The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

Toledo 1500 clutch issue
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Author:  Robert 352 [ Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:25 am ]
Post subject:  Toledo 1500 clutch issue

A few years ago I would have sent an e-mail to Jonners seeking his advice and in return would have received a delightful and helpful response. We would have chattered about a whole series of issues and enjoyed the banter between us. But who I wonder has taken Jonner’s place, who can tell me the next step to take with my drama of a clutch which will not fully disengage?

I expect now that the problem is within the clutch but before I drop the gearbox and clutch housing off the back of the engine perhaps there are other things I should be checking.

The clutch was frozen to the flywheel but I have freed that by driving for some distance with my foot pressed firmly to the floor (no carpet on the floor). The clutch is now slipping but not disengaging fully.

I had earlier removed the clutch operating pedal and the master cylinder fork which is connected to the pedal by a clevis pin. I have “removed” all the wear in the clutch operating linkage. I have welded two strips of metal to the outside of the fork and re-drilled it to take a 5/16 dia high tensile bolt which I have substituted for the clevis pins. The spare pins I hold here are not long enough. I understand that the clevis pins are probably cased hardened and that the surface hardness is probably greater that a 5/16 bolt but by welding the plates to the fork I have increased the contact surface area considerably.

Has anybody else been able to overcome this problem without having to remove the gearbox?


Author:  cliftyhanger [ Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

1. Have you got more than a tiny amount of free play on the clutch pedal? (ie is the pushrod too short)
2. Same at the gearbox end
3. Is the system correctly bled
4. Clutch arm pin in place and not wobbling about.
5 Correct slave cylinder? if bore too large it won't disengage the clutch
6 You could try fitting a .75 bore master cylinder from a landrover etc, that would give a bit more movement. Not keen on this but sometimes it works.

Of course, if there is a clutch issue then the box has to come out...

Author:  cleverusername [ Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

I had a similar problem with my 1500, which I have now put a Sprint engine in. I was never able to get the clutch to work properly. The big problem was garbage modern parts. The clutch would jam on, brand new release bearings were noisy from day one, garbage slave cylinders, which never had enough travel on them, despite endless bleeding.

So have you used any of the delightful cheap nasty modern repro parts on your clutch? Could well be the problem.

The obvious thing to do is check the clutch hydraulics, I would try and measure the travel of the slave cylinder with it out of the gearbox. Maybe mount it in a vice and see how far it pushes a rod out? Not sure if it is possible to do something like this but someone here will know. Otherwise it is box out I would think.

The Sprint system is a million times better, so far. The car has only run a couple of feet but the clutch disengages first time very time. Did I mention I hate the clutch system on the 1500?

Author:  Carledo [ Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

With a failure to completely disengage AND slipping, my inclination is to blame the pressure plate. Or possibly a spring has dislodged in the driven plate and got jammed in the works.

You have dealt with the usual common suspects of accumulated play in various parts of the pedal linkage and I know you well enough to know that YOU know how to successfully bleed a Sprint clutch.

Which only leaves the cross shaft assembly and the clutch itself as suspects, either of which requires the engine and box to be separated to deal with. so there's no easy way of saying this, it's time to bite the bullet and do your favourite job, yank it all out!

By an odd coincidence, Bruce Jones (Triumph 1300 on here) had a similar problem on his MkI T2000 and, having tried all external cures to no avail, brought the car to my shop to do the job on my ramp. On removal of the box, the diaphragm of the clutch cover was found to be distorted. Changing it saw the return of normal clutch operation.


Author:  Robert 352 [ Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

I have chuckled to myself reading the responses here and in particular Steve’s comment about the pressure plate.

Dealing with Cliftyhangers questions first.

I am confident that I have eliminated all the free play in the various linkages. And reduced I hope, the chance of the master cylinder to clutch pedal wearing to the point that I lose the ability to disengage the clutch properly.

It is always my preference to adopt the one step at a time, to take some action and then check, rather than change everything, fix the problem and not know what the real problem was. Sometimes it can be an accumulation of little problems which all add up to one big problem, such as wear at various points in the linkage.

I had a long and very amusing conversation with Jonners about bleeding clutches and his recommendation, which I followed to the letter, was to remove the clutch slave, bring it up beside the master cylinder, clamp the piston somehow and then bleed the clutch. Which is what I did, except that I fashioned up a small plate, drilled it to match the clutch slave mounting bolts and then bolted it over the slave opening and used that to capture and hold the slave piston. It’s another little gadget which now joins others on the shelf. This one says, “bleeding” clutch slave tool. A man of course has to retain a sense of humour when carrying out such mundane tasks. On the back of it I have written RIP Jonners!

Correct slave cylinder? It is, I believe, the original fitted to the car when it passed down the New Zealand assembly line all those years ago.

Cleverusername has asked whether I am using any delightful (??) cheap modern repro parts. The answer is a clear “no”! Over the years I have discovered that it is often cheaper in the long run to refurbish an original part and out here it is a great deal cheaper to remove all the hydraulic components, clutch and brake, and take them to a local specialist who re-sleeves them with stainless inserts where necessary and fits new seals. I avoid buying New Old Stock unless I have to for invariably they will need to be re-sleeved and have new seal kits fitted anyway.

Commenting though on cheap modern repro parts. One of my son’s has a 323i BMW. He wants to replace the thermostat. A replacement - not BMW – from one of the major High Street spares suppliers was close to NZ$100.00. He got a second price from another High Street supplier for $49.00. I have ordered one out of China, $18.50 including postage to the door. You could ask the question where BMW sourced theirs from, we know where the High Street shops source theirs, so it is just a case of cutting out the middle men.

Yes I know, I would not dream of doing the same exercise for say, a Sprint timing chain!

Is the Sprint system really all that much better? Perhaps it is but I know from my previous experience that the clutch master cylinder connection to the clutch pedal can wear alarmingly for it requires quite a lot of effort to activate a Sprint clutch.

Which brings me to Steve’s comments.

Yes I hope Steve I can look you and the late Jonners straight in the eye and swear that I have bled the clutch properly. But just to be sure I have had a delightful e-mail from Richard The Old One (he might almost be as old as me!) who has passed on a tip from Derek who has suggested that I wedge the clutch pedal to the floor for a few hours, just in case there is still air in the system. The wedge is now in position.

Yes it seems it is time for me to go down on the floor of my workshop and crawl underneath. I am getting too old to be trying to do press-ups under the car. But it looks like the gearbox is coming out! However I have just acquired another Sprint which will have to be moved so that I can carry out this work.

I chuckled though for I explained to Richard just a few hours ago that a few years back my then partner and I hired a car in Tasmania and drove to the west coast of that island. On the return journey, while we were still way out in the wilderness the clutch failed. As clutches sometimes do. She was panic stricken wondering how on earth we would get the car back to Hobart and how would we escape from the wilderness. Simple I explained, we drive without a clutch and change gears without a clutch and hopefully we will never have to stop, well on a slope anyway. And that is what happened. We drove to the outskirts of Hobart where the rental car company swapped the cars over. It turned out that one of the springs in the pressure plate had popped out and wedged the clutch engaged.

Steve you may be right, one of those springs might well have popped out of the pressure plate.

Stay tuned.


Author:  Richard the old one [ Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

For those people wondering why I sent an email to Robert and did not just post my response here. I have recently sent an article on 1500 dolomite clutch hydraulics to Steve Waldenberg for him to consider for inclusion in a future edition of Dolly Mixture so I wanted to keep it under wraps at this point in time. I do believe that all the points that I have included in my article have now been covered in this post so I may have to add something when Robert finds out what has been causing his problem.

Author:  DOLOMITE 135 [ Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

After I put my Toledo (1300, but the hydraulic system is the same) back on the road after it's 15 year slumber, I had issues with my clutch barely disengaging. Having read that repro parts were best avoided if possible I had also put new seals in the original master, and slave cylinders during re-commissioning.
After removing, inspecting, re-bleeding the system a number of times (off the car) I identified that the master cylinder was not returning fully on it's stroke, and that I only had approx two thirds travel. This was not immediately obvious on the car, and being hydraulic it had self adjusted to the reduced stroke during bleeding so the last two thirds of the master moved the first two thirds of the slave. On inspection it became apparent that the return spring in the master cylinder had weakened over time and was not strong enough to fully return the piston to it's resting position. Using a second spare spring I doubled up the springs (coiled together to maintain the correct overall lenght) which finally allowed for the master cylinder to operate through it's full stroke, and the clutch to disengage normally.

Author:  Carledo [ Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

Just a quick note Robert, the Toledo gearbox is best and easiest removed through the inside of the car by removing the tunnel.


Author:  Richard the old one [ Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

I would like to thank Dolomite 135 for taking the time to advise us all what was causing his problem as there could be a number of owners that have or have had this problem without knowing it.

Author:  MIG Wielder [ Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

I don't actually have a 1500 Dolomite ( its an 1850 ) but I do have a 1500 bell-housing here with the clutch release mechanism I'm servicing for parts. Having got it apart and cleaned it , it looks as if there is scope for adjustment also at the slave cylinder, which may be masked by years of rust and gunge.
Now it is all cleaned, I can get good 4mm of forward - backward movement on the position of the slave cylinder in the ali; housing.
Now if the adjustment of the 1500 clutch is that critical, is it possible to get some extra offset by cleaning the cylinder / fixing bolt / bracket and setting the cylinder in the furthest forward position ?
Photo to illustrate herewith.
( Parts will eventually be on sale for Jonners fund btw )

1500 slave adjust.JPG
1500 slave adjust.JPG [ 55.44 KiB | Viewed 678 times ]

Author:  Richard the old one [ Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

I thought about increasing the length of the slot on the slave cylinder to allow it to be moved forward but it then protrudes out into the bell housing and I was afraid it would restrict the release lever movement.

Author:  soe8m [ Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

Did you check the axial engine bearing?

First thing to check when the clutch isn't disengageing totally.


Author:  sprint95m [ Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Okay........

Whilst I know nothing about four cylinder ohv Triumph engines.
I am with Jeroen, first thing to check is for worn thrust washers.

My opinion is based on my knowledge of the six cylinder engines where the 2.5s are particularly
prone to wear (and drop) thrust washers.

Watch the crankshaft pulley whilst someone works the clutch pedal.........


Author:  Robert 352 [ Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

Some very interesting comment here. I had not thought to check that the thrust washers have worn, as per Jeroen and Ian’s comments.

I have never had a problem before with worn thrust washers, worn sufficiently to interfere with the operation of the clutch.

I have had two 2.5PI’s in which the mileage in my first one was close to 200,000 miles before someone convinced me that they needed to own it more than I did. I had no need to touch the bottom end on either car and I am not sure but I don’t think I had the cylinder heads off either car either. I had a couple of UK trained Lucas Technicians who had to good sense to emigrate out here and who set the fuel injection up for me and kept an eye on the cars. I did nothing more than change the spark plugs every 12,000 miles.

We will find the cause and I will see if I can organise a chocolate fish for whoever was correct.


Author:  re5rotary [ Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Toledo 1500 clutch issue

I had a thought does the slave have a circlip at the end of its travel? If so make sure that piston is not hitting the circlip when you push the pedal to the floor. If the piston hits the circlip before the pedal is fully on the floor you will be loosing some travel regards Terry

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