On the way up to Melbourne last Saturday a clutch spring broke. Here we were merrily bowling along doing 95 km/h on the Pakenham Bypass and suddenly there was a noise from under the car, it sounded a bit like a piece of tin rotating on the prop shaft. A quick stop to check found nothing amiss externally, so we continued on.
After a delightful lunch at Phil and Laurette’s with Andrew Cox and the Burns’es; Mark, Sue, Phil & Leanne, we headed off home. The clutch had a bit more judder than normal but there didn’t seem to be much wrong. 60 km into the trip, just after Lang Lang, I hit a large bump and the tin screeching noise came back, however this time it continued after I’d stopped and only went away when the engine was turned off. Oh dear! I had a strong suspicion what it might be, even so I still got out and checked under the car, poked around the rear drive shafts and, of course, burnt my arm on the exhaust pipe! Why do I continue to do such stupid things?
The Aprilia started again without any protest or noises. I had 100 km to go, so with the absolute minimum use of the clutch and as few gear changes as possible, we got home. The next morning removing the inspection cover from the gearbox revealed one broken spring, and one very bent one. A careful inspection showed up no other damage, the broken piece had jammed in the bent spring which probably saved the day??
Bent clutch spring
broken spring pieces and bent spring
The reason I think the spring broke started back in 2007 when the clutch bearing and the clutch seized, see here for the full story http://narrywoolan.com.au/lancia-aprilia-1070/clutch-repair.html
At the time I only replaced the one broken spring, but I now think the rest might have been stressed a little too much? But then again I have done over 12,000 km in the meantime, so maybe it is something else? I have a collection of used springs amongst the spares but this time have decided to find some new ones. I’ve emailed the normal suppliers of new parts in Europe and tried to contact a number of local spring manufactures.
As of 9/1/14 I have not heard back from any of the parts suppliers and only one local reply, I think the rest are still on their post Christmas break. The one quote so far is for $38 ea, and I need six. This is not going to be cheap, but we’ll see what info I get in the next week or so.
One good thing at least when I do get the springs, I won’t have to remove the engine & gearbox to replace them, it can be done from underneath through the inspection hole.
Still struggling to get a quote. There seems to be a problem sourcing 4.8 mm dia wire locally. Joe had some made up in Queensland a few years ago so I’m working with them to see what they did. I can get some new ones from the UK, so that might be the best option, will see how we go next week.
After getting a quote from Whelans Springs for around $60 per spring, they could source 4.8mm dia wire, I’d asked Omicon if they had any. They replied they had 6 springs that they ‘thought’ were new so I finished up ordering from them. They arrived last Friday and if they are new I’m the proverbial monkeys uncle! After cleaning the rust and muck off them I tried them out. The clutch had an extremely light pedal, in fact so light the springs were obviously totally worn and useless, they’ll be going back. Never again from them.
Visited Whelans in Bayswater to order 12 new springs, very expensive for a small number. Will wait to test them for a year or so and see if anyone wants some, could get the price down to $20ea for an order of 100!
Still waiting on the Whelans, promised 2 weeks now four! Fitted another set of used ones I had to get me by.
Finally collected the new springs from Whelans on Tuesday. Had to round off the ends with the Dremel so they would fit into the holes in the pressure plate correctly. So far they seem to work fine, about the right amount of pedal pressure but only time will tell how they last.
New silicon chrome 4.8mm dia springs
Fitted to clutch