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 stuck!

A freind of mine is getting his car going after leaving it standing for about 7 years.

The problem he is currently having, is that the clutch appears to be stuck but not in the normal way.

You can start the car and select all the gears with or without the clutch pedal down but the car won't move!

I usually find its the other way round and after standing the clutch won't disengage but this is a little different as it does not appear to engage.

As usual yor observations and remedial actions would be most welcome.

J Bray


I've got the same problem. I'm about to try to repair it. I think that the clutch plate is stuck on the shaft spline just short of making contact with the flywheel. Mine also has been sitting for a while. I'm going to try to spray some brake cleaner into the release plate/clutch plate area through the boot where the actuator arm is located on the transmission. I'll let you know. Might be a question for Barney if he's reading this one.

Joe Wiley

Somebody has nicked the propshaft! Sounds like the centre has torn out of the clutch plate or the friction material has come away. Its certainly not stuck. Has he tried to free it by towing the car? this could damage the plate.

Terry Drinkwater

Propshaft missing or disconnected? Easy check.
Broken halfshaft (been there). Propshaft will spin with engine running in gear (or turn propshaft by hand in neutral) but wheels not turn. Check this first.
Slave cylinder piston popped out end of bore and stuck in extended position (seen this). Easy replacement.
Center broken out of friction disc or popped out the springs (done it once).
Broken input shaft or gear (maybe never happened before). Broken output shaft (extremely rare).
Shifter broken, not engaging any gear.
I can't think of any condition that would allow the pressure plate to be disengaged without the pushrod being held.
Barney Gaylord

Thanks Barney. Mine was doing fine the last time I drove it (two years ago). After pushing the clutch pedal several times to get the slave to start working again, it would then partially engage but slip. Put it back in the garage and haven't tried again lately. Too busy trying to finish building this house.

Joe Wiley

slave hose mostly plugged, swollen inside.

Thanks for your responses.

We did think at first the propshaft might have gone AWOL but its still where it should be.

The strange thing is the car was fine when it was last driven, so the problem appears to be due to lack of use. But its very strange to be able to go through all the gears with the engine running and the clutch out.

J Bray

Tom, -- Spot on with the failing hose. I associate a swollen hose with sluggish clutch, but usually not complete clutch failure. When a sluggish clutch aggravates you enough, you generally get motivated to figure it out and replace the hose. But with an extended period of storage a swollen hose certainly could deteriorate enough to work like a check valve and prevent return or engagement of the clutch.

I should have posted this web page long ago. Thanks to John and Tom for the reminder. See here:
Barney Gaylord

My car had the problem that the clutch slave cylinder piston would get cocked at an angle at its extreme outward position and jam there. Sometimes tapping the cylinder casing with a hammer would get it to pop back into position and retract. We finally solved the problem with a complete restoration. :-)
David Breneman

My first MGA had the same clutch problem. Driving down the road one day 1/2 mile from home there was a red MGA with a for sale sign.I stopped and looked while the owner complained that he had purchased it for his son who promptly tore up the transmision. Six months later it is gone again and he is not paying any more to keep this heap running. $75.00 and it was mine. I towed it back to my shop and drove it 10 minutes later. It displayed all the same symptoms as above.The slave piston was cocked 45 degrees outside the slave cylinder. I popped it back in and drove away without bleeding. There was no rust anywhere and the chrome was all excellent. Engine ran fine and the brakes worked.
This purchase was back in 1969 and I have been looking ever since for another deal.
Sandy Sanders

OK - I have the 'usual' clutch problem - my A has been sitting for nearly a year (due to the arrival of our little son - a demanding fellow for his size!), and I can't engage the clutch.

I've been advised to start the car, run her up to full temperature, then switch off, engage first gear and pull the starter, with clutch depressed, and kangaroo my way down the road until hopefully the clutch unseizes.

The problem is, my battery isn't quite strong enough to fire the engine while under the extra load of the engaged gearbox.

Any bright and simple ideas of how I can sort this out reasonably quickly?

All help, as ever, much appreciated.

Richard Ross

Well, of course, I should have looked at Barney's site first.

I now have, and have read the following very useful page:


Richard Ross

FWIW you only need to raise one drive wheel off the ground and start the engine as the differential will send all of the drive to the raised wheel (unless you have a limited slip diff).
I have done this in the past (but not on my MGA).

Dan Smithers

This thread was discussed between 28/07/2007 and 06/08/2007

MG MGA index

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