Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Returning

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sportston
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Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Returning

Post by sportston » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 pm

About three years ago I had to replace my clutch master cylinder due to the pedal not returning fully. Eventually it ceased to return at all. A new master cylinder was fitted and the problem went away for a few weeks. Then it stopped returning fully again. "Well it couldn't have been the master cylinder that stopped it returning all the way," I thought, "At least it returns most of the way".
Yesterday I found a puddle of brake fluid beneath the car due to the plastic elbow snapping on the top of the clutch master cylinder. After much swearing and pain, about two hours later I had managed to remove the master cylinder in order to extricate the broken piece of plastic.
Then I thought, "while I'm here, why not see if I can fit an extra spring inside it so that it will return all the way?"
To my surprise, when I took it apart I found several pieces of spring. It had broken into about four pieces.
This is the second time I have had this happen.

Has anyone else had the same problem?
Does anyone know how to stop it from happening again?

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wilco
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by wilco » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:49 am

are you a bodybuilder ? of sport cyclist ? :P
found a pic of your legs Image
Henry Ford, 1939: "Every time I see an Alfa Romeo pass by, I lift my hat."
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V Q4--
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V--

KY2006
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by KY2006 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:24 pm

I think it must be metal fatigue, or poor material if not factory original. With the clutch master aging, the pedal movement will become heavier and you will have to pump harder, accelerating the wear. If car is used more often in city traffic than highways, and there are more hills and bends, the clutch master will die faster. The first sign is partial return or late return of the clutch pedal.

sportston
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:23 pm

EEEEWwwww! Yucky legs!
Yeah obviously weak springs but one was original part the other was pattern part. Seems you can't win either way. I have ordered a bunch of springs. Hopefully one of them will fit and I can rebuild the master cylinder when they arrive.

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:49 pm

I may have a solution.
Here are my possible remedies.
1. Replace plastic elbow with a brass 8mm elbow.
2. Replace clutch master cylinder with one off a Saab 9000. The Saab item has a metal elbow! AND IT LOOKS EASIER TO FIT!!! The Saab 9000 was based upon the same floorpan and shared some of the mechanicals with the Fiat Croma, the 164 and a Lancia (can't remember which model). I have yet to determine if this is possible, but they look as if they would fit, judging by the pictures.
3. Replace plastic elbow with another one off the spare brake master cylinder I have in my garage.

I have yet to choose which, but I am seriously considering ordering the Saab item.

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alfa east
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by alfa east » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:11 am

This will be interesting to follow up as an alternative part.

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:17 pm

alfa east wrote:This will be interesting to follow up as an alternative part.
I will keep you posted. If it works it will be a cheap modification. Once the saab one arrives I'll update this post (in about a weeks time) with the results.

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:40 pm

New Saab Master cylinder bought and paid for. Ebay special £15 new old stock Delphi/Lockheed jobby. Just waiting for it to arrive :D

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alfa east
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by alfa east » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:47 am

Great; that's worth taking a "risk" on then. Hope it fits/works!

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wilco
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by wilco » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:11 pm

bargain :D
Henry Ford, 1939: "Every time I see an Alfa Romeo pass by, I lift my hat."
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V Q4--
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V--

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:56 pm

wilco wrote:bargain :D
Yeah thats what I thought. It seemed worth taking a gamble at price! I'm all excited. It was sent off to me today. If I'm really lucky, it might arrive tomorrow. I could get my car back on four wheels again. Woohoo! :D
It has not been a good week. My car broke and the gearbox on my Kenwood Chef mixer broke too! So I can't even make myself a cake to cheer me up and its my birthday on Wednesday. :cry: And what do I get for a birthday treat? I get to take my daughter to dental hospital in London. :roll:

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:12 pm

I've had an interesting message from KY. He sent me this link
http://www.carfactorsuk.co.uk/Single-Part.aspx?GID=LZH" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;^7111^197^CLUH-HY^CMCY
Image
This is supposedly off a 164 2.0 twinspark.
It looks a little longer than the item I have on my car. I wonder if that is a modification due to problems with springs breaking inside the cylinder?
Does anyone have a 2.0 Twinspark that could tell us if they have any experience of clutch master cylinder problems?
Does anyone know if this would fit a V6 164?
Unfortunately this one still has a plastic elbow so is still likely to snap with age and heat fatigue.

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:53 pm

Woohoo, the new master cylinder arrived!
Yabooo! Its the wrong one. Right box, wrong contents. :x Now I have to wait until next week for the right one. :evil:

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alfa east
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by alfa east » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:49 am

sportston wrote:Yabooo! Its the wrong one. Right box, wrong contents.
Return it with the Kenwood Mixer inside; show them how you feel!

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:13 pm

alfa east wrote:Return it with the Kenwood Mixer inside; show them how you feel!
Lol. That made me laugh. Thanks for that. I needed cheering up a bit. I'm feeling a bit rough today, blooming body aches all over. That was just what I needed to help lift my spirits.
Feeling rather worse for wear, I shot down to the post office on my bicycle and returned it already. But that would have been amusing to see the bloke's face if he'd pulled a broken kenwood mixer out of the box!
Actually I can't complain too much, the bloke was really good about it. The one I bought was the only one they had in stock. He has ordered me a new one specially and has agreed to foot the bill for the postage and the extra money it cost him to buy a replacement. So if he stays true to his word, I've still done pretty well considering how much I paid for the part in the first place. I half expected him to say, "sorry but I'll have to issue a full refund." Then I'd have had trouble trying to find a new one elsewhere for less than £90. So I'm quite impressed at the customer service. Unfortunately the new part won't arrive until next week, but shit happens and there's not a lot you can do about it but take it in your stride.

Good news is that a new gearbox for my Kenwood Chef should arrive tomorrow! I fancy making some mince pies. MMM. Yummy!

Just in case you wanted to see what the Saab part looks like, here is a picture. If you want the Delphi part number it is LM15002. The Brake Engineering part number is MC1644BE.
Saab 9000.[84>98]. - [Clutch] Master Cylinder. Not to be confused with LM15001 which is also for a Saab 9000 but is a different shape.
Image

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:37 pm

Whoopee, the part arrived!
So today I have been comparing the two parts and altering the new one to fit. I've also taken a few pics.
The first thing I noticed was the difference in length of the actuator rod. You can also see in this picture a sliding collar or bush that fits over the rod on the Saab part. This sliding collar limits the maximum length of stroke that can be acheived. Perhaps this is designed to stop the spring from being over-compressed and snapping.
Image

So something had to be done to alter the length of the rod. I did not wish to remove the collar as I think it is an important feature. I measured everything including the length of movement the collar was capable off. So I ground the head off the riveted bracket/claw and separated the rod from the "claw".
Image

Next I got a 12mm bolt, cut the head off it and cut the neck of it to length. Then I welded the neck to the claw using my arc welder. Now at this point I made a booboo! In my haste I simply welded the neck to the Saab rod. Then I realised that the blob of the weld would stop the collar from sliding far enough. So I ground back the weld far enough for the collar to move sufficiently. Can you guess what happened? Yep the rod and bolt neck fell apart as the weld had not penetrated deep enough to continue to hold the two parts together.
My solution was to grind a deep lip at the end of each part so that only a skinny pinhead of metal was sticking out at the end of each piece. I then welded the two skinny pinheads together, building up the weld to slightly thicker than the 8mm Saab rod. I then ground the excess back carefully to allow the collar to slide up and down the rod far enough. This was the result.
Image

You'll note that the old Alfa part has welded blobs on it. That is because of a previous mistake last time I replaced the master cylinder. You will note that they are now the same length. Ignore the fact that the bolt holes in the claw are of 10mm instead of 8mm. The reason for this is the pedal arm was worn and there was a fair amount of slack in it so I drilled it out to 10mm and used a 10mm bolt. You may not need to do this if your car isn't as high mileage as mine. Please excuse the crappy looking welding, I am only a beginner. The welds are strong but a bit ugly. Also worth pointing out is the different profile of the ball at the end of the rods. That is partly why I decided to lengthen the new rod, rather than modify the old rod.
Image
Image

I then refitted the actuating rod back into the clutch master cylinder.
One thing that I didn't take any photos of is the piston. It should be noted that the piston in the Saab item is of a considerably smaller bore than the Alfa part. I am hoping that this may make the clutch a little bit lighter. Hopefully the smaller bore will still be able to sufficiently push the slave cylinder. I think it will.
As you can see below the outer dimensions are very similar the flange fitting is the same and the bolt holes are equally spaced. The output pipe fitting looks to be of the same size. I have yet to fit the part as rain and darkness stopped play. But I am hopeful that the weather will be better tomorrow and I will be able to fit it and have my car back on four wheels. Notice how the Saab item is a little shorter than the Alfa item. That may be to our advantage.
Image
Last edited by sportston on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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wilco
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by wilco » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:50 pm

nice progress :D hope all goes well.
Henry Ford, 1939: "Every time I see an Alfa Romeo pass by, I lift my hat."
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V Q4--
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V--

sportston
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:58 pm

wilco wrote:nice progress :D hope all goes well.
Thanks. Will post on here tomorrow, hopefully with something positive to report.

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by 164 TD » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:12 pm

Never been that far but isn't it possible to "slide" the piston, including seals out of the housing and slide it in the new housing?
TD en Q4 owner

Image

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wilco
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by wilco » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:43 pm

bore seems to be smaller
Henry Ford, 1939: "Every time I see an Alfa Romeo pass by, I lift my hat."
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V Q4--
--Alfa Romeo 164 3.0 V6 24V--

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:48 pm

164 TD wrote:Never been that far but isn't it possible to "slide" the piston, including seals out of the housing and slide it in the new housing?
No. As Wilco said the bore is smaller. Theoretically it is possible if you wanted to drill the bore out to the correct diameter, but it is a not a DIY job to do so.

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Good News. The job is done!

Post by sportston » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:19 pm

Today I finished the job. I fitted the master cylinder. It is a lot easier to fit and remove than the alfa part!
I was able to get a socket onto the top nut. Previously this was not possible due to the shape of the old master cylinder.

How does it work?
Good. Better than ever! The clutch is now lighter and less snatchy. The biting point is slightly lower than before but I don't mind that. It is better than having a high biting point. By no means is it too low.
Thanks to the smaller bore, the weight of the clutch will be much better for my bad left knee. The action is as light as a japanese car now!

For anyone wishing to follow in my footsteps and do the same to their 164 I can highly recomend this modification. The most complicated part of the job was altering the length of the rod. It may be possible to slightly modify your old rod instead of going the route of lengthening the new rod. I would say that there is probably a higher risk of the spring snapping again if you don't use the little collar/sleeve to act as a bump stop though, which is why I lengthened the new rod instead of modifying my old one. If you choose to use your old rod you would need to grind away the edge of the ball so that it will fit into the smaller bore tube and also grind a groove in the shaft of the rod for the retention plate to slide over it. Or you could use your old retention plate but you'd have to grind the outer edge of it down to fit into the smaller bore. The other disadvantage of using your old rod is that the profile of the ball is different so that it wouldn't fit into the cup of the piston very well.

In short, forget using your old rod, it is fraught with more problems than lengthening the new one.

Now this has worked on my 12v v6 3.0 164. I cannot guarantee it would work on a 24v or a turbo V6. I know they have a slightly different oil filter take off due to having an oil cooler and as for the turbo V6 I have no idea of how the turbo is mounted. However on my car it fitted fine. Please note that the outlet of the cylinder is on the end, not on the side like the original part. It is not too difficult to bend the existing pipe around to come in at a different angle. Thats what I did and it doesn't foul against anything or get in the way of the 12v 3.0 engine. This most likely would also work on a 24v, I would think it may even work on the V6 Turbo and I would be extremely surprised if it didn't fit on a twinspark model.

Basically all you'd really need are a normal set of tools and welding equipment or a friend that has. This job can be done by one person. Removal of the old master cylinder is a BITCH!! You might need to grind down the edges of a spanner to remove the top nut, but refitting the new part is a doddle in comparison. Its not a pleasant job even with the Saab part but I reckon I could now remove the saab part in about 20-30 minutes. In comparison the removal of the alfa part took me several hours. I believe one of the guys on here said it took him about 6 hours to remove his!

Which kinda makes this modification a win-win situation all around. Lighter clutch, better control, easier to fit and remove, no more plastic elbows to snap off and not too expensive if you have your own welder. If you can't weld you could pay someone to modify the new rod for about £10-15.

Would I do anything different? Yes. I would suggest making the actuating rod about 2mm longer than the old one to allow for the biting point being lower due to the slimmer bore of the cylinder. I was very careful to make mine the same length as the old one, but in retrospect I should have made it just that little bit longer.

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alfa east
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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by alfa east » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:28 am

Brilliant explanation. Thank you for sharing!

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by sportston » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:52 pm

alfa east wrote:Brilliant explanation. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks. You're welcome. Hope it can be useful to someone.

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Re: Broken Spring in Clutch Master Cylinder Pedal Not Return

Post by KY2006 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:10 am

Hi, here is an update of my repair of the clutch master cylinder for my RHD QV24. See the following three pictures:

Image
Image
Image

Picture 1 shows how the plastic elbow broke and drained all brake and clutch fluid. This was the second time this has happened. The mechanic said the firewall is too close to the clutch master cylinder so heat and when temperature heats up the firewall presses against the clutch master cylinder's elbow and forcing it to break. He said it was a nightmare to remove and replace the clutch master cylinder on a RHD because the engine block is blocking the way. A solution was as per Sportston's advice to replace the broken plastic elbow tube with a metal one. See picture 2.

I actually bought a new clutch master cylinder from a local shop in the UK, which claimed that the clutch master cylinder will fit my QV model. When it arrived, I realized that it is the same as the one I previously bought from UK's Alfaholics. My mechanic places all three clutch master cylinders in a row to show the differences. The full length, the angle of the tail pothole, and angle of the anchoring wings as well as the distance of the two bolting holes are all different. The black one was supposed to be the original (one off from a UK RHD 164) but my mechanic said it was not a good fit. The middle one is a rebuilt cylinder with internal parts swapped from other cylinders of the same bore size. The one on the bottom was bought two years ago from a UK breaker claiming to be taken off from a running 164...

Anyway, the clutch master cylinder is working fine after replacing the plastic elbow with a metal one. Will also try to buy the Saab version as back-up. They are disappearing fast now.

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