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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - clutch problem

Came to drive my car today but the clutch pedal went straight to the floor. Can't see any leaks underneath and fluid level had not changed from a few days ago. So, I bled the clutch (remote bleed, very good) and noticed the fluid was pretty filthy. Interestingly, i can engage all gears except reverse when the engine is stopped, but if i start the engine I cant engage any gear at all. The car is not stuck in gear.
I'm thinking the seals in the slave cylinder may have shot, hence the colour of the fluid.
Any thoughts/advice welcome.
It's a 1275 with Toyota 5 speed box but think the slave cylinder is standard midget. By the way, is it easy to remove? And is it best to just buy new seals or a new unit? New units seem reasonable money.

aj robinson

I would put a new clutch slave on and replace seals in the master cylinder and see how it goes. Bleeding the clutch is a PITA on these. Don't know why but when I replaced all the hydraulics on my Frogeye ( all clutch and brakes cylinders, pipes the lot) I bled the brakes in about 20 mins but spent 4 hours just bleeding the clutch.

Rob aka MG Moneypit

I'd guess the seals in the master cylinder failing

Press on the pedal and the fluid passes behind the seal and up through the refill vent thingmy

You can often have this happen without any fluid leaking out

I think this is why the fluid gets blackish too, seals start to rot and particles pass downhill to the slave


note I'm only guessing, but...

Thanks Guys. So how do I diagnose if its the slave or master or indeed both? Would it be a good idea to replace the slave as a complete unit and replace just the seals in the master ?
aj robinson

reckon I would change the slave first, years ago I would have changed the rubbers within it, but its such a faff I would suggest you change the unit itself, and give yourself the easier of the tasks.
P Bentley

Thanks, seems a sensible way to go.

aj robinson

I think the only way is to crackopen a hydraulic line connector then press the pedal. If fluid emerges the slave is at fault, if not then it's the master.
David Smith

Thanks David.
Of course I should have realised the slave cylinder is a Toyota one, appropriate to the gearbox. Easily available but a b****** to remove
aj robinson

I think if the slave seals have failed, the fluid will leak leak out. The master can fail and not leak because the fluid can bypass the seals, but still remain in the master.

C R Huff

Thanks guys, I will do some investigations
aj robinson

ok, I reckon its the master. Ive removed it and stripped it down, its metal 'without circle or groove' so I will order a rebuild kit. Any advice?

aj robinson

On closer inspection it does have the groove (found a good picture in the archives)
Excellent resource this website!

aj robinson

This thread was discussed between 19/05/2014 and 20/05/2014

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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