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Re: Driving on a slipping clutch

To: Skye Poier <>, MG Nuts <>
Subject: Re: Driving on a slipping clutch
From: Barney Gaylord <>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 02:43:59
At 04:11 PM 9/29/99 -0700, Skye Poier wrote:
>Is it bad to drive around with a slipping clutch?

Yes, it's bad.  Not necessarily bad for your health as long as you're aware
of what's happening and drive accordingly.  However it can ultimately be
bad for your budget.  

>I'm sure its because engine oil is getting onto the clutch.  Will it
continue to just be a nuisance or could it lead to a sudden, catastrophic

Probably not sudden and catastrophic, but eventually failure for sure.  Oil
contamination deteriorates the friction material, weakening it so it wears
away faster.  A slipping clutch also wears faster (lots faster), so the
more it slips the quicker will be its final demise.  If the clutch disk is
allowed to wear down to the point that the lining attachment rivets are
exposed to the mating surfaces, then it can score the pressure plate and/or
flywheel, which ultimately adds to the cost of setting it right again.

Also a slipping clutch may not be caused by the oil you see, but the clutch
disk might actually be worn out.  These things have a habbit of slipping
just about the time the friction material gets worn down to the rivet
heads, because of the limitations of the travel of the pressure plate.
This should be considered to be a ggod thing, because it encourages you to
get it fixed before it causes damage to the mating steel surfaces.

This all leads to the old addage "A stitch in time saves nine", so adjust
your time and budget to account for a clutch job in the near future, and
the sooner the better.  And while it's apart be sure to pull the flywheel
and replace the engine rear seal (the '67 is a 5-main isn't it?), and
always replace that cheap little spigot bushing in the back end of the
crankshaft so you won't regret it later.  And just to be sure you might
also replace the front seal and front cover gasket on the gearbox, because
you hope it will be a long time before you ever see those places again.

Sorry if this sounds like bad news.  Please don't shoot the messenger.


Barney Gaylord
1958 MGA with an attitude

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