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MG TD TF 1500 - Clutch, hand-operated

Every now and than on this board questions pop up about half automatic clutches.
Recently a clubmember had a device called Easydrive installed in his TD by which he now can operate his clutch by hand. Pushing a knob on the gearshift commands the hydraulic system to operate the existing clutch pedal (and that pedal still can be footoperated). The device includes some intelligence as to adapt to car speed.
There is a box placed on top of the gearcover (where some of us have a heater) but to my understanding there is some freedom to optimize the location
He is very happy with it although the costs to get it and to get it built in was pretty expensive, something around 3500 euro.
The company who develops and manufactures these clutch systems is called AMProducts and based in the Netherlands.
Unfortunatly their website is in dutch only but certainly they will understand english mails and calls.
Huib Bruijstens

Price is pretty steep, but I know of at least one member here that would be interested in seeing the application.
MG LaVerne

It might be possible to adapt the unit from a VW Super Beetle with an semi automatic shift. They were only 3 speed transmissions. All it did was to activate the clutch by merely moving the gearshift lever, which was electrically activated. The clutch on some models could still be used by foot if preferred. PJ.
Paul S Jennings

Over what I am willing to spend, however I would be very interested in details and/or pictures to see the installation. I have been trying for years to find a used unit (Duck Clutch) with little luck.
(I'm about sick of looking at used purses that come up on ebay from my "search" LOL!)

In the USA there is a serious matter of "liability" that comes into play, so it is nearly impossible to find someone that will sell a "kit". It is obvious that pricing is directly effected by perceived cost of "gray men in thin suits" (lawyers)!

If your friend would be willing to share some pictures it would be most appreciated.
David Sheward "IZZY" TF 7427


this will not work with the VW-Unit. They used the Sax-o-Mat system that is entirely different from the hydraulic unit that Huib mentioned. I drove this 'Super Beetle in the mid 1970's and remember that it was always troublesome due to electric gimmicks and the converter and external ATF tank.

Another alternative is to use a modified bike hydraulic to operate the pedal from the shifter.

R.S. Ralph Siebenhaar

I know nothing about the system other than it worked for Renault. They called it FER-LEC It was apparently a type of torque converter filled with an oil and iron filings. It was electro-mechanicaly controled.
ss sanders

I asked some questions to the manufacturer and I am awaiting their answers and will report them here.
Ralph mentioned an interesting thought. Some time ago, my clutch spring (the one in front that pulls at the clutchrods) broke and I was very surprised how light the clutch could be operated. I was not aware that most of the necessary footpressure is meant for that spring. Of course their must be some springforce to assure that all clutch elements allow the clutch bearing to run free, but I suppose it can be far less than the current spring. And now the challenge comes up: how would a handoperated lever (yes Ralph, like the handbrakes on a bike) be connected to the clutchsystem and would it be doable by handforce transferred by a cable. And indeed, maybe hydraulics could offer some advantage if the necessary stroke at the clutch itself is indeed a small stroke (including the "safety stroke" to compensate for bearing ring wear.
Any thoughts? Huib
Huib Bruijstens

Huib, Here's a system that might be just what your looking for. I know there is another unit, but not sure what it's called. With this system the vehicle can be driven with normal clutch use if desired. PJ
Paul S Jennings

Ah, the other system is in the same web site in clutch systems. Called Syncro-Drive. PJ
Paul S Jennings

Looking at that website that Paul mentioned, I now understand why the named it a duck. The site does not give info about whether this device is suitable for our computerless oldtimers and I did not check this with that company.
In the meantime I received some information from the dutch manufacturer I mentioned:
- this device is suitable for an oltimer MG TF
- it needs an alternator instead of the dynamo
- the signal for speed is taken from this alternator
- the present signal for the brake is used
- a sensor for the accelarator is installed
- a cable connects the easydrive device and clutchpedal. The clutch remains in place an can be footoperated at all times
- for the adjustment of the system one needs a computer.
Usually the installation gets done by experienced technicians. However it can be done by a technically capable person and the biggest challenge will be the computer aided adjustment procedure.
They made an offer for the Easydrive Light device including the sensors but not including the alternator and not including the installation labor for 2087 Euro.
So far no pictures yet.
Greetings, Huib

Huib Bruijstens

Duck clutch gets it's name from the appearance of the gearshift knob. (Looks like a duck....not sure how it walks or talks!)

Nearest dealer that would do install, (a few years ago when I checked) was in CA.
They wanted me to ship the car to CA and, (shipping not included) was going to run about $6,000.

Broom stick, couple "L" brackets, and a tennis ball cost me about $2.50. LOL
David Sheward "IZZY" TF 7427

The hydraulic system used on MGB, Jag and many other Cars is fairly easy to adapt to any clutch. Just need to get the slave cylinder mounted where it can push the clutch throwout lever. The master cylinder can be placed anywhere. The motorcycle handlebar lever operated master cylinder is one option for hand operation, but I don't know if it has enough volume to give the required travel for the td clutch. One nice feature of the hydraulic system is that it is self adjusting if the master cylinder is vented like our td and most or all cars. When the piston is in home position there is no pressure in the line so the slave cylinder allows the throwout arm to back off just like a disc brake caliper allows the pad to back off the rotor. I have an extra BMW clutch master cyl and slave cyl if some one wants to spend the time to engineer this type of clutch operation system???
Maybe when I retire!
cj schmit

This thread was discussed between 17/01/2014 and 31/01/2014

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