I am surprised that someone familiar with the British driving style of
the the 1960s hasn't mentioned that the clutch usage on the British
Isles is different than that in the US.
The British hardly ever sat with the clutch disengaged more than a few
seconds. The clutch was mainly used only during shift changes.
1) When I was there in the early 70s, you seldom saw a stop sign and
traffic control lights were few. Yield signs were used extensively
where the US would have placed a stop.
2) Many intersections use "round abouts" instead of stops or signal
controlled intersections. Just watch the British comedy "Keeping up
3) Stop lights used a different sequence. Red is followed by a red AND
YELLOW before the green. Thus the sequence at a stop light was:
Declutch, Shift to neutral, set hand brake, release the clutch pedal.
When the lights went to red and yellow, you would declutch, shift into
gear and released the hand brake when the green appeared. That was one
reason for the "Fly Off" hand brake.
Therefore, one never sat at a stop lamp IN GEAR with the clutch
disengaged. The carbon throwout bearing will last very long when used
I still declutch and shift to neutral at stop lights. I watch the cross
signal light and when it goes to yellow, I put the transmission into
Same thing happened to me. The new one has done about 30k over the last
> ... to our astonishment we
> found that the throw out bearing had completely disintegrated, I mean
> there was nothing left on the clutch fork, the throw out bearing was laying in
> little pieces on the bottom of the bell housing...