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Cannot engage gears!

Clutch?

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#1
bluefish

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Have had 3 years of faultless motoring from my 13 plate venture, However became stranded when no gear would engage with the motor running and clutch depressed. Easily into gear when the engine was off. 

AA arrived but it appears they cannot tow this model so it will have to be lifted for recovery. Only 40k miles on the vehicle - any suggestions - am I staring into the hole of a replacement clutch ?


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#2
Pat

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Hi bluefish

 

Welcome to 'life' :)

 

Hopefully someone will be along soon to help with your problem

 

In the meantime why not pop over to the new members section

 

and introduce yourself :)



#3
bill119

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When you say you cannot engage gear do you mean physically won't go in or is it because it crunches the gears, also does the pedal feel light as if there's no resistance. If it's because it's crunching then it probably means you've lost fluid somewhere , either master cylinder or slave cylinder or even a leaking pipe so check the fluid because if that's the problem it's a lot cheaper than a new clutch. I don't know about the newer '5's but my 5 is hydraulic and not a cable.


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#4
bluefish

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Hi - not crunching anything - just solid whilst engine running and moves freely when the engine is off. Clutch depresses easily with little or no resistance.


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#5
bill119

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Sounds like loss of fluid, check the level it's the quickest and easiest thing to do first before you look further.


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#6
Wrangler

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When that happened in my series I it was a fault in the slave cylinder. 



#7
Ali5

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I hope it’s a quick and easy fix for you Bluefish.

#8
Mark

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What were the symptoms leading up to this, e.g. has the car been parked up and not used for a while, or were you driving along fine, and then you just could not get a gear etc?



#9
Steveti

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Hi - not crunching anything - just solid whilst engine running and moves freely when the engine is off. Clutch depresses easily with little or no resistance.

As ever online diagnosis is so hard, however if the clutch pedal goes straight to the floor then there is no pressure being applied to the diapgram plate that engages the friction plate between flywheel and gearbox input shaft. In other terms a power/torque transfering sandwich.

As other suggest a loss or recirculation of hydraulic fluid in the system indicating seals popped in the master but more likely slave cylinder or a burst hose - unlikely.

Any odd sounds at engine rotation speed that might suggest a clutch component failure?
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#10
djrose007

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Some good advice, as always, above.
I recently had a similar problem with engaging gears. It was a little bit difficult early December, not unusual for them to be a little crunchy but not hard to engage. Drove it again thinking it was just the very cold morning but no, it got worse.
I called Johnsons Mazda in Gloucester and they booked it in for the next day.
When they called back they said there was a leak from the master cylinder and they would advise changing both the master and slave. They've had it for the past 3 days because they have had to order the parts and said it might not be until early next week to fit the work in so I told them to hang on to the car as I didn't want to take the chance on getting stranded half way between them and home!!
Johnsons aren't as cheap as my local mates garage but I have to say I do trust them, especially after they quickly diagnosed and fixed the roof/window problem.  So with the roof and now the clutch, in quite quick succession, I think that's not bad for the only real faults in this car in 13.5 years.


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#11
Steveti

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Hopefully the OP has had some succes in finding the source of the problems. It's always good to get feedback on advice given willingly.


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#12
djrose007

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Hopefully the OP has had some succes in finding the source of the problems. It's always good to get feedback on advice given willingly.

Had a call late morning to say they started work on it today after receiving the master and slave cylinder which they found were leaking, so it looks like it was lack of fluid causing the problem. I usually check all the fluids at the very least monthly but normally more often than that. With the very wet weather over the past few months, and the fact I've hardly driven it this year, I've neglected it or I might have picked it up sooner.
Had another call later on to say two other problems had come to light. One of them is that it appears the gearbox oil has never been changed. It is very black and Johnsons checked all of the service records for this car and there is nothing in the record about the gearbox oil being changed.
The other problem is, and I can't remember exactly what she said but words the the effect that a bar/link or something on the clutch pedal was snapped and that is a little over £100 for the part. After I said they need to do it so go ahead she told me they won't charge me labour for that, just the part. This was interesting because just as the gears were getting difficult to engage there was a sharp CRACK when I depressed the clutch pedal. It didn't happen again but I guess once it's broken it's not able to break again!
Ref the gearbox oil, I was really p1ssed off about that because Bristol Street Motors, in Cheltenham, persuaded me to take out a 3 year contract for servicing saying that it works out about the same cost for the first two but the 3rd one would be a big service and the contract would save me a couple of hundred quid. The contract would take me to the 5 year service which would require a gearbox oil change. When it came to it they said they did an annual service but nothing major was required. There ensued a long argument over the telephone and a letter to Bristol Street Motors HQ but nothing happened, and that's when I started to go to my mates garage off Eastern Avenue.
So it looks like in all the 13 years the gearbox oil has not been changed, got to give it to Johnsons for picking that up. It's going to cost me but at least I'm sure they are doing a good job.
As I said to Chelsey, the young lady on servicing, I'm going to have to keep the MX-5 for a few more years to get my money back for all of the work done in 2020!

 


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#13
Steveti

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A mixture of news for you David but I'm sure it will all be well in the end. I try to change engine oil and filter twice a year and gearbox and diff lubs every two-three years.

Would be good to hear if Bluefish has any success with their issues.
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#14
djrose007

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Have had 3 years of faultless motoring from my 13 plate venture, However became stranded when no gear would engage with the motor running and clutch depressed. Easily into gear when the engine was off. 

AA arrived but it appears they cannot tow this model so it will have to be lifted for recovery. Only 40k miles on the vehicle - any suggestions - am I staring into the hole of a replacement clutch ?

Hi Bluefish, welcome to the forum, just wondering if there was any update on what was wrong with your problem? I've added a couple of entries on this thread about my recent gear engagement problem.


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#15
bluefish

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Update on problem.

 

Having upgraded to AA relay the car was collected 2 days after the problem arose. The AA did manage to move the gear shift with the engine running and suggested that maybe water had caused the plate to seize?  I thought it prudent to have it sent up to Michael Cleverley  at Stradbroke.Within a short time he came back to me to advise he could find no issues so maybe the relay man was right? All credit to Michael and his team - had he diagnosed a major problem I would have just had to go ahead regardless of the costs, so illustrates just how important it is to deal with a specialist who will not rip you off.

 

Thanks for the help and suggestions.


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#16
bill119

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Update on problem.

 

Having upgraded to AA relay the car was collected 2 days after the problem arose. The AA did manage to move the gear shift with the engine running and suggested that maybe water had caused the plate to seize?  I thought it prudent to have it sent up to Michael Cleverley  at Stradbroke.Within a short time he came back to me to advise he could find no issues so maybe the relay man was right? All credit to Michael and his team - had he diagnosed a major problem I would have just had to go ahead regardless of the costs, so illustrates just how important it is to deal with a specialist who will not rip you off.

 

Thanks for the help and suggestions.

Crikey the last time I came across that problem was 50 yrs ago, it was during the Ford strikes and we had some new cars stored in a field. The cause then was rust on the spigot shaft stopping the centre plate from sliding. We cured it by spraying some penetrating oil through the hole in the bell housing where the clutch fork went through.


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#17
Ali5

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Very pleased to hear you know what it is. Have you got your baby back yet?
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#18
djrose007

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Very pleased to hear you know what it is. Have you got your baby back yet?

Yes, she's back and I'm 10p short of £600 lighter! they did a good job though, feels like I'm driving a new car, not even any notchiness which it always had that I can remember.
The only problem is that while it was at the garage the door restraint was snapped off and they didn't re-attach it. It's a bodged affair as, after the lady next door hit the side of me Baylis, Cheltenham, did a rubbish job of the insurance repair. Result was that a while afterwards the bolt ripped out and I found a plate that I could self tapper screw onto the metal. It has been ok for about 3 years but either the wind took it or the door was pushed open 'vigorously'!
Result shown in the photo - I tried to drill out the two holes to take new self tappers, got through the top one as the bit broke, couldn't get through the bottom one and two bits broke! I'm going in Monday morning to see if they can do anything with it at Johnsons otherwise I'll get that plate welded on.

IMG20201219100250.jpg


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#19
Ali5

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Oh no! That’s really not good at all. Roll on 2021. :(
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#20
Pat

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Only just seen this

 

Hope all is repaired now 






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