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.