Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGA - clutch probems

I am looking for any suggestions a clutch problem.
I have just installed a rebuilt 1800 3 brg in my 1600 A. I rebuilt the engine myself so I know how it was done.

Original flywheel, machined face (slightly) and new ring gear; original pressure plate; new friction plate; new thrust bearing; bush and bolt in the clutch fork replaced.

I also rebuilt the gearbox: new layshaft; syncros; seals; first and reverse gear.

Engine runs well, but I can't get the car into gear (any gear); just the deadly crunch!

The clutch slave cylinder rod is operating with about 3/4 inch travel.

The car will go into all gears with the engine stopped.

The clutch was working fine before I pulled it so I think the pressure plate is good. I really don't want to pull the engine again but I suspect I will have to.

Any suggestions to help more wear and tear on the spanners!

M S Randell

M, I hate to say it but you may have the preasure plate in backwards. This of course would require removal of the engine.
WMR Bill

Your clutch plate may have stuck to the flywheel if it sat for a while. Get it out on the street or downhill on a driveway and start the car with first gear engaged. Wind the engine up in first gear, then stomp on the brakes with the clutch pedal depressed. You may have to try it a couple times but it should unstick the clutch. If it doesn't work then you have to pull the engine.

Alternatively you could put the rear wheels up on jack stands in the garage and do the same thing, but growing up in the 80's and watching Ferris Bueler's Day Off so many times makes me stay away from that method. If you still need to bed in the cam however, this might be the way to go.

Mark J Michalak

Disregard the cam bedding comment, obviously you can do that with the car in neutral on soild ground. My mind must be elsewhere....
Mark J Michalak

Interesting info. Thanks Guys! Car has only sat for a couple of weeks before I started it. WMR I didn't think the plate would fit backwards, but I stand to be corrected. I did wonder if the main shat was binding on the spigot?? Don't fancy being Ferris though!

If the pressure plate is faulty the clutch would slip. . . wouldn't it?
Cheers (through tears)
M S Randell

er. . . I meant main shaft of course
M S Randell

I think that the clutch isn't freeing enough. Common problem. Check the hydraulics, 3/4 inch may not be enough.
Barry Bahnisch

Thanks Barry
That was my first thought. I made a high tech (bolt and washer) system to move the fork by winding a bolt. I you saw me waving my arms around you'd get it. Anyway, it seems I moved the fork as far as it would go, but it made no difference. Maybe I have put the plate in backwards, but I didn't think I could. Can't figure this out.
M S Randell

The clutch plate can be put in backwards. That is why they have markings that say "flywheel side" on one side of the friction disk. If you didn't look for that, you may have it in backwards. You would have had a 50-50 chance of getting it right. Whenever I have a 50-50 chance, I always seem to get it wrong! If it's in backwards it will not release, no matter what you try. The only recorse is reinstall correctly.
Ed Bell

The slave cylinders on MGA and MGB clutches are notoriously awkward to bleed. One technique is to open the bleed screw and tramp down quickly on the clutch pedal but when that doesn't work I unbolt the slave cylinder so that it points upwards to free the bubble that often lodges at the pushrod end.
Barry Bahnisch

Matthew, Could be pressure plate incorrectly installed. Hadn't heard of this, I have made a number of blues in the past but curiously not this one!
Barry Bahnisch

Everyone keeps using the word "plate". Generaly the plate is the pressure plate and cannot be put in backwards. The Clutch disc, The piece that splines to the input shaft, can and often is put in upside down.
It is taller on one side and if put in backwards will touch in the center and not release.
R J Brown

R J Brown is quite right. What we are talking about is the friction plate or driven plate (often called the clutch plate). The pressure plate cannot be installed back to front!
Barry Bahnisch

Thanks everyone for your helpful input. Looks like I'm getting the sockets out again. I did think I was careful when I installed the friction disk, but maybe not. Murphy's law eh? Can't think of much else it can be. As we Australians (sometimes) say. . . BUGGER!!!
M S Randell

This thread was discussed between 17/08/2008 and 18/08/2008

MG MGA index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.