Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After six months of ownership and five thousand problem-free miles, my 1990 Graduate finally let me down last night. With no warning, the clutch stopped disengaging and I could not get the car into any gear. If I forced it into first, with the pedal in, the car would start grabbing and lurching forward, then die. Had to have it towed to my shop.

Interesting, possibly related tidbit... about a month ago, I had the clutch slave cylinder replaced and of course all fluid had to be bled and replaced. After my episode last night, I checked the fluid quickly, expecting it maybe to be all gone or something. But it was topped off.

This happened only a mile or so from home so the car was about up to normal operating temp. I drove the car last about five days ago and all was fine.

Any ideas how expensive this one might be, before I get the call from my shop?

Funny side note - after not seeing any other Spiders on the road here in Minneapolis since buying mine last fall, I finally saw another one as I was getting a lift from a friend, in his Audi, following my problem last night. So I couldn't honk and wave. :(

Cheers.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,386 Posts
It might be that with the new fluid, and the bleeding, that the clutch master cylinder has failed. Sometimes this happens. It often pays to do both, if you're doing one, for this reason.

Andrew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Makes sense. But wouldn't that cause a loss of fluid?

What was weird was the suddenness of the failure. That leads me to believe it's not the clutch friction plate or TO bearing, which would have given me some symptoms I would have thought 9 shuddering, grabbing, noise....

I am hoping it is just some linkage piece that has fallen out and is easily fixed. Wishful thinking...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,811 Posts
It might be that with the new fluid, and the bleeding, that the clutch master cylinder has failed. Sometimes this happens. It often pays to do both, if you're doing one, for this reason.

Andrew
This happened with the brakes on my '78. Although the brakes were functional I rebuilt the calipers to fix a sticking piston. The seals in the master cylinder then failed.

It's best to renew all seals at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,166 Posts
I'd verify the slave in operating correctly.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,212 Posts
Clutch failure

This will be simple to troubleshoot - with two people - one in the car, and one underneath, watching the throw-out fork. Push down on the pedal, and see if the fork moves - if it doesn't (and it probably won't), then it's hydraulics OR the rod & arm assembly that connects the pedal to the clutch master. If it does, then you might consider taking out a second mortgage.

Bianchi1's suggestion that it could be that rod & arm assembly is a good one - that is a well known weak point on Alfas. Have your "watcher" move from underneath the car, to the seft front of the firewall, and observe whether the arm & lever that comes out of the aluminum casting behind the booster is pushing the clutch master when the pedal is depressed.

OR, the clutch master could have died - if it starts working again once things cool down, it might point to that (keep in mind that the master cylinders are right above the exhaust manifold, and it is summer).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,513 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,571 Posts
The term is "Clutch pivot arm" or "Clutch pivot shaft". This is the arm welded on the end of the shaft that rotates when you depress the clutch pedal. Complete failure usually means the clutch pedal remains on the floor. If the arm weld just slips, it rotates on the shaft, and the clutch can not be fully released. When this happens, the clutch pedal will not return to a position even with the brake pedal. Do a search on this topic. There's lots of information and diagrams.

did the clucth pivet arm fail? the one near the master cly.? the pedal attac. to it....some fail there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
...Any ideas how expensive this one might be, before I get the call from my shop?...
If it's the clutch expect to pay between $800 - $1000 for parts an labor... You could save a little bit if you order the clutch yourself, since shops do charge "list price", but I don't know if your shop works this way...

Best regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,982 Posts
conedriver.....sorry about the spelling,,kind of tierd.....with this dammed parkinsons...hard to sleep sometimes....kind of fun going to work still:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
update....

Got very good news from the shop this morning: the clutch failure was caused by a faulty hose from the clutch slave cylinder, which caused a sudden loss of fluid pressure. A couple of days wait and no charge! Bullet dodged....

Thanks for all the feedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Got mine figured out as well. Unfortunately I had to drop tranny. The throwout bearing has worn a significant groove on the area where it makes contact with the fingers of the pressure plate. It may have even worn a couple of them off. The bearing still spins as it should , it could be the result of a poorly adjusted push rod. (the one item that is adjustable just before the master cylinder). So be careful when adjusting this for excessive free play. Will try and post some pictures of this one cause I have never seen this condition before. Cheers!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top