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Thread: Clutch release arm

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Menlo Park CA
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    84

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    @Lotusfan, did you ever solve why it was worse with a hot engine? I'm experiencing the same thing. I recently had to do a master-cylinder rebuild in my 1990 X-flow Cateham with a hydraulic clutch (5-speedT9, DeDion). I also swapped out the slave cylinder since I had a new one in my stash of parts. Now, reverse (and somtime first) is hard to get into with a noticeable clunk, but clearly worse when the engine is hot. I've adjusted all of the play out of the mechanical linkage at the slave, and the friction point of the clutch is with the pedal about 2/3 away from the floor. Following advice from further back in this thread, I tested whether I might be over-extending the clutch. Experimenting with not pushing the pedal to full travel did not help. If anyone has any advice or experience, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what might be going on, or how to adjust the clutch mechanicals. Cheers.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    42

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    @Lotusfan, did you ever solve why it was worse with a hot engine? I'm experiencing the same thing. I recently had to do a master-cylinder rebuild in my 1990 X-flow Cateham with a hydraulic clutch (5-speedT9, DeDion). I also swapped out the slave cylinder since I had a new one in my stash of parts. Now, reverse (and somtime first) is hard to get into with a noticeable clunk, but clearly worse when the engine is hot. I've adjusted all of the play out of the mechanical linkage at the slave, and the friction point of the clutch is with the pedal about 2/3 away from the floor. Following advice from further back in this thread, I tested whether I might be over-extending the clutch. Experimenting with not pushing the pedal to full travel did not help. If anyone has any advice or experience, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what might be going on, or how to adjust the clutch mechanicals. Cheers.
    Sorry, can't help you out. My car has a cable clutch. My problem turned out to be that the release bearing that was installed was not correct. I had ordered a replacement to have on hand when I had the engine out and when I compared them, the new one was a bit thicker. With it installed, the problem went away.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    180

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    You can help that with a wider diameter master cylinder. I just replace min on my 1987 De Dion, 1700 Supersprint and while the cluch grabs quickly I don't have your problem, even though I stuck with the original diameter master.
    1987 Caterham 1700 Supersprint
    2002 Porsche Boxster
    2004 Porsche Boxster S
    1941 Dodge Luxury Liner
    2009 Mercedes CLK 350 Cabriolet
    2017 Chevrolet Volt

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Menlo Park CA
    Posts
    84

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    Thanks everyone for getting back to me so quickly. I'll re-check the mechanical adjustment, re-bleed the sytem, but maybe I'll need to replace the clutch. Fun fun!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    N. California
    Posts
    150

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    David,
    I'm not familiar with the clutch layout on your car, but I have see similar issues if there's air in the system.

    You mentioned the "new" slave cylinder from your stash. Did you crack it open and inspect it? I had a battle with slave cylinders on my Midget due to substandard parts. They sort of sealed...

    Andy

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Menlo Park CA
    Posts
    84

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    Thanks Andy. I didn't open up the slave cylinder since I don't know if rebuild kits are available, good point, it could be the problem. Although the master is a typical Girling unit, the slave was made by an American company called CNC/Neal, which are now out of business, and as far as I can tell, catered to the VW/Dune buggy market. I haven't been able to find out anything about why Caterham used that slave cylinder, or even see pictures of other cars. I do know it was stock, at least for cars sold by Sevens and Elans. My car came from them (I'm the second owner), and I bought a master and the replacement slave from theAttachment 17763Attachment 17762m 10 years ago when Chris T. was still in Massachussets.

    Do other hydraulic-clutch CAterhams from a similar era (1990 X-flow) have the same slave cylinder? Her are some pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by DavidL; 10-19-2020 at 01:19 AM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Higganum, CT
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    1,733

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    Do other hydraulic-clutch Caterhams from a similar era (1990 X-flow) have the same slave cylinder? Her are some pics.
    My friends early 90's X-flow Caterham has the same clutch slave. He bought the car with very low miles from Christ T at Sevens and Elans. The original was leaking so we replaced it with the same setup as your replacement. I know we spent some time adjusting it before we could get it to work properly.
    Bruce

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    N. California
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    Dave,
    Is it possible the actuating rod on the new one is just a little longer? Maybe you're just at the limits of it's adjustment and not using it's full available travel from the slave. It looks like you could either play with the coupling nut, replace the current jam nut with a thin jam nut (or leave it off for test purposes) or cut additional threads on the actuating rod.

    Andy

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    180

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    Mine is also exactly the same. 1987 Supersprint 1700, and also built by Sevens and Elans/
    1987 Caterham 1700 Supersprint
    2002 Porsche Boxster
    2004 Porsche Boxster S
    1941 Dodge Luxury Liner
    2009 Mercedes CLK 350 Cabriolet
    2017 Chevrolet Volt

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Menlo Park CA
    Posts
    84

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    Great, thanks for the feedback and confirmation that other cars used the same slave cylinder. OK, so job one is to re-examine the linkage and compare slave cylinder rod length with the old one... maybe they're different.

    I appreciate all the help! -David

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