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Discussion Starter #1
I started noticing some odd play in my clutch pedal a few months ago and it has gotten worse. The clutch itself was rebuilt and has probably less than 10k on it (as does the transmission).

First, the pedal seemed to get harder to push. Then I noticed that there was maybe 1/2" of play in it occasionally, but not always. I'd go to push the clutch in, it would immediately drop a bit, and then get harder to push (like normal).

Now, when I first get in the car, the clutch is really soft and will drop straight to the floor unless I pump it a few times. However, once I get going for a bit, it'll usually start acting perfectly normal.

The master cylinder looks original and I don't think it's been rebuilt in 100k (at least not in 12 years according to the records)

A few have speculated that the seals in the MC are going out. I've got a rebuilt MC that I was going to swap in, but it has one wrong-size seal somewhere in it and it leaks like a sieve. I'm going to head over to my Alfa mechanic this afternoon to see if he's got the proper seals for it, but I'm wondering if anyone else has some suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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Hooligan,

I think that you are on the right track with the MC... I had one go in my GTV-6 and that is exactly the symptoms it gave... swapping it out with a new one was my solution.

Regards
Martin.
 

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Hooligan said:
Now, when I first get in the car, the clutch is really soft and will drop straight to the floor unless I pump it a few times. However, once I get going for a bit, it'll usually start acting perfectly normal.
Check the linkage rod length.
 

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So if it's the slave cylinder you will find fluid inside the rubber boot, and you will be losing fluid. If it's the M/C you will be able to pump it and get clutch. You might lose fluid out the rear of the M/C if the rear seal is bad. If it's the clutch pivot arm you will not be able to pump it and the pedal will not return to the full up position. If you pull it up it will break the pivot arm off at the lever. It could also be the rubber hose. They sometimes balloon at a spot and cause a pressure loss in the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses. I think Stan's diagnosis is right on the spot:

If I pump, it'll eventually work- maybe 2-3 pumps at the most. It's not losing fluid, so it must be the MC as opposed to the slave. Given it looks like it hasn't been opened up since '86, it seems overdue.

I will check the hose, though. I had it flushed a while ago and didn't notice any problems immediately following that, but who knows.

Would the MC explain why it's a little heavy, too?
 

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Heavy clutch goes along with the failure of the system sometimes. I had on my 91 the pedal got real hard, and then got very uneven as it went down.
I guess the rubber ridges on the seals were folding and binding, breaking off and getting stuck in the plunger.

One thing that always helps when replacing the M/C Loosen the metal hose before you loosen the M/C from it's mount. Also installing the new one, put the metal hose finger tight into the M/C before bolting it to the mount.
Also know that brake fluid peals paint if left on very long. Use a turkey baister to draw it out of the reservoir before you do any hose work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, Stan.

I did this exact surgery on my last Spider about a year ago. We'll see.

Headed to my mechanic now.
 
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