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'89 200TQ clutch pedal broke



Hello, virtual club!

It's good to be back. Family matters had forced me to unsub for two mos (I had an avalanche of house guests: my son, dad, both of whom I 
haven't seen for almost 10 years, my mom and mother-in-law). The Q-list deprivation was no fun, although Osman and James Marriott have kept me 
more or less abreast via private mail.
My appologies to listers who were looking for me with the tech. questions, please resend them if any of the required info is still actual.

The only Q-useful thing, that I've done over the said period of time, was the suspension upgrade. I have elected to go with Boge Pro-gas front 
and Turbo-Gas rear. I originally considered Eric's SteadyKit, heard a lot of good reports on it, but alas, it was outside the allocated 
suspension budget. Especially in the light of the forthcoming aquisition of an A4TQ as a new toy/project. A full report on suspension will 
follow shortly.

Now a bizzare question (like if I ever had any different ones).
I have snapped my SECOND(!) clutch pedal, the last time it happened in Feb 96. Here's the story:

A year ago I was coming through a toll booth of the Tacony-Palmira bridge, coming back to Philly from NJ. I was in the toll booth' concrete 
corridor, money in the left hand, shifter in the right, clutch in, brake in, when suddenly it went: *BANG* and the Q leaped forward. Naturally 
I stabbed the brakes and killed the engine, but...to have it happen in the bottleneck of a tollbooth, in a rush hour, with a line of cars 
behind going nuts, coz they were trapped in the same concrete corridor behind me...The clutch pedal was laying on the floor and it was obvious, 
that the hinge, which secures the pedal to the clutch MC, had snapped off.
Fortunately, there are wery few things that will make me call a tow truck, and a *no-clutch* condition ain't one of them. Took me a bit longer 
to reach home, though, since I decided not to go above the 2nd gear. Since RPMs were pretty high, I turned the heater all the way up (32C and 
on "Hi") and opened windows and sunroof in order not to fry myself.

One more thing. I did rebuild the MC about 2 years ago, and yes, it was slightly pitted. OTOH, I have rebuilt dozens of clutch and brake MCs in 
the past without a single problem. The clutch MC, that I rebuilt on my '85 5000s 4 years ago, shows no signs of weakness up to this day.
Yet one more thing: the clutch pedal always made a cracking/snapping noise, when pushed in, as if a walnut shell has been placed under it. I 
just learned to live with this sound.
One last thing: my clutch has always been very hard, and I think it is getting harder.

I flush the clutch hydro sys with the pressure bleeder no less than twice a year. The fluid is DOT-4 Pentosin and is absolutely clean and 
fresh. The Slave Cyl and the $54 pressure hose, as well as the top reservoir suction hose are only 2 years old.

Now, one year and a new clutch pedal later, it has happened again. What's the deal? I need your collective wisdom. I sight three distinct 
possibilities:

1. The Al clutch/brake pedal cluster has it's clutch pivot axis misaligned so that the vector of force applied has also a lateral component, 
which jams the piston in the MC bore.

2. The MC itself is bad (pitted?) and it's piston jams in the bore.

3. The through-out bearing and/or pressure plate are history (ouch!). For those who have gone through the clutch/bearing replacement on a 
44-chassis Audi w/Quattro: will a sticky bearing generate enough resistance in order to snap the ear on the clutch pedal? Has the effort, 
required to depress the clutch, become significantly lighter after the clutch replacement?


Any help is sincerely appreciated.

Igor Kessel
'89 200TQ, 18psi(TAP)
temporarily handicapped