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HELP major gearbox/clutch problem


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Hi

I have just had my gearbox rebuilt and uprated by Pete Cox.

I used a Sachs cover plate which I purchased using the part number that was quoted on the forum some time ago. The  friction plate and release bearing were obtained from Chris Wittor as it is a saloon gearbox with a J type overdrive. Pete Cox assembled the release mechanism using my bearing carrier which utilises the slipper pads.

Everything went back together easily and the clutch felt fine so didn’t bother to test anything before reinstalling the interior.

This afternoon I tried starting the car for the first time and the engine would hardly turn over at all. The battery is fairly new and was fully charged. My first thoughts were perhaps the gearbox was just really tight to start with so I depressed the clutch. All the fluid shot out and was really hot and started smoking.

Nothing makes sense and Pete Cox is baffled.

I have just finished taking out all the interior again and the output shaft turns freely so hopefully not the gearbox.

Too tired and not enough light to do more tonight but will pull the gearbox out tomorrow.

Hoping somebody can give me a pointer as to what has gone wrong.

Nigel

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What fluid do you mean Nigel?  Clutch fluid? 

This could be electrical. Is the engine earthed properly ?  -  if not the heating of whatever it was could be due to the current drawn by the starter motor, and the voltage drop in a poor connection would explain why it was reluctant to turn over. 

Assuming you do mean clutch fluid could it be the only earth for the engine is via the clutch piping?

 

 

 

Edited by RobH
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Do the obvious things first, what would dramatically slow down the engine turning over ? Battery condition ...new, check it make sure it has a minimum 12.7 volts. Earth connection from battery to body...check are the earth cables in good condition with good connections, check all the earhs especially from body to chassis and battery. Still ok ? remove the spark plugs and spin the engine, it should spin easily.

Mick Richards  

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Hi Rob

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

it was the clutch fluid. I haven’t touched any electrical connections but will of course check.

It appears there must have been some extreme heat to cause the fluid to expand so quickly and jet out. The braided hose to the slave cylinder was too hot to touch!

Nigel

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Hi Nigel to me it would appear that the engine is earthing through your braided clutch hose hence why it’s getting hot and boiling the clutch fluid, might you have left the engine earth cable of when re installing the gearbox? 
 

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Many,Many thanks to Rob, Mick and Graham.

just checked and it was an earth problem.

Stupidly forgot to connect the earth strap to one of the bell housing bolts. Just done this and everything appears fine.

Now got to reinstall the interior which I spent ages cleaning.

Do you think I need a new slave cylinder as I guess the seals have gone.

Once again thanks so much for your help, I shouldn’t have panicked and stripped out the interior.

Nigel

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7 minutes ago, Nigel A said:

Many,Many thanks to Rob, Mick and Graham.

just checked and it was an earth problem.

Stupidly forgot to connect the earth strap to one of the bell housing bolts. Just done this and everything appears fine.

Now got to reinstall the interior which I spent ages cleaning.

Do you think I need a new slave cylinder as I guess the seals have gone.

Once again thanks so much for your help, I shouldn’t have panicked and stripped out the interior.

Nigel

At best it won’t have done anything for longevity of the seals so if it was me I would replace it. 

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13 minutes ago, Nigel A said:

 

Do you think I need a new slave cylinder as I guess the seals have gone.

 

Nigel

Nigel  - I reckon you will have check out the whole of the clutch hydraulic system, including the braided hose - if the fluid escaped at the slave cylinder end, the earthing could easily have started at the master cylinder end so potential damage from boiling could have affected all the seals in the system

Also, what car is it?

cheers Rich 

Edited by rcreweread
omission
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1 hour ago, Nigel A said:

Many,Many thanks to Rob, Mick and Graham.

just checked and it was an earth problem.

Stupidly forgot to connect the earth strap to one of the bell housing bolts. Just done this and everything appears fine.

Now got to reinstall the interior which I spent ages cleaning.

Do you think I need a new slave cylinder as I guess the seals have gone.

Once again thanks so much for your help, I shouldn’t have panicked and stripped out the interior.

Nigel

Result, Nigel.

You would have settled for that a couple of hours ago!

John.

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12 hours ago, John Morrison said:

Result, Nigel.

You would have settled for that a couple of hours ago!

John.

That is a result and certainly one for the TRAction forum page John.
boiling clutch fluid - an electrical problem 

well done (Rob) forum. 

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Changed the master and slave cylinders plus braided pipe.

Unfortunately a lot of play in the pedal which I never had before so quess the pushrod is the short version.

Is there an easy way to swap them as the rubber boot on the bulkhead is a real pain to fit?

Nigel

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Breaking my New Years resolution tonight as going for a beer with Tony Lennon.

Checked the pushrod length and it was the short one. Swapped them over and now getting the correct travel.

the box had the correct Moss part number but of course they could have marked them wrongly!

A result in the end and can now reinstall the interior.

Nigel

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Hello Nigel

There is a moral to this story. Fit an extra earth cable to the engine. I have recently done that after reading about 'alternative' earth routes. This one though must rate as one of the most unusual outcomes of an earth fault. First time I removed the gearbox I made a list of everything I removed or undid as I went along. I then ticked them all off one by one as I refitted it. The list included removal of seats, tunnel, H frame, - the lot. Even now having done this a few times, I still make a list because memory isn't what it was and easy to forget something vital.

Glad you have it under control now and relatively easy to fix. Must be a relief not to have to heave out the gearbox again.

Keith

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Hi Keith

Youre right memory not as good these days, I can’t believe my mistake with the earth strap as usually very careful with earthing as this causes majority of electrical faults.

Really annoyed with Moss though for selling the wrong part although this of course have been the manufacture’s fault.

Will start making lists in future, one of my friends has a blackboard by the front door as he often forgets to take the essentials!

Nigel

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Lists are definitely exceedingly useful and can help one avoid clangers!

When I had to remove my gearbox a year ago in order for Pete Cox to fix its problems and beef it up, I wrote myself a script for Removal, and another for Reinstatement - particularly important as there's a great deal more electrickery and other stuff in 4VC.

During Removal, I realised that I needed to make a few modifications to the Reinstatement script prior to tackling the task.

When I say that "I had to remove", I mean that, once I had cleared the inside of the cockpit and protected the floor, Alex (son) and I got the beast out after about 75 minutes of struggling!    However, we were unable to get it back in, and Tony Sheach very kindly drove the 65 miles here and, together with Alex, got it back into position, fixed to the engine and bolted to its rear mounting.  Thereafter, I was able to carry out all the reinstatement unaided.  I am very fortunate to have a willing, strong and able son, and a very knowledgeable and strong friend.

Ian Cornish

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I do a method statement for every major piece of work I undertake. I’ve been doing it for years. It’s a habit I picked up working in the nuclear industry. 

Rgds Ian

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On 1/6/2022 at 8:25 PM, RobH said:

 

What fluid do you mean Nigel?  Clutch fluid? 

This could be electrical. Is the engine earthed properly ?  -  if not the heating of whatever it was could be due to the current drawn by the starter motor, and the voltage drop in a poor connection would explain why it was reluctant to turn over. 

Assuming you do mean clutch fluid could it be the only earth for the engine is via the clutch piping?

Quick thinking Rob, B)  Well done I'd not heard of that one before ..Thank you.  Even Mr. Spock dispassionately commented on your sound logic.

My only similar experience relates to my post-war Sunbeam motorcycles, where the headlamp shell was not originally earthed, and so the speedo or perhaps the clutch cable would take the current.  Most of the time that was fine ..for its lowly rated 6v bulbs, but of course not so clever when the main or dip beam headlamp was on. The bike's lighting had a reputation for being pretty dim, and the speedo cables tended to be problematic.    

For what it's worth Katie, (my TR4A) has two dedicated engine earths, a braid between the front engine plate and the chassis / suspension tower's cross-tube bolt, and then also the battery lead itself ..which has three ends, the third of course earthing to the bulkhead. I've fitted the battery isolator to that battery terminal / those leads..   Oddly though, when the car was apart and the gearbox removed to be rebuilt - the original bellhousing bolts / set screws (?) were replaced for new hex-head set screws, and they were 1/4" short. I've subsequently bought longer replacement bolts.

Pete

 

 

Edited by Bfg
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14 hours ago, Ian Vincent said:

...I do a method statement for every major piece of work...

The first time I heard the expression “Method Statement” was a few years ago when I was installing comms racks in data centers.

One day when I was checking into a London site the receptionist said :

 “Hello Mr. Davies. Have you bought your RAMS with you. “

I assumed that this was some silly Englishman who had picked up on the fact that I had a Welsh name and had come to the big city from near the Welsh border and decided to make a joke out of it.

I replied “No.”

“Why not? We need to see them.” He said.

“Because I don’t have any Rams, I’ve only got sheep. “

(I don’t actually have any sheep, but I felt that a stupid question required an equally stupid answer.)

“Sorry” he said “But we have no record of your RAMS being sent to us so unless you can produce them I can’t let you in.”

This bizarre conversation (to me) went on for a while until he eventually explained that RAMS stood for “Risk Assessment and Method Statement.” I’d never heard of it before as all my paperwork was sent out in advance from the office.

They eventually refused my entry and I had to go home.

At least I learnt something new that day.

Charlie.

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Just been for a test drive and everything works perfectly.

The Sachs cover plate for the clutch is a joy to use and the rebuilt gearbox and overdrive all reconditioned by Pete and Tom Cox is amazing.

A few cosmetic jobs to do and then I can enjoy driving it again. Hopefully never have to do this job again.

Will definitely make lists for any future large jobs so a costly lesson learnt.

A big thank you for all the help, the forum is certainly a valuable asset.

Nigel

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