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UK_SubPosted - 26 Apr 2014 : 21:49:51
Picked up a new project today, but the clutch might need replacing...

When the clutch pedal is fully depressed it sounds like the clutch arms are catching - basically a horrible din!

Can I make any adjustments to the slave cylinder and adjustment bolt?


15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
stevebodPosted - 31 Oct 2014 : 11:14:12
Hi All,
A final update on my shim re-fit.
After a proper road test the clutch still seems good.
Even when warm I can now engage reverse without hearing the gear mesh.
I am now convinced my clutch was dragging previously and the shims were needed to bring the normal adjustment within range of the adjuster bolt.
So if you are contemplating a similar rework - it can be done via the inspection cover if needed.
mellePosted - 29 Oct 2014 : 13:39:34
Good to hear you managed to get them in!

I've just amended my previous post, I initially wrote '1.0-2.0mm shims', this should of course be '0.1-0.2mm'.

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
UK_SubPosted - 29 Oct 2014 : 10:25:50
Good tip there - although, as you say - a lot of patience is required too!
stevebodPosted - 29 Oct 2014 : 09:55:44
Hi All,

A further update on my clutch issue. Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I think it is relevant to the original question.

I managed to add some 0.5mm shims between the pressure plate of the clutch and the flywheel. I did this via the inspection cover on the bell housing and it went well. I used a magnet on a stick and a mirror (and some patience).
The clutch is much, much better now.
I still need to road test it to get the engine fully warm because this is when the problem was at its worst; but I now have more of the clutch adjust screw showing, less clutch noise, later engagement when lifting the clutch pedal and a more progressive bite point.
To be honest I could probably have put thicker shims in, perhaps 0.8mm, but I didn't want to overdo it. I'll report back after a decent road test, but the early indications are that it is improved.
pchristyPosted - 23 Oct 2014 : 19:13:21
You certainly have to add spacers if you have a diaphragm clutch fitted. The diaphragm in mine also uses a different type of release bearing.

To fit a diaphragm, the flywheel needs to be machined (I guess this is what Malbrads were referring to), and that effectively prevents you reverting easily to a standard clutch.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the diaphragm parts are from a VW of some description, but I have no confirmation of this. My car had already been fitted with a diaphragm when I got it, and I'm hoping it will be a long time before I need to replace it.....!

"Duct tape is like the Force: It has a light side and a dark side, and it binds the Universe together!"
mellePosted - 23 Oct 2014 : 14:32:05
The guys at Malbrad are right, if the hexagonal plate lies below the pressure plate assembly it won't work properly. You'll have to take the engine out to shim it properly though. We're talking about 0.1-0.2mm shims, normal washers are way too thick. The reason you have to take the engine out is that you have to measure if the hexagonal plate protrudes by about 1mm and also check it for flatness.

Those Sachs release bearings are crap, see my comment on the first page of this thread:

1970 96V4 "The Devil's Own V4"
1977 95V4 van conversion project
1988 900i 8V
stevebodPosted - 23 Oct 2014 : 14:04:17

Thanks for the further advice regarding the gear adjustment - I'll check that for sure, but I'm pretty sure it is a clutch drag problem I am having.

Interestingly, I spoke with Mallbrad Saab today with the intention of ordering a new release bearing for the clutch (along with some other parts I need).
We talked about the dragging clutch and the symptoms I have and Mallbrad were pretty sure one fix would be to add spacing washers between the flywheel and the pressure plate . They explained that although this wouldn't have been the case originally, it is necessary depending what clutch and flywheel combination you have. Some cars need it, others don't.

I read another thread that talked about the need to do this if the flywheel has been machined. Mine hasn't, but it does have one of the new thinner SACS release bearings in it which I guess could give similar symptoms.

So my questions are:
1) Is this a known thing amongst the forum contributors?
2) [a crazy idea] Can I add washers through the clutch inspection hole?
It would be a great time saver if I could try this fix without removing the engine.
I can envisage a process where I slacken all the clutch bolts off and then remove each one it turn and slip a washer down between the flywheel and pressure plate; and then tighten everything back up.
What d' ya think?
Worth a go?
deggsiePosted - 22 Oct 2014 : 19:52:42
Stevebod ... I also have difficulty engaging reverse particularly with the engine hot.

You will probably have checked this, but if not may be worth a try before you do anything drastic !
I suffered a similar problem with inability to select reverse gear especially when hot a few years ago (had to push the car back into the garage several times),
the problem was cured by 'simply' re-adjusting the gear change at the steering column .

Saab - beyond the conventional !
stevebodPosted - 22 Oct 2014 : 16:05:14
Hi Simon,
Thanks for the update.
I'm going to check that my hydraulics are OK first, since I can do that with the engine in place. But I'm pretty sure I'll end up taking the engine out to fully understand what's wrong.
I'll do the engine mount check you suggest though.
UK_SubPosted - 20 Oct 2014 : 11:20:09
Apologies for taking so long to get back to you, but only picked up the car on Saturday.

There were a couple of issues effecting the clutch. The first was a split gearbox mount...

this was caused by the casting on the gearbox being oversized - Graham filed it down to the same size as a normal one, so it shouldn't happen again. He also replaced the engine and gearbox steadies at the same time.

The other issue was the release arm, it had been repaired, but not very well, which resulted in the bearing pushing the clutch at an angle! This resulted in a clattering noise and vibration on the clutch pedal!

The clutch plate itself was fine, so a replacement release arm and bearing was fitted. Now all I have to get used to is all that clutch travel on the pedal (where I had about 5mm before!).

To check if your gearbox mount is OK, put the car into reverse, let out the clutch and see if the gearbox moves (usually upwards if the mount is broken).

Hope that's useful info?


stevebodPosted - 07 Oct 2014 : 16:34:25
Just reading this thread with great interest as I have had a squeaking clutch for sometime. I also have difficulty engaging reverse particularly with the engine hot.
I thought the problem was the release bearing so I swapped in a new F&S clutch part last year but it's just the same.
What was the conclusion to this issue? Was it wear in the clutch arm? A bent arm? or wrong bearing thickness?
I'll be interested to hear the conclusion before I pull my engine out.
LupoPosted - 02 May 2014 : 18:13:47
I calculated the oval difference which is excessive 1,6 mm. This corresponds to 3,2 mm on slave cylinder move. As I have total excessive 11 mm on slave cylinder , I still have 7,8 mm excessive on slave cylinder or 3,9 mm on bearing, which I think is the difference of LUK bearing. Ill see tomorrow.
LupoPosted - 02 May 2014 : 17:54:25
Endoscope type is VOLTCRAFT BS 17+, (operating probe diameter is 9 mm)it has to be connected directly to computer as it has no monitor, and I paid something like 50 .
UK_SubPosted - 02 May 2014 : 17:23:18
Got sent this image or a repaired one...

UK_SubPosted - 02 May 2014 : 17:18:34
That is great - thank you.

I might get an endoscope, looks like you can get them for about 20 through Amazon - what's the make/model of the one you have?

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