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Hello all i'm hoping someone can offer me some guidance.

The release bearing / guide sleeve went on my polo 1.4 16v 75hp aua engine . Had the garage repair it with my parts which was a borg and beck 3pc clutch and generic guide sleeve. After 60 miles it failed again. Seeing how it could have been my cheap arse i got a genuine vag guide sleeve and an luk bearing which is what the garage said all i needed and recommended a cable as it was ropey (which to be fair i knew it was) now. After 500 miles its failed AGAIN. I also had AA confirm the release bearing had gone before getting shamefully towed home a 3rd time.

Also just a bit more detail in those 500 miles the clutch was juddery as hell when engaging, but this is the first time ive had a new clutch so wasnt sure if this was bedding in or something not right.


My question is, is there something else thst is causing the guide/bearing to fail or am i able to point fingers at the garage for mucking it up. 

Thanks all

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  • feeblington


  • dvderlm


  • caretakerplus


Did you get to see the damaged release bearing?

Or where it clips into gearbox?


Any damaged pressure plate fingers?

Could the pedal box be a bit detached, that would make smooth engaging difficult, putting stress on the cable?



Edited by dvderlm
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Welcome to the Forum.


Its difficult to understand how a release bearing could fail in 60 miles, especially as it was a Borg and Beck part.


I am thinking on the same lines as dvderlm - If either the cable or the pedal box is causing the release bearing to be in constant contact with the fingers, it would be constantly revolving, something it is not intended to do, even so, I would expect it to last more than 60 miles of normal driving.


One of the most common causes of clutch failure, is 'pilot error' - the habit of resting the left foot on the clutch pedal, and/or slipping the clutch when moving off or manoeuvring. (I am not saying that this has been the cause in your case.)


Early clutch failure is often caused by poor practice whilst fitting, but this will affect the driven plate, rather than the release bearing.


It would be as well to check the condition of the release fingers when the box is out, as a seized bearing could have damaged them.



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Thanks for the replies. Ill try address everything.

First yes i did get the release bearing and guide sleeve back. The guide sleeve had seperated the flange part from the tube and then caused bearing to snag. Ill get pics tomorrow.


The garage said nothing else was damaged.


The cable is pagid.


I dont know if pedal box is ok. It creaks once in a while but clutch sits level and ive performed yoga to look underneath and pedal box welds dont seem to flex or have noticable damage on.


Ive only had a licence for a year but im 30 and have driven a forklift for over 10 years and drove a van on private land for the same. Im very aware of riding the clutch aswell as good practice pulling away etc! I honestly wish i could blame my driving, itd make finding the issue so easy .


When the release bearing first went the car was on 103100 miles with the original bits!! Id driven it from about 84k


Ive spoken to the garage and hes a family friend and i hope is pretty straight with me. Hes as stumped as i am so this time im going to suggest he buys the parts just to eliminate one variable.


Ill ask what condition the pressure plate is in also.


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Surely the bearing pressed sideways on the sleeve causing the tube around which it rotates to part company with the sleeve flange. So the guide was not firmly attached to the box or at an angle or had a manufacturing fault.


Photos would be good. Fits  with cause of roughness  engaging/decoupling clutch

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ive just realised the broken bearing is in the boot of the polo (in garage) so i cant get a pick atm. 

it could have been, there was scoring on the tube part of the guide, so it could have been rubbing and caused guide to fail. the fact its now happened twice is confusing me so much.

could the pressure plate be at fault?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, ive finally got a photo of it.

Ive had the bearing and sleeve swapped again (now on  3rd new bearing & sleeve and very low on cash haha)

Ive gotten around 300ish miles in this time and ive noticed its abit chattery pulling away. 

I fear using it incase it fails again. Should i have changed the whole clutch again?



Also this bearing has had about 500 miles on it!


Edited by feeblington
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Is that broken off guide tube inside the bottom piece?


Can you post a picture of the outsides too?

I'd be looking for whether the clip spring is mangled or any uneven wear at the contact point of the pressure plate fingers.

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Ill get a pic later. Yes thst he guide tube snapped in half. I have a picuure of the other bearing with me now.


This one has had 100miles on it haha

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Looks fairly even where the pressure plate fingers touch (any worn circles I can see are not ovals or gapped).

So it's not the spring but the metal plate that locates the spring that smashed to pieces, bearing went diagonal and ripped the tube out of the flange.

Maybe. That's a guess. Needs an eye witness inside the box.


Flange is not bent so it's not likely that one or two of three bolts worked loose.


I'll have to look at a gearbox for how the stirrup pushes/pulls the release bearing.

Could the stirrup be worn on one side? 

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Is the stirrup the arm the pushes the bearing. If so i believe its been replaced last time it went. 

So that kind of rules out pressure plate.  Ive now done about 350 miles on the latest bearing and still bit jerky but no strqnge crunchy pedal or odd noises. But im dricing in constant fear of it crapping its3lf qgain 😭

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I heard a very faint whirr when in neutral not touching any pedals stood still.


Going again. 😖😠😡😡

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Any ideas?

Ive stopped driving it until i can sort it

When i move the clutch fork back and for i get a high pitch noise . Very faint

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I called it stirrup. Part A, release lever.  Was it checked to be worn/damaged/twisted

by the failed bearing's destruction?


I could imagine that the small groove that spring clips onto ( almost exactly at the end of line from A in the picture)

is damaged/worn and the release bearing is gradually becoming diagonal not parallel to the flywheel as it is only held

tightly on one side.


As the lever is operated from rest the release bearing is pushed, its rotating part should touch the pressure plate fingers 

and spin. May be slight whirring noise, until fully disengaged clutch. But if an edge of the bearing is touching, that would

surely scrape/squeal. 





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Ah that would make sense. 

Youve been a major help here, thanks man

Im going to try find a mate who'll help me take the box off so i can check myself. As it stands i still have 1 more spare bearing/guide and if it boils down to a worn stirrup at least the problems been found.

Cheers again

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  • 7 months later...

Just thought id update incase anyone has had siniler problems.

The release went bearing went as promised!!


Took it to a vw place. They informed me of alot of damage caused by the previous garage.

Output shaft drive side all janked incl bearings and copper washers.

Passenger side wheel bearing has been pushed hard from the inside.

Gear lineage they said looked like theyd forgot to undo the bolt and dropped the box.

Cable was fed incorrectly and has been melting slowly on the engine.

Clutch fork is bent again from mishandling the gearbox

Alot of damaged seals and marks where it looks to have been dropped.

Stirrup like you said was damaged. And i imagine this was why it broke instantly the first time.

Clutch friction plate wasnt centred (fucking somehow) and has marked the flywheel. Pressure plate is also got bent teeth.

The guide sleeve was also grease free 

Theres a few other little bits i have forgotten

 But.  700 quid later its all good .



Edited by feeblington
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