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Old 07-02-2009, 01:18 PM   #9
Total Gear Nerd
Bigsteve's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Albuquerque NM
Oddometer: 4
Talking Stranded

My hydraulic clutch failed on a 73 Triumph Spitfire I had. I wandered up and down the road and found some bread ties, a spray can cap, a McDonalds napkin...and part of a circuit card from a Volvo instrument cluster!? The only tool I had was a pair of pliers.

I knew I would probably only manage to round off bolts and fittings with it, the layout of hardware was nasty and tight. I decided that if I just held on real tight and leaned on the hardware instead of trying to get a turn the time might help. It did, but the worst bolt (under the master cylinder and inside a narroww bracket) took several tries of a minute or two each. Pretty exhausting.

I used the napkin to sop fluid out the master and squeezed it into the cap which I also used to catch the drip from the pipe fittings. Once the master cylinder was out things got much easier.

It turned out the return spring had corroded in the middle and collapsed around itself and interfered with the check valve as well. I stripped the plastic off the bread wrapper ties and laced the spring back together. It took a long long time to do this. I had barely enough fluid on hand to wet the bottom of the fuid cup so really could not bleed the thing. But it was enough to shift gears by double clutching and get me home. I did all of this in the dark too and ended up getting home just 40 minutes before I had to be at work. Pretty exhausting but I think I'm most proud of that McGyver moment.
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