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MG MGA - No clutch!


I have a 1962 MGA MKII that's been a member of my family since 1983! My father restored the car in the mid '80s.

Last time I went to use the car, the clutch doesn't work - the pedal goes right to the floor and you can't select any gears. I checked the brake fluid level, and it was very low. Under the car, it looked like the slave cylinder has been leaking.

Today I got the chance to remove the slave cylinder. I don't think my father ever changed this part, at least I can't remember if he did, so it's been on the car since 1983 at the earliest! The pipe was cracked and perished.

I'm going to order a new slave cylinder and brake pipe to replace them.

My question is, the lever from the slave cylinder into the gearbox, how stiff should it be? It moves very easily and I really am not so sure it should. I'm worried that something inside the gearbox has broken... how can I check?

Thanks in advance!

HC Rose

That's a very nice looking car, HC. If you'r talking about the clutch release lever (i.e. the one that comes out the side of the bell housing), it should be VERY stiff if you try to move it by hand.
Andy Bounsall

You may be able to move the lever a little bit while it takes up the "slop" in the fork and bearing, but then it should be next to impossible to move it any further, as Andy has allready mentioned. How far, in inches, can you get the lever to move?

Mitch Smith

Thanks for the prompt replies!

I've measured the slack in the lever can move about an inch before I can't move it any further. What is an acceptable amount?

A previous owner rebuilt the engine in the mid 1970's, but I am not sure if the gearbox has ever been touched...
Howard Rose

Howard, first thing is that the movement only relates to clutch not gearbox. If the gearbox was ok last time you drove then almost certainly still ok. Same story really for the clutch.

That might seem like a lot of play but (you can't really tell without refitting and bleeding the system,) you are just moving the release bearing away from the clutch.

I thoroughly recommend a gunsons eezibleed. I would also highly recommend that you replace all the seals in the brake system and master cylinder too, together with the three brake hoses. (Unless you know they were changed within the last ten years or so).

Neil McGurk

You might find after you replaced the clutch slave cylinder and have done all the proper bleeding of air from the clutch slave cylinder and upwards to the master cylinder. The clutch disk has welded itself to the flywheel. Welded may be a poor choice of word, but it describes what happens, after sitting for so long the clutch disk sticks/glues/freezes/welds itselfs to the flywheel. You will be able to bleed the clutch slave of air, but the disk may still be stuck to the flywheel.
TO remedy this, drive the car in first gear a ways. Speeding up and letting off. This will break the bond.

By the way. When you say pipe, I must believe you are speaking of the rubber hose from the clutch slave cylinder to the steel pipe leading up to the master cylinder. Correct?
I find it hard to believe the pipe has cracked and perished. Most always the rubber hose is rotted and separates.


Ray Ammeter

This thread was discussed between 29/11/2008 and 03/12/2008

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