<VV> Clutch Problems in my FC (part III)

alan WESSON sidevalve@sidevalve.fsnet.co.uk
Sun, 23 May 2004 07:03:04 +0100

Chalres' email describes the problems I have had with my clutch on the
8-door exactly, and it is why I am selling it. Unlike you, I have had the
clutch and tranny pulled *TWICE* by reputable Vair specialists in the USA
(i.e. before it came over here), and each time it goes back on the road it
runs fine for about 3000 miles and then the problems you are having return
again (right down to it being O.K. when cold, and then virtually undriveable
when hot). As far as I know (I only have their word for it!) the Vair
specialists replaced the pilot bushing and clutch parts and flywheel with
the correct parts, but from helpful emails I have here from other VVers it
looks as if the prime cause of the problem is likely to be non-matching
clutch parts - they changed the clutch at various times, and as the age of
my engine is uncertain because it contains parts from various eras, I
suspect that they may have used clutch parts, some or all of which didn't
fit the era they were supposed to be from.

Last time it happened we pulled the drivetrain ourselves (unfortunately
there are no Vair specialists over here, although I have to say that we have
been no less successful than they were!), and the only visible problem was
that the clutch throwout bearing was blue, friend and seized completely.

Presumably what had caused it to get like that was one of the
previously-mentioned problems (pilot bushing, mismatched clutch parts or
clutch cable), but we didn't know which one. We replaced the clutch disc
only (right way round - we checked THREE times before installing it!), and
put in a new release bearing and a used but good clutch cable - and the
problem went away for 3000 miles and then returned. I considered using a
Camaro clutch throwout bearing, which is designed to be in constant
rotation, but as I had bought the other kind already I didn't. If I were to
be doing the job again, I would.

I then got so tired of the expense and stress and failure involved in trying
to fix the same problem THREE times that I put the van up for sale 'as is',
and although it has not been collected yet, it did sell so someone else can
have a go at fixing it - if he ever collects it! If I were to try to fix it
again I would be very tempted to try to fit a PG, but various listers have
advised me that the problems involved in switching trannies make it not
worth bothering. Plus I would have to spend a fortune shipping a heavy PG to

I don't know what it is with FC clutches, but I think someone else on the
list had the same problem recently as well. It is very depressing, as
unsuccessfully trying to fix the problem has cost me well over $1500 to
date, and I could have used the money really. I might get my Lotus mechanic,
who is a former March Formula 2 chief mechanic and is a genius, to look at
it, but I am not sure I feel like being that cruel to him...



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "* Greenbrier Goon *" <greenbriergoon@hotmail.com>
To: <corvanatics@corvair.org>; <virtualvairs@skiblack.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2004 4:38 AM
Subject: <VV> Clutch Problems in my FC (part III)

> Hey everybody:
> As some of you know, I have converted my late 1963 Greenbrier from a
> Powerglide to a 4 speed. It has a stock 1963 engine with the early-style
> flywheel and clutch.
> I am still having clutch problems.  It seems as though pushing down the
> clutch pedal does not pull the cable far enough to fully disengage the
> clutch.
> Some people offered the suggestion of lengthening the pedal or converting
> hydraulic.
> Today I designed and built a lever setup that pulled the rod that is
> attached to the clutch fork futher than it would normally go.  It seemed
> solve the problem at first, but once the engine warmed up, shifting became
> difficult again and I had to crunch it into reverse.
> The only thing left is to pull out the whole drivetrain and see if
> is going wrong with the clutch.  When I installed the flywheel, I used a
> steel disc under the bolts that Clarks sells.  I assumed it was supposed
> be there even though the parts-van I used for this conversion did not have
> one.  Maybe the bolts are hitting the rivits on the clutch disc.
> I also suspect a problem with the pilot bearing and input shaft.  I used
> NOS input shaft along with a new pilot bearing and it seemed like a very
> snug fit between the two parts.
> It also seems that the clutch fork may have a problem.  I am not sure if
> ball that it rides on is supposed to be adjusted to a certain height or
>   It seems like it has to move a long way before the T/O bearing makes
> contact with the pressure plate.
> I am pretty sure the I have the correct pressure plate, disc and T/O
> bearing.  When I bought them, I compared them to the parts I took out of
> donor vehicle.  They looked the same.
> Charles
> Greenbrier World:
> http://www.c-zone.net/northgte/greenbrier.htm
> 1963 Greenbrier PG (soon to be 4 speed)
> Don't let Ralph Nader ruin another Presidential election.
> http://www.ralphdontrun.net
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