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MG MGA - Clutch release bearing

Hi all, somebody has some feedback or comments about the release bearing carbon vs. the ball bearing type, better performance or life cycle of the clutch?
R Garcia

I am sure that if you can find a correct quality ball release it will probably outlast the carbon bearing. I will note that with adjusting your driving habits the carbon bearing will last as long or longer than as the clutch.

Don't sit at stop lights or in stopped traffic with the clutch depressed. Just shift to neutral and wait to shift into gear. Proper attention to the use of the clutch will extend its life.

Jim Ferguson

The graphite release bearing is cheap and generally durable, will usually last as long as a friction disc (as long as you don't ride with your foot on the clutch pedal), so there is not much benefit to paying more for a special (non-standard) part. Also some roller release bearings have been very unreliable, sometimes not lasting 1000 miles. The plastic bodied parts we notoriously bad, but that's not the only reason.

The hydraulic clutch is returned only by force of the springs in the pressure plate. The release bearing will stay in gentle contact with the pressure plate, so a roller bearing may continue to spin all the time, leading to premature failure. To make it last longer it needs a return spring on the release arm to pull the bearing away from the pressure plate. Then it needs an adjustable back stop to keep the bearing from withdrawing to far. As clutch parts wear the thing will go out of adjustment, leading to the need for regular inspection and periodic adjustment of the back stop.

All things considered, IMHO a roller release bearing is more bother than benefit. The original type graphite release bearing seems to work well. Until you can figure out how to make the rest of the clutch and the gearbox last way beyond 100,000 miles, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

$.02 from a bloke who has driven MGA a quarter million miles with standard release bearings.
Barney Gaylord

As usual thanks for your excelent feedback.

Jim, thanks for your advice on how to drive a standar cars, I am been driven standars for 40 years and no major problems with clutchs but now that I am reconditioning my toy and seeing some wear in the release bearing I tought in the option to change to ball bearing release (Moss says a Heavy duty replacement) thatīs why I ask first!

Thanks again!!!
R Garcia

This thread was discussed between 27/10/2009 and 28/10/2009

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