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Triumph TR6 - On-going clutch problem

Three thousand miles ago I could not get my 76 TR6 with 43k miles into gear. After a tow to my "trusty" mechanic, he said the clutch was shot and recommended that I order the clutch kit from Moss Motors for a clutch overhaul replacing the pressure plate and the clutch disk. I do not race or hammer this car. He did the work and it worked ok until last week when I could not put the car in gear when the car was running. When I shut it off I could then put it in gear and start it but it would crawl. Did I mention I only put on 3,000 since the last problem? Arggghhh!

Instead of charging right into another clutch replacement kit, my new mechanic recommended that I start at the front of this system. I replaced the clutch master cylinder system. I replaced the clutch slave cylinder and replaced the slave cylinder hose with a stainless steel braided hose in case the old hose was balooning. After all that, it hasen't changed the ability to get the car in gear.

Did I;
A) get hosed on the last clutch replacement?
B) Or did my old "trusty" mechanic miss some other bad parts in the clutch system while installing the last clutch?

If a replacement clutch is where I am going, then so be it, but there is some history here I am trying not to relive after another 3,000 miles.

Any insight to troubleshoot this issue prior to or during the clutch replacement?


TJ McCabe
TJ McCabe

There's a lot in the archives on clutches, and I went thru some of the problems. Mine were hydraulic, and I don't know #$$ about the internal stuff. But as a start, I learned that the rod on the slave should extend at least a 1/2 inch to effectively move the clutch. I think I've heard 5/8 is the computed correct amount, but I'm running well at 1/2. If you're not getting that kind of extension, there's a problem in the hydraulics.

In my case, the culprit was the nylon tube, but you've already done everything except the pedal linkage. If you are getting the 1/2 or better, I'd have to defer you to the more expert guys on the BBS for clutch internals.

Mark Hauser

Does the problem occur in all gears? If reverse is problematic and other gears okay, I'd say its the clutch. Otherwise it could be the transmission itself.

Be certain you don't have any slack at the push rod and lever arm, and as Mark has said, ensure yopu have sufficent movement of the push rod.


If its a sudden change.

Have the mechanic check for freeplay in the actual clutch arm. The pin may have broke or cracked.

Second print out and take this page with you and have him check for Crankwalk. He should know the term but may be surprised at how much there is on a TR. If the thrust bearings dropped out. The crank flywheel and clutch move back and forth.

Don't panic thrust not a big job compared to a clutch if caught early. From your description those 2 items are check firsts.

I am not sure about your description of the crawl business that could be oil contamination. Which will also prevent clutch from releasing. Removing the starter and having a feel and look up inside is a good start.

One suggestion I would make is check your local Triumph club and ask for recommendations as to who they like for repairs. Many of the old guys don't advertise and probably have retired from fixing Chevs. were they went after Leyland quit. Most have kept there hand in on the Brits. Thats the trusted mechanic you want to find :)

Don't get me wrong. Not questioning your present or past mechanics skills. I have been in the service business, not cars for over 40 years and unless you deal with a piece of machinery of any type all the time you don't learn there tricks. Only built Rods and played with Brits for about 30 years so I'm still a puppy?


Bill Brayford

no ones mentioned the shaft pin. it can be broken and not visually detected. very hard lesson indeed.
w Holtzclaw

If you havn't already got it I found the .75" master cylinder much better than the .7" one, also make sure there is no wear in the clevis pins at both clutch cylinder rods.
R. Algie

As Bill is alluded to -you may want to check the condition of your crank thrust washers - excessive play there will affect getting into gear and appears as a clutch type problem. I think the buckeyetriumph website has excellent information on clutches and transmissions as well as info on the clutch fork problems etc

As Mr Holtzclaw mentioned it sounds like your taper pin has bit the dust (sheared).
If this is the case, it does not matter how much extension of the actuating arm on the slave cylinder you get, the fork inside the housing cannot push the throwout bearing enough to disengage the clutch. As you mentioned, not being able to change gears when the engine is running, and when engine is stopped-placing it in gear-then starting, and having the car "crawl". It sure looks like that is where the problem lies. I agree that your best resource on the problem is the Buckeye website, and the section on the fork pin should get you the fix you need.

Mark Riddle

I'd be curious to know if after installing the new clutch the problem came gradually or all of a sudden. If it was sudden, I would think taper pin; if gradual; likely thrust washers. I installed a new clutch after puchasing my TR not understanding all the other problems that can happen. Soon after I was not able to get it into gear. I welded up the hole on the pedal assembly which was oblong and redrilled it. Did the same to the push rods (master & slave) and replaced the worn clevis pins. This took up some of the slack that had developed over the years and I had a clutch back for a while. Soon the same thing was happening especially after the engine warmed up. Master & slave cylinder overhauls made no difference. So after thinking this out -- oil heats up and thins out and the obviously wearing thrust washers allowed more play. But it was more than that for me. The clutch shaft was worn as well as shaft bushings, fork pins, and release bearing sleeve. Each worn component contributed to the problem. In the end my clutch is as good as any other car I've driven. Which tells me with everything as it should be, there is nothing wrong with a TR6 clutch.

Doug Campbell

This thread was discussed on 09/07/2003

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