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cosaw

Clutch failing again! Video, sound, and pictures.

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cosaw

Hello all,

 

The car: 6N2 1.4, 8 valve petrol.

 

I got my clutch replaced around 3000 miles ago.  And over the last few weeks my clutch sounds like this when cold (see example video - you'll need to download).

 

http://www.cosaw.f2s.com/NotBackedUp/clutch.AVI

 

The one they took out (replaced by the same company) had only done 40 to 50,000 miles so I was suspicious that they should be replacing more than just the clutch kit and guide sleeve on this new job.  I could hear ticking noises which got a lot worse when pedal pressed - I assumed it was the release bearing and took it in when it sounded like it was ready to pack up.

 

The pictures following are from the 40 to 50,000 mile clutch they pulled out and was wondering if this was a normal failure mechanism - the release spring fingers being eaten up.  As far as I can tell the bearing itself seems ok but not sure if it should be able to be pulled into three pieces.  The guide sleeve is worn and was replaced.  The friction surface looks fine (to me) and the clutch was not slipping.

 

 

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image02.jpg

image03.jpg

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image06.jpg

image07.jpg

image08.jpg

image09.jpg

image10.jpg

image11.jpg

 

What do you guys think?  I know something's failing in this new 3,000 mile clutch and I suspect it's something they didn't replace which is what also killed the 40-50,000 mile clutch in the above photos.

 

Not sure I understand how the release bearing and sleeve fit together.  But if you look at picture 8, the guide sleeve doesn't even touch the release bearing (there's got to be 4 to 5mm all round).  Looks like the sleeve is merely there to catch the failing release bearing and stop collateral damage??

Edited by cosaw
Additions.

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kiran_182

The gap is there so they clear eachother when the bearing pushes the plate to move the friction plate off the input shaft, could be it should be tighter.

 

It looks like the bearing has failed or not shifted from its mount and made contact with the pressure plate at regular or contstant times. Or maybe it was the sleeve that was loose and pulled the bearing into contact?

 

If all the parts were new and fitted right it shouldnt happen, the common one is to put the old release bearing in 

Edited by kiran_182

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cosaw

Thanks for your input kiran - much appreciated.  Have to admit I can't completely visualise what you are saying - I just don't understand the mechanism well enough as haven't done a clutch job myself.  Need to check some youtube videos or something - which I will do.  Yes it can only be the release bearing grinding into the pressure plate that's caused the 'fingers' to get all churned up.  Suppose I also should try to find what a new release bearing looks like too.

 

Question is - why is a 3000 mile clutch, less than 6 months old, starting to fail?  It sounds horrendous with the engine off.

 

Thanks for the edit kiran. I didn't finish reading.  I will think about your explanations and try and work it out.  But!  Why would they put the old release bearing back?  I was under the impression that the kit came in three parts, with the release bearing being one of those parts.  Anyway they must have put a new release bearing in because the pictures above show the complete failed unit that they took out.

 

I've been back to the company (am I allowed to mention there name?). They didn't understand my complaint, they took some slack out of the cable (which there was nothing wrong with) and told me not to worry as it was a 2 year 20,000 mile no quibble warranty.  Essentially they told me to drive it till it fails.

Edited by cosaw

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kiran_182

The friction plate sits against the flywheel which turned by the crank, the pressure plate sits over, bolts to the fly and acts as a cage keeping the friction plate captive. The gearbox has a shaft which goes through the center and connects to the friction plate and this turns the shaft of the gearbox

 

The friction plate isnt bolted down and is turned by the enertia of the fly, when you press the clutch the bearing pushes the pressure plate which pushes the friction plate off the gear box shaft and pins it to the fly wheel where it continues to turn 

 

The bearing may not have been part.of the kit ordered or they got the new one greasy and confused the two, could be it was new but didnt quite install properly or it did but the gearbox install shock it looses 

Edited by kiran_182

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cosaw

Many thanks Kiran for you explanation.  I really appreciate you taking the time.  I'm pretty much on the same page with your explanation.  What I didn't know was that the friction plate got pushed off the gear box shaft - will have to think about that.

 

What you say about mixing the release bearings up makes sense.  But it doesn't explain what's going on with this new clutch in my car (did you hear the noise in the video I posted at the beginning of the thread?).  Original clutch did approx 100,000. Second clutch (pictures above) did around 40-50,000.  Third clutch (still in car done 3000) sounds like the video above and I don't think will last long!

 

P.S. Been surfing the web and have learn't that the release bearing in the pictures above isn't complete.  It definitely isn't complete - it should look like this: http://www.mister-auto.co.uk/en/clutch-release-bearing/sachs-3151-816-001_g48_a0323151!816!001.html

Edited by cosaw
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nige8021
32 minutes ago, cosaw said:

Many thanks Kiran for you explanation.  I really appreciate you taking the time.  I'm pretty much on the same page with your explanation.  What I didn't know was that the friction plate got pushed off the gear box shaft - will have to think about that.

 

The friction plate doesn't get pushed off the gearbox input shaft, when you depress the clutch pedal the release bearing pushes onto the coverplate spring fingers which release the clamping force on the friction plate, so disconnecting the drive to the gearbox, then when you release the clutch pedal the thrust bearing retracts and releases the pressure on the spring fingers of the cover and that allows the cover to re-clamp the friction plate and so give drive to the input of the gearbox

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cosaw

Cheers nige.  I think that's more how I had it in my head.

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dvderlm

Yeah, that release bearing is fu- ruined. 

 

What Nige said is true. Friction disc moves fractionally away. Frictionally away.

The flywheel and pressure plate continue to spin by inertia keeping the engine revs from dropping lots , as no longer pulled around  by the car's wheels, and you take your foot off accelerator pedal when changing gear. You don't heel-toe badly I assume.

 

Is the noise from inside the gearbox or from clutch pedal box?

If clutch pedal mount is flexing you won't push in the pressure plate springs, but with a tight cable the release bearing will push too far and the ends of the fingers will touch the friction disc cage.

If it was mounted back to front you would not have managed 3 miles, never mind 3000.

 

I don't like the scratches on the gearbox side of the cage of the friction disc.😯

Edited by dvderlm

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cosaw

Thanks for the clarification dvderlm.  Yep it's not the pedal box but had that before.  To me they've got the cable too tight now really - it was fine before, reverse was going in fine, but now there is not much 'end play?' in the pedal and not much slack in the spring on the cable adjuster (so my concerns are as you point out - too much pressure on the fingers when pedal at the floor.)

 

Regarding heel and toe.  I sorta know what it is but don't think I ever do it.  I don't know how it would make things worse - its beyond my understanding.  I sometimes blip the throttle before putting first in but that's it (I think it helps when the gearbox is cold but it's probably my imagination) is that a bad thing??  Anyway, I certainly don't ride the clutch - I used to be a driving instructor - but not in this car!

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dvderlm

Blipping the throttle with middle/side of foot while braking with toes (or vice versa depending on pedal shape spacing at hard brake) and changing gear to match engine speed to road speed.

It can give allow a very quick gear change without crunch as the clutch re-engages, or can be used for even more engine braking effect. Brake pads are cheaper and brake servo

means the technique should not be needed, just like synchromesh obsoleted double declutch. There's more wear to the friction disc if you do it and the cage springs take more distress.. None visible on the surface of yours really. 

 

Does anyone else drive the car?

Ever slam from one gear to another?

Still release bearing should not go past end of the guide sleeve.

 

(I was taught, for longevity, cold engine and gearbox needs to be treated gently for the first 3 or so miles, driving at 2000 to 3000rpm for best warming.)

 

In the gearbox there are two bearings that support the rod that release arm rotates to move the release bearing in and out. If worn or damaged from the destroyed pressure plate fingers that could make a creak like your video soundtrack and let the bearing move too far. Does the warranty cover the gearbox or just the clutch?.  

Edited by dvderlm

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cosaw

Thanks for explanation.  Heel and toe is not something I do.

 

My brother drives the car but he was taught by me and as I don't ride the clutch neither does he.  My mum drives the car but very few miles and she is gentle with everything.  She rides the clutch between first and second but nothing excessive and being that the original clutch did 100,000 miles I don't think any of us abuse it.

 

I don't really slam in the strong sense.  I always use the clutch.  I do change quite quickly, often, but the stick just falls into place without resistance.  I don't try and push the stick if there is ever resistance - like trying to force it into first before the car has slowed down enough. I have a difficulty with my left leg (affecting control) which means I am a little rough on the clutch sometimes, usually felt going from first to second, as a bit too much of a quick bite in the change.  It's a balance between having that or having too little acceleration off the line - most people accelerate faster than me anyway so I can't think it is an issue.  I've always driven the same and the original clutch wore the friction material without any release bearing problems at 100,000 miles + and it still only slipped in 5th.  Like you  - I treat the car with more sympathy when cold.

 

11 hours ago, dvderlm said:

In the gearbox there are two bearings that support the rod that release arm rotates to move the release bearing in and out.

 

Personally I think the issue lies here.  That was my first suspicion and that this mechanism is what has damaged the release bearing and diaphragm spring fingers in the photographed clutch and the one currently in the car.

 

11 hours ago, dvderlm said:

Does the warranty cover the gearbox or just the clutch?

 

Who the heck knows! I'm pretty sure just the clutch - it's my original gearbox and has never had issue.  I changed the gearbox oil with the original spec stuff probably over 30 thousand or more miles ago.  I hope you're not suggesting that there adjustment of the clutch cable can do something to kill my gearbox??  They've told me not to worry and that I'm covered.  First they're treating me like the majority (and assuming that I don't have a clue about cars) so they believe what I'm reporting is a figment of my imagination.  And secondly (on that basis) it is so easy to tell me not to worry - the story will change when it fails I bet!  They don't believe it's gonna fail - and I do.

Edited by cosaw

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cosaw

Thanks nige! Looks like it could be game over for this vehicle, before I know it! The warranty isn't gonna cover it I'm sure. And I can't afford the labour charges for the clutch and on a car that potentially needs a whole new exhaust and further suspension work before MOT in March.

 

If any of the release shaft parts fail then the garage that changed the clutch are going to claim either:

          - It's not something they could have known at the time of doing the clutch or it was fine when they looked.

          - It's just not their responsibility.  You asked us to change your clutch and that's what we did as the release bearing failed.

 

Is this why a VW dealer wanted £835 for the job - they said they'd replaced 'everything' hence the cost.

 

I was under the belief that VWs run and run.  This car doesn't owe me anything  - it's got me through for over 13 to 14 years (and over 125,000 of my own miles).  I've done a lot of maintenance myself.  However, is it ridiculous of me to think you can get 150,000 miles out of a car like this and not expect this sort of thing to happen??  Unless you can do all the work yourself (which I can't due to physical health) is there no way to ensure a proper job without paying exorbitant sums for maintenance.

 

Seems to me the longer and longer you own a car, the more and more bodged jobs add up to finally take you off the road due to expense of having to get jobs redone.  Or the fact that garages break stuff and don't tell you about it but it ends up being another job down the road.

 

I'm thinking I'm best to buy a new car at 50 to 60 thousand miles run it for 20 thousand and then move on and do the same again thus avoiding major works.  Maybe that's what I'm going to do from now on.

 

Sorry to ramble or go off topic, I'm thinking out loud and trying to determine what to do.  Let me know what you think if you want!

 

 

Edited by cosaw

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dvderlm

The garage must have touched the release shaft to fit the new release bearing. Surprising they did not notice roughness or looseness. Could they have disturbed the shaft when changing the guide sleeve? 

When the pedal box was failing (known weakness in 6N) was it difficult noisy to change gear?

 

(with handbrake on and in gear) Can you mark the clutch cable position, loosen it and release from lever on gearbox, unhook return spring then operate lever by hand? A little or all the way (Might need a strong stick to move it all the way to release clutch.). Does either movement make the creaking sound?

That would make sure it is not cable or pedal.

Watch out cable does not unhook at pedal end by pulling it tight.

 

 Changing a gearbox is lot of labour time. But £835 is a joke unless  it includes a new gearbox.

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dvderlm

Looking very closely at the B side of the release bearing, you can see where the release shaft arms have rubbed. The wear marks are not symmetrical. The release bearing has only been held by one spring. This could be it travelled too far and became unhooked at one side as the pressure plate finger damage began. Or it might not have been fitted the correct way which is with spring loops towards release shaft, become unhooked as one spring passes an extrusion, then rubbed the pressure plate fingers

rather than spinning its roller bearing. The guide sleeve marks and off centre finger hole appear to confirm this.

 

I'd challenge the garage that they have fitted the new release bearing incorrectly. Perhaps copying previous error. 

Edited by dvderlm

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cosaw

Thanks for your analysis dvderlm - awesome!

 

Yes pedal box was done at the end of the first clutches life.  I'd got by with a fix I did myself putting a bolt through the broken bit of the box - that lasted years till the clutch went but was not ideal.

 

Yes when the box was broken there was difficulty selecting till I did the bodge fix.  Thant was probably over 90,000 miles ago though.  No similar symptoms suggesting pedal box failure but I know it can be difficult to isolate the noise.  I fitted a new, genuine cable, maybe around 20,000 miles ago so I know how to set up and adjust.  Once the clutch was done I said to myself I wouldn't touch the cable - then there is no chance of me voiding the warranty.  I could measure it and do the check you suggest though - then put it all back, I still would rather not.  I put a mechanics stethoscope on top of the release shaft and the noise was by far the worst there than anywhere else.  I've tried hand operating the clutch (at the gear box) in the past and have never had the strength to shift it be it new or old clutch.  I could try a big piece of wood and like you suggest that would properly isolate the noise.  I'll get my head under the pedal box end and watch for flex and listen for noise.  There is a small amount of flex on this newer pedal box but it's been the same since it was new and pedal heights are still correct.

 

Excellent detective work on the release bearing - I didn't see that.  And your post analysis makes sense.

 

3 hours ago, dvderlm said:

I'd challenge the garage that they have fitted the new release bearing incorrectly. Perhaps copying previous error. 

 

I don't really think I've got a leg to stand on there.  I'm not very assertive at the best of times and as we can't see in the gearbox then I'm not too confident to do that.  I'm more than likely to take it in and get them to have another listen now that it's got worse, and let them dig themselves a hole, than me make suggestions that while reasonable could actually be wrong (proving that I don't know what I'm talking about!).  Problem is, I'm pretty sure the noise is bad when cold (on the drive in the morning), but clears up some when driven.  This is opposite to when the pedal box failed.  When cold the metal on the box was stiff but as you used the clutch and the metal warmed a little as it flexed, the symptoms and bad shifting got worse.

 

When I said it was the same garage.  It's the same franchise but a different branch.  Why would you go back you ask - time, cost and stress meant I was more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Also, the name of the franchise suggests they should know what they're doing in this area of work - don't think I need to mention the name now!

Edited by cosaw
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dvderlm

I'm sure they have a reputation and brand to protect. 

 

Everyone makes mistakes - it is how they are dealt with that matters. I have had fantastic service from HiQ and mediocre to catastrophic from Ford. One of the reasons I bought the tools and taught myself.

I doubt I'll buy Ford ever again. 😗  One mistake and they lost me for a lifetime.

 

Was thinking about taking a friend's Yaris to Mr. Clutch. I won't now. I'll use an independent, small garage or a mobile mechanic. 

 

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cosaw

Yes. You are right everyone does make mistakes.  I'm too hard and expect too much of myself.  And, unrealistically I expect the same from others.  It's taken me a lifetime to realise that I'm probably a little unreasonable to both myself and others. I beat myself up when I make mistakes and worry about everything.  When I do a job it is usually better than 90% of people could do it but I do so much research and study into it and stress so much that it's not good for my health.  Hoping one day I'll earn enough to leave it totally in somebody elses hands but currently I've not even manged to do that with a small car.  Ignorance definitely is bliss - when you can afford it!

 

That being said I wouldn't recommend Mr. Clutch to anyone whether any of this is their fault or not (and we'll probably never know). I don't like there attitude at both the branches I've been to.  I know I come on a bit strong and with tendencies of OCD but they have been dismissive rather than reassuring.  I think they use the name to stand out as something different from the rest or specialist when in fact they do all sorts of servicing work and probably know nothing more about clutches than they do about all the other work they do - whatever level that is.  If they sort this - I might change my tune but currently I have no confidence.  The back street garage I've been to, over the last two years (for the heavy stuff I can't do) cost very little and are down to earth.  I think they respect the fact I know a little about cars rather than being dismissive about that fact.

 

Anyway.  Came across a few useful documents from LUK with regard to clutch fault diagnosis etc.  Two of them look quite similar but are in fact a little different and the third is something different also.  Loads of good stuff, diagrams, pictures, text, for whatever level you are at (need to dip into them a bit myself).

 

http://www.partinfo.co.uk/files/LUK Clutch Fault Finder.pdf
https://media.repxpert.de/media/01_media_master/closed_area/01_work/brochures_1/transmission_3/LuK_TecBr_NKW_Clutch_course_210x297_EN_.pdf
https://www.jupojostechnika.eu/pdf/tema Sankabos/Sankabu_gedimai_EN.pdf

Edited by cosaw
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cosaw

After looking at some of part numbers from nige's diagram I did some searching.  This next link has some interesting pictures but unfortunately the text is all in Polish.  Worth a look for the 3 pictures.  As you can see the parts really are quite robust (by the looks of things) - aside from probably the bushings themselves.  The pictures do seem to indicate the points of wear and it looks like the bushings of the release shaft are being replaced:

 

Here is the google translation: https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fvwpoloklub.pl%2Fforum%2Findex.php%3Ftopic%3D40762.0&edit-text=

 

And the original Polish:  https://vwpoloklub.pl/forum/index.php?topic=40762.0

Edited by cosaw

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