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Kevin Keable

Clutch problems when warm

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I had a new clutch fitted by Lotus maybe 1000 miles ago if that. Car gets used very little. When cold there is no problem with any gear. Car has always shuddered a little both before and after new clutch when pulling away. 

 

But I'm finding gear change more and more difficult when the engine is warm. Lots of crunching with most changes and near impossible to get revers or first. 

 

Any thoughts?

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Has it had new clutch fluid ? I'm sure if lotus did it it would have.

You need to check - with and assistant that the fork moves fully when engaging the clutch. Check it's adjusted correctly. I'm sure it will be again if lotus did the clutch.

Then of course there is the much talked about red hose, the line between clutch master and slave cylinders. Swap that for a metal kunifer or braided one - that solved my problem that was the same as you describe.


Only here once

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Does sound like the red hose is expanding with heat, resulting in less clutch travel and crunching. A braided hose solved the problem with mine. A new red hose probably would work as well, but why not upgrade if you have the chance?

 

Filip


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Hi Kevin

Providing you have the earlier single plate clutch, then as others have said it's probably the red hose.

We need to know what year your car is?

The later V8's have a twin plate clutch & don't have the red clutch hose, they have a rigid steel clutch pipe so it might be another problem altogether

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I think the red hose issue is pretty much a myth. People always blame the red hose but its usually the linkages.

 

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Less than 1000 miles since a new clutch was fitted? I wouldn't be doing anything except contacting the garage/workshop and having a chat with them.

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I think the red hose issue is pretty much a myth. People always blame the red hose but its usually the linkages.

 

Buddsy

 

I started by refurbishing the linkages both front and rear, but still had problems when things heated up. Then I fitted a braided hose and the clutch was perfect. I was careful not to spill too much brake fluid and only needed to add a little bit, so unlikely to be due to old fluid either.


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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I started by refurbishing the linkages both front and rear, but still had problems when things heated up. 

 

I think the braided hose is  a better component but I dont really see where it will get warm enough for it to be an issue. I know there is a small section that passes the bottom of the engine but it would have to get pretty hot and swell to double its size to loose enough fluid not to work?

 

Just my thoughts

 

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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^ I agree buddsy it defies logic and have mixed thoughts

Sure made a difference on mine - but it could so well equally have been old fluid. Works a treat now - so next item on the to do list being attacked!!

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Only here once

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I agree it's strange that the hose with its limited volume can have such an effect. But heat does seem to be the only factor to explain the problem a lot of people are having, and the solution the braided hose offers. Maybe with age the red hose weakens enough to expand when temperature rises even a little? And a small increase in (internal) diameter would mean a relative large increase in volume.


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Did you have the flywheel face reground, or a new flywheel fitted? If not, and the surface is not in good condition, it could cause the clutch to snatch, and judder.


Margate Exotics.

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I'm a red hose believer. :harhar:  Too many of us have had an issue, fitted a braided hose instead and the issue is magically no longer there, for it to be entirely myth or coincidence.  Obviously this will have involved some new fluid but not necessarily a complete change.  As a new hose will always mean at least some new fluid, hose replacement will never in itself prove anything so we need people with problems to only replace their fluid for a while, just to see...volunteers????

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Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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1000 miles ago on some Esprits could have been years...  Clutch fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture, which then gets hot and expands into a vapor, just like boiling the brake fluid.  That will make the clutch not work very well when hot.  The Evora had a similar problem requiring a heat shield on the clutch pipe.

 

Replace the clutch fluid and thoroughly bleed all the air out of the system.


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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1000 miles ago on some Esprits could have been years....

Or about 2 months for mine........ Must be the novelty factor

The v8 has exhausts both sides - so that clutch hose will be somewhere close to a bloody hot pipe !


Only here once

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If he has a V8, it should already have a braided stainless clutch hose, don't believe they ever came with the red hose...


1995 S4s

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Well we still don't know if Kevin's car is single or twin plate clutch

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Well we still don't know if Kevin's car is single or twin plate clutch

The numbers of early cars that didn't get the rework done must be absolutely tiny - single figures. Or less!

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OK Kevin, that rules out any clutch hose issues. Your car has the later twin plate clutch with the steel hoses.

Take the car back, I'm guessing the problem is either (as Ian suggested) the flywheel hasn't been machined or machined properly, or the other problem could be that the plate between the friction discs could be catching/jamming on the clutch basket

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I think it was Gerald of GST who said:

 

"It's the clutch pack not sliding on cage followed by the female splines having sharp straight cut edges dragging on the input shaft.
You have to dismantle the clutch pack and make sure the plates slides in the cage. Then you use a needle file to shamfer the female edge of spline. This stops the clutch dragging on the input shaft."

 

Basically it's always dragging but when cold the viscosity of the oil is enough to stop the cogs and make the gear changes normal. Once the oil warms up the drag overcomes the viscosity. I've had this and it seems to be fairly well known.

What seems to help is a little rev matching on downshifts - any excuse to blip the throttle :D

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Kevin,

Did the garage replace only the plates, or the whole clutch assembly including the cage? I had exactly the same issues as you describe. I had to turn the car off to get any gear in the end! Gets a bit embarrassing trying to crunch your way into gear at traffic lights. I found myself having to change down in plenty of time before I came to a stop, then sit there on the clutch until the lights changed!

I'd had this problem for a while before I skimmed the flywheel and fitted new clutch plates. This didn't make much difference so went for a whole clutch assembly from Helix. Never had a problem since. I think the whole thing got too hot at some point and then deformed the cage slightly so that the plates wouldn't run true. Looking at old receipts, the previous owner had the gearbox out several times whilst his garage tried to solve it.

Speak to your garage first to see what they replaced, then bite the bullet and buy the whole assembly if they didn't change it.

Steve.

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