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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Clutch fault

My midget 1275 clutch causes screeching noises once the car is fully warmed up. It's been tolerable these past 12 months but is getting worse & I need to do something about it soon.

Having trawled the archive I have:-

Checked the slave for leaks - all OK.
Checked the travel on the pushrod - 10mm so think OK
Replaced and bled the fluid (I have a remote near my single carb so easy to do).

I have just inspected though the hatch & taken the attached photo. Would you mind taking a look and let me know if it offers any clues please?

Gavin Rowlesx

Is it a screech rather than a judder? The carbon looks new so presumably you changed all clutch components at the same time?

Does it happen in all gears?

It could be the Spigot Bush in the end of the crank.

Rob aka MG Moneypit

Mine did that several years ago after driving through quite deep flood water. In desperation l sprayed WD40 randomly through the inspection hole, but generally trying to hit the cover plate fingers. Cured the noise immediately, didn't make the clutch slip and it hasn't come back.

Good one rob... i like that idea

the carbon looks in tact and nice

the only 2 ??? I see is there appears to be oil residue inside and 2nd whats the machine screw thats not fully screwed down


Thanks all comments.

It's a screech at the moment - most notably in reverse after a drive. Ist gear also affected and almost as bad as reverse & 2-4 less so. Is not present at start of any journey.The clutch does slip slightly but it's the metal screech which dominates

The clutch was renewed at a garage & they supplied all parts some 7-8 years ago.

I'm a novice as far as the clutch is concerned so Spigot in crank I assume means bad news.

Not sure about oil residue will look again. I noticed the bolt too . Not sure if it should be there or perhaps has worked loose. Any more thoughts?
Gavin Rowlesx

Not really much help bit if its 7 or 8 years since it was rebuilt, then it looks amazingly clean in the photo for that length of use!

When exactly does it screech? Only when the clutch is down, or just when its up? Car moving or stationary with clutch down?

Carbon come loose in its mount. Is the carbon out of line in the picture or is it just illusion? This can cause the reverse side to spin & grind in the mounting plate causing a screeching sound. It can also cause a grinding sensation through the pedal. More noticeable on take up of first and reverse.

Another failure can be the diaphragm's pressure pad coming detached from its securing ring. The ring is swaged to hold the pad and after time the slight swaging can give way. The pressure pad then if loose can spin on the diaphragm fingers. When the slack gets excessive it interferes with clutch use / gear selection. I have taken to securing the pad and ring with spot welds.

Alan Anstead

Guy - clutch down. Use is 1000/1500 mile a year & I know should not be left in engaged at idle.

Alan - yes it looks out of true. Time to change.

Thanks all.
Gavin Rowlesx

Maybe time to have a look at
Alan Anstead

If it is the spigot bush (and they certainly can make a noise like that) it nearly always will occur only while the clutch is being slipped on take-off rather than with clutch fully disengaged. It won't occur between when the clutch takes up and when the pedal is fully released as there is no relative movement between spigot bearing and first motion shaft.

Release bearing will tend to be all the time the pedal is loaded.
Paul Walbran

Indeed Alan - will be in touch. Thanks.
Gavin Rowlesx

This thread was discussed between 02/07/2016 and 03/07/2016

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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