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Didn't expect this...

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Didn't expect this...
#1
  This topic is about my 1965 MG Midget MkII
MO Midget Avatar
MO Midget Paul Langdon
Webster Groves, MO, USA   USA
Okay, so it has been waaaay too long since I posted last as life made Midget work impossible for too long, but finally back at it. First job: replace the clutch slave that wouldn't hold. So, with new slave at the ready, I unbolt the old one (an 1/8th of a turn at a time on that top bolt eye rolling smiley ) and pull out the pushrod for insertion into the new slave. But first, let's clean off all this crud built up on the outside. Imagine my surprise when I discover that the "crud" is the byproduct of a cruddy weld! Upon further observation, it seems the push rod is too long and I see that the end is, in fact, the thread of a bolt! A PO decided that the cure to a worn clutch was a longer push rod and extended this one, so to speak. eye popping smiley Hard stop on the job while a new pushrod is acquired. Just another example of how you never know what you'll find when you begin to take apart an old car...

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pixelsmithusa Avatar
Unfortunately, not an unusual repair. It has numerous repercussions and consequences to the rest of the system. Make sure your fork isn't bent. The bodge typically leads to one and your correct pushrod will no longer give you a clutch release.

For additional insights, see my Tech pages:

http://gerardsgarage.com/Garage/Tech/TO_Bearings/tobearings.htm



Gerard

http://gerardsgarage.com/


MO Midget Avatar
MO Midget Paul Langdon
Webster Groves, MO, USA   USA
Gerard, Thank you for this insight. Doing things the wrong way never leads to good conclusions, which was my first thought when I saw the rod.

This all started with the clutch releasing and then engaging suddenly...dropping the clutch if you will. As a result, I could press the pedal, clutch would release, shift to next gear, but when I would go to engage the clutch, it would go to 100% engagement in an instant which, at low speed or from a stop, would stall the engine or cause the car to lurch/lug. The thought (from an earlier discussion here) was that the slave was failing, hence my repair. Do you suppose the squirrely pushrod has caused some other issue that would explain the original problem? I can't think of how, but you've seen a lot more of these than I have. One other thought: as long as I've had the car (only a year), it has occasionally been difficult to shift from 2nd to 3rd gear unless I shifted a bit slowly or double-clutched. I attributed it to a worn synchro, but perhaps it is related to this too. In any event, as soon as I can, I will get back underneath the car and see if the clutch fork appears bent. Thanks again for the advice!

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pixelsmithusa Avatar
smileys with beer

I would attribute the behavior to a bad slave or master cylinder, but a failing slave is the most likely scenario.

In reply to # 3695111 by MO Midget Gerard, Thank you for this insight. ...

This all started with the clutch releasing and then engaging suddenly...dropping the clutch if you will. ...

...Thanks again for the advice!



Gerard

http://gerardsgarage.com/


ChrisMadge Chris Madge
Bristol, SOUTH GLOUCESTER, UK   GBR
I had something similar with the pushrod of my clutch. There was a nut on the end of it to take up the slack in the clutch release arm mechanism.

Another common 'fix' is a bolt dropped in to replace the pivot for the clutch release arm. Eventually the pivot wears out and falls out of the clutch. Have a look at the side/ top of clutch housing you may see a bolt......

MO Midget Avatar
MO Midget Paul Langdon
Webster Groves, MO, USA   USA
Will do Chris...and thanks for the tip! I will hopefully be able to get under there tomorrow. Have a thermostat on my '78 F100 to replace first smiling smiley

MO Midget Avatar
MO Midget Paul Langdon
Webster Groves, MO, USA   USA
An update so that others might benefit from the experience... First things done when I got under the car were to check the condition of the release arm and the pivot per the advice from Gerard and Chris, respectively. Those items checked out fine (whew!). I decided to replace the clutch slave first since it is less expensive than the master cylinder. Other than the fussy upper bolt location, the slave and new push rod went in fine. Using a Motive pressure bleeder, and with the push rod compressed, I got a nice fluid flush and closed it up. The pedal was a little better but not convincing. So, with the Mrs. balancing on one foot and working the clutch with the other (she wasn't going to get into the car with it still on jack stands), I peered through the inspection hole and could see a nice initial throw followed by a slow easing back into the slave housing... sad smiley

Confident that everything at the clutch end was good, I decided the issue must be with the master cylinder and resolved to replace it. So, out came the pedal box and the master cylinder was extracted. I first noticed the name "Lockheed" on the side and not "TRW" which led me to believe that this might be the original unit still in the car. Next, I inspected the clevis pins and push rod forks. The pins were scored but not significantly worn. The brake fork was okay but check out the severe wear on the clutch fork in the attached picture. That seems a bit sub-optimal winking smiley The holes in the ends of the pedals are slightly out of round, but barely...a 64th at most. I decided to go with them. Likewise the pedal bushings have a touch of play in them, but not more than the return spring could take up.

So, with $150ish already going into the master cylinder purchase, it seemed wise to spend the extra $20ish and replace all the little bits that get stressed (pins, forks, springs) but I would take the chance on not rebuilding the pedals since they were pretty good. Everything went back together and back in the car very nicely. The Motive pressure bleeder did a beautiful job on the clutch and brake bleeding. The push rods were seated firmly and I adjusted all the slack out of the push rods and took a guess at the pedal heights. Finally time to test the pedals. The clutch started all this so it got the first push...firm! Next the brakes...firm! Before taking it down off the stands, I coerced Mrs. into reprising her balancing act again and watched with delight as the slave pushed forward a good 3/8th to a half and stayed right there. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

After many months of sitting and waiting for decent weather (I have to work outside) and for me to have time to do more than just warm it up, the Midget was ready to road test and it performed beautifully. The driver (me) had a bad habit of under-reaching for 3rd gear and doing the first gear no favors, but the clutch worked exactly as it should. I will need to do some more pedal height adjustments, but the problem is solved.

My apologies for running on so long, I'm just really excited that this particular clutch problem had a happy ending and I hope there is something useful in it for others. Thanks for listening! smileys with beer

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ChrisMadge Chris Madge
Bristol, SOUTH GLOUCESTER, UK   GBR
Yes I had a similar issue too, the clutch pedal clevis hole was oval through wear. I welded it back up and drilled the hole to get rid of the slop.

Chas 906 Avatar
Chas 906 Chuck Peterson
Iron Mountain, MI, USA   USA
1961 MG Midget MkI "Little Red Rider"
Paul, congrats on a good win! I know the frustration of a goofy clutch issue. Enjoy the ride!

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MO Midget Avatar
MO Midget Paul Langdon
Webster Groves, MO, USA   USA
Chris, you're a better man than me; I just bought a new one (fork) winking smiley I think learning to weld is an essential skill with an old car though; I might be hitting you up for pointers!

Chuck, thank you! I followed your clutch story with great interest and learned a lot along the way; thank you for sharing it. The ride was fun yesterday, but it reminded me how much I still need to do eye rolling smiley But that's the fun right?

Chas 906 Avatar
Chas 906 Chuck Peterson
Iron Mountain, MI, USA   USA
1961 MG Midget MkI "Little Red Rider"
Yup! Any time you can figure out an issue and learn from it it's a lot of fun! In my case, I now can pull an engine/tranny and do an install in my sleep!

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