Europa Twin Cam — Stuck Clutch - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Europa Twin Cam — Stuck Clutch

After sitting for a year I rebuilt the carbs on my 1972 TC, tightened up and tweaked the throttle linkage and built a heat shield to help the twin velocity stacks draw cooler air. The car fired right up and purred. However, it has sat in a rather damp garage and the clutch plate looks to be stuck so it won't go into gear (it was left in neutral). Any tips to free the clutch? I was thinking of tapping on the housing with a hard plastic hammer.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 05:28 AM
glb
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Tapping wouldn't work, I think. When engine is off, disk is clamped.


Warm car up.

Turn it off.

Put in 1st or reverse.

Press clutch pedal down.

Start car.

It will lurch a bit and then, usually, the clutch will break loose pretty quickly.

(If not, get on & off throttle sharply a few times.)

Let us know, OK?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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I'll give that a try, thanks. Quick question — if I'm able to put it in gear with the engine off, why not select 3rd and over-rev it so it's a smoother launch?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 05:52 AM
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You don't want smooth, you want it to jerk.

Probably any gear is OK.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...cy-line-36631/
Safely Piercing Wires-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129...esting-106438/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101...-brakes-241138
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 06:05 AM
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This is a pretty common issue with the car, and it can happen with zero motion over a single winter's storage!

If Gil's suggestions don't work for you, check in with the guys in the Europa Community, they'll help out:

Lotus Europa Community - Index

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 07:43 AM
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My TC Europa did this all the time.

If you are in an area where you can safely do this try it first. Get the car warmed up and roll it out to the street. Turn the car off, put it into first gear and start the car in first gear and with the clutch peddle depressed. While running and rolling abruptly stab the throttle peddle on and off, keeping the clutch peddle depressed.

If the above does not work, go find an old dinner knife (one you can keep in the tool box without the wife getting upset). Through the timing hole on the bell housing you can usually find a spot in the clutch pressure plate housing to see the clutch disk. Get that spot lined up with the timing hole. With the car stopped and off, have someone else depress the clutch peddle. You can slip the knife into the timing hole on the bell housing and pry/pop the clutch off the flywheel.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 08:31 AM
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I have never had a Lotus where the following did not work.

Find a spot where you have about 100 foot in front of you. Jack up the rear of the car just enough to get the wheels off the ground.

Have somebody back at the jack handle. Get in the car, start it up with the clutch depressed.

Have them drop the car abruptly. Always breaks it loose for me and the car usually only goes a few feet.

Now I don't see a down side to this, I have done it many times. Probably 5 or 6 times over the years. Does anyone have an issue with doing this?

I have never broken anything. But not saying that something bad could happen. It just has never happened to me.

Tony Vaccaro
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Great advice, all, I'll give it a try one night this week when our east coast weather clears. The Lotus is currently on a lift in my garage so I'll need to push it out (or risk a mean, batman-style power slide exiting
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:42 AM
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Tony, good idea. But, my method stresses parts less, so would be perhaps a preferable first step.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...cy-line-36631/
Safely Piercing Wires-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129...esting-106438/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101...-brakes-241138
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 07:53 PM
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Jack up the rear of the car
Put on jack stands
Chock the front wheels
Put the car in gear and start
Engage the clutch
Give the engine some revs and then jump on the brakes.

Basically the same as most of the above except the car won't go anywhere.

Cheers,
Kiyoshi

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 08:00 PM
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Once you get it unstuck make sure you put some oil on the flywheel to ensure it doesn't happen again...

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00' S1 Exige
94' S4 Esprit (SOLD)
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikelr View Post
Once you get it unstuck make sure you put some oil on the flywheel to ensure it doesn't happen again...
Really? You recommend lubing a friction surface? Can't tell if you're joking.


Just not letting it sit unused is enough prevention.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...cy-line-36631/
Safely Piercing Wires-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129...esting-106438/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101...-brakes-241138
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glb View Post
Really? You recommend lubing a friction surface? Can't tell if you're joking.


Just not letting it sit unused is enough prevention.
I guess my humor is as dry as his flywheel.

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00' S1 Exige
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-11-2015, 06:12 PM
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I used to hang around the Lotus distributorship in New Orleans when they were port of import for the central section of the country. Europas would sometimes bake in the hot, humid New Orleans weather for a long time before they were sold. The clutches would always stick, and the "official" remedy was glb's method. Sometimes the wrench that worked there would have to drive it around the block to break it loose, but if you jerk it a bit, it will come loose.

Back in 1980, I had Dave Bean build me a BDA and I thought I was going to have the same problem when I finally got in on the road (almost twenty years later, he whispered), but I didn't. I don't know if it was the flywheel and clutch Dave used (the flywheel is aluminum with steel friction surface. I think he got them from Tilton) or because the motor was inside the garage that whole time. Or maybe I was just lucky!
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Follow up — been traveling a lot and finally was home this weekend. Pushed the car off the lift and out of the garage, put it in second gear and bumped the key four or five times. Clutch now unstuck and car shifts perfectly. Thanks, all.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 07:55 AM
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Glad for you.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f100...cy-line-36631/
Safely Piercing Wires-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129...esting-106438/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101...-brakes-241138
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsfriends View Post
Follow up — been traveling a lot and finally was home this weekend. Pushed the car off the lift and out of the garage, put it in second gear and bumped the key four or five times. Clutch now unstuck and car shifts perfectly. Thanks, all.
Your car shifts perfectly? Really? I thought this thread was about an Europa!
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Owned, loved, enjoyed, and now gone:
1969 Europa S2 Blue
1970 Europa S2 White
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1984 Turbo Esprit Calypso Red
2005 Elise Starlight Black
2005 Elise Saffron Yellow
2005 Elise Ardent Red
2006 Exige Graphite Grey
2007 Exige Canyon Red

Other:
1970 MGB GT
1970 Datsun 510
1984 Honda CRX Si
1984 Pontiac Fiero
2004 Chrysler Crossfire
2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe
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