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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My '88 esprit has developed some serious drive line shudder when pulling away from a stop. I'm sure there's lots of slop in the CV joints, and perhaps the engine mounts are tired too, but it feels like a clutch issue to me...the clutch itself, not the actuation.

Before I bought the car (several months ago) the car sat for a long time. I'm thinking perhaps the rear main oil seal is leaking and starting to burn/foul the PP and flywheel. Or perhaps the clutch is just getting down to its last bit of material. In either case, it feels more like a clutch issue than slop elsewhere in the drive line.

I'll be fixing it myself - taking the engine and transaxle out is no big deal. The Citroen transaxle probably needs some attention anyway as it sounds like diff carrier bearings are starting to go bad anyway.

Thoughts?
 

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My '88 esprit has developed some serious drive line shudder when pulling away from a stop. I'm sure there's lots of slop in the CV joints, and perhaps the engine mounts are tired too, but it feels like a clutch issue to me...the clutch itself, not the actuation.
[snip]

Thoughts?
Check the easy stuff - if you have that OEM red plastic hydraulic clutch hose, maybe that *could* be the source with air, leak (long shot - clutch shudder I agree sounds like the disc with your mileage).

At least on the 88, the clutch release (take up?) is fairly long; if your clutch release is short and shuddering, it may be the hydraulics (?).
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Leaky rear main seal is the usual culprit. They other things you mentioned are rarely a factor.

Make sure to have the seal insertion tool on hand for re-assembly. Also read up on the proper install procedure. (TurboEsprit files section on Yahoo has directions from Tim Engel (Esprit2).
 

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I agree it is most likely a clutch problem, either worn out and/or contaminated from a leaky seal. Take the opportunity to replace the clip in the transmission too.
 

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Leaky rear main seal is the usual culprit. They other things you mentioned are rarely a factor.

Make sure to have the seal insertion tool on hand for re-assembly. Also read up on the proper install procedure. (TurboEsprit files section on Yahoo has directions from Tim Engel (Esprit2).
I agree with the wingless wonder, you don't mention the mileage but my money would be on oil contamination of the clutch. Additionally the previous owner(s) could have abused the clutch burning/warping the face components which will also result in take up shudder. Apologies if the grammar in this post is not perfect rotfl
 

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On the 89+ with Renault trans, you can look from below and see if there is oil from the rear main seal.

other causes for drive line shudder could include:
1) broken/loose motor mounts
2) friction material build up on the flywheel/pressure plate, similar to "warped brakes". Can usually clean this up with one aggressive clutch slip similar to bedding in the brakes.
3) broken pressure plate
4) broken spring in clutch disc. (very likely)
5) contamination

I'm sure there could be others.
 

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Cal H
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Yeah there could be other issues but Beerman has a good diagnostic thought pattern. Many of the issues require a peek at the clutch. Might as well do the required service per the C box that all recommend doing. So have at it and feed as much info to your fellow C box owners on the results and remediation
 

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When my pilot bearing completely wore out and fell apart, the clutch would often spin unbalanced causing a shudder. I did not find any of this until pulling the gearbox away from the engine, when I first separated them and saw the groove worn in the input shaft, it was actually a sign of relief as I finally found the problem. I was driving the car like this for sometime, it shuddered, thumped thru the clutch pedal, and revved very unbalanced, the whole car would shake at times. Sometimes it was still fine though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, that's good input.

The shudder is only upon take up of the clutch pulling away from a stop.

There's a slight smell of burning oil in the garage when bringing her home, and there doesn't appear to be any leaks on the exterior of the engine/manifold...so perhaps it from oil on the clutch (just a guess).

I have the JAE clutch line installed and properly bled - it doesn't feel like the clutch actuation to be honest.

Looks like the engine/gearbox is coming out. I'll do the belt and tensioner, fix any oil leaks, do the clutch and rear main seal, replace the pinion bearing on the transaxle and also replace the carrier bearings for the diff. Perhaps I'll install a quaife as well as I hate how one wheel will spin when getting on the boost (once in a while...).

A bunch of work, but it's all good.

Maybe I should install a small block ford with good heads and an audi 016....now that would really smoke.
 

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When my pilot bearing completely wore out and fell apart, the clutch would often spin unbalanced causing a shudder. I did not find any of this until pulling the gearbox away from the engine, when I first separated them and saw the groove worn in the input shaft[snip]/QUOTE]

Beerman - does your Reverse grind (unless you shift into 1st prior to Reverse)?
My 88 did that and after the circlip/nylatron fix, it does not grind.

I can't remember the exact issue (it was described as being some kind of symptom of clutch dragging), but as your car is an 88 too, perhaps the clutch shudder is what Mark (amanda11270) mentioned.

My old clutch (59k miles) was worn in an uneven manner (even though I didn't notice any shudder. If you look at my circlip thread (pre-emptive), you'll see a link of photos that show a clutch disc with uneven wear (outer edges worn noticeably more than the interior surface). Not sure if that is normal for a Lotus, but my non-Lotus car clutches wear more evenly.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/citroen-circlip-pre-emptive-strike-200137/index6.html#post3020825
 

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I forgot to mention what someone else did, the car also used to grind upon going into reverse, since my rebuild it no longer does this. I never drove the car with a properly working clutch for sometime after owning it, I just thought it was the way these cars were. Upon rebuilding the clutch area and part of the gearbox it is now a different car entirely.
 
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