction sleeve in the release arm. The pin falls out and the arm rests on the back side of the housing, giving what you have. It's quite common to find these with a bolt dropped in from the topside, with or without a nut on the bottom. You can do this in situ, by fiddling the arm around until the hole lines up, but you can't replace the sleeve and pin without dismantling the whole car as I recall.
Worn out clutch will usually disengage at the top of travel.
Don't forget to check the crank thrust clearance and fix if necessary - that really IS catastrophic!

FR Millmore

>>>>>>Worn out clutch will usually disengage at the top of travel<<<<<<<

????? I know your right, Im just not sure how...Is it wear on the pressure plate that would make the clutch engage/disengage at the top of the peddle travel???

Ive always thought that a worn out clutch engaged at the floor... I hope Im not the only one thinking this.

I am having the exact same issue. Plus, it gets worse the hotter the engine bay gets.

I am about to get my garage (and inspection pit!) back after about 3 months of it being full of furniture, so I can get in there, bleed the clutch, replace the red hose, and check for the missing pin.

Having investigated, it seems that the previous owner took the simple expedient of cutting a chunk out of the rubber mat in the driver's footwell, to give about a quarter inch of additional pedal travel.

K Williams

It sounds to me like a build up of wear in all of thepivot points in the system, take the top off the pedal box and see how much the pedal moves before the rod in the master cylinder does. also try replacing parts 65,66,76 and 77 as shown in the photo. I think it is quite common on higher mileage midgets and doesn't suggest to me that the clutch is worn out.

Good luck Carl

C Bintcliffe

<< the clutch pedal goes all the way to the floor and disengages just enough to put the car in gear >>

Had this same issue after unfortunately installing part # 76 (see Carl's post above) from a 1500 Spitfire (3/4" shorter). Only remedy was to pull engine and gearbox, and replace with correct part.

Won't be your problem though, unless shade tree mechanics like myself have had their way with the car in the past.
Richard Reeves

Glenn, Had the same problem on my 1500 after I'd rebuilt engine, pedal would go almost to the floor before disengaging. I knew the clutch release parts were good so tried re-bleeding, no change. Then read somewhere that the answer was to wedge the clutch peddle all the way down with a piece of wood against the seat and leave it overnight. I was completely sceptical about this but it was easy to try. Hey presto next day the clutch was back to normal. This may not be the answer to your problem but it's easy to try.
Bob Davis

This thread was discussed between 23/10/2010 and 27/10/2010

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