[Healeys] FW: New clutch query

josef-eckert at t-online.de josef-eckert at t-online.de
Mon Sep 20 00:12:08 MDT 2021

Hi Mirek,
That´s a phantastic distcribtion of how to do get a gearbox in and what 
happens if you are not skilled enough and it goes wrong.
Many thanks, I fully second your writing.
Josef Eckert
Betreff: [Healeys] FW: New clutch query
Datum: 2021-09-20T07:08:27+0200
Von: "m.g.sharp--- via Healeys" <healeys at autox.team.net>
An: "'AH Mail List'" <healeys at autox.team.net>

Simon,  hate to say it, but the clutch should work perfectly after it is 
installed, there is no “break-in”.  The trouble you had getting the g’box 
in is troubling.  If everything is aligned it  should slip in easily.  I 
presume, when installing, you put it in gear and rotated the drive flange 
to get the shaft splines to align with the clutch plate.   I would never 
pull it together by winding it on with bolts.  Your description that the 
graunchy noises when shifting are expensive sounding is likely correct, so 
it sounds to me that the gearbox should come out again and a thorough 
inspection is warranted.


In addition to checking that the clutch disc slides on the first motion 
shaft splines before assembly, I also always check that the pilot bush fits 
correctly on the end of the shaft.  If these fit correctly and the 
alignment is good, the g’box should slip in easily.  Now, you may have to 
destroy the bush to get it out of the flywheel, but they are inexpensive 
and the peace of mind (never mind the effort to re&re the g’box again) 
makes it worthwhile to do. The pilot bearing should be lightly greased 
before assembly – I use a molybdenum grease, which I also use sparingly on 
the splines – don’t put so much on that it flies off and contaminates the 
clutch plate).  I agree with Richard that a spare first motion shaft is a 
better alignment tool than a plastic substitute.


Also, ensure that the bell housing to engine bolts are correctly located.  
There are two special bolts called “dowel bolts” (they have their own part 
number that is different to the other bolts) that are more precisely 
machined to locate the bell housing/gearbox accurately on the rear engine 
plate.  They can be identified by a shallow groove that is machined into 
the shank just below the head.  They go in the top left (11 o’clock) and 
bottom right (5:25) holes (looking at the rear on the motor).  See the note 
on page 97 of the Originality Guide (2018) for a full description.  I don’t 
think the workshop manual adequately describes these, thinking it is 
covered under “replacement is the reverse of removal”; but you have to be 
pretty observant to note these two bolts on removal!


Three years ago I had an issue with a new Borg&Beck clutch plate and had my 
g’box in and out 3 times, so I know how you are feeling, but something is 
wrong and you need to get it right.  When it is together again, bolt the 
driver’s seat back in and test drive it before putting the rest of the 
interior in; it saves a bit of work if there is a problem.


Lastly, don’t cut the head of the top slave cylinder bolt.  I can guarantee 
you that if this was acceptable engineering practice the accountants at the 
factory would have insisted it be done.  The slave cylinder needs to be 
securely fastened to the bell housing and one bolt is not sufficient.  I 
have probably had mine off 4, maybe 5 times in 45 years of ownership, so if 
it takes me an extra 10 minutes to remove, so what?  If extracting 
inaccessible bolts is a big issue, don’t buy an English car!  (I just had 
to re&re the rear drain pipe from the intake manifold – that is another fun 


Good luck! Mirek


From: Healeys <healeys-bounces at autox.team.net
<mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net> > On Behalf Of richard mayor via 
Sent: September 19, 2021 7:52 PM
To: Michael Oritt <michael.oritt at gmail.com <mailto:michael.oritt at gmail.com> 
Cc: Healeys <healeys at autox.team.net <mailto:healeys at autox.team.net> >
Subject: Re: [Healeys] New clutch query


My first thought was that if you were having to force the gearbox when it 
was 3 to 4 inches away from home, it may be the spines in the clutch disc 
and the input shaft were causing some interference.  This should have been 
an easy slip fit.  Did you lubricate the spines?  Test fit the disc on the 
input shaft?   Installing a gearbox should not be a tedious affair.  Or, 
you did not get the disc properly aligned using the little plastic tool.  
There is a lot of wiggle room for error.   I've found that an old input 
shaft works better than the plastic ones for getting good alignment.  


That brings me to my next observation.  If for some reason the clutch disc 
is hanging up on the input shaft it will not disengage as smoothly as it 
should.  Is this your problem?  It's not clear to me what you mean when you 
say "difficult clutch".


I  have never heard of any need to break-in a clutch.


On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 2:15 PM Michael Oritt via Healeys <
healeys at autox.team.net <mailto:healeys at autox.team.net> > wrote:



 I cut the head off one bolt to make it easier to R&R the secondary
 cylinder. I also fashioned a small door in the extension panel to give
 access to the bleed nipple from inside rather than only under the car.


 Best--Michael Oritt


 On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 4:23 PM Simon Lachlan via Healeys <
 healeys at autox.team.net <mailto:healeys at autox.team.net> > wrote:

  You’ll recall the Overdrive saga. Have decided not to commission  a TV
  mini-series per someone’s advice.

  1) The overdrive is in and works very well. I haven’t tested the pressure
  yet – I will – but it clicks in and out very briskly.

  2) The new clutch kit is in. Hard to get the old bits off until I
  borrowed that magic tool. Used the black nylon(?) tool from AHSpares as
  so much handier than the spare original shaft.

  3) Putting the gearbox back in was pretty tedious. It would go in all the
  way except for the last 3 or 4 inches. Took it out again and checked the
  alignment was 100% which it was. Put it back in, pushed, shoved and
  cursed. In the end we wound it on with long threaded bolts. I don’t want
  to put in another clutch. Ever.

  4) Now, finally, the QUESTIONS:-

  Initially, getting the car into any gear was very graunchy and really the
  car would have been undriveable. Pedal pressure felt the same as before
  but nothing was happening except expensive noise.

  Although there was no evidence of a loss of fluid – why would there be? –
  I bled the clutch. I have fitted the extension tube so it wasn’t tricky.
  That did make a difference but not to the way it was previously.

  So (1) Is it normal for clutches to be difficult at first? A sort of
  “breaking-in” period??

  (2) I’ll bleed it again but am drawn to getting a longer push rod for the
  slave cylinder. Does that make sense? I do have to push the pedal down
  pretty far. Comments?

  (3) Slightly off topic……digging around in my files, I saw a suggestion to
  cut the head off the top bolt that locates the slave cylinder. Then to
  Loctite in permanently for use as a dowel peg. ie that bolt is a bit of a
  PITA and one bolt would suffice. Wouldn’t it??

  All advice would be very welcome,



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