HOW A CLUTCH RELEASE BEARING WORKS
1 Clutch engaged (released)
In this diagram, the clutch is engaged and taking drive from the engine to the gearbox. The diaphragm springs are maintaining pressure on the friction plate, keeping it in driving contact with the engine’s flywheel.
2 Clutch disengaged (depressed)
When the clutch pedal is depressed, the clutch control arm pivots, pushing the release bearing into contact with the diaphragm spring, which in turn pivots on the fulcrum ring, releasing pressure on the friction plate and so disengaging drive between the engine and gearbox.
3 Clutch components
The release bearing leads a harsh life, being brought into contact with the quickly rotating diaphragm spring, or release levers, many times in an average journey. A broken spring finger or lever will often lead to rapid failure of the release bearing, as will ‘riding’ the clutch.