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Newbie V8 owner has clutch slip


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I'm the new owner of an early-version 1997 Esprit V8. I still own my 1989 Esprit turbo SE, but the V8 car is a whole different vehicle to me. More complex for starters . . . plus it is in poorer shape than my SE (my V8 was a stolen car recovered and sold as an insurance write-off).

Though I cannot say for sure, I suspect I have the single plate clutch. The clutch readily slips at engine speeds past 4000 RPM in nearly every gear. Sometimes it is as little as 2800 RPM in taller gears when tire traction is good. It makes no noise when clutch slip occurs (other than engine whine and the spooling of the turbos). I babied the car home (4000 km from Sarnia, Ontario to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) using minimal torque and modest engine speeds and it drove fine.

What I wish to know is who else (other than Lotus) makes/sells such a V8 clutch disc? Renault and/or Valeo perhaps? Anyone know?

Also is there a cost-sensitive alternative to going with a later car's twin disc clutch? I am told I will need a different bell housing, throw-out bearing, clutch (of course) and flywheel to use the more robust twin disc clutch design as none of the single disc bits apply. If people have done this swap . . . is this true? I haven't been given a price for these bits but I doubt my pregnant wife will find the part price to be reasonable. Is a guess of $2750 Canadian too low?

Many thanks for any suggestions.

AP

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First off I'd be floored if you've still got a single plate clutch as all of these were swapped out for the double plate version for free by Lotus back in 97'ish when a car came in for service/warranty etc.

Sounds like you just need to replace a worn clutch, which unfortunately is only available from AP with no aftermarket suppliers. I've seen a few places that will re-line the old discs but have no experience here.

Now the bad news, the clutch retails for about $2,200 US plus installation and if your flywheel is shot add another $1000 . Here in California a full clutch job can run an outrageous $4000!

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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I just had my '02 in for timing belts, and although I have no slip, the clutch doesn't bite until well near the top of pedal travel. The mechanic informed me that it was worn and would also need a flywheel. The price quoted to me including flywheel was $5800+tax. Personal opinion tells me that the flywheel should be fine with only a minimal amount of resurfacing if anything. Can anyone confirm that the flywheel "must" be replaced as the mechanic told me or is this something all dealerships would state as being a precautionary requirement?

Also, I'm curious if anyone has had any experience with relined disks? I'm just wondering if it's worthwhile to go that route or order new disks.

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If your flywheel is ok, do what I did in cheaper route, half ass job but works!

Reline the disc. I sent mine to CLUTCHNET in the USA and charged me $200.

http://www.clutchnet.com/home.php

I've been using the re-lined for a year now with no problem. Just make sure to tell them

the thickness must be 7mm. I got away using 7.5mm, they don't have a material @ 7mm.

Mine is twin disc---I don't know yours. Could be cheaper if one.

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there is an minimum 'measurement' recommendation in the workshop-books. And if you have the twin plate (older or new version of clutch) than mention the step must be the same after reshape. Otherwise the pre-set pressure of the package will not be as specified.

as you can see, it can be done ->'flywheel reshaped'

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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I have an '02, so it's got the twin disk setup. I've yet to drop the transaxle yet so I don't know the extent of any damage or wear on the flywheel or the pressure plate(s). I will say that $200 for relined disks sounds a whole lot better than $2500 for a kit, or $1000 for new disks. I just don't want to spend money for a reline only to find out that it's crap and I need to spend more time and money to replace with OEM.

Che, did you have to specify a particular material, and if so, which one do you use?

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How many miles on the respective vehicles with the clutch issues?????

Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the chefs British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss and it is all organized by the Italians.

You make something idiotproof, they'll make a better idiot

You think professional is expensive, just wait until you pay for amateur.

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Mine is at 24400 or thereabouts.....bought it last september with 21000. Still no detectable slippage, just going by what the mechanic stated, and knowing that the clutch doesn't starts to grab at about half way up, and doesn't bite until well near the top of pedal travel.

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Today, 10:32 AM Post #9

Mine is at 24400 or thereabouts.....bought it last september with 21000. Still no detectable slippage, just going by what the mechanic stated, and knowing that the clutch doesn't starts to grab at about half way up, and doesn't bite until well near the top of pedal travel.

Might require a simple slave cylinder and/or clutch pedal re-adjustment???

Edited by DanR

DanR

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"Che, did you have to specify a particular material, and if so, which one do you use? "

There are few people used and successful using re-lined. I can only tell about mine. So far, mine grab pretty good (after more than a year), I have chips, twin intercooler, boost a little higher than stock, quaife and upgrade GTO transmission. I will not hesitate to do it again.

I forgot what material the guy adviced me to take. All I said, give me the best material available that can withstand over 350 hp. Came out like new. Maybe he has better material now than 3 years ago.

How can I go wrong? the AP disc is not the greatest & cost like a gold...I don't care what everyone says.

Make your own decision and please don't let me sway you.

Edited by Che
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...I don't care what everyone says.

Make your own decision and please don't let me sway you.

..what do you mean ? would say pretty much all of us use reworked/relined disc's . As nobody would buy an whole twin-disk clutch if he could reline his old parts.. . You can speak with Mike Sekinger about that. He should have 'one and a half' left over from his last experience on clutch problems. So give the faulty to an reline/rework and use the other one too.. . Or just let your own rework.

Only thing to bear in mind is: 7mm thick, and the diameter after rework should match the clutch assembly (some are reworked/relined way to big, and get stucket in the alloy-cage)

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Thanks for the advice guys. I've got a guy in the shop next to mine who worked as a Lotus mechanic back in the 60's and now has a race car engine shop. He's been a great source of information. He also agreed that the prices I was giving him for just replacement disks ($1000 +-) was WAY too high and that if I needed his assistance, to just give him the exact dimensions of the old disks and he can call some of his contacts to see what he could source. I do plan later this week to double check all of my clutch pedal adjustments and if I have time, remove the slave and check the pushrod length as the book seems to suggest you can get a rough reading as to what the clutch life remaining is.

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My clutch lining disintigrated at about 17,700 miles. I too had my clutch plates relined and flywheel refinished by a place locally to me in Winnipeg. Was a very cheap alternative to me. Only took 1 day to have the work done and the clutch has been working a 100 times better than it ever did before I purchased it. Have put on about 1500 miles now since the plates were done.

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What I meant....the stock disc material aren't that great. Others has different opinion and discourage using a refinished disc.

If there's alternative beside AP, I will not hesitate using it. In this case, a relined is my best bet.

There is a guy in Boston who uses an alternate clutch disc other than AP. http://www.michaelsmotorsports.com/index.htm talk to him.

Edited by Che
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