Intermittent Clutch Problem
Frustrating issue with clutch somebody might be able to help diagnose.
Car is a '99 214. Gearbox is the R65 type.
Last week I suddenly lost ability to select gears. I expected to find cable had snapped but it was still ok. However the inner cable that you can feel under the battery box was very slack. Operating the pedal was moving the lever on the bellhousing but range of movement seemed limited to me. Most of the pedal movement was taking up slack in the cable.
I started car in 1st gear and drove without a clutch for a bit (matching revs to change gear) and the pedal came back again. No bad noises or slipping. I checked and the inner cable had tightened up again.
When I got home I researched and discovered the car has a self-adjusting clutch cable - didn't know that was even a thing! I ordered a new one and continued to drive normally while I waited for it to arrive 3 days later. Over the weekend I covered a lot of miles and changed gear without the clutch as much as possible. During that time the same problem returned briefly a couple of times and came good again.
On Monday I installed the new cable and all seemed well until the same problem came back today! The pedal felt tight then went to the floor with a clicking noise. After that the pedal feels normal but the inner cable is slack and not disengaging the clutch. Tugging on the inner cable at the gearbox end a few times brings everything back to normal and the clutch continues to work until the next time.
So I am thinking either the self-adjusting mechanism on the new cable is also faulty or something else is going on. The fault is entirely consistent with the plastic ratchet on the mechanism slipping but how likely is that on a new cable. (it was cheap on Ebay but purports to be Cable Line)
The thing that gives me hope is that when it is working it is perfect. It seems unlikely that a fault with the release bearing, pressure plate or friction plate would be intermittent in this way.
Has anybody else come across similar? Do you know if a cable is available with a good old-fashioned locknut instead a bunch of plastic bits? Thank you for any ideas.