Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

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Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Meep » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:44 pm

Hello everyone! This is my first post on the forum, it is nice to meet you all!

A little back-story: My fiance' and I purchased a '69 Austin Healey Sprite in 2008 for a really sick relative (he had a sprite when he was young and always dreamed of having another). The Sprite did its job and gave him something positive to look forward to each day until he passed. The sprite then sat unused in a garage in CT until about 2 weeks ago, when I had to trucked down to VA. I'm now in the process of trying to get the car up and running. The last thing keeping me from taking it on a (very) short text drive is that the clutch pedal drops to the floor. Here is what I've done thus far:

1)I noticed right away that the slave cylinder was completely broken, the piston was mostly pushed out of the cylinder, along with half of the internal gasket. It was so seized up that it was jamming the clutch in an open state - once I removed the slave cylinder, the shift fork kicked forward. From that point on, whenever I tried to engage a gear with the engine running, I would get gear grinding noises. Before I removed the slave cylinder, I could just shove the tranny into any gear without it affecting the engine at all when it was running.

2) I then replaced the entire clutch hydraulic system minus the hardline. I bled it and bled it and bled it some more. I don't think there is anything left in that line other than fluid. I still have no resistance in the pedal whatsoever. I bled it by attaching a hose to the bleeder valve on the slave cylinder and running it up high so I could see when it started to squirt only liquid (poor man's bleeding method).

3) When I was reinstalling the slave clutch cylinder, I noticed that there was a lot of slop and play in the shift fork. I could move it forward and backward a good inch or so. There was no resistance. My impression would be that there would be pressure on the clutch fork from the clutch release bearing, but I guess I could be wrong on that one.

So, I am wondering if either a) I didn't do a good job bleeding the system, b) the shift fork or release bearing or some other clutch component is messed up, or c) for whatever reason maybe I just ended up with a bum clutch replacement kit. I did have a friend press on the clutch pedal and I could see the pin push out of the slave cylinder, but it didn't retract. I assumed that the retract was a mechanical function of the clutch as the bearing is pushed away by the fingers or springs on the clutch plate.

Any thoughts?

Thanks so much in advance!

Damion
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby hoggie » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:01 am

Welcome aboard Damion,

Here are some info that might be of help.

With a new clutch and release bearing in my 69 Midget, the middle of the clutch fork pin is right at 1 3/4 in. from the front edge of the slave cylinder. The clutch fork does not move very far when operated, so you should be very close to that measurement on your 69 Sprite. (Older Sprites have a shorter push rod, 2 1/2 in, the 1275 cc motors have a 3 in push rod)

To check your slave cylinder, place a 12 inch piece of wood between your clutch fork and the body frame to keep the fork from moving and test your clutch pedal. Should be firm without feeling spongy.

Did you use the original push rod with the new wheel cylinder ?
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Meep » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:41 pm

Hey Hoggie,

Thanks for the reply! I should be able to toss a piece of wood under the car tomorrow or Thursday, so I'll let you know the results.

Thanks!

Damion
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Meep » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:22 pm

hoggie wrote:Welcome aboard Damion,

Here are some info that might be of help.

With a new clutch and release bearing in my 69 Midget, the middle of the clutch fork pin is right at 1 3/4 in. from the front edge of the slave cylinder. The clutch fork does not move very far when operated, so you should be very close to that measurement on your 69 Sprite. (Older Sprites have a shorter push rod, 2 1/2 in, the 1275 cc motors have a 3 in push rod)

To check your slave cylinder, place a 12 inch piece of wood between your clutch fork and the body frame to keep the fork from moving and test your clutch pedal. Should be firm without feeling spongy.

Did you use the original push rod with the new wheel cylinder ?


Hey everyone.

So I jammed the 12" block of wood between the frame and the fork, and when I stepped on the pedal, there was still only spring resistance. I suppose that my bleeding didn't take? I replaced everything but the hardline in the clutch hydraulics and as far as I can tell, there is no leaking from the system. Any recommendations to make sure I REALLY get all of the air out of the system?

I used a new push-rod. I can measure it tomorrow (it is raining right now so I am not too keen to go lay under the car).

I will also measure the clutch fork pin to slave cylinder tomorrow as well.

Thanks so much!

Damion
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby hoggie » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:13 pm

Although it's always torturous to bleed the clutch slave cylinder due to the restricted access hole and space, somehow I have been lucky to get the clutch slave to bleed successfully in the past. I just used the process of using a mity vac to build up a vacuum on the bleed screw and opening and closing the bleed screw before the vacuum goes to zero. I've also used the 2 person method with someone pumping the clutch and opening/closing the bleed screw in sync. On this forum someone was having the same issue you are having and I suggested using a homemade arrangement that I had read about, but never tried. That arrangement worked successfully for them. Here is a link to the post where that homemade solution was described.

http://www.spritespot.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4793&p=19965&hilit=bicycle+tube#p19965
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Charlie Tolman » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:52 am

Possibilities:

Clutch line bleeding left some air in the system. (I am wondering if your poor-man's bleeding technique will remove all of the air from the system. Use the two-person approach.)

There is internal leaking, under pressure, in the slave cylinder and/or master cylinder.

Charlie T.
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Meep » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:53 pm

Tried bleeding the lines again today. Still no pressure in the pedal, even with the 2x4 wedged in there. Tomorrow, I'll rent a break bleeder kit from Advance Auto and try one more time. After that, I'm just going to chalk this up to a bum kit (either master or slave).

I'll keep you posted!

On more exciting news, there is 100% resistance in the brake pedals, to the point where I think something is seized up! Never any rest...

Cheers!
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Meep » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:25 pm

Meep wrote:Tried bleeding the lines again today. Still no pressure in the pedal, even with the 2x4 wedged in there. Tomorrow, I'll rent a break bleeder kit from Advance Auto and try one more time. After that, I'm just going to chalk this up to a bum kit (either master or slave).

I'll keep you posted!

On more exciting news, there is 100% resistance in the brake pedals, to the point where I think something is seized up! Never any rest...

Cheers!


Looks like the (new) slave cylinder is leaking. Replacement on the way! Brake fluid was coming out from under the dust boot that protects the piston. I noticed that fluid kept pooling on the bottom of the slave cylinder, but thought it was form my bleeding. Not so!

I'll keep everyone posted.
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Charlie Tolman » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:47 am

I have seen old and new slave cylinders, clutch and brake, where the rubber seal is backwards on the cylinder piston. This arrangement will leak. Your situation might be different.

Charlie T.
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Re: Sloppy shift fork or clutch release bearing?

Postby Meep » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:07 am

Charlie Tolman wrote:I have seen old and new slave cylinders, clutch and brake, where the rubber seal is backwards on the cylinder piston. This arrangement will leak. Your situation might be different.

Charlie T.


Good to know. If this new slave cylinder does not work out of the box, then I'll take one apart and see if something is inside backwards.

Thanks!

Damion
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