HOW A CLUTCH RE­LEASE BEAR­ING WORKS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - LIVING WITH CLASSICS -

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.

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