Very low clutch bite point - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 7th, 2015, 08:31 PM
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Henry Lambert
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Very low clutch bite point

My 2.5na lt77 clutch is behaving strangely.

I can compress it 2-3" before there's any resistance and the bite point is maybe 0.5" from floor.

There's also a little bit of squeaking when idling which could be the clutch not completely dis-engaging.

I've experienced worn clutches in the past but they've always had very high bite points so not sure if this is worn or needs some adjustment.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old August 7th, 2015, 08:33 PM
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John B.
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You should adjust the master push rod as per the manual first and then report back.
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  #3  
Old August 7th, 2015, 08:42 PM
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Henry Lambert
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Thanks. I'll try that and report back.
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  #4  
Old August 7th, 2015, 08:53 PM
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Robert Davis
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If this scenario is a change for you, ie something new, your clutch hydraulics are failing.
The best repair is to rebuild or replace the clutch master and the slave cylinder.
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  #5  
Old August 7th, 2015, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
If this scenario is a change for you, ie something new, your clutch hydraulics are failing.
The best repair is to rebuild or replace the clutch master and the slave cylinder.
Great advice.. If changing out the master or slave it is best to do them both at the same time so that you don't have to go back in and replace the other not too far down the road and re-bleed the system. The reason being is that if both are long in the tooth the higher pressure from the new unit in the circuit can cause the other to fail prematurely. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt..
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  #6  
Old August 7th, 2015, 09:15 PM
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Henry Lambert
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Good to know. There was always some play in the clutch but the bite point has definitely dropped an inch or so.
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  #7  
Old August 7th, 2015, 09:33 PM
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Have you checked the fluid level?
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  #8  
Old August 7th, 2015, 10:33 PM
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Robert Davis
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Good advice, John...
But
If the clutch fluid is low as John asks... it does not evaporate and when leaking is a sign of failing clutch hydraulic seals.
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Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)

"What's with this death wobble, Uncle Douglas, I can't keep it in 1 lane?"
UD: "Just Power through it man!"
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  #9  
Old August 8th, 2015, 01:20 AM
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I'd bet the bank on it being the slave. However, it may be caused by sludge/wear flowing downstream to the slave. Happened to me, and what ultimately was going on was the slave bore was worn (from stuff flowing downstream from the master) and caused the slave cylinder to sort of "bind" up and not return all the way out.

Two things you can do:
1) tell us what color the fluid is in the master reservoir...if it's turned very dark or silver-ish then you have excessive MC wear.
2) pull the slave cylinder, pop the rubber boot off, and see if the cylinder is returning.

As others mentioned check the MC pushrod adjustment, but my money is on slave wear.

That said, I just did a conversion of my MC from the softer stock/genuine aluminum MC to a castiron Dorman (and replaced the slave at the same time so all is fresh). It's not a bad swap to do, and so far so good....I'd be more than happy to walk you through it - and I need to get off my arse and do a proper write-up.
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  #10  
Old August 8th, 2015, 01:29 AM
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Henry Lambert
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I love this forum! Thanks all.

Going to spend some time on it Sunday so will report back with initial findings.
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  #11  
Old August 8th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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I'd bet on it being the master cylinder.

The M/C's are notorious for failing, especially genuine ones, and I had exactly this scenario recently.
It was the M/C, the piston was jamming in the bore and not returning, whether it was a blocked return bleed or just wear, I don't really care as a new M/C fixed it.

Why a new one ?

It's barely any dearer than a seal kit.
They are just a universal 3/4" bore brake/clutch M/C
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  #12  
Old August 8th, 2015, 09:36 AM
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Robert Davis
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If you have a failing master or slave, you should replace both.
If only the one that failed is replaced, the other won't be long to fail and you'll have to bleed the system and adjust it twice.
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RDavisinVA

Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)

"What's with this death wobble, Uncle Douglas, I can't keep it in 1 lane?"
UD: "Just Power through it man!"
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  #13  
Old August 8th, 2015, 11:15 AM
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Had this problem myself. It would also slowly drain fluid when the defender sat, or drove long distances(1-2 hours) yet there was no leak visible in on the system. Not sure where the fluid was going.

I disassembled the slave cylinder and cleaned it all out with WD40 and a rag. Not sure if this will help you, but the slave cylinder on mine was missing the dust cap, and the cylinder was contaminated with dirt and debris. I assume the cylinder had some blow-by. Pumping the clutch would return pressure, and the bite point, with respect to pedal position, would rise. Since cleaning it hasn't leaked, or lost pressure.
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  #14  
Old August 9th, 2015, 11:36 PM
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Henry Lambert
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Here's the update. I checked fluid levels. Looked good but I topped up anyway and pumped the clutch a few times.

Then decided to take a look at the master cylinder and see if I could adjust the nuts.

I removed the top cover and tried to adjust the nuts but to no avail. My spanners were just to chunky for the tiny space you have to work in.

Usually the truck is parked facing down the hill.
But It's was a warm day in Portland so to take advantage of the limited shade I turned the truck around.

I just took it out for a quick errand and the bite point seems to be normal again.

I really didn't put much fluid in at all. So I'm wondering if the angle helped the fluid in the system?
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  #15  
Old August 10th, 2015, 07:37 AM
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Maybe the pumping has restored some temp some pressure in the system. Bleeding the system would help if you have to limp home. But I think others have stated the mast/slave are notorious for failure so you might be getting closer to the end of the time line. Sux, but theyre just parts.
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