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MG MGF Technical - Clutch being a bit weird!!


Hopeing for a bit of advice!!, yesterday when i got into my 97F the clutch seemed almost non existent, i pushed the pedal down and it just about disengaged the clutch enough to get it into gear, I managed to limp home with still being able to change up and down but only just.
pushing the pedal down there is a lot of travel before there's any resistance, and after pumping the clutch a couple of times it disengages.

I checked the fluid level which was quite low so i topped it up and this has improved it (still not perfect), but as it is a closed system i'm worried about where the fluid has gone?? I cant see any leaks on the master cylinder,

Anybody got any suggestions??

Thanks in advance

Wayne D

Have a look to the slave on the gearbox.

There's as well the bleed screw.
May be the inner gasket of the slave has packed.
The archives contain some advise from Branko regarding the slave cylinder repair and bleeding the clutch hydraulic circuit.


Thanks Dieter

How do I locate the slave, do i have to raise the car?? or can I access it through the engine access panel?
Wayne D

Hi Wayne,

Swapped the slave cylinder on Fiona's car last night so fresh in my memory ;o) No need to remove anything but the engine access panel, then you'll find it all quite easy to get to. If there's any trace of fluid around the rubber shroud, then suspect a failed seal on the piston. The overhaul kits are 4 odd, but first check whether there is any scoring on the cylinder bore. Fiona's had conked due to the extra strain of pushing a seizing clutch lever, it's worth removing the clevis pin joining the piston to the lever arm and checking there's free movement in the lever. If not, you may have rather more work to do 8-(

Easiest through the
Mike Hankin

<<Easiest through the.....>>

Perhaps he fell through? :-))

Bruce Caldwell

Thanks Mike

Probably a daft question, I dont seem to be able to locate the slave, is it on the right or left side of the engine?? and where can i get an overhaul kit from??
Never touched a clutch before:-(
Wayne D

Passenger side, almost directly under the air filter enclosure. I confess it's been easy on Fiona's car (yet another benefit of a K&N!) but might not be so visible if you have the standard induction. It's basically a cylinder with two bolts on the left hand side, an orange cap on the bleed nipple and a rigid pipe connecting on the right hand side.

Funnily enough, I may be able to provide you with an overhaul kit - I ordered one from MGR but since discovered scoring on the bore of the slave cylinder so will be replacing the whole unit. 3.30 plus VAT IIRC, most dealers were quoting 2 days to get one in.
Mike Hankin

Thanks again Mike
I will be having another look later today and i will let you know if its duff

Wayne D

Hi Mike

I've taken off the slave cylinder as it was leaking, i've got a diagram showing an exploded view of it but cant figure out how to take it apart to see if the piston is scored??

I also cant seem to get a refurbish kit from anywhere (and i live in Birmingham!!!)

One more question, how easy should i be able to move the clutch by hand using the clutch release shaft??

Sorry for all the questions but i'm an electrician by trade :-)

Wayne D

Hi Wayne,

You should be able to move the end of the clutch lever a couple of centimetres to and fro with no resistance, i.e. slack, but if there's friction that indicates that the bearings are beginning to seize, and the slave will have been working harder than it's designed to. The force required to actually operate the clutch is quite great so you'd probably not be able to do that by hand, but the behaviour of the slack is the biggest clue.

If you free the rubber shroud the piston just pulls out of the cylinder. When the piston is pushing against a seizing lever it tends to buckle sideways, and the piston will score the cylinder bore - easier to spot evidence of this on the piston than the bore.

Having found availability of the OE item at 30% less than MGR price, I'd be inclined to replace the whole unit, but if you want to have a go with a repair kit the part number is UUB100180. I can post you the one I bought if you like, it's surplus to requirements now.
Mike Hankin


When you say the piston do you mean the push rod?
I've got the cylinder out of the car and the rubber shroud off, the push rod was in no way connected to the cylinder, I'm now left with the cylinder which i can put the push rod in and compress the spring.
How do i take apart the cylinder to get at the seal??

Cheers again

Wayne D

Ahh, I see what you mean. Failing all else you could re-connect the cylinder and use fluid to (rather messily) pop the piston out. Circlip pliers would probably do the trick though. The pushrod doesn't actually attach to the piston, although the rubber shroud seems to be designed to hold them together in a 'friction fit' way.
Mike Hankin

Could you tell me where you got the whole unit from?
and if you dont mind could i buy the recon kit off you?

Wayne D

Just got the piston out, i must have been having a thick moment, it came out quite easily and i cant see anything obviously wrong with the seal.there is a bit of scoring on the piston which leads me to think that maybe the clutch bearings are on the way out, if so do i need to have the clutch changed?

"bloody car" i dont think theres much of the original car left after the amount of new bits i've fitted :-(

thanks again
Wayne D

Was the clutch lever easy to move? It should feel almost as if it's not connected to anything, and as it reaches the end of its travel towards the engine you should hear the clink noise as it meets the release bearing inside. Even so, now would be a good time to get some lubricant down the shaft as it enters the bell housing, but NOT WD40 or anything else that is a de-greasant. 3in1 or engine oil is probably the best bet. It's a gearbox out job to replace the clutch/lever, 7-8 hours even with TechSpeed on the case 8-(

email me mike at with your address and I'll post the overhaul kit (a new seal for the piston and a new rubber shroud) to you tonight. That'll get to you quicker than ordering it through MGR ;o)

I phoned around the high-street motor factors and while some said 'dealer only' it's a standard AP Lockheed part, so it didn't take long to find someone who could order it in, 41 plus VAT IIRC.
Mike Hankin

The new slave cylinder kit should have instructions about honeing or smoothing the inner surface of the slave bore.
If not, then just putting in a new rubber seal will be pointless as it will only last a short while. The existing scoring on the bore walls will scratch the new seal edges very rapidly. These (scratches) must be removed before you use the kit.

Also when you put the slave together it is very important to have everything clean as any leftover grit will soon damage the seals and you are back to where you started.

As Dieter said, check out his site for DIY replacement of the clutch. Not for the faint hearted and will take some time. Usually twice the amount of time it takes a mechanic.



This thread was discussed between 24/02/2006 and 03/03/2006

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