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MG MGF Technical - Difficult engaging gear

Its almost impossible to engage gear on my '97 F.

Clutch pedal seems rather light but it does work in that it disconnects engine from wheels!

However, I cannot engage gear. All gears are difficult - reverse just scraunches.

Clutch? Gear cables? Gear box?
Help! please and possibly a lift home!
Russell Parslow

First probability is the clutch actuating shaft seizing. Plenty in the Archives on getting to it and lubricating with penetrating oil. Ultimate fix is to remove the gearbox and fit an aftermarket lubricated shaft.
Geoff F.
G. Farthing

Wouldn't a seized shaft mean the pedal was stiff?
Or that the clutch would stick on or off?

The clutch pedal moves freely and disengages drive from the wheels but 1st gear and reverse are nigh on impossible to engage when stationary. 2nd-5th are achievable when moving by matching engine and road speed similar to a clutchless gear change.
Russell Parslow

It's very hard to tell just from the behaviour of the hydraulics what the root cause is, but it's possible the seals in the slave cylinder are beginning to collapse, as Geoff says that may be due to increased resistance from the clutch mechanism. You'd usually find evidence of the leak around the rubber shroud around the slave rod, worth checking that.
Mike Hankin


See my post mate. I too had difficulty with those gears and now i hav no resistance or biting point at all. I guessed at the clutch itself but i suggest you get it to a garage asap before you get stranded.


Spooky Trio of incidents.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to take a look in daylight. I think the first thing to check is the Clutch fluid. Its a hydraulic system with the reservoir under the front bonnet behind the plastic cowl thing.

When the pedal is depressed it doesn't completely disengage the clutch. I managed to get home as I fortunately had left it in first, started it with the clutch depressed and then carefully changed gears clutchlessly all the way home. The more experienced board members will remember double-declutching. A tale I heard from my father!

Mine is now parked facing downhill in first so I can bump start it should I need to get it to a garage.

Let me know what you discover and I'll similarly pass on any hints as I learn them.
Russell Parslow

I've just checked my clutch fluid level and it's v low/empty so i'm waiting for wife to to give me a lift to get some dot4 then a walk back to top up (would that fix my problem!? i v much doubt it but i've fingers crossed). If this fails i'll get her towed somewhere for some expensive repairs i think.

M J Smith

Begs the question of where did all that fluid go..? If there's no evidence of fluid leakage around the reservoir & master cylinder, then you'll need to check the slave cylinder in the engine bay. The hydraulic system will need to be bled from the bleed nipple on the slave cylinder, and the reservoir level needs to be kept absolutely brimming over during the bleeding exercise, otherwise air can be drawn in and you just go around in circles...
Mike Hankin

Surely going round in circles would be a steering fault?!
Car booked in now to Souls in MK. Awaiting RAC to take her there. No courtesy car available though for a week!!!
(I've just washed her so she's gleaming if a little broken)
M J Smith

Checked my clutch fluid - also very very low. Can't see where it went but will have a proper look at the weekend.
Russell Parslow

Take a careful look at the pipe, they can rust quite badly. If you need to buy some time you can chop out the offending section and put in a repair.
Ken Waring

Thanks to the fuel issue in these parts the garage still hasn't had a chance to look at her let alone tell me how much or how long. REALLY sunny today too and i was stuck in the wife's 206!!


Picked car up today. 207.70 for a new clutch master cylinder. All is well again.

Now where's that sunshine gone!!
M J Smith

This thread was discussed between 27/02/2007 and 10/03/2007

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