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John McCormack

Clutch plate stuck to flywheel

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A big milestone today, the long door TR2 engine startup in the body with everything connected. The good news was it started in a couple of seconds and ran well.

The bad news is the clutch plate is stuck to the flywheel. I assembled it about 12 months ago and as it couldn't be moved until now the plate has stuck.

I tried rocking the car backwards and forwards in gear without success. Once I have a seat back from the upholsterer I will try starting it in first gear in the lane behind my garage but as I live in the inner Sydney suburbs I am not really able to drive it anywhere. 

Any ideas, short of pulling the box.

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Hi John,  I have done this many times when in the trade, run the engine until everything is really warm, turn off engine, engage 1st gear, start engine with foot on clutch (be prepared to move off quickly)  when moving accelerate away while  and stab the clutch pedal up and down in quick succession, it should come unstuck with a bang.  Good luck. Cheers, Bill. 

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Try warming it up in neutral then stop the engine and slip the gearbox into 4th gear. 

With the handbrake and footbrake applied and the clutch depressed restart the engine. 

It should release with a bit of a bang. 

Let us know how you get on. 

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+1 for this.

Bob.

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John,

"Warm" may be enough as the clutch has not been stuck for so long.

If not, try "hot".

And remember - it takes quite a while for the heat from the engine
to get through to the flywheel & clutch.

I can't begin to explain how much I would give to have known that
some years ago and the heartbreak from the consequences.

AlanR

Edited by TR 2100
clarification

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Jack the rear end up and put safely on stands, adjust the rear brakes up so they are solid then run it up till its up to temperature and then keep running for about half an hour, switch off and let the heat soak back through for half an hour then run it up to temperature again, switch off and put in 2nd gear and with your foot all the way down on the clutch start it up, as stated you will get a bang and it should free off, once it has then slip it for a while to remove any glazing from the flywheel and plate.

Stuart.

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Hello John,

Sorry to hear of your frustrating problem. After having had this trouble a couple of times during my early ownership of the 4A, when I resorted to a similar rather brutal technique to those suggested, I gave the matter some thought and came up with a much more mechanically sympathetic solution.  Please try this trick first, it worked like a dream the last two times I had a stuck clutch.

Remove spark plugs to eliminate engine compression. Engage handbrake firmly or have an assistant lock the wheels with the foot brake and chock front and rear wheels securely. Select a gear and fully depress the clutch by wedging a piece of wood of the right length between the pedal and the seat runner. Fit a socket (1/2Whitworth 9/16BS on my car) on the crankshaft bolt. Next simply fit a suitable T-bar on the socket and exert a clockwise turning force. Both times I was able easily to exert sufficient force with just a 12” T-bar to free the flywheel from the clutch driven plate. In more stubborn cases a longer T-bar could be used or a snug fitting length of pipe over a short T-bar for extra torque.

I am pleased to say that these days the car is used far too frequently for the clutch ever to stick!

Kind regards to you and Sue,

Tim

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8 minutes ago, tim hunt said:

Hello John,

Sorry to hear of your frustrating problem. After having had this trouble a couple of times during my early ownership of the 4A, when I resorted to a similar rather brutal technique to those suggested, I gave the matter some thought and came up with a much more mechanically sympathetic solution.  Please try this trick first, it worked like a dream the last two times I had a stuck clutch.

Remove spark plugs to eliminate engine compression. Engage handbrake firmly or have an assistant lock the wheels with the foot brake and chock front and rear wheels securely. Select a gear and fully depress the clutch by wedging a piece of wood of the right length between the pedal and the seat runner. Fit a socket (1/2Whitworth 9/16BS on my car) on the crankshaft bolt. Next simply fit a suitable T-bar on the socket and exert a clockwise turning force. Both times I was able easily to exert sufficient force with just a 12” T-bar to free the flywheel from the clutch driven plate. In more stubborn cases a longer T-bar could be used or a snug fitting length of pipe over a short T-bar for extra torque.

I am pleased to say that these days the car is used far too frequently for the clutch ever to stick!

Kind regards to you and Sue,

Tim

Not really enough room to do that on a TR2 Im afraid.

Stuart.

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Well, you should know Stuart, sorry John. I guess the technique I outlined is facilitated on my car since I fitted a pushing Kenlowe fan shortly after acquisition and removed both the mechanical fan and its hub extension which, I must say, greatly facilitates changing the thick tractor type fan belt.

Tim

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Hi John,

I agree with what Stuart says above. 

Note; do run your TR2's engine for at least 30 minutes for all components to heat up to normal temps before trying to free your clutch.

Select 2nd or 3rd gear but not 1st gear as you could damage the gearbox or back axle using 1st gear. Overdrive must be in off position.

I used have the same problem decades ago with my 3A, then I changed the pressure plate & clutch disc & never had a repeat problem.

Many years ago we used to free the clutches on our TRs after long lay-ups the following way. Run engine until hot, turn off engine,  we would tow the TR with the ignition off, pre-selected in 3rd gear, clutch fully depressed, when the towing car reached a steady 40kph we would slowly & gently release the TRs clutch pedal & drive in 3rd gear for circa 200 metres until with a slight bang the clutch freed itself, then turn on ignition & engine fires up immediately, stop the tow!

P.s. circa 7 kms was the longest tow we did before the clutch freed itself, but usually it just took a couple of hundred metres towing.

The emphasis is to perform this exercise with a minimum of pressure placed on the other engine/drive components that are under stress too.

Good luck & chat soon,

Pat.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Drewmotty said:

Try warming it up in neutral then stop the engine and slip the gearbox into 4th gear. 

With the handbrake and footbrake applied and the clutch depressed restart the engine. 

It should release with a bit of a bang. 

Let us know how you get on. 

+1

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Hi John, lots of good advice on here as usual, I would be inclined not to try freeing off the clutch with the rear wheels locked up as you have a TR2 with probably a lockheed axle, the halfshafts on these are known to be weak and could shear, I would stick to the car rolling method as I first suggested. (less stress on the drive train).  If you have time to spare just try warming up the car, switching off, then hold down clutch pedal with a suitable block of wood until all is cool, then repeat the procedure a few times over a few days, the difference in expansion and contraction rates of the materials used (flywheel and clutch centre plate) should help to free it off.  Cheers, Bill.

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This used to happen with monotonous regularity on my Vitesse,, last year if I didn`t start it at least once a fortnight it stuck.

Heat seems to be the answer and I found that after letting the engine get up to temp for a while I could just hold the clutch pedal down and blip the throttle half a dozen times from tickover to full  quickly and that was usually enough to shake it free. 

The first time it did it I took the gearbox out and when I took the clutch cover off the plate fell off the flywheel under its own weight, and the area that had been stuck was only about the size of a 50p coin, yet it had defied all attempts to free it by starting in gear with clutch pressed, in fact I burned the starter out trying.

Last year being such a good summer I did a lot of miles in the car and was deliberately brutal to the clutch, slipping it more than normal in a determined attempt to " burn off" the offending contamination, whatever it was, and am pleased to say it seems to have worked and doesn`t stick now. The plate was an old stock item and was asbestos, whether it makes a difference I don`t know, but my Austin van has a new clutch with modern material and can be left all winter without sticking.

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On 3/18/2019 at 8:28 PM, tim hunt said:

Hello John,

Sorry to hear of your frustrating problem. After having had this trouble a couple of times during my early ownership of the 4A, when I resorted to a similar rather brutal technique to those suggested, I gave the matter some thought and came up with a much more mechanically sympathetic solution.  Please try this trick first, it worked like a dream the last two times I had a stuck clutch.

Remove spark plugs to eliminate engine compression. Engage handbrake firmly or have an assistant lock the wheels with the foot brake and chock front and rear wheels securely. Select a gear and fully depress the clutch by wedging a piece of wood of the right length between the pedal and the seat runner. Fit a socket (1/2Whitworth 9/16BS on my car) on the crankshaft bolt. Next simply fit a suitable T-bar on the socket and exert a clockwise turning force. Both times I was able easily to exert sufficient force with just a 12” T-bar to free the flywheel from the clutch driven plate. In more stubborn cases a longer T-bar could be used or a snug fitting length of pipe over a short T-bar for extra torque.

I am pleased to say that these days the car is used far too frequently for the clutch ever to stick!

Kind regards to you and Sue,

Tim

Thanks Tim. I like this idea as a first step, if it works on a TR2. Far less savage!

Edited by John McCormack

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Thank you all.

If I have the room I will try Tim Hunt's solution first. 

I will then try warming it up and cooling it down a few times with the clutch depressed and then rocking the car back and forward with the clutch depressed.

If no good I'll take her outside, put it in 2nd, start her and see what happens over a couple of hundred metres. 

If nothing works after a few attempts the gearbox will come off. At least there is no interior or tunnel in the way.

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I tried most of these suggestions without success. Warmed it up to hot, left it sitting for 30 minutes. Warmed it up again.

Pushed the car into the rear lane, tried starting it in 2nd and blipping the throttle while the car was moving forward with the clutch depressed. Did this a few times and each time jammed on the brakes with the clutch depressed. No good. 

Put it in 4th, brakes hard on and clutch depressed and tried starting it. No good.

I would not try dropping it off a jack. It would place loads that just aren't appropriate for any car let alone a 1954 TR2 with a Lockheed axle.

Next step is to remove the box. It shouldn't take too long as the tunnel is out, there is no upholstery and only one seat to remove. Unbolt the tail shaft, the gearbox mount and the flange. Pull it out of the way, undo the clutch pressure plate, watch the clutch plate fall off the flywheel. Reassemble.

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"Reassemble"

And then take appropriate preventative action so that in another 6 months or whenever the return to road is envisaged the same thing hasn't happened again.

Mick Richards

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56 minutes ago, Motorsport Mickey said:

"Reassemble"

And then take appropriate preventative action so that in another 6 months or whenever the return to road is envisaged the same thing hasn't happened again.

Mick Richards

Use it regularly!

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Sorry you are still stuck John. Did you have room to try my suggested method? If so and it failed to do the trick I'm sorry, all I can say is that it worked perfectly for me the last two times I had a stuck plate.

Tim 

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On the same theme, I think?.

On doing a complete body off restoration, the engine and gearbox, having been completed first were put to one side, the clutch operation  was tested, and all was well. After well over two years, and having installed the engine/gearbox, and fitted the body, the clutch was found to be frozen solid. Even with a short length of tube, and measured force, it would not move on the lever. Having now removed the gearbox, inspection revealed that I could see a clear pattern of marks on the flywheel where the plate was stuck.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing,  lack of knowledge is not. I hope my experience will save someone else a days work with a good friend.

Russell

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21 hours ago, YOW500 said:

On the same theme, I think?.

On doing a complete body off restoration, the engine and gearbox, having been completed first were put to one side, the clutch operation  was tested, and all was well. After well over two years, and having installed the engine/gearbox, and fitted the body, the clutch was found to be frozen solid. Even with a short length of tube, and measured force, it would not move on the lever. Having now removed the gearbox, inspection revealed that I could see a clear pattern of marks on the flywheel where the plate was stuck.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing,  lack of knowledge is not. I hope my experience will save someone else a days work with a good friend.

Russell

Same.I will take the box out this weekend or early next week and free the clutch. New pressure plate, clutch plate and machined flywheel probably provides the ideal environment for a bonding of the plate to the flywheel.

 

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Pulled it apart and the clutch plate fell off as I expected. I can't see any sign of where it was stuck but being brand new there are no wear marks that might give it away. 

The thrust bearing and fork are secure and working normally.

I will button the clutch and gearbox together and check clutch operation before I finish the job.

Bloody annoying, I hate it when you can't positively identify the fault.

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Really cannot understand how heat didn't do the trick.

AlanR

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Are you sure it was not a hydraulic issue ?

Bob

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17 hours ago, Lebro said:

Are you sure it was not a hydraulic issue ?

Bob

Well it could be, Bob.

After reassembly the clutch still won't disengage. I bled the clutch again, the clutch operation is the same as before I bled it this time and the movement in the slave cylinder seems to be normal compared to my other TR2. The clutch operating shaft, fork etc are all new and working normally.

The output shaft rotates normally in neutral. The car drives normally in 2nd gear. I don't think it is a gearbox issue but then .....

I replaced the clutch on my other car 18 months ago and everything went smoothly. But then I built that car so I knew that everything was as it should be. I bought this car in bits and with most major parts including the clutch bought by the previous owner. 

I am at a loss. Obviously something isn't how it should be but at the moment it is beyond me.

Removing the box wasn't a total waste of time as it allowed me to check the back of the engine for oil leaks after having run the engine a few times. But it was a few hours I didn't need to spend. If my other TR2 hadn't had a clutch plate frozen to the flywheel once before I wouldn't have gone looking for it. 

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