Having mulled things over in my head loads of times I’d reassured myself the problem [b]had[/b] to be the clutch plates. So on Monday I called in to JT’s who told me a new set of 9 friction plates would come to £172.29 They could supply a set of EBC frictions for less than half of that but Andy Bates had already warned me off them. I was aware I could get a set of Barnett frictions for less than this so thought I’d check with Andy before ordering. He said to stick with standard plates but to replace the innermost narrow plate and the anti-judder spring with a standard plate. So I rang JT’ back and ordered them.
On Monday evening I had the motorhome and trailer unpacked and parked away quicker than expected so I made a start on the car. In surprisingly little time (less than an hour) I had the bonnet off, oil drained, dry sump tank removed completely and the clutch cover off. The shiny new oil that I’d stuck in on Sunday morning wasn’t any more. It was rather blackish. As I tipped it out of my drain pan into a container there was tiny glittery fragments and bits of black debris in it – Andy had warned me this was likely to be the case. Inside the clutch housing there were bigger lumps of debris and the whole assembly was quite blackened so it was pretty obvious the clutch had burnt itself out. It was actually tricky getting the clutch spring retaining bolts off as the clutch centre was just turning freely and I had to use my clutch holding tool.The plates were in a mess. The outermost plate was worn pretty smooth on its inside face with almost no friction material left at all, that’s the one in the pic on the right. The next 2 didn’t look too bad but the 4th one was gone. As in not there. All that was left of it were some molten remnants of the outer tabs that engage it on the clutch basket (see pic below). The steel driven plates were all pretty blackened, especially the ones adjacent to where the 4th friction used to live.
On Tuesday morning I cleaned up the steel driven plates to check on those and it was clear that at least one of them was warped and the rest were pretty blackened and I didn’t trust them. I decided the smart thing to do was to replace them as well so I called in to JTs again at lunchtime to order new steel plates. The frictions had come in so I collected those and in the evening slapped them in some clean mineral oil to soak. I also got the car onto axle stands again and removed the sump which was full of debris – the dry sump has a fine mesh screen across it which had caught all the bigger bits of crud. I’m clearly going to have a big clean-up job on my hands before I can stick it all back together.