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toyroom

Clutch Judder

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I tried the forum search as I was confident that this would be covered. I got 1,000 forum topics and only one of the first 20 mentioned a clutch! So I don't know if this has been explored before...

About a year ago, my gearbox went at about 50,000 miles (as they all do) and I got Kevin at GTO to build me a new, tougher, close ratio lsd equipped box. The dealer who fitted the box to the car (NOT Kevin) completely rogered the box and the clutch by tightening the gearbox on to the engine at an angle. Fortunately, Kevin saw the funny side and I got the gearbox replaced and fitted correctly by his garage.

Ever since, there has been significant judder just before the end of the clutch pedal travel (about the last 2 to 3 cm) I am told that this represents the plate next to the engine engaging as the other plate engages first (The car is a '97 V8 with a twin plate clutch)

So, ten months and several non related problems later, I took the transmission off the car with the help of a genuine Lotus genius on the Wirral. We replaced all of the clutch components with reconditioned parts and dressed the flywheel. The bearing was not replaced.

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Every V8 I tried had clutch judder to so extent. Some more so than others.

Even with mine I find that the judder is not constant. There are days when it is hardly noticeable and there are days when it can seem obtrusive.

It was suggested to me that maybe the grease on the splines was drying?

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and other point is the chosen concept! The twin-plate clutch in the V8 is not damped. So the outcome of this is every differentials in slip on the flywheel surface and intermediate plate occurs in unstable powerflow. Thats what i think. Undamped clutches have always a bit of 'digital' behavior.

The first time as i have driven my V8 it was a funny thing (i swapped from a 60hp 4Cylinder !). So it is all a point of a bit of practise.... .


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The thing is, the car didn't judder at all before I changed the gearbox and I asked Kevin if technique was an issue but he said that this was unlikely as he had also noticed it. I thought there was no lubrication on the splines. The judder is different to the "Not quite using enough gas" version. It is very regular like a scratch on a record. Almost like there is a raised line at one point on the flywheel (but we now know this is not the case). I still think this is to do with using relined plates which might not be using the same quality friction material, but I would welcome any other suggestions.

I must admit that I feel loads better for these comments, so thanks !

The judder definitely seems to be getting less with time and is almost absent sometimes. There is, however, no pattern. Sometimes it seems worse when it is cold, but then it can be almost non existent in freezing conditions. Still made up with the new gearbox, it's so much better than the standard item and the LSD makes a massive difference to the "going nowhere" effect at junctions in the wet.

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John - I had three clutches in the V8 over the time i owned it. The original one in the car when i bought it was great - the second juddered awfully and was replaced (under 'parts warranty' by nick whales). Third one was better but I did get some judder. It seemed much better however after the abuse it got at vmax - so that would lead me to think that its down to either friction material or spline lubrication.

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Rob: What was the source of the second clutch ? Was it a complete new unit from Lotus / AP or was it a reconditioned unit? Both of my juddering clutches were using relined friction plates and I am (almost convinced that this is the cause of the problem as I never experienced it before having had 3 clutches previously, all Lotus original parts.

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