An Essential Spare?

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myoldjalopy
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An Essential Spare?

Postby myoldjalopy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:25 am

I had a nasty shock a few days ago when I went to change gear and the pedal went stright to the floor with a crack! The pedal to clutch shaft had snapped in two. Miles from anywhere. And I had to climb a hill to get a phone signal...... The RAC suggested a three hour wait, so I attempted to pass the time by fixing it with some wire, which was tricky as I had to wriggle underneath without being able to raise the car off the ground. The result of which was I got filthy, ruined a T-shirt and the wire snapped as soon as I tried to put the pedal down..... :(

After a four hour wait ('cause the RAC sent the recovery man to the wrong place!), I was rescued and the car winched onto a flatbed truck to be towed home. The adventure didn't end there though as, a little way up the lane, the driver said "Look, there's a body in the road." I hopped out to find a very drunk and incoherent man sprawled in the middle of the road. We helped him to his feet, whereapon he immediately collapsed in the hedge. Next he kept wandering around the side of the truck but eventually we go him pointed in the right direction and he staggered off into the night behind us.

Anyway, the point of my rambling is this exact same failure occured 25 years ago (albeit in a different Minor) so now I think it should be an essential spare, to be added to all the usual bits, including the return spring. And maybe the actual adjustment rod as well, as thats probably the same age as the part that broke. Anyone have one of these break?

Edward1949
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby Edward1949 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:35 pm

Yes, back in the 1970s driving a 1955 Minor. A long way from home, but the route had few junctions. Started the car in first gear (a bit brutal) and went through the gears to top ( it's surprisingly easy to get engine speed just right for clutchless gear changing if you concentrate). Main angst was a traffic light junction with hill start near home, but the lights were green so I didn't have to stop.
Good point about packing a spare, maybe I'll start carrying one.

Murrayminor
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby Murrayminor » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:03 pm

Is this the shaft that the brake and clutch pedal share?
I was looking at that shaft the other day and thought it could do with some sort of lubricating mechanism such as a grease nipple.
Has anyone carried out this modification?
Would it work is it worth the effort??
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

Edward1949
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby Edward1949 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:30 pm

Murrayminor wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:03 pm
Is this the shaft that the brake and clutch pedal share?
No, we're talking about the rod which links to the clutch withdrawal lever at the bell-housing. The shared brake + clutch pedal shaft can certainly wear and develop looseness over the years, anything you can do to lubricate it must be a good thing.

don58van
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby don58van » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:54 pm


myoldjalopy
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby myoldjalopy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:55 pm

Edward1949 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Yes, back in the 1970s driving a 1955 Minor. A long way from home, but the route had few junctions. Started the car in first gear (a bit brutal) and went through the gears to top ( it's surprisingly easy to get engine speed just right for clutchless gear changing if you concentrate).
Goodness, that was resourceful. I didn't dare try that as there were far too many hills and narrow roads on the 30 mile drive home and I doubt it would have ended well! :o

liammonty
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby liammonty » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:05 pm

I may be reckless, but a failure every 25 years wouldn’t convince me to class this as an essential spare! There are so many things I could carry in the car if I worried too much. I stick to a very few basics like points, condenser, coil and a rotor arm. I always carry cable ties and gaffer tape on a long journey too, but not a lot more. I do have breakdown cover though :D

liammonty
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby liammonty » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:08 pm

Edward1949 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Yes, back in the 1970s driving a 1955 Minor. A long way from home, but the route had few junctions. Started the car in first gear (a bit brutal) and went through the gears to top ( it's surprisingly easy to get engine speed just right for clutchless gear changing if you concentrate). Main angst was a traffic light junction with hill start near home, but the lights were green so I didn't have to stop.
Good point about packing a spare, maybe I'll start carrying one.
That’s exactly how I got my Wolseley Six home from Tavistock up into Princetown in Dartmoor last year when the clutch master cylinder failed :D . Great minds!

myoldjalopy
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby myoldjalopy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:34 pm

liammonty wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:05 pm
I may be reckless, but a failure every 25 years wouldn’t convince me to class this as an essential spare! There are so many things I could carry in the car if I worried too much.
Fair point, but as the pedal rod broke, I'm wondering if the adjustment rod may be next as they are presumably the same age :-? And it could happen to anyone with the original linkage still in place. And it hardly takes up any space as a spare - certainly less than a coil.
If I'd had the spare, it wouldn't have been a problem but as it took over four hours for help to arrive and the RAC lady sent the recovery driver to the wrong place first :roll: I was pretty hacked off by the end. The drunk made for an interesting postscript though....... :wink:

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ianmack
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby ianmack » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:20 am

I had a clutch linkage fail once, it’s surprising how slowly a mog can go in top gear if it has to. In my case the part that went was the metal plate that holds the rubber bush in place.

The clutch linkage isn’t one of the mog’s strongest points and I can’t help thinking that if you are concerned about yours breaking it might be better to replace it at a time and place of your own choosing rather than piecemeal at the roadside.

A complete linkage is £28 from Bull Motif, soon recovered if you don’t ruin any more shirts :D

myoldjalopy
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:12 am

Yes, there is a certain amount of sense in what you say, Ian. And as I have pointed out before, with age and use, any and every part will fail sooner or later, even if the car is well maintained. Its just a matter of time. Ominously, some have reported early failure of new replacement parts! Certainly, with any car, particularly something ancient like a Morris Minor, it makes sense to periodically examine things like hoses, cables, ignition leads etc. but most people aren't going to be examining things like clutch linkages until there is a problem - and if they did, they might see general wear, but not necessarily any sign that a rod would snap in two on the next journey. Can you tell by looking if a valve spring is about to break? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, is a commonly held modus operandi, although we know that sooner or later it will break!

I guess my post was prompted by the fact that this particular failure has happened to me twice (although, as I said, 25 years apart and in two different cars) and both times I was left stranded in the middle of B-F-N.....as darkness was falling :( . One of the great things about the Minor is that many roadside breakdowns are fixable with the right spares on board - or even bodgable with a little ingenuity as a get-you-home measure.

Interesting thoughts folks - maybe a new post titled 'The Philosophy of Car Maintenance' is called for - or even 'Zen and the Art of Morris Minor Maintenance :wink:

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ianmack
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Re: An Essential Spare?

Postby ianmack » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:25 pm

<t>Any part might fail but some are much more likely to than others. If I thought every part was going to fail I would have found a new hobby years ago. There are plenty of hundred year old cars still with many original parts. Replacement can be determined in various ways, mileage for plugs and filters, visual inspection for hoses and brake shoes while other parts are kept until they break. Light or severe use also has to be considered.<br/>
<br/>
As our cars age we may have to rethink these criteria. Certainly assembling a rebuilt car I replace every rubber part without question, but a clutch linkage I would inspect and use again unless I could see wear or damage. I’ve only experienced one linkage failure and I managed to limp home on that occasion.<br/>
<br/>
I once read an article by a mechanic who had looked after a fleet of hard worked Minors, panda cars I think or possibly post vans. Asked about problems he quoted clutch linkages as the bane of his life, an endless source of trouble on severe use Minors.</t>

Some enthusiasts will tell you that the occasional breakdown is all part of the fun with old motors but I prefer to avoid them if possible with careful maintenance. Typical fuel or ignition problems aren’t too inaccessible but I would hate to fix a clutch linkage by the roadside. Apart from the unpleasantness of crawling about there’s also the question of safety when your lift and support items are at home.

I think for my future projects a new linkage on assenbly might be worthwhile.


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