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MG MGA - Clutch Release Bearing

How "loose" should the release bearing be when it is sitting in the clutch release arm?

I have my transmission out and the release bearing assembly seems very wobbly.

DA MacFarlane

The graphite bearing should be held quite securely in the fork by the two spring clips one of which can be seen in your pic. But it must be capable of rotating about its axle.

You may have play where the bolt passes through the fork assembly (to the left in your pic.) Remove the nut and bolt and check for wear in the bolt. I had a bad rattle when the engine was running which stopped when the clutch pedal was depressed. I found that my bolt was very badly worn. Cheers Mike
m.j. moore

I've just remembered for another car I had (not MG)one of the release bearing spigots had worn oval so I would suggest you remove the bearing (just pull out the two spigot springs) and check for this because your top spigot looks a bit dry. If it's OK apply a touch of grease to both spigots when you reassemble. Another thing to check is the graphite itself: it should be flat and shiny and if it doesn't protrude from its housing by at least 1/16" I'd get a new one. Mike
m.j. moore

So should there be any play in the bolt attached to the arm ?

When I tighten the bolt/nut it doe not snug down completely.
DA MacFarlane

DA, I would echo Mike's comments above. The graphite in the picture looks very low and I would replace it while you have the car apart. The pivot bolt is almost certainly worn as well, so inspect for grooves. There should be no "side play" in the bolt, it must pivot easily, but not wobble side-to-side. For the small cost, I would just replace both pieces. Also inspect the fingers on the release arm, if they are deeply gouged, it must also be replaced.
BM Gannon


I have a new release bearing and will check the bolt.
DA MacFarlane

Well, the bolt can move vertically ( up and down ) when I tighten it as much as possible. It also can move laterally , so I guess it's time for a new one !
DA MacFarlane

Duncan, Don't forget that the lever bolt is a special with the threaded end portion having a smaller diameter than the unthreaded part so that when you tighten the nut it bears against the bolt shoulder not the gearbox lugs. Therefore there will be a bit of movement along the bolt axis but none at all at right angles. Check also that the bronze bush in the clutch lever is not worn. Mike
m.j. moore

Thanks. I see what you mean. There is also what appears to be a fairly thick spacer washer in this assembly - although I see none in the parts catalogs. There is some movement within the lever arm with the bolt in place, so I've ordered another bolt and bushing.

The lateral play appears to be in the bracket that extends from the from cover of the transmission itself, which the lever attaches to.
DA MacFarlane

The fork should have a bronze bush in the hole where the bolt goes through. When you get it all apart, you might find the bolt has a step worn in it, and the bush is oval or gone completely. Bolt and bush are not expensive, but if the fork is also worn you will have to find a used replacement, as I understand these are not available new now. A breaker's yard should have one, but take your sample as there are many different designs.
There is a large flat washer under the nylock nut, or the spring washer and nut, if I remember correctly.
Put some moly grease on the bush and bolt when assembling the new parts.
The bracket should not have any wear in it as the bolt does not move in the bracket, or it shouldn't!
P. Tilbury

This thread was discussed between 20/03/2009 and 23/03/2009

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