[Healeys] Clutch

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Wed Sep 1 09:55:05 MDT 2021

We're not sick of hearing your troubles, Simon. We all learn from 
others' problems and solutions. Please keep us informed.

As for clutch longevity, there are several significant variables: (your) 
location, type of driving, driving style, etc. For example, if you DD 
your car in San Francisco, I wouldn't expect a clutch to last 50K miles, 
if that long. If you mostly drive highway miles, I think 100K is easily 
doable; I traded my '08 Mustang in at 124K miles with original clutch 
/and/ brakes. Although I've been driving manual cars for over 50  years, 
I still don't feel I've 'mastered' them (like landings in an aircraft). 
Dump the clutch too quickly and you'll increase longevity--if you don't 
break anything--at the expense of smoothness, be very delicate and slip 
it too much and you won't get 'normal' longevity. Actually, IMO Healeys 
are relatively easier to drive well, a properly set-up clutch with a 
Healey's torque makes smooth starts easier; my '19 Mustang is 
high-strung by comparison and I still manage to stall it occasionally.

The release bearing can be problematic as, unlike a true bearing it's a 
known wear item. I heard a while back there were some low quality parts 
going around that failed within a few thousand miles. I'd say if it's 
more than one-third worn--anyone know the original thickness of the 
graphite?--I'd replace it (again, depending on driving circumstances). 
Last time I had my BJ8's gearbox out I didn't replace it, as the bearing 
appeared to be holding up and I mostly drive highway miles in it. As for 
the disk and cover plate, unless they're almost new that's an automatic 
replace, along with the spigot/pilot bush. If fairly new, I believe the 
cover can be turned--like brake rotors--but I'd probably install a new 
disk regardless. With Healeys, with no rear main seal oil on the disk 
will cause nasty judder, so any oil or burn spots is automatic reject. 
If the cover plate disk has any bluish burn spots I'd likely chuck it.

Alignment tools are handy, but if you're mating the engine and gearbox 
on the bench you can use the first motion shaft.


On 9/1/2021 7:46 AM, Simon Lachlan via Healeys wrote:
> You will all be as sick of hearing about my OD as I am of lying 
> underneath it. I’ve decided to kick the whole thing into touch. I’ll 
> whip out the gearbox (hah!) and drive it complete up to OD Spares who 
> will sort it out while I wait. Even if I have to wait all day. Beats 
> making the round trip twice.
> Which leads me on to thinking about “what else to do when I’m in there”…….
> The clutch is the obvious candidate.
>  1. I don’t know how long is a piece of string, but is there a mean
>     average duration for a clutch in terms of miles? Not driven hard,
>     just driven.
>  2. I see that people quite often sell the clutch as a kit consisting
>     in: the plate assembly, the cover and the release bearing. I
>     thought that one replaced the latter *every time* one got near it
>     and that one replaced the plate *as and if needed*. But – I
>     thought – the cover is just a hunk of iron and *didn’t ever need
>     replacing*. Am I right in *any* of that??
>  3. Tools….I see a great variety. In shape, design and in cost.
>     Broadly speaking there are variations on A or B. The former seems
>     elaborate and not suited to someone who hopes to only ever change
>     one clutch in his life. But B is so very different from A that one
>     wonders if it can do the same job……
> Any thoughts on all or parts of the above would be very much appreciated.
> Now to battle with the gearbox. Oh joy……..
> Simon

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://autox.team.net/pipermail/healeys/attachments/20210901/f38d5776/attachment.htm>

More information about the Healeys mailing list