REPLACING YOUR SPIGOT BUSH
WE’RE ALL familiar with the standard threepart ‘clutch kit’ comprising a release bearing, a friction disc and a pressure plate. But there’s another equally vital component in the clutch mechanism that’s often overlooked.
The spigot (or ‘pilot’) bush or bearing lives in the end of the engine’s crankshaft.
It supports the end of the gearbox input shaft and allows the engine to spin while the gearbox remains stationary.
This wears over time and it’s worth replacing whenever you change the clutch. It may also start to bind or seize due to wear or the drying out of its lubricant.
This means you’ll have to force the car into first gear and engaging reverse will sound like an exercise in medieval torture.
In extreme cases, the car will creep forward in first gear with the clutch fully depressed.
If you’re suffering these problems, begin by making absolutely sure the clutch is disengaging fully. Try altering the adjustment, which may be at the pedal or gearbox end. If it’s a hydraulic system, make sure the reservoir is full and that the pedal doesn’t feel soft or spongy – the seals may be worn out. Lastly, don’t overlook a thick floor mat or new soundproofing that’s restricting pedal travel.
Spigot bushes and bearings are likely to be standard engineering sizes but the former could be manufacturer-specific. Always buy a rubber-sealed bearing (denoted 2RS), which is lubricated and sealed for life. Go for a quality item – the hassle of premature replacement isn’t worth the saving of a few pounds.
You’ll have to remove the clutch to access the spigot bush or bearing. Check the rest of the components closely and replace any that aren’t perfect. If a friction disc for your classic is cheaply and readily available, it makes sense to replace this as a matter of course. (From Practical Classics, UK .)