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Triumph TR6 - Cannot get into gear

I have an on going problem. I have been patient, loving, diligently doing research and speaking words of encouragement and even stroking her fender. My frustration mounts and I cannot resolve it. I am in the doghouse with the Mrs. for she thinks it is an investment gone bad. I don't agree for my Trimph, dispite her few flaws, has only 45k miles, is in otherwise mint condition, and when working will go about 100mph. She still draws this old guy looks. I know my TR6 is hurt because my love for her is waning. We don't spend the quality time together like we used to.

Here is the problem. I had trouble getting my 76 TR6 into gear. At the time I bought her(three years ago), I had the resources and had the engine pulled and the entire clutch rebuilt. I had every part replaced that I thought could give me problems. I went the extra mile(or so I thought) and I even replaced the slave cylinder hose with the upscale stainless steel braided hose. I replaced the clutch master cylinder. Everything worked "ok" but still had problems getting into gear. When the car was running, it wouldn't slip in easy. Turn off the car and I could put it in gear, push in the clutch and start the car. It would creep a little so I knew it wasn't fully disengaging the clutch. I lasted about 3k miles and then I had enough.

I moved to NY and found a guy/garage who worked with me to do it all again( I thought maybe I got hosed on the last job). I was present for most of it so I was confident(more confident) it was done right. We rebuilt the entire clutch system again. It still is not right. Today, as a last resort, I installed a new clutch slave cylinder and adjusted the distance to the clutch operating shaft getting a wee bit closer, bled the hose completly, and, F$&*@-it, I am still in the same boat, unable to get into gear. When I depress the pedal, try to move the stick into gear, it feels like it bumbing into something. Reverse grinds so I don't force it in.

So I turn to you, Triumph Enthusiasts BBS, my trusted resource. Someone mentioned thrust washers. For clarification, are you talking about the thrust washers on the differential carrier? Could it be something in the shifter/gear lever itself? Is it time to dig into the internal gear box? Could there be an ongoing issue with the spring or the parts in the clutch master cylinder?

Or would lighting it on fire and dancing around it naked finally put the gods to rest?

Thanks in advance for your direction.


TJ McCabe

YEEEESH and you guys thought I was long winded....:)


Did the problem go away after the 2 clutch rebuilds for any length of time? Even a few days? If you start the car in gear clutch fully depressed and the car creeps its still a clutch problem not gearbox.

Your getting at least 1/2 inch hydraulic rod travel with the rod clevis in the middle hole? Holes are in good shape pin OK?

Thrust washers are on the crank that were being refered to. Here is the method to check.

You have to push crank back first by the center of the fan nobody touches the clutch. Then hang on to the fan or damper as whoever pushes the clutch in. Then you should feel slight movement. 4 thou. is perfection anything up to 12 or thirteen is acceptable. If your up at 1/8th inch your washers are gone. Acceptable is movement about the thickness of a fingernail as one guy put it or barely felt. I have seen some with 3/8ths of an inch before problem noticed.

If the crank is moving back and forth the clutch release action is reduced. May be a problem. Easy to check.

Let us know.

And as far as dancing around the car naked! I would be more tempted to burn down those garages where the work was done?


Bill Brayford

Well, I think you've come to the realization that the clutch isn't releasing completely. How much free play is there in the pedal before the rod contacts the master cylinder piston? If you can get the play out of there, you might get enough travel to disengage completely. Older cars used to have an adjustment there, and you can make that adjustable if you need to.

More details on that if you're interested.

Did you pull the tranny to do any of this work? There's a pin that can shear on the clutch shaft in the bellhousing, making it impossible to get enough travel. This is well documented and easy to find the solution (s?).

You can maybe save a lot of money and fool your wife into thinking you've fixed it by pumping the clutch a couple times before you put it in reverse. Dancing naked might be good for the "magic" factor before you show her this for the first time. Then if she wants to drive it, she'll have to do the same.

This isn't the proper cure but it might help you, if you're sure there is no wear in the clevis pins of the master and slave cylinder try an earlier 3/4" master cylinder instead of the 0.7" one that should be fitted to your car, they shift a greater amount of fluid and do help a dragging clutch, but make the pedal a bit heavier.
R. Algie

This thread was discussed on 30/09/2004

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