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Clutches & Trannies - Take 2

SORRY for the previous post, folks.  I screwed up.  My apologies for 
the waste of list space.

> From: Alex Zhukovsky <azhukovs@fac.har.sunysb.edu>

> When she called she was told that the clutch is "slipping" (!) and the
> car needs a new one. I can hardly beleive that this is true for I know
> how the problem started. But could it be that one of the plates got
> broken and was blocking enetering into the gear and then somehow
> relocated   (etc....)

Alex, this is a bit weird, but the clutch is simply not dis-engaging 
when presed down.  As long as you can start the car in gear and shift 
by matching revs, you can get it a ways, but clearly it's not a good 

IF you can get it to a hill, you can always try putting a load on it 
while going uphill (like full-bore acceleration in 2nd, and again in 
3rd, starting at low speed) and see if the clutch DOES slip.  If you 
get a rev increase which is not matched in road speed  - usually the 
slip will occur when the engines comes on the cam and makes its 
best power - then your clutch is slipping.  But if you can't make it 
slip, then I'd go after the reason the clutch does not dis-engage.  
If you're at all attuned to your car, you KNOW when a clutch starts 
to slip much.

Could be the cable - but you say you checked that.  If it has a hydraulic 
slave cylinder, check that.  If it's neither of those (I'm not a 4K 
expert) then you're going to have to get inside the clutch housing  - 
to look at throwout arm and bearing.  Is there an inspection plate on 
the bottom you can pull off and look inside with a flashlight?

Usually this is NOT a failure of the pressure plate - but I suppose 
it could fail partially or fingers could bend enough that the TO 
bearing couldn't depress them.  I doubt it, tho.

If you have to pull the clutch housing, you may want to consider 
doing, pressure place, disc and TO bearing, plus pilot bearing as 
long as you're in there.

Short war story: I once fried the clutch on a '66 Pontiac LeMans with 
a GTO engine - it slipped, but the owner nursed it for two weeks by 
disconnecting the clutch release.  He started it in gear, drove matching 
the shift speeds and just killed it at stop lights.  (It had a helluva starter...)  
So the clutch CAN be bad and be nursed along in this situation...but ya 
gotta be good and traffic hasta be light!

PS: we finally changed the clutch using a standard service station hoist in 
*45 minutes* flat.  Boy, those Pontiac 326-389-400-421 engines and 
drivetrains were EASY to work on!!!

> From: "Luke D. Vinogradov" <Luke.VINOGRADOV@ENG.monash.edu.au>
> Subject: When will my auto die?

> I believe my auto ('81 4k 2.144l) is on its way out.  I have been led 
> to believe this by a) the mechanic telling me so and b) the following 
> symptoms:  fairly loud whining in first (not the diff) particularly 
> under full throttle and on changes, surge/lurch on changes 
> particularly under full throttle, a tendency to wait a little before 
> engaging reverse particularly after a bit of work - I drove it a 
> continuous 400km finishing with a climb up to a ski resort and when I 
> got there the delay had doubled, and the mechanic reported that there 
> was quite a bit of friction material in the pan.

Hasn't it started waving white flags and playing the Death March, 

> .... there seems to be (at least below 2500rpm or so) a 
> tendency to feel, well, slushy, i.e. I can rev it up and down by 
> nearly 1000rpm in top without a whole lot happening to road speed.  

Sounds to me like if it's still moving by the time you read this, 
you've gotten about all out of it that you're likely to.  It must be 
near death by now.  Time for a rebuilt.  Your other priorities will 
have to wait.  You might consider getting a newer  Audi for what a 
tranny may cost you.....

Al Powell                           Voice:  409/845-2807
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