404 hydraulic clutch problem
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Mar 2004
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    Christchurch, NZ
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    Icon5 404 hydraulic clutch problem

    As some sort of cruel punishment I find myself the owner of a 71 404 U10. It supposedly has had a new clutch fitted, but it has been sitting for 2 years and things are not well. The clutch is virtually non existant. To start it, I have to put it in gear and hit the starter. I can hold it on the brakes without stalling the motor, and if I let the brakes off with the clutch engaged it creeps like an auto. Gearshifts are bascially clutchless on the lower gears, but sitting at idle I can get it into top and as long as I am quick I can work it down through the box to 2nd, which is ok to start in.

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    Any ideas as to the problem?

    Cheers

    Tony
    95 MI16
    71 404 U10 ute
    66 404 coupe
    55 203C (gently warmed) gone... sold...

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    melbourne
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi 03
    As some sort of cruel punishment I find myself the owner of a 71 404 U10. It supposedly has had a new clutch fitted, but it has been sitting for 2 years and things are not well. The clutch is virtually non existant. To start it, I have to put it in gear and hit the starter. I can hold it on the brakes without stalling the motor, and if I let the brakes off with the clutch engaged it creeps like an auto. Gearshifts are bascially clutchless on the lower gears, but sitting at idle I can get it into top and as long as I am quick I can work it down through the box to 2nd, which is ok to start in.

    Any ideas as to the problem?

    Cheers

    Tony
    If you are lucky, it may only be that the hydraulics on the slave cylinder have not been bled properly & the clutch is not fully disengaging. The RHD cars are a mongrel to bleed as there is nor enough movement in the clutch pedal to fully move fluid (with air bubbles) through the system.
    Consider backward bleeding the clutch by joining up the closest brake cylinder bleeder to the clutch slave cylinder bleeder - open both and pump the brake pedal until fluid goes (backwards) into the clutch. As both systems share the same resevoir you can keep pumping the brake pedal until all the air in the clutch is gone.

    Good luck - its a long shot - but it may be the problem.

    PS: PLEASE EXPLAIN about your modified 203, it could bring back memories for an old man who was very naughty in his 203s in the dawn of time!!
    So many projects - so little time.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Mar 2004
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    Christchurch, NZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by 604 tragic
    If you are lucky, it may only be that the hydraulics on the slave cylinder have not been bled properly & the clutch is not fully disengaging. The RHD cars are a mongrel to bleed as there is nor enough movement in the clutch pedal to fully move fluid (with air bubbles) through the system.
    Consider backward bleeding the clutch by joining up the closest brake cylinder bleeder to the clutch slave cylinder bleeder - open both and pump the brake pedal until fluid goes (backwards) into the clutch. As both systems share the same resevoir you can keep pumping the brake pedal until all the air in the clutch is gone.

    Good luck - its a long shot - but it may be the problem.

    PS: PLEASE EXPLAIN about your modified 203, it could bring back memories for an old man who was very naughty in his 203s in the dawn of time!!

    Thanks for the advice. It is certainly worth a go before I have to pull the motor out.

    My 203 has a very light flywheel, drastically shaved head, warm cam and 403 inlet valves. This give me a 75 mph cruising speed and 95mph max. It could still do with a bit more grunt so if I can ever lay my hands on a twin carb manifold that will be the next step

    Tony
    95 MI16
    71 404 U10 ute
    66 404 coupe
    55 203C (gently warmed) gone... sold...

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Oct 2003
    Location
    canberra
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    Try tickling the protrusion in the clutch reservior, that often lets the bubbles up.. you can also lift the actuating rod by putting your hand down the front of the cylinder and with your fingers lift the yoke, but be careful when you tickle the top as fluid shoots up, so put a rag over it

    like you I have a warm 203c extractors, cam, 1 3/4 Su carb
    painted it today so have to put it all back together when paint hardens
    had it for 2 years but never driven it on the road yet,
    Also have a very nice 403b and 404 sed on club plates

    Is your 203 the french blue one?
    there was a pic of that car on a circuit inNZ on cover Torque the Melb PCCV magazine recently
    happy pugging

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpine
    Try tickling the protrusion in the clutch reservior, that often lets the bubbles up.. you can also lift the actuating rod by putting your hand down the front of the cylinder and with your fingers lift the yoke, but be careful when you tickle the top as fluid shoots up, so put a rag over it

    like you I have a warm 203c extractors, cam, 1 3/4 Su carb
    painted it today so have to put it all back together when paint hardens
    had it for 2 years but never driven it on the road yet,
    Also have a very nice 403b and 404 sed on club plates

    Is your 203 the french blue one?
    there was a pic of that car on a circuit inNZ on cover Torque the Melb PCCV magazine recently
    happy pugging


    Thanks for the advice. Will give it a go.

    Yes, that was my 203 on the cover of Torque, doing a hillclimb. I will be interested to hear how yours goes when you get it back on the road.

    cheers

    Tony
    95 MI16
    71 404 U10 ute
    66 404 coupe
    55 203C (gently warmed) gone... sold...

  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
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    Burpengary and Murrumburrah, Qld and NSW
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    On one of my 504 wagons I went to extremes to bleed the clutch... and never got it better than having to be pumped five or six times!

    It was absolutely impossible... and I cannot work out why. I haven't had the problem since. But I even went to the extreme of putting a bleed nipple in a fitting at the high point of the clutch line to try and get air out of the system.

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