Forum Chat #22 – Clutch pre-failure symptoms

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Welcome to BamfordRose and another forum chat. This week, I’ve taken a snippet from Facebook. It’s one of the V8, V12 European owner’s groups. It’s asking, “what are the pre-failure symptoms of a clutch on V8 Vantage?” I’ll cover both manual and sport shift.

Manual, when the single plate clutch was new and up to about 10,000 miles, it still got quite a light pedal, quite fresh feel into it. The buying point is quite well defined. 10,000 miles upwards the pedal starts to become a bit wooden, in terms of feel. The bite point is less defined. You sort of have to guess it, very difficult to pull away smoothly. The clutch pedal starts to bite towards the top more and more. The pedal is increasingly wooden in terms of its feel. Now it will carry on like that, from anywhere between 10 and about 35,000 miles.

A lot of feedback I get from dealers. They tell customers, I clutch, it is expired or close to expiring me to renew. In reality, it’s in that phase of feeling wooden, not much feedback at, but it will last for 20,000 miles. Obviously, it depends how you use it, motorway miles northern city driving, it’s going to wear the clutch a lot less.

The early failures that happen, like at 5,000 miles, are often because people have been slipping the clutch too much at pull away. So that’s a friction plate related failure and obviously the early signs to that is clutch slip. So, get the car up a decent gradient Hill, halfway up, get it something like fourth gear, 2,000 rpm, come off the throttle, and go on as quick as you can. Really good prod, full throttle acceleration, and should fill the clutch clamp immediately and there’s no slip. Slip is engine revs increasing, but Road speed is not increasing.

Then after that acceleration, or as it’s accelerating, if a sand slip and just prop the clutch pedal momentarily just inducing it to slip slightly. But just product and off for really really quick and the engine revs to just rise and then drop, and immediately you have cut the clutch clamps and there’s no slip. So that would be testing for friction plate, early signs of failure. It’s slipping.

The next will be the pressure plate. This is the fingers wearing. As the fingers relax, the slave cylinder is going to have to go through more stroke to clamp the clutch, and the slaves on the position it, at point of clutch contact, where the bike point is going to increase the pedal high, so it bites near the top. There’s no real way to state whether a clutch is at the point of failure due to its pressure plate, it’s just going to feel increasingly wooden. But what that’s going to translate to, is changing gear on a dragging clutch. So, at first, a second starts to become noticeably more clunky Nachi, maybe it doesn’t want to come out of gear too easily. Then that’s the early signs that it’s a pressure plate part of the clutch, an early sign of failure.

So, unlike some customers that I’ve seen, you know they turn the engine off, put it in first gear with the engine off, start the car because that’s the only way they can get it into first. Then they crunch into second and it reads us crunch the gears. Don’t take it to that point, because when you come to renew the clutch, it’s probably done damage to the synchros. You’re always going to have a slight crunch going from first to second.

Pre-failure symptoms on V8 sportshift is a bit more difficult. Because on the later level software, there’s a bit count which is its wear index figure. This is looking at where the kiss point is, and how the clutch is behaving in the stroke that the slave cylinder has to go through. Once it reaches a certain predetermined number of wears, then the system is going to disable all gears, and the car is stranded. So, you know that that’s one way of knowing that point of failure. Not much help because you don’t really want to be stranded. The idea is to change the clutch, before you have a breakdown. I stomach the factory could have done because I put a light on, well before that figure to alert the driver. But without a laptop interrogating the bit count for where, then there’s no way to notice.

Probably annual service, get the garage to tell you what the wear statistics are and sort of give a rough ballpark to how many miles are left in the clutch. Obviously, juddery clutch performance is another indicator. If you’re full throttle changing through the gearbox on the paddles, the car shifting gear with a real noticeable thumper going through a drive line and that’s an early sign of the pressure plate clamp side of the clutch wearing.

Other things are said on this message here, the linkage on some manuals, where the gear selector cables go to the selector shaft at the back body gave us. Obviously, nothing clutches related. I think that’s what this means sometimes that that fixing comes when they’re on the top of the gearbox. There’s an easy fix to that sometimes the levers the cables can pop off, the lever and the lever can’t select certain gates, or also in gears but that’s all-gear selection related and not the clutch.

So, I hope you found that interesting. And as we always say, if you like, then subscribe, comment below and click the bell for notifications.

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