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Alec Pringle

Precision Clutch Reconditioning Service

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I'm sure someone is bound to feel this topic should be in another section, but this one seemed as appropriate as anywhere to me, and we don't need a major debate on the issue.

 

As some Forumites will be aware, I do occasionally have old clutch covers and plates properly reconditioned. The chaps who do these for me are most reliable, I’ve used them personally since the 1980s, and in serious quantity business wise when I was motor factoring during the ‘90s. They are primarily ‘trade’ suppliers, by no means the cheapest, but then you do get what you pay for.

 

Changing times, the independent factoring and garage trade alike are dwindling, and hence Simon and his chaps are now more easily able to deal direct with individual owners. Need I add, typically blunt ‘trade’ attitude to customers, as opposed to retail smoothie flannel from walletbusters.

 

There is no shortage of new TR clutch component. As ever, some new repro items are better than others. Modern repro kit tends to be made down to a price, and engineered to the necessary minimum, which is fair enough. Competition standard clutches are, in comparison, rather expensive. You can’t have the cake and the halfpenny.

 

At least some TR owners would prefer to have proper old original equipment (OE), Made in England component, reconditioned whilst it is still possible – OE clutch components were over-engineered and can usually be rebuilt, subject to condition of course. I happen to like the principle, somehow it seems more efficient and eco-friendly, and I like dealing with skilled blokes who know their TRaditional job.

 

As a price guide, given that some units require more work than others and Simon always tries to play a straight bat

TR2 - TR4 Borg & Beck ‘spring’ clutches and TR4A-TR6 Laycock ‘diaphragm’ clutches cost £85+VAT for the pair, that is reconditioning your old cover and plate in other words.

 

TR4A – TR7 B&B or QH (Quinton Hazell) ‘diaphragm’ clutches cost £70+VAT the pair.

 

Clutches for other 1600-2500cc Triumph models are similar – possibly a few quid less for one of the smaller 4-cylinder cars, a tenner or more extra for the larger V8, Stag or Rover.

 

New bearings can usually be supplied, similar price to TR specialists. Otherwise I usually look to Moss for bearings, reasonable price and a pukka product rather than crapiti.

 

Obviously your old units need to be in a condition decent enough to be rebuilt, as opposed to totally shagged (trade technical term, please note). The clutch components usually look sensible on the outside, but not always as good once they have been dismantled. Even then, sometimes an item will fail under stress testing, that’s life – usually Simon manages to find a reasonable solution !

 

If you have old surplus covers or plates lurking at the back of the garage, they’re always welcome – yes they get a little bit off your bill assuming they’re good enough to rebuild, and perhaps more to the point it does of course help everyone to have a few units ‘on the shelf’.

 

Clutches can often be uprated to a degree, but that depends on just what clutch unit and what component might be available at the time. Talk to Simon direct on this aspect, it’s a variable equation..

 

I don’t know what the guarantee service is like, before you ask – in 25 years that situation hasn’t ever arisen. Stuff just works.

 

Turnaround time is very quick. P&P back to you is £10+VAT for one or two pairs, three or more is carriage free. Easiest way to send your old units is by www.interparcel.com – I use their Interparcel Economy service, which is UPS, first class in my experience, or they also offer Hermes as the (slower) budget option.

 

You’ll find Precision Clutch here - http://www.precisionclutch.co.uk and it helps to read the basics before jumping on to the phone.

 

Simon can, by the way, deal with most varieties of clutches clutch ever made – right back to the early days of motoring. He’s nearly as good with brake relinings too, although those are no longer an in-house job. Jolly useful, if like me you occasionally get involved with really obscure old motors of whatever sort.

 

Finally, no, I’m not on commission, unfortunately. I simply like small businesses of the traditional kind that do a decent job for sensible money, I reckon they are worth recommending and supporting. Yes OK, an old fashioned attitude, but that’s just my opinion and you don’t have to agree with it.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Seconded,

 

I've had I think three of these clutches via Alec, fit and forget, they look, feel and perform as the part.

 

Couldn't recommend them highly enough, no I'm not on commission either, just a happy customer.

 

John.

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Good to be able to add another reliable supplier to my library - thanks, Alec.

 

John

Agreed. Thanks Alec.

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Well done Alec thanks for shareing the advice when I need a clutch I'll be on the phone,

 

Cheers

 

Dave.

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No thanks needed, all I'm doing is trying to recommend someone worth dealing with.

 

That is a mutually profitable situation, firms like Precision help keep our cars on the road, we help keep them in business. They're happy to try and look after TRs from a distance by mail order, that's fine by me. Saves my occasional tips over to them with clutches for TR folks far and wide !

 

Rebuilt clutches in particular can be a minefield - there is some cheap rubbish out there, reconditioned and new production alike. It's no fun having to change a TR clutch prematurely, too much like hard work.

 

As for some of the so-called 'nos' Laycock kits that appear regularly . . . . It is quarter of a century since Laycock production ceased, LUK bought out Laycock in 1987, and it became LUK (UK) in 1989. Work it out for yourself, just how many independent factors are there still with old stock of consumables still lurking on a back shelf ? There was precious little pukka Laycock stock around when I worked in motor factoring in the mid-90s, and I haven't seen any genuine nos on sale for years. I have seen plenty of reconditioned items masquerading as new - some of course is good stuff, some unfortunately is ****. Caveat emptor.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Bearing in mind the age of original Laycock clutches and the fatigue these will have suffered wouldn't new Borg&Beck units be a better option than having the Laycock units reconditioned?

Alan.

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Hi Alan,

 

if clutch components are being reconditioned properly then they will first be tested for strength and integrity - and you won't be surprised to know that an increasing amount of Laycock component fails at the first hurdle . . . . . as you say, age and fatigue.

 

No doubt you won't be surprised either by the suggestion that, different reconditioners work to different standards. In my experience, Precision tend to err on the side of caution, a degree of pessimism that suits me. But, it must be said, there are plenty of folks who would prefer to save a tenner . . . . good luck to them, to me the cost of clutch component isn't a lot in terms of the effort involved in changing a clutch.

 

As for modern B&B ? You may very well think so. At least some modern production clutch component seems a tad on the light side compared to over engineered items of back in the day. Just my opinion, of course.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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