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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just lost my clutch in a strange way. The last time I drove it, about half way into the drive I found that the clutch was not disengaging properly. I got it home with minimal crashing of gears, but it wasn't fun. I _thought_ that it was probably hydraulic, as there was touch of fluid at the master, and the boot was torn, so I bought one at Centerline last week. Friday I took the day off and put in the master and bled the clutch and brakes. I also removed and cleaned the reservoirs which were full of crud. I know that the previous owner had had the clutch replaced at a reputable shop just a few thousand miles ago, so I didn't think that there could be a problem problem with the disk or pressure plate.

Yesterday I started the car on the stand and tried the clutch. No noise (at first), but it still wouldn't disengage. I checked the movement on the slave to the fork, and it was 11mm or so, right in spec. I tried again, but this time I heard popping when I put in the clutch. Time to put the transmission... So, at 8 PM I started to extricate the transmission. At about 11PM it was on the ground, and I went to bed. Today I cleaned the transmission and misc. parts that were removed, and just now I pulled the clutch. I was concerned as it looked like new. Had I just wasted a LOT of time?

The first picture shows what looks like a brand new clutch (no, I did not clean it). The second shows the broken straps on the pressure plate. The third is a gratuitous shot of the cleaned transmission and under body shield that I removed all the oil and road [email protected] from.

Anyone know what might have caused this? I definitely did not abuse the clutch and it looks like new, barely even broken in.

Steve
 

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did you ' wet ' down that heat sheild before you took all the asbestos off?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
did you ' wet ' down that heat sheild before you took all the asbestos off?
There was no asbestos on it. MAYBE in it, but definitely not on it. Just lots of baked on oil, tar and pebbles. This shield is a sandwich, not an aluminum sheet with asbestos glued on.

I was just amazed at how well both cleaned up. The transmission is so shiny that it almost looks polished. The heat shield only has a few tiny pits of corrosion. I guess it is a combination of being a CO/CA car and the "British rustproofing" (oil from leaks) that preserved them.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yesterday I picked up a new pressure plate from Centerline. This one looks like the drawings in the book and has beefier straps from the pressure plate to the diaphragm. I like that design better than the construction of the Valeo part that broke.

Today I put the clutch in after measuring the depth of the flywheel surface to the outer cover mount surface. It was 22.5mm exactly, so right at the spec and the surfaces were perfect. I'm reusing the disk, as it doesn't even look broken in. Everything looks good, so tomorrow I will put the transmission back in.

By the way, is the back up light switch wiring supposed to run against the body right above the exhaust? Mine was cooked, melted and shorted. I have to replace about 2' of wiring and cooked fiberglass loom.
 

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Wiring- Yes it runs along the outside of the trans for a bit, but not so close to piping that it will melt from exhaust heat. There should be a tab that holds it away from the pipe, I'm pretty sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, the wires were in the tabs up tight against the body, but directly above the exhaust. It is hard to tell if the wires melted and shorted from the heat of the exhaust, or if they cracked, shorted and melted, burning the loom as well. Regardless, I'm replacing the wires with Tefzel and high temp loom. The wires shouldn't be an issue again.

I also found in a search of the transmission forum that the straps breaking on the Valeo pressure plates is not unprecedented.Here is another from 2008
 
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