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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Clutch Frozen to Flywheel

1971 mg midget 1275 engine. New clutch master, New slave cylinder, New clutch line Metal and rubber.
Bled out the system today in 14 degree weather in the driveway. Brrr! Got the pedal back! Im sure the hydrolics are working fine.

This is the car with the previously seized engine running great now! :-)

Car hasnt been on the road since 1975.

The clutch will not release. I think that the clutch is rusted to the flywheel. I still cant put it in gear while running.

Whose got a trick to free this bad Larry up without taken it all apart?

Please! If you answer this dont take the usual tack
of joking around here gentleman.

I would like to get this resolved. (This note is for the usual suspects, You know who you are!) :-)

Dynamite is not an option or answers that follow that line of humour!:-)

Ive got a 2*4 wedged between the clutch pedal and the back of the steering wheel to keep the pressure on!

What else can I do?

Look forward to some enlightening answers.

Steven Devine

Will it start? Have done a mini one by starting it in gear, then accelerate hard in 1st, then hard on the brakes to almost stall point, all with the clutch in (i.e. pressed). It was pretty brutal, but it worked. Couple of big clutch slip setoffs to clean up the mating surfaces and away we went.

In that case I held the clutch down from the passenger seat while dad operated the other 2 pedals, one then other then both etc until it went bang and released. You might be able to jam the clutch pedal down with something as I'm pretty sure there's not enough space for an extra leg in a Midget footwell!
Rob Armstrong

Yes it runs. I havent got the brakes going yet.

Ive got new rear cylinders. I have to put in.

So to do it your way I should get the brakes working.

I can start on that tommorrow. It snowed here yesterday but Im all shoveled out now.

Ive got a new brake master installed.

I put new rubber lines on in the front and a new brake line on the passenger side. Ill have to check the line to the rear axle and change the rear cylinders.

Clean everything up and reassemble the back brakes. Adjust them out and bleed the system. Then try your method.

Thanks for the quick responce! :-)
Steven Devine

another slightly more alarming way is to get it up to 40 ish mph on jacks, then knock it off them. Will break the clutch, the halfshafts or anyone near it, even odds on all of those. I've seen it done on youtube but wouldn't be tempted to try it myself!
Rob Armstrong

Rob beat me....

ive you do the jack stand option , please film it for youtube

I also seem to recall you can wedge the clutch peddle down over night and that can release it....but im not certian

Then theres always homemade pipe bom....opps sorry!!!

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

"Im sure the hydrolics are working fine."

Why? The hydraulic system is, commonly, quite hard to bleed. Many people find it quite difficult to do the first time they attempt it. How much movement of the slave cylinder pushrod did you measure? All of the comments that have been made assume a properly functioning hydraulic system and none of the solutions offered would do anything if the basic problem is that the hydraulic system is non-functional. The very first step is to measure the movement of the pushrod to ensure that you are actually pressing the throwout bearing against the pressure plate sufficiently to cause it to move out of engagement with the clutch plate/driven plate. Movement should be, as a minimum, 3/8" (my measurement of four MGBs), with others reporting over one half inch of travel. Until you have verified that the hydraulic system is, actually, functioning as intended, the more dangerous forms of treatment should be avoided.

A pressure plate, with the movement rusted in such a manner that it will not retract from the clutch plate, is, at this point, fully as probable as the clutch plate being bonded to the surface of the flywheel. Even if the basic problem is that the clutch plate has bonded to the flywheel, without removing the clutch assembly from the engine and examining it, you do not know the condition of the flywheel, clutch plate, or the pressure plate, not to mention a worn out, of broken up, throwout bearing.

Were it my problem, I would remove the engine and do the process properly.

Les Bengtson

I've also had luck with putting the car in gear, brakes on, holding the clutch in, and operating the starter. Not sure how it would work with a bendix starter gear, but it works well with a pre-enagaged starter.

Growler. I has brought me a great deal of pleasure to see you back here after a long lay off. Thank you. You are always interesting to read. You add another, interesting, variation to all of the tricks that have been posted here over the years about how to free up a clutch plate that is frozen to the flywheel. But, again, young Steve has not convinced me that his "hydrolic" system is actually operating correctly and, until such time as we have that information, I cannot recommend that he attempt such things. As he is one of the "MG Enthusiast's Three Stooges", I have some doubts about his diagnosis of the problem. If I am incorrect, all he has to do is to post the travel of the slave cylinder pushrod. If, however, my hypothesis is correct, all he can do is further damage by attempting to "free up" a clutch that is working properly.

Les Bengtson

"""I cannot recommend that he attempt such things. As he is one of the "MG Enthusiast's Three Stooges", I have some doubts about his diagnosis of the problem.""

les, thats a little edgy isnt it ???

Now the (young) comment was funny....but probably not enough to put steve in his place



Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Car had been driven into a garage and left for 10 years approx. Similar engine and clutch to yours.

I held down the pedal with a long stick for a few weeks while I was removing (a lot of bashing and cutting) and fitting the offside sills, floor and other bits. I kept checking the pedal was as far as it would go and adjusting to keep the pressure up if necessary. Worked for me but I wasn't in a rush.
Dave Squire 1500

Prop is on the right track for the solution.

Start engine and run it until nice and hot.
Turn off and jam clutch pedal down and leave overnight.
In the morning the clutch will function correctly.

The reason this works is due to to radial expansion/contraction of the flywheel releasing the centre plate.

Roly Alcock

Why must it be a test of wills here Les?

The specific reason I mentioned the hydrolics were ok is because it does have 1/2 inch of movement slave to clutch fork.

I used an ezibleed vaccuum pump. I think its was all set in less than 30 secounds. I suggest you invest in one it will make your life much easier!:-)

You are now on my usual suspects list... Ha ha ha.

I cant believe the best thinking I can get here is somewhat like Odins test!

As much as I would get a kick out of putting my car on jack stands and letting fate intervene....I just dont have the that out. Ha ha ha!

Until the brakes are working Ill just leave the pressure on the clutch pedle and warming the motor. That seems practical at the moment.

Maybe it came loose last night! I an only hope!

Thanks all for your comments!
Steven Devine

Ha ha ha ha...... Just wanted to report back for others so that it can be used in the future!

Clutch working properly now!

Im going to call this the valhalla fix! :-)

Now just got to get the brakes going!
Steven Devine

Well done!

Roly Alcock

Thanks for your help Roly.....Your description was right on target!
Steven Devine

Congrats steven

Still... id love to see someone do the jack stand option, true redneck dna at work

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Ha ha ha....Prop you did have me going on this one!
I was thinking about what you said about filming a jack stand kick over sequence....

But lets face it...

Les would have been completely vindicated in his concerns....

I would have had to buy some big red shoes
a rubber red nose, a polka dot suit with hat to match and a blond wig! :-)

Oh yeah and a button that said stooge!

Thanks for your help Prop!
Steven Devine

Yeah yeah yeah. Congrat's and all that Steven. :).

But what I wanna know is, who 'ARE' the "MG Enthusiast's Three Stooges"?

Full names and pack drill required please. :).

Lawrence Slater

I was wondering that myself...Ha ha ha! As we all know there were actually more than three Stooges!

Moe,Larry,curly,shemp,Joe Palmer,
Joe Besser,JoeDeRita and finally Emile Sitka

Les did you mean the 8 members that actually were the stooges or did you have three in mind as you have stated?

Thanks foor the congrads Lawrence! :-) All I did really was jam a stick on the clutch pedal and went out for the night!
Steven Devine

This thread was discussed between 22/01/2014 and 24/01/2014

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