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Second clutch in 500 miles... - Gearchange/Gearbox/Clutch - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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thom_77

Second clutch in 500 miles...

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The other day I noticed that my (brand new) clutch felt like it wasn't biting properly, and it was a little worrisome.

So I took it into the shop on monday, and they told me that, yes, the clutch needs to be replaced, again.

Fo those who haven't been following my saga, the last time around I spent a small fortune replacing literally everything that has to do with the clutch (master & slave, all the lines, flywheel, the works) to the tune of around $5,000, and since then I've not spent a whole lot of time driving the car, as its been in the shop more than its been in my garage. And the time I have spent with it has been spent mostly just driving around town, nothing heavy... maybe a total of 500 miles also.

Now, I don't claim to be Mario Andretti in terms of my driving skill, but I do know how to operate a clutch, so I ask what could have caused my clutch to burn out in such a short period of time? I ask because I now need to negotiate with my shop to see who owes what on this job, and I really feel like I shouldn't be paying.

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Tom - This is ridiculous! I assume you don't drive everywhere at 6000rpm with the clutch half depressed? My first check would be to make sure the pushrod is correctly adjusted, I dont think it would be possible to wear out a new clutch in 500 miles without catastophic obvious slipping. Please please get rid of you 'lotus guys' they are incompetent.

Anyway, I really do hope you get it sorted.

Steve

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sound to me like no free play in master cylinder thus not letting clutch to release fully

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I would get them to replace it at no cost. I wouldnt settle for anything less...oh and I would also find a new mechanic.

Chin up ole boi

Buddsy

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Sparky very generously offered to come across and sort your car, it was a serious offer and I'd suggest you take him up on it.

There are 2 possible reasons for your failure...

1. Faulty parts

2. Incompetence

I just don't trust your garage of choice, they just sound not only stupendously expensive, but even more shit!

I feel for you so much mate, I'd sort it but I don't get discount BA flights!!!!

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I know... I actually messaged with Sparky a couple of weeks ago, and he was supposed to have been coming over to NY but because of the BA strike things got complicated and he wasn't sure when he would have a chance to make the trip again.

Might be worth thinking about now though... I can't bear the idea of another several thousand dollar repair bill. Argh. wallbash.gif

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Hi Tom - unfortunately I managed 1 night in Yonkers to see friends 2 weeks ago, and that's all! Still standing by for chaos at BA so no idea when things will be back to normal.

Only 2 possibilities with your clutch - faulty components or bad workmanship. Don't let them get away with it. If it were mine, I'd be demanding a refund - these guys seem to be a bunch of clowns!

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Well here's a possibly silly question. The master and slave are obvious because you can see them as with the clutch line. DID they actuallly change the flywheel and clutch plate? You would have to do some pretty insane sort of driving to burn it out in 500 miles or you would have to be riding the clutch constantly and you'd smell it!

Ultimately, I would see that you have two options:

Replacement of parts under warranty as they're faulty, or

Replacement by the garage at no cost to you as they have not done it correctly.

I would also be checking the salve cylinder/pushrod adjustment or getting an independent mechanic to check it for you as something just does not seem right.

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Yeah, I know they replaced the flywheel and all that... I bought all the parts personally and they sent the old flywheel back to my parts guy (JAE Lotus in CA), who gave me a reimbursement for it. As for the disc and plate, those had to have been replaced because when I brought it in everything was toast and the car wouldn't move.

I drive in NYC so there's a lot of stop-and-go, which I know is hard on a clutch compared to highway driving in general, but I don't think I really ride the clutch. I also just looked up my receipts and I've put exactly 482 miles on the car from the time I picked it up with the new clutch until now... so I mean, even if I drove particularly hard, I still can't imagine burning it out this quickly.

Sparky - do let me know next time you can make the trip!

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Tom,

There is no way you could burn a clutch out in 500 miles by driving wrong! The clutch was either faulty or incorrectly fittd

I would not exept anything else and should not be putting your hand in your own pocket for anything.

Dont go to that workshop anymore they are taking the piss out of you, they are not only expensive but also

:) if they cannot fit a clutch in an esprit, the esprits are no different on working on any other

cars yes they are mid engined but so is a fiat x19 or mr2 etc!

Regards danny and hope you get it sorted,

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Tom, if you pay that shop to fix this I'm banning you from the forum, for life.

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Just one more example of what we, other side of the pond enthusiast have to cope with, do it yourself or good luck!

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It shouldn't be that way though Luc. It's just a clutch! This should be standard fare for any mechanic. It is sheer incompetence if it has been fitted and adjusted badly. There is nothing special about a clutch.

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Tom,

Is this a shop that supposedly know Lotus? Did you check with other Lotus local car owners? (not that experiences can't vary)

I would let others know the name of the place to stay away from it. A good shop will make it right. (no way was it bad parts as they should know if parts aren't right when putting them in!!!)

There are those vampires that like to feed off peoples wallets (particularly if you got something like a Lotus). If you haven't done your homework they'll feed off your ignorance.

My stepdaughter recently learned this by not returning to her late uncles shop first for her Saturn . She just took her car to someone closer for a problem and let them talk her into some

ridiculous priced other work too. Luckily she held off on one thing since it wasn't an emergency) (quoted at $400 by that shop) and her late uncle's place later fixed her up for $60 on that.

(she wasn't get ting a special price, just a fair one)

She learned her lesson (paying several hundred more than she should have at the gouger ). She'll stick with who's treated her right in the future.

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Tom,

For that thing to go in 500 miles I would suspect you "smelt" burnt clutch after each driving session? My guess is the clutch free play was never properly set. Those guys owe you a new clutch at their expense. If they aren't reasonable I wouldn't hesitate to take them to small claims court.

Good luck buddy,

Jeff

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Just recently (last two weeks or so) is when I think I started to smell burnt clutch after each run.

The clutch isn't totally gone, it just didn't feel quite right so I brought it in on Monday. I spoke to Jeff at JAE and he said that he actually has his doubts that it even needs to be replaced, so he and my mechanic are going to connect and try to get to the bottom of this. If anything he said maybe the friction disc only.

Either way, I already told the shop that I expected not to pay for this job, and they haven't argued with me about it (yet). So we'll see how it pans out.

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my weekend is very open,,if you want i,ll come in to manhatten and have a look ,,let me know ,,,sent you a pm

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What was the outcome regarding your clutch Tom, did they fix it up for you ? it's been a few weeks and no news.

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Funny you should ask, because I was just about to start a new topic on this, as I spoke to the shop about 5 minutes ago.

So we came to an agreement that they'd replace the clutch for me in the spirit of our working relationship (i.e. without actually admitting they did something wrong), which is fine with me, as I just want the car fixed. The parts were ordered (disc was on backorder so it took a little bit of time for everything to arrive), but they installed this week and was planning to pick the car up tomorrow.

Anyway, I got a call from the mechanic this morning telling me that as he was finishing up the installation, he noticed that my BRAND NEW motor mounts are collapsed now also. We put these on at the same time the clutch was done, so they only have less than 500 miles on them as well. The mechanic said that the rubber in them had completely deteriorated, likely because they were old parts.

Now, he has a theory, which is that the bad mounts could have contributed to the clutch wearing out prematurely. He had an anecdote about an old Chevelle he owned a long time ago that he burt out three clutches on within a two month period because his motor mounts were bad. It sounds like that could make sense, but the Chevelle was a mechanical clutch. So really I don't know anything else right now beyond the fact that I need yet another set of motor mounts.

I have a call in to the parts supplier who sent me them (Dave Bean Engineering), and I hope that they'll replace them without charge now.

Sooo yeah. Thats the situation as of right now. Are there better mounts out there? Polyurethane or anything instead of rubber?

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Just another thought - have you checked for excessive end float which means the cluth mechanism is not adjusting correctly and could caused the thrust bearing to wear through the bell housing.

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Both engine mounts failed that quickly?

Has the one near the exhaust got the correct heat shields in place?

Did they fit the correct one on each side?

Did they install the top and bottom special (note special, not just metal) washers?

I've had some engine mounts that were completely gone, and a broken gearbox mount (the ali casting bit) allowing transmission line shunt, and that did not cause my clutch to go.

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I don't see how the engine mounts would adversely affect the operation of a hydraulic clutch. Cable I can understand as it could potentially move the transmission sufficiently to prevent the clutch engaging fully.

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As Andy said.

This place gets worse and worse and worse!

The mounts could have sat on a shelf for the past 50 years and they wouldn't have gone any where near as quickly as that!

Do they have a workshop manual for your car? Do they know what is supposed to go where and if all the correct bits are present on the heat shields, washers etc...?

They are talking crap. I just can't believe there is no where else you can take it to?

You don't need me telling you how shit it is, I'm sure your feeling it more than enough yourself but come on, surely enough is enough!

Cowboys, pure cowboys!!!

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This is amazing. Since the trans-axle is solidly attached to the engine and it's a hydraulic clutch, they could in theory bounce all over the place and shouldn't affect clutch engagement.

In the words of Monty Python "Run away, Run away !!!"

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