Vehicles

sonett - reassembling sonett - flywheel machines, pressure plate rerivited, new bolts, clutch master cleaned

While driving around town the Sonett started to develop a problem with the clutch. It was like I could not get it to disengage. Driving was no problem but pushing in on the pedal did not seem to fully disconnect the engine from the transmission. I parked it, ran an errand, then came back out and started it up only fo find that the clutch was really out of whack. Now when I pushed in the clutch pedal the entire car shook. Once the clutch was fully out, it was fine. 

This made shifing or stopping at red lights a problem. I was able to drive the car home, all the while thinking about what it could be. I came up with a list.

1. Bent clutch release bearing arm
2. Hydraulic failure
3. Broken clutch pressure plate bolts

I looked inside the transmission housing and the release bearing arm looked fine. I couldn't find any signs of brake fluid leaking from the master or slave cylinders and there was still fluid in the reservoir. I figured it must be #3, broken bolts.

I pulled the transmission out of the car only to find that all bolts were intact. This was a problem because now I had no idea what the cause was. I went to the forums and got plenty of theories. Between them all, the car appears to be working correctly. I am not sure which one did it, but it works and that is enogh for me.

 

  1. Cleaned clutch master cylinder - apparently there is a failure mode where it does not leak any fluid but also does not apply any pressure to the slave cylinder. The master was just recently rebuilt but I took it apart anyways. It all looked good except for the precense of a strange hose piece. It didn't show up on any diagrams so I tossed it and put the cleaned master cylinder back together.
  2. Machined flywheel - I did not do this when I installed the new clutch kit. I probably should have though because the clutch looked pretty rough. It took a long time to find a shop that would do it. I found shops that would never recommend machining a flywheel, ones that would do it but only for certain models, and one that would do it right up until I told them the year and model of car. Finally I found a shop in Greely CO that was happy to machine it.
  3. Re-rivit clutch friction disc - This was most certainly not the problem, but it would have been a problem eventually. The Sachs clutch kit is sold one way, the wrong way. The friction ring is rivited to the inner friction disc in such a way that as the friction material gets thinner, the rivits would contact the flywheel and gouge it. I never would have figured this out on my own but the forum was happy to help. There are folks that can re-rivit them so the friction ring is on the other side. I went ahead and did this while everything was apart.
  4. Replaced transmission mount - I didn't know it until the moment I was going to reinstall the engine/transmission but my transmission mount was broken. The inner metal ring was completely split in two places. The rubber didn't look too good either. I replaced it with a new aftermarket one.

 

Pictures

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removed the flywheel so I had to get new bolts
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old bolt, new bolt
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got a few replacement pressure plate bolts too, to replace the damaged ones
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now rivited correctly so that rivits will not contact flywheel as friction disc wears
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flywheel was machined. Looking very nice
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didn't do anything to the pressure plate.
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flywheel off, ready for re-installation
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GAM Racing machined the fly wheel. Glad I finally found someone to do it
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I don't know if this is how Saab did it but this keep everything from turning while I tightened bolt
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another use for my custom clutch alightment tool
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timing mark is simply too hard to read
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some white and black paint helped with that
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motor mounts are still looking good. They could have been the cause of my problems
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transmission mount was busted :(
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40 year old mount, I guess it lead a good life
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doh, this will have to be replaced. It was hard to find a replacment

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