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Discussion Starter #1
I finally took delivery of my first Lotus - a '08 Exige. Car is a blast and I love it.

My question is: my other cars have a spec for maintaining some free play in the clutch pedal at the top of its travel. i.e. the pedal has about a quarter inch or so of downward movement before it is actually acting on the clutch mechanism. The Lotus seems to have virtually no free play at all. Is there an adjustment I should be getting to for correcting this ?

Cheers,
Jeff
 

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I've never had to "adjust" mine and have gone through (3) in >150k miles... Not sure of adjustments but do you know how many miles are on the clutch? Any of those track miles?
 

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Like DWilde said no real adjustment other than proper bleeding and it will feel right when it's properly bled. How old is your BF? What color? If it's dark flush and bleed it with new fluid and the difference can be felt. Good fresh RBF is important as is the sequence of bleeding.
 

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Bleed it but be aware that your Exige is equipped with a clutch delay valve. Have a look at this article: HERE
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the info, guys.
the car was tracked a dozen or so times (estimate) but I don't know if its the original clutch. there's a number of race mods on it. As clutches go it seems pretty grabby. Te PPI showed the fluid looked good.
I'll have a look at that link on "clutch delay valve" . I've never heard of that !

Adjusting the clutch free play is part of the annual maintenance on my other cars. thats what prompted the question.

thanks again
Jeff
 

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As far as bleeding fluid I replace all BF with Motul RBF 600 yearly regardless of mileage or every 5 track days. This recommended in your owners manual.
 

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We have a hydraulic clutch
A hydraulic clutch needs no real freeplay compared to a cable clutch.
A cable clutch pulls, hydraulic pushes
AS a clutch wears it moves away from a cable clutch and towards a hydraulic clutch
Without freeplay a cable clutch will tighten up and 'ride the clutch' if you do not have freeplay
A hydraulic clutch merely needs enough extra depth to the slave cylinder that as it wears and moves back towards the slave cylinder it does not bottom out
 

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Hopefully you don't need a new slave cylinder. I had to replace mine and it was a real PITA! The part was back ordered (from MWR) and then you've got to "assume the position" to gain access above clutch pedal... Good luck and let us know outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ahh, Exigegus may have a good point
Yea, I'm comparing to my older ('69 & '88 ) cars which are cable clutches. their service manuals are in your face about clutch pedal free play.

Good point

thanx agaun about yearly BF change. that's more often that other cars I've had.
BTW - where does one get Lotus shop/service manuals ?

thanx again !
 

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^

 

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We have a hydraulic clutch
A hydraulic clutch needs no real freeplay compared to a cable clutch.
A cable clutch pulls, hydraulic pushes
AS a clutch wears it moves away from a cable clutch and towards a hydraulic clutch
Without freeplay a cable clutch will tighten up and 'ride the clutch' if you do not have freeplay
A hydraulic clutch merely needs enough extra depth to the slave cylinder that as it wears and moves back towards the slave cylinder it does not bottom out
Not quite sure I agree with this. Take for example the S2000. It is also hydraulic and has clutch pedal adjustment where one can eliminate freeplay. Just because a clutch is hydraulic doesn't mean it can't be adjusted - it just may not be possible on the Lotus.
 

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THat is the way they work, I didn't say there is never any adjustment.
Pretty much every British car with a girling slave has an adjustable pushrod
Not really for freeplay, perhaps the clutch arm has the possibility of moving more than the slave can take up

One can create freeplay with the pedal, by having a return spring that moves the pedal away from the reach of the master

The system does not really need freeplay as as the clutch wears it will push the fluid back into the master
 

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A hydraulic clutch assembly still needs a bit of freeplay in the pedal assembly. Without a bit of freeplay, the setup would have to be perfect or there would be unnecessary engagement and wear.
 

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Umm, so, no

Until the clutch rod in the slave cylinder bottoms on the bottom of the slave cylinder bore, it is going to return any compressed fluid to the master

Unless the clutch pedal is pressing on the master enough to close the return path to the reservoir, it will not result in clutch wear.

It being an imperfect world, there is generally freeplay between when the pedal starts moving and the master starts actuating. This is no different from the brakes, which also have a small amount of freeplay, but it is not something one needs to adjust or think about. I think there is a threaded adjuster on the Elise, or is it on the brake, anyway, it can set pedal height, but doesn't really affect the hydraulic system

A cable clutch it is a constant maintenance item, I adjusted the clutch on my M100 twice IIRC in ~55k miles, as the clutch was very near end of life at 110k
 

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Well,if your statement had no point, then yes. Freeplay is a thing that does not need to be adjusted or concerned with.

A cable clutch has freeplay that needs to be dealt with, not so a hydraulic

If the spring balanced weight of the pedal is less than the spring force of the spring internal to the clutch master, then it needs zero free play to operate.
 

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If you want to believe your theory go for it. All I'm saying is that some level of freeplay is a good thing to prevent unnecessary clutch engagement, as what the OP has found in most other cars, along with myself. The question, is whether this is adjustable at the MC in the Elise / Exige.
 

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Not that I'm aware of. See attached pic of the MC that I replaced for my '06. The one on top is the new one. Note there is no adjustment...

IMG_0291.jpg
 

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If needed, I found these DIY instructions very helpful:

 
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