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JumpingFrog

Clio Clutch Woes

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My daily driver is an unexciting 2004 Clio dCi 80hp, £20 tax, many mpg if you drive like a saint:
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Seemingly it was thriving on neglect, just occasional oil changes. However, the other day I was attempting to overtake a lorry, accelerating from 50 in 5th at about 60% throttle and the revs shot up instead. So its done 115k miles and I figure a clutch change is probably about right if its been used harshly at some point, as it's not got a DMF. So this is what I removed this weekend in the pouring rain, original Valeo, friction plate looks worn but serviceable and definitely not going to cause slip:
friction_plate.jpg.084708e739aa3802291d745db4c55520.jpg
Now this is a bit of a pig of a job as it involves dropping the subframe and undoing a multitude of inaccessible bolts (the starter is particularly bad). But that aside, looking at the pressure plate, I'm thinking the wear to the fingers is a bit more than I'd expect?
pressure_plate1.jpg.19b6080efb7336ad4d3f936866545fac.jpg

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Any thoughts? It's a cable clutch with an automatic tensioning system that tries to keep the biting point is always right at the top of the pedal (bit disconcerting at first). I haven't checked the cable yet, but it never felt out of the ordinary?

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That has the look of a cover where the bearing has been in "too much contact", something that has concerned me with my hydraulic release conversion on my zetec engine. (the recommendation is for 3mm allowance for clutch wear, which sounds ludicrously small, I reckon about 10mm going on friction disc thickness and the multiplier from the pivot point on the cover)

Looks like not enough or no free play on the cable? I guess the cable should effectively lengthen as the clutch wears.

But as a general point, I don't get why the fingers do wear. When the release bearing is in contact, it should spin with the clutch, no friction/wear occurring. Only when it initially contacts, but that is such a small amount of time. Modern cars seem to have the bearing permanently pressed to the fingers via the internal spring in the CSC. Maybe to keep the clutch pedal "well adjusted"? Bit like the designers have attempted to do with your car. Fords were notorious for their auto adjusters, I know people who kept a spare in the glovebox!

New clutch kit, check the cable and auto adjust mechanism, and it should be good for the rest of its life.

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Worn, but not totally shot.  Finger wear doesn't look that untypical to me.  If you want to see a really wide wear pattern I'll dig out a pic of one of my post-W58 conversion Vitesse ones!

I've been previously "had" by a so-called self-adjusting clutch cable.  That on a Mk2 Golf GTI.  That had a very high pedal and occasional slip under duress, so I bought a clutch kit and spent a miserable morning wrestling the 'box out to find, like you, that the clutch was only part worn.  I fitted the new clutch and wrestled the 'box back in.  Then spent quite some time trying to work out how to reset the self-adjuster on the cable.  This did work initially but it returned to its old habits within days, so I bought a (much cheaper) manual adjust one and filed the old one in the bin.

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Thinking about this our little pug107 (now residing with No1 daughter in London, heaven help it) as a lovely manual adjust. Takes about 2 mins, including finding leys and opening bonnet....

I suppose auto adjusters were thought to be a good idea as it "prevents" issues, only to get its own back in later life...

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11 hours ago, Nick Jones said:

If you want to see a really wide wear pattern I'll dig out a pic of one of my post-W58 conversion Vitesse ones!

P1080362s.jpg

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Thanks for the pointers. Seems like cable was the issue (and I went for genuine Renault at £70!). The cable itself was actually fine, but the liner in the outer had separated and was stuck to the inner. I think the cause of this is someone has greased the pedal end of the cable at some point and this has now gone hard and attracted dirt.

Auto adjustment mechanism all looks to be working okay. No option of replacing it with a manual one for the Clio, they're all automatic. The new cable came dry, so I'm leaving it that way. Pedal is much lighter now, but apparently the OEM Valeo pressure plates are known to be quite heavy too.

Would be back on the road by now if I hadn't ordered a calliper slide kit (sliding single pot callipers are another bugbear) from a company that took a week to dispatch it. Unfortunately no good motor factors near me, so it's ECP/GSF or the internet.

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Spares for moderns are a b*gg*r.    My Citroen lost the plastic fob around the drivers door lock - it works wirelessly, never used, so why it fell off?? - and is only available as part of a complete door lock kit - £350+ VAT., so it'll stay missing.     And the seal where the steering column enters the rack went, leaking steering fluid all over the drive, but the seal is not replaceable - new rack - Ouch!     That'll teach me that buying a real engineer's car, not a popular model, may not be economic sense, as breakers just don't carry Citroen C5 parts!

John

Edited by JohnD

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2 hours ago, JohnD said:

but the seal is not replaceable

The seal IS replaceable...… they just want to flog you a whole new rack because they make much more money on that.  C5 is not witchcraft, just hydraulics.  Bit complex for the average garage chimp, but not rocket science.  When it comes to things like seals they'll be regular parts as used in other hydraulic devices and will probably have number codes on them.  Of course you'll have to get the thing off and apart before you can find the number and then you'll have to track down a supplier...……  Would have thought any company who rebuilds PAS racks to deal with it - the PAS part is not very different from any other manufacturer.

 

2 hours ago, JumpingFrog said:

Auto adjustment mechanism all looks to be working okay. No option of replacing it with a manual one for the Clio, they're all automatic. The new cable came dry, so I'm leaving it that way. Pedal is much lighter now, but apparently the OEM Valeo pressure plates are known to be quite heavy too.

 Good you are winning - if rather expensively.....  A new clutch nearly always feels nice and light compared to a worn/part worn one.

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My parents had a 2004 C5 2.2 hdi estate, unfortunately it only got up to 140k until timing belt failure (due to poor repro water pump seizing we think). The most annoying thing was the rate it went through front callipers, the hand brake mechanism use to bind up every other winter. A very comfortable car indeed, I actually would quite like a Xantia...

Breakers where you can wander round are few and far between now. 15 years ago, back in Lancs., as a 10 year old I used to go round with my Dad. Cars stacked 3 high, no hard hats or high vis! "Don't let him climb" is all they would ever say. Now the same yards still exist, but as businesses on eBay and you can't go and pull the parts yourself, times have changed.

My new clutch is LuK which I'm told is a good brand. And it wasn't much more expensive than that cable. Hopefully its better quality than the reproduction B&B clutches sold for Triumphs...

Edited by JumpingFrog

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