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Discussion Starter #1
WTF? I'm on my way home from the gym when all of a sudden my transmission doesn't want to come out of gear. I force it out, put the clutch to the floor, and try to get it back in. Nothing. Pump the clutch up a bunch of times, still nothing. I match revs, put it back in gear, and limp to a parking lot.

Naturally, I'm thinking I lost my clutch hydraulics. Fortunately, I was only 2 miles or so from home, so I walked home, put my tools in my truck, and returned to the car. Took off the master cylinder area panel and everything there looked good. Poked around the engine compartment, but didn't see anything obvious.

Traffic has died down a bit by this point, so I figure I'll drive her home without the clutch rather than going back and getting the trailer and having to load her on it without a clutch. Fire her up, and she's behaving completely normal. Drive her home without incident. I repeat...WTF?

One more data point: I bled my brakes using a motive pressure bleeder last weekend. Didn't do the clutch, but have been driving all week without issue.

Any ideas?? Need to get this nailed down since I'm leaving for an HPDE at Mont Tremblant on Sunday.

Thanks a million,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Update: I drove around for almost an hour today without issue. Then, just I was getting ready to write it off as a fluke, it happened again. I made it home without the clutch and just bled the system with a motive pressure bleeder. I'm about to go for another long drive to see if she's upfixed.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Forgot to mention, on that last drive, just before I got home it started working again.

Then I bled the system, and it worked for about 5 minutes, then crapped out again.

*Very* confused here...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I won't go if I can't get it resolved. $500 down the drain. You need to match revs and double clutch. Actually, the Lotus is the hardest car to do it on I've ever encountered. You have to get it exactly right.

So with the problem happening, I observed the slave cylinder while a friend worked the clutch. It was giving a decent stroke...probably about 2 inches. Is that how much I should be seeing? I'm hoping the problem will go away again so I can observe it when its working. I'm going to remove the slave cylinder and re-bleed with the nipple help high...sort of a last ditch effort. I can't imagine a mechanical problem coming and going like that, but I also can't imagine getting that much stroke and a stiff pedal with a hydraulic problem. Arghhhh!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Correction...travel is more like 1 inch.

So I bled the system with the slave cylinder out. Didn't fix it. Observed it when it was working and also when it wasn't, and the travel looked about the same. So that leads me to believe that it's something in the release mechanism. The nail in the coffin is that I hear something tinkle in the clutch housing when the engine is killed. I just can't imagine what could be wrong in there that would alternate between completely normal clutch and almost no disengagement...seemingly at random.
 

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Never heard of this happening before. My best guess would be the throw out bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Right now my money is on the retaining clip for the TO bearing.
 
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