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My Turbo Esprit hit a slight problem this morning, it involved waiting for nearly two hours for a recovery truck while less than two miles from home (had I believed it would take two hours I'd have walked home), anyway, the symptoms seem a bit strange so I though I'd see who can come up with some possible causes, any will be better than the recovery driver.

Symptoms, couple of weeks ago the thrust bearing started to chatter very slightly when under light pressure, quite when under none or full load, so i assumed that to be a dry bearing in need of replacement in a couple of months.

This morning, all was fine as I left the drive and reached the end of the lane where I live. When I went to pull away i found the clutch pedal VERY firm to press to get into gear. It went down with a lot of pressure, and I made a mental note that I'd haver to look at it Thursday when I have a day off.

Part way up the next hill changing gear became very awkward as I couldn't seem to get the pedal to go down, then the pedal capitulated, in a big way. The pedal hit the floor a split second after I heard something make a single banging noise. My immediate thought was clutch pressure plate fingers/ rivets holding fingers giving way.

I decided to try and limp it to work, and get away early so that I could get the Excel running for use Wednesday, I didn't limp it to work, at the next place I needed to change gear I couldn't engage a gear as the pedal had gone solid again.

While sitting in the car awaiting recovery, i tried pressing the pedal a few times, it moved, but it was very hard, then it stopped being hard and the pedal had no real resistance. I checked the fluid after this and found I'd then run the reservoir dry.

My thoughts are, pressure plate malfunction, or clutch form malfunction, and the eventual failure having resulted in either a seal having popped under extreme pressure (I gave it my all at one point) or a piston having moved beyond designed limit causing loss of seal , resulting in loss of fluid.

Any other ideas?

Andy

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Hey andy

first of all, comiserations mate...

have you checked the slave cylinder at the box? it could be that it has a jammed piston or the rod coming from it to the box has incorrectly positioned itself...

the only other thing i can think of is that the throwout bearing itself has been misaligned somehow on the the shaft and that it is jammed at full extension before the pedal is depressed.

HTH mate, just stabbing in the dark..,

Goodluck

Justin

"Laugh" and the world laughs with you - "Cry" and you just wet your face...

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The first question I would ask is how many miles has that clutch done?

But irrespective it sounds like thrust bearing, disintegrated, (unlikely) has managed to get the wrong side of the pressure plate fingers (can't picture it) or the fork has bent, distorted, broken a pivot, which has then allowed the piston in the slave cylinder to pop out and loose the fluid, you have probably lost the rod as well.

Take hart none of the above matters it's guess work, your going to have to pull gearbox and clutch housing out unless your real lucky and it's fork problem you can rectify without.

I hope you have a heater in your garage, by all accounts of your weather I wouldn't want to be rolling around on a garage floor just now without it. B)

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Well you were talking about getting the S3 on the road again so you could rebuild the Turbo, seems like fate has given you a helping hand. The only other problem I foresee, is that it will take you a week to get all the other rubbish off the S3 before you can start work on it.

Feeling your pain

Colin

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Unlucky mate. Box off, oi reckon. Doubly painful, coz where you gonna put all that stuff you're storing on the S3?

British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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Why would I press with all my might?

Good question, but I'm a big fan of the "it's giving me problems, hit it with a hammer" approach, so I guess I'm what's referred to as destructive.

I took a peek today, slave cylinder beyond normal travel by 10mm or so, when I put the endoscope (Kimbers, you can empathise with the clutch bell housing at this point :) ) through the clutch fork hole into the bell housing it appeared that I could see half of the pivot ball, but hard to tell exactly. The fingers and the release bearing seemed to be intact, but I could only see part of the way round. Looks like I'd better go and hunt down one of the spare clutch forks, order a new release bearing (pre-existing noise), a pair of each roll pin, and get ready to pull the gearbox.

Edited by andydclements
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"it's giving me problems, hit it with a hammer"

I agree some times these things need a bit of lesson, I recently gave a similar lesson to a photographic printer that failed to behave, it landed half way up the garden. It doesn't annoy me any more, problem gone away, the new one works and my stress levels are down. :D

If it's out of order, give it a smakin :)

Edited by Roger the Dodger

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Diagnosis now complete.

The fingers were not intact, they had been severed, that's why they didn't appear to have any worn area at the end.

Thrust bearing completely failed, it heated so much as to melt the plastic surrounding it and move sideways. The hard pedal must have been the bearing moving when I applied pressure and the bang was probably it moving back into the hole in the fingers it created.

So, the clutch didn't last that long, although it appears to be caused by the thrust bearing which looks like the genuine item. I purchased one from SJ the other day that looks a lot different, maybe it's better suited to the job.

Andy

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Glad you reminded me of that, today I looked at the slave cylinder and sure enough there was a big chunk out of the seal, so I popped and bought one fro a Landy, 22mm internal bore and all I had to do was make a replacement 2 inch section of pipe to go from Imperial to metric fittings to replace the existing piece that was metric to metric.

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Bit of an update.

I don't think the clutch plate or bearing were at fault.

I have found a wear mark on the clutch fork (genuine part, original type not revision B) where it appears the release bearing/ thrust bearing has been able to rotate through 180 degrees and the part that should stop this happening has then rested against the side of the other leg of the fork. This would cause the bearing back plate to sit unevenly on the fork (should sit of two rounded parts which act as pivots), thus the small play between the bearing inner tube and the gearbox primary shaft tube is then taken up at an angle to the shaft. The face of the bearing that runs on the pressure plate is making contact unevenly (as the flywheel assembly turns the fingers of the pressure plate are repeatedly pressed more and less firmly each turn), as well as being pressed at a varying distance from true centre. All this combined would lead to increased work for the bearing and lead to a very premature failure. This in turn means the surface of the fingers is having the bearing dragged across, and so the fingers wear.

So I've put a revised clutch fork in place, it's approx 15mm wider an so prevents the bearing rotating on the fork. Hopefully this will work.

Hope this helps for anybody else who discovers they have an original clutch fork in their Renault 'box.

Andy

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  • 7 months later...

8 months.

8 flipping months!

That's how long between clutch issues.

Today I was returning home and thought the clutch pedal seemed a tad spongy, pressed it a couple of times to check that it wasn't me pressing against the foot-well mat or something, and it then didn't return. I pulled it out of gear and coasted into a side turn. Checked the fluid reservoir, empty. Got 1/2l from ASDA a few hundred metres away, topped it up, pumped pedal, reservoir empty. Assumed it must be the master cylinder as the slave was only a few months old (now know it's 8 months old), pushed the car back and was surprised to find the spray pattern and pool of fluid line up with the gearbox not the foot-well. So it appears something has failed, could be slave cylinder, could be hose to it.

Miffed of Norwich

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I know your pain mate...

IU have to pullmy gearbox out just months after installing a new clutch and genuine thrust race bearing.

It seems that the bearing may have failed...

Will keep you posted if I can get it done in the next eight months or so, lol

"Laugh" and the world laughs with you - "Cry" and you just wet your face...

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I found that was the cause of the failure in Feb, it turns out the earlier clutch forks (part ref beginning A, not sure about B) are too narrow and can allow the bearing to rotate and thus become out of line, so they forks rub against it and it all fails. If you find yours has the A type fork, replace it when you do it.

At least mine should be a simple fix.

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Thanks mate!

I will probably replace as a matter of course then just to be sure...

I am thinking that they are cheap too aye?

Also I think my fuel pump/s are knackered as they do not prime when turn ignition key on and car will not start all of a sudden. I think that they are cheaper if I go after market..?

Justin

"Laugh" and the world laughs with you - "Cry" and you just wet your face...

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