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MG MGF Technical - Help: can't change gear

Hi everyone,

I've just had a nasty evening: over the course of 30 miles or so I found it increasingly difficult to change gear. Towards the end, I would sometimes hear a crunch even with the clutch depressed hard against the floor.

I reached a point where the clutch became quite floppy with none of its usual resistance; now, in neutral, it won't go into any gear at all.

Does anyone have any idea what the matter is and how much it might cost to repair? FWIW, the clutch plates were replaced 23k miles ago.

Kind regards,

Robert Harris
Robert Harris

A number of possibilities exist and you now have to adopt a clinical approach to isolate the problem area.

Firstly with the engine off try and select a gear with and without operating the clutch. I expect that apart form a little initial resistance whilst the gears are lined up all subsequent gear changing can be achieved easily.

Now assuming that the car has nothing close in front or behind start the engine whilst neutral is selected and try gear selection again. I expect that now there is a complete resistance to being able to engage a gear.

Switch the engine off again and now select 4th gear, depress the clutch pedal fully and turn the key to the start position. I expect that the car will start to jump forward as soon as the starter is engaged, so if so release the starter immediately.

Now lift the bonnet and access the clutch master cylinder. Check the fluid level in the transparent reservoir. Note that the clutch cylinder is the smaller one on the drivers side, not the one attached to the large cylinderical servo unit. I half expect that you will see the level has dropped.

Now some cars had a clutch hydraulic damper tha has caused some clutch release problems and the same damper unit has been around for donkeys years and is quite robust and proven, but I have seen an occasional one where a seam has become porous and fluid is lost. There are other reasons for fluid loss and this is what I expect the root cause to be from your description of the 'floppy' pedal.

If the clutch itself has failed then you still retain fluid in the system and this acts as a damper and so you do not get the same freedom to achieve the floppy pedal.

A cure is dependant on the point of failure, but hydraulic system parts and fitting is not major.

Roger Parker

This thread was discussed on 02/02/2001

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