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Clutch failed


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I know the Evora clutch has always been a bit of a hot topic, but at 10 years, and 57000 miles, mine lasted fairly well, I suppose. It failed on Friday. I was just coming to a stop in traffic, 1st gear, clutch fully engaged. There was a sudden jolt and a screeching noise, and the engine stalled. Immediately suspected the clutch, so with the engine off, I checked the gears felt normal moving through the gate, and then selected neutral. Started the engine, and obviously couldn't select any gear, it just grinds.

The helpful chap from the AA diagnosed it as a release bearing failure, but the guys at Lotus Silverstone say it's more likely the friction plate has come apart. Bad news is they also say there are no clutches available right now, and they already have 2 cars ahead of mine waiting for clutches, so I'm not expecting to get it back for a few weeks :(

Any advice welcome - other jobs to do at the same time? Alternative source of clutches? Should I hold out for a better clutch from one of the newer, more powerful models? (Mine's an N/A Launch Edition).

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the GTN Cup cars (Evora NA's) first used the S clutch and flywheel had later w/ the 400's out moved to that clutch .. so it should all fit across the range).  FYI the GT430 Pressure plate is the stiff

I would NOT be happy to see all kinds of stuff piled up on my car. Risk of marks and scratches. Right poor show imho...  

@trcm I had about a month between the master cylinder (and slave cylinder for good measure) and the hydraulics being done and the clutch going, not sure if it is related. I can highly recommend S

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5 hours ago, au-yt said:

Tow things that are interesting here, I wonder if the plate was put in the wrong way around? Two having to take the rear clam off put paid to what my local dealer recons you can do the change with the clam on.

I have no idea if it's even possible to fit the friction plate the wrong way around, but Lotus Silverstone have done a few clutches in the past, I'd be surprised if they've made any such silly mistakes.

I'd be even more surprised if it's possible to do the job without removing the clam, and given how awkward it would be to separate the engine and gearbox with the clam in place, I'd be yet more surprised if that actually saved any time!

 

 

Well, the latest news is that they managed to locate a friction plate this time. However, now they're short of a pressure plate :(

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On 24/07/2019 at 16:59, snowrx said:

What was hitting the hub springs to cause the abrasion on the remaining springs? I would think the plate hub should not be able to touch anything when properly fitted, let alone knocking springs out. 

It could well be the friction plate itself, with the springs rotating due to vibration the abrasion would be the plates that (should) retain the springs.

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I was not using my brain at the time I posted, of course there would be post-spring-failure damage.  I was looking to hard for a failure mode for the spring exit🙄

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3 minutes ago, Ledlights said:

I’m sure you’ve thought of this already but if you start to depress the clutch does the sound go? If so, could it be caused by the release bearing?

Yes, the sound mostly goes away, but that doesn’t really narrow it down much. I’ve had 4 mechanics listen to it, the consensus is it’s probably the friction plate, but we won’t know until it all comes apart again. 

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3 minutes ago, Ledlights said:

Okay.  When I had a release bearing go, you just had to take up the slack by touching your foot on the pedal to stop it.

Hope you get it sorted soon,

Steve

Ah, I misread your question. No, my noIse only goes away when the clutch is fully depressed. 
Thanks 👍🏻

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Sorry to jump on the thread but I'm now a member of the 'need a new clutch gang'. Mine went pop on Tuesday on my 2015 S SR after 35,000 miles.

It is now in with my local indie, will be a week or so before he can start on it, no mention of parts issues, I had just assumed they had one/could get one. Thinks it's the friction plate.

Interesting to see how much it will be.

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Mine’s done just short of 60k miles. Mostly enthusiastic driving on country lanes, with a couple of long road trips around Europe. I’ve always been wary of abusing the clutch, so very few aggressive standing starts. 

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Thanks @Brendonian, its the only race we'll be having over the next few weeks that is for sure!

@122 I only bought the car in Dec and have only done a few thousand miles. Mainly local driving with a few longer trips on the motorway. No standing starts for sure, although there has been the odd dart in 2nd and 3rd gear when the opportunity arises, same as most people with these type of cars I guess.

The person I bought it from was the owner from new, FLSH and has, had many Lotuses, used it as a daily for commuting, putting about 9k miles a year on it, so I can't believe it was abused. 

My indie said it just seems to be the luck of draw when they were installed at the factory. Whilst I was there, there was a chap there with a V8 Esprit who had spent £8k on a gearbox and said his Diablo clutch would last 10k if he was careful, so I don't feel so bad now...…...

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On 22/08/2019 at 18:54, Brendonian said:

I’ve always been wary of abusing the clutch, so very few aggressive standing starts. 

Me too. You can't tell if previous owner had the same train of thought though!

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By way of an update from me, I'm having the 400 clutch fitted, lighter flywheel and all.

The chap doing the work races them, so I trust his judgment and he says they (the 400 clutches) are more robust too.

I really hope so...…...

Will report back on how it all goes.

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@trcm I had about a month between the master cylinder (and slave cylinder for good measure) and the hydraulics being done and the clutch going, not sure if it is related.

I can highly recommend Steve William Lotus in Maidenhead, it's where mine is now, came recommended to me and I've been very impressed to date.

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By way of an update for those interested or those reading in the future with similar issues, I have had the car back a couple of weeks now, so all in all was without it for 3-4 weeks.

The delay was two-fold, firstly my chap was on holiday for the first week and a bit, then sourcing a clutch was more tricky than he suspected but he found one in Holland.

The 400 clutch was fitted, with the lighter flywheel and I'm pretty sure it is noticeable. I say pretty sure as for the period without it, I was driving a diesel A5 so remembering exactly what the Evora felt like was tricky.

However, on a positive note I would say it does rev up and down slightly quicker, on a less positive note I'm sure there are slight vibrations through the steering at idol which weren't there before and it is definitely much harder to pull away cleanly, especially from cold!

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1 hour ago, Gareth44 said:

By way of an update for those interested or those reading in the future with similar issues, I have had the car back a couple of weeks now, so all in all was without it for 3-4 weeks.

The delay was two-fold, firstly my chap was on holiday for the first week and a bit, then sourcing a clutch was more tricky than he suspected but he found one in Holland.

The 400 clutch was fitted, with the lighter flywheel and I'm pretty sure it is noticeable. I say pretty sure as for the period without it, I was driving a diesel A5 so remembering exactly what the Evora felt like was tricky.

However, on a positive note I would say it does rev up and down slightly quicker, on a less positive note I'm sure there are slight vibrations through the steering at idol which weren't there before and it is definitely much harder to pull away cleanly, especially from cold!

so confirmation the the 400 clutch fits the s1 n/a and s1 s ?

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15 minutes ago, Gareth44 said:

Definitely fits the S, I think I have read it isn't suitable for the n/a but I have absolutely no technical knowledge about why that might be.

You didn't just have the clutch replaced though. It also included a new flywheel.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gareth44 said:

Definitely fits the S, I think I have read it isn't suitable for the n/a but I have absolutely no technical knowledge about why that might be.

the GTN Cup cars (Evora NA's) first used the S clutch and flywheel had later w/ the 400's out moved to that clutch .. so it should all fit across the range).  FYI the GT430 Pressure plate is the stiffest of the lot 

 

image.png.648c387c775c74d07b60dc90ae9e7803.png

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