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Alas, my 1999 Esprit needs a clutch replacement. I've read several posts regarding problems with getting into reverse....I've got that issue plus rubbery feel through the forward gears and slight occasional grinding going into first at a full stop.

Yes folks! Looks like a clutch change is required......

MY QUESTIONS:
1- Where is the best place with the best price where I can buy a clutch kit?

2- I have lots of garage space, floor jacks and tools.....I've done a fair amount of mechanical work but I've never changed a clutch before. Is there something available for the somewhat experienced and logical that can take me through the clutch change process for this automobile?

Thank you all in advance for any help you might provide.
 

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Before you drop a wad on a new clutch and installation, do you still have the original red line hydraulic tubing? If you do it is most likely shot by now and stands to be replaced with a set of stainless steel braided clutch lines.
The red lines were made from a nylon material which over time sucumbs to flexing. The result is a dead or dying clutch feel.
You can get a set of SS lines from JAE and the cost of installation is considerably less than a clutch job.
 

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My clutch exhibited those same issues... I bought only the disc set from JAE (along with an alignment tool) and it solved all the problems.

Although I had already changed the clutch line.. so check that first.

The only special tool you may want (i wanted) was a buddy to help lift the trans out of the car. I ended up leaving it in while changing it, but that want the most efficient.

make sure you buy new axle seals pins and new fluid for the trans.
 

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Doing the clutch in the Lotus V-8 is not all that bad. The V-8's already have the S/S line so that is not the problem. JAE has everything you will need. You will also need:
An engine crane (makes it a lot easier to remove the transmission and reinstall it)
A clutch alignment tool (you can rent it or buy it)
The pilot bearing
Pressure plate with throwout bearing, TWO friction plates, and intermediate plate
If you have to remove the flywheel to replace it or grind it you will need a set of bolts for the flywheel. If the flywheel must be ground be sure the shop knows to put the step back.
New pins for the output flanges (don't let them hang)
Good time to replace the oil in the transmission. MT-90
This is all done in the back from the top. Remove the floor of the trunk and undo the strut on the left side for the hatch to get it to open more. Get plenty of blankets and covers to cover the fenders and rear. Before removing the transmission make sure it is full of oil. If it is very low it could cause shifting problems and make you think it needs a clutch (you may anyway!). Before removing the transmission you should remove the oil so you don't make a big mess. The worst part of all of this is the price of the parts.
David Teitelbaum
 

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do you still have the original red line hydraulic tubing?


His car is a V8 and don't have a red line hydraulic tubing.

I bought only the disc set from JAE (along with an alignment tool) and it solved all the problems


I did the same thing -- and it works - as a matter of fact, I relined the disc - cost me $250. for twins
Oh, check the flywheel make sure it's not fitted and flat.
 

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Did you try bleeding the air from the hydraulic clutch system first? Make sure you have fresh fluid and verify the hydraulics are actuating fully before removing the transmission to replace a clutch.

Are you getting any slipping in 5th gear with boost?
 

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Which one is it? Full of oil or empty before removing the gearbox?

Before removing the transmission make sure it is full of oil. If it is very low it could cause shifting problems and make you think it needs a clutch (you may anyway!). Before removing the transmission you should remove the oil so you don't make a big mess.
 

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If you are grinding in gears sounds like your pressure plate is definitely failing. But you also have symptoms of air in the hydraulics. Start with the simple stuff first. Good Luck!
 

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That did come out a little confusing. Before removing the transmission you make sure none of the simple stuff is causing your problems. Make sure the clutch hydraulics are working and the transaxle is full of oil. If you do have to remove it, it is a good idea to remove the oil so it doesn't leak all over the place. From the description of the symptoms it does sound like the clutch is worn. How many miles on the car? Has the clutch fluid ever been changed?
David Teitelbaum
 

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Clutch life is very dependent on how the car is driven. There is no way to tell, especially if more than one owner has driven the car any significant amount. 50,000 miles is typical but as they say "Your mileage may vary". You can blow a clutch in 500 miles and they have been known to last 100,000 miles. If you suspect the clutch, the very first thing to do is change the oil in the transmission. If you don't know what kind of oil is in there or how long it has been in there it needs to be changed. Next is the hydraulic clutch fluid. Again, if you don't know what kind of brake fluid or how long it has been in there it needs to be changed. Or if it looks dark. That goes for the brake fluid too. You should also check the linkage by the pedals. We have seen where the clevis pins wear badly reducing the amount you can actuate the clutch. If all of this doesn't improve clutch action it is probably worn. If you see a lot of bronze in the old oil you may also require new syncros.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Inconsistent clutch action

I recently had an issue with grinding when putting my car in reverse that had nothing to do with the clutch and was a simple and cheap fix. In my case it was a linkage issue at the pedal caused by two compounding factors: 1) the jamb nut on the pedal stop bolt had loosened so the stop bolt was creeping out so I didn't get the clutch fully disengaged before the stop hit the floor, and 2) the clevis pin had a notch worn in it that further reduced the effective pedal travel.

Some more details and pictures are in a thread entitled "Inconsistent clutch action" that you should be able to find (I'd post the link if I knew how...).

Knut
 

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Doing the clutch in the Lotus V-8 is not all that bad. The V-8's already have the S/S line so that is not the problem. JAE has everything you will need. You will also need:
An engine crane (makes it a lot easier to remove the transmission and reinstall it)
A clutch alignment tool (you can rent it or buy it)
The pilot bearing
Pressure plate with throwout bearing, TWO friction plates, and intermediate plate
If you have to remove the flywheel to replace it or grind it you will need a set of bolts for the flywheel. If the flywheel must be ground be sure the shop knows to put the step back.
New pins for the output flanges (don't let them hang)
Good time to replace the oil in the transmission. MT-90
This is all done in the back from the top. Remove the floor of the trunk and undo the strut on the left side for the hatch to get it to open more. Get plenty of blankets and covers to cover the fenders and rear. Before removing the transmission make sure it is full of oil. If it is very low it could cause shifting problems and make you think it needs a clutch (you may anyway!). Before removing the transmission you should remove the oil so you don't make a big mess. The worst part of all of this is the price of the parts.
David Teitelbaum
God evening at all.
I write from Italy.
I need the two new disc clutch for Esprit V8. Can you speciify what is the supllier JAE ?
Thank you. my adress is g.baldoni7ATmail.com
tel +39 3355990779
Thank you.
Giancarlo Baldoni
 

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know this thread is old but I think the 97 V8 still had the red line tubing...for those diagnosing clutch issues you may want to double check.

do you still have the original red line hydraulic tubing?


His car is a V8 and don't have a red line hydraulic tubing.

I bought only the disc set from JAE (along with an alignment tool) and it solved all the problems


I did the same thing -- and it works - as a matter of fact, I relined the disc - cost me $250. for twins
Oh, check the flywheel make sure it's not fitted and flat.
 

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All of the V-8's should have the S/S line but it is very easy to verify. Even if you do have the plastic line, your clutch action will be good till the car gets hot. That is when the clutch line will expand and you lose clutch movement. SO, if your clutch is OK cold but gets bad as it gets hot you probably have "Red Hose Syndrome". This can also be confused with bad/wrong/low oil in the transmission so that should also be checked and changed. Some of the early 97's were shipped with a single late clutch. Lotus USA went to great lengths to make sure each and every V-8 was converted to the twin plate clutch. While it is unlikely, it is possible they missed some.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Rereading the clutch info here, I recently drove my friends final edition and his clutch is soft and easy to engage, whereas my car with 5k less miles is much harder, deff more effort to engage, to,e for a new clutch or could this be something different? When shifting through the gears everything is easy to engage, just the pedal feels heavy and harder to engage
 

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As the clutch nears the end of it's life the pedal will become increasingly harder but it is a very subjective thing and you really need a lot of experience to determine that. Clutch life is not directly measurable by mileage so just because you have roughly the same mileage as another car, you can in no way can compare clutch life. If it feels a lot harder you can assume you have less clutch left than your friend's car has.
David Teitelbaum
 
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