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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Mk II Clutch Woes

Hi All

I have recently got "Scarlet" back on the road.

I have replaced the clutch and slave cylinder and rebuilt the master cylinder also replaced the pins at both the slave and pedal box as well as a rebuilt gearbox.

All was going well day out 80 miles lots of gear changes with no problems.

Now the clutch pedal is rock hard, almost all the way and is not fully disengaging the clutch.

I tried bleeding it and it appeared that all the air had gone and I was seeing a good range of movement at the slave.

Took it for a *short" spin and the pedal went rock hard again and not disengaging.

I am going to bleed it again and check the connections at the master and slave but wondered if I am missing something?

I am using the beautiful assistant method of bleeding as the seal has gone on my eezibleed!


A Brough

From memory there is a small fluid return hole in the resevoir that allows clutch fluid to return behind the piston. If you remove the 5 set screws and lift the lid you'll see the large and small ports. I'd guess the smaller one is blocked.
F Pollock

Thanks for the reply Fergus

I have got the top off and the all the holes appear to be clear.

When I was bleeding it again, I noticed that the master cylinder rod appear to travel all the way in and no sign of it slipping back whilst the pedal is down. However I did notice that the slave appears to crawl back. I have checked the pipe connections.

I have just tried with the eezibleed (sorted the seal)and although I get the nipple open about 1/4 of a turn I did nit see much coming out, either air or fluid?

Any ideas anyone


A Brough

I had this happen twice to a GMC 1984 with only 6-7000 miles on it. One of the springs on the clutch dish broke and hid in behind the disc on the pressure plate. Push hard and nothing moved. Replaced it and 1000 mile later the same thing happened only this time I was in North Carolina with a Jaguar MK9 on a trailer.Friday evening and Monday was a holiday.I drove it without clutch all the way back to Florida.That was a drag.
I still have that vehicle running fine with an aftermarket clutch disc and plate.

I do not see how a hydraulic problem can cause the clutch to become rock solid? So bleeding it and checking the return hole will not help I suspect?

But you appear to be able to rectify the clutch action by bleeding so is that the case? If so then what do you mean when you say disengaging? Do you mean that the car still drives when you press the clutch?

Without been there and seeing what is happening I do rather fancy that either the release linkage is sticking or something as described by Sandy has fallen to bits?

Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Sandy, Bob thanks for the replies.

I am quite a novice here so please bare with me and treat me as such.

When I was having difficulty changing gear and felt that I was having to apply too much pressure to the clutch pedal, I thought that I may have a problem with the hydraulics.

So on that thought trail I tried to bleed the slave cylinder to see if that would improve or rectify the problem.

Alas it has seemed to make little if any difference, so may be my initial thought of the hydraulics was probably wrong.

I bought the new clutch from MGBHIVE and therefore was not expecting any problems, but as Sandy has pointed out a failure can happen at almost anytime.

So before I buy a replacment clutch and pull the engine out, is the symptom of a rock hard pedal more likely to be mechanical or hydraulic?

Thanks for all your help so far.


A Brough

I have ordered a replacement clutch, just incase and I am getting the engine ready to lift at the weekend.

Looking forward to finding out what is wrong and hopefully I didn't put anything together wrong!

I will post back when its out.

Thanks again


A Brough

Well I got hold of the engine hoist earlier than the weekend,so got cracking.

When I removed the gearbox all looked as expected. I removed the old(well very nearly new clutch!)and again all looks in order.

The only difference I can see is that the pressure needed to compress the thrust springs in the one I have just removed seems to be twice that needed to depress the ones in the new (MGOC) one.

So maybe this is why I had to exert so much pressure to depress the clutch and was still not managing to get to disengage well enough.

So hopefully this will solve it.

Thanks for the ideas.



A Brough

Tony before you put it back together again perhaps you could put up a thread and ask if someone nearby could just check it for you

If you're right and it was just a very heavy feeling clutch pedal I'd be a little surprised but would suggest that the next time you're not sure about something have a look at other Spridgets in the metal first

My clutch is a bit heavy so you're welcome to try it (even drive subject to you being able to show me valid insurance) - I'll not go up the M6 but would perhaps meet you half wayish at a pub

I'm not technical, as you know, but my midget is a good example (but not outstanding) and drives well
Nigel Atkins

Just thought I might even persuade a mate out for a run too with his previously 1098 (now Marina 1275) as he knows the 1098s and likes a good drive
Nigel Atkins

Hi Nigel

Thanks for tip, I will try a new post.

Excellent idea to meet up and compare, August is a bit manic with holidays and stuff but would love to do it early September,


A Brough

Hi Tony, I'm pretty clear early Sept email me with suggested dates as I don't need much of an excuse for a drive especially to a pub for a half

I've probably been round your way lost on a Sporting Bears Dream Ride run at NEC Classic Motor Show

I'll try and tie my mate up and his mates too if the dates work out
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 18/07/2010 and 29/07/2010

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