Intermittent Clutch Problem - Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 20:11 Thread Starter
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Car: Rover 200 (95-99)
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Question 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.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 09:28 Thread Starter
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Quick bump in case anybody has a suggestion about what might be going on. Thanks
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 20:29
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If there are no obvious visible probs on pedal, cable or lever (you sound like you know what you are looking for) I'd prob try an OEM standard cable. And then if that does work, drop the g/b and change the thrust bearing and clutch , which is an involved job.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 22:56 Thread Starter
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Thanks Gnu. I think what I need is for it to fail again in daylight so I can have a really good look at what is going on.

I can now fairly reliably restore normal service by tugging on the inner cable a few times.

I took the old cable to bits. Inside the plastic cone near the bulkhead there are three plastic ratchets that get squeezed onto the threaded part of the outer cable when you press the clutch. My assumption is that on occasions this is failing to happen allowing the outer cable to push up into the bulkhead shortening the outer cable and causing the inner cable to be relatively too long to operate the clutch. I hope that makes some sense?

I am thinking about clamping the outer cable so it can't move. It would disable the self-adjusting mechanism but it should solve the problem. I am hoping to avoid removing the box unless I am certain it is necessary. Apart from this intermittent fault the clutch works perfectly with no noise or slipping. Very odd!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 14-03-2017, 21:58 Thread Starter
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Update - I tried locking out the self-adjusting mechanism on the cable with a C-clip. That proved that the cable was not the problem. However I am going to keep that 30p clip handy in case the cable does ever fail.

So I pulled the gearbox out today. See pic for the solution ...

The broken spring was spinning around between the clutch plate and pressure plate causing intermittent faults. Surprisingly no noises.

New clutch set 72 from local factors. Hopefully I will be back on the road tomorrow.
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