Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?





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  1. #1
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    Default Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    The clutch drags when pushed in for the first few km and then it's fine, it makes changing gears very difficult if not impossible, it also randomly happens at any time when trying to change gears when the vehicle is at a standstill.

    I've narrowed it down to the clutch splines that need some lube, the challenge now is to get the lube there without taking the gearbox out and without getting to much on the clutch plate.
    I read on another forum that you can put a long spray nozzle on a tin of aerosol liquid grease and do your best at directing that on the splines just above the clutch.

    Has anyone attempted this and have any tricks I can try?

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Motorcycle lube sound like an option.

    I suppose best access point may be by the release bearing, provided you don't get any lube onto the clutch plate itself.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hloni View Post
    Motorcycle lube sound like an option.

    I suppose best access point may be by the release bearing, provided you don't get any lube onto the clutch plate itself.
    I'm going to use a similar product that's highly resistant to fling off and importantly also heat resistant.
    I can get access via the clutch fork just very difficult to see and direct the spray accurately, I'll have to use a mirror and torch.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Isn't a clutch supposed to be dry. Sounds like you need a fly wheel skim and new clutch plate or possible master cylinder
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Last edited by KobusDJ; 2020/04/28 at 10:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    The clutch drags when pushed in for the first few km and then it's fine, it makes changing gears very difficult if not impossible, it also randomly happens at any time when trying to change gears when the vehicle is at a standstill.

    I've narrowed it down to the clutch splines that need some lube, the challenge now is to get the lube there without taking the gearbox out and without getting to much on the clutch plate.
    I read on another forum that you can put a long spray nozzle on a tin of aerosol liquid grease and do your best at directing that on the splines just above the clutch.

    Has anyone attempted this and have any tricks I can try?
    You need to get under the vehicle, and have someone press the clutch when it is cold, take note of the travel of the fork, measure it if you can. Then when it is working nicely, measure it again and you may find that it travels further.

    My bet would be on a worn master or air in the system. The air would compress after a few presses of the clutch and not be able to push the fluid back due to the fluid being pushed down due to the many gear changes, and then only has a chance to return and push fluid back to the master when the car stands again, making gear changes difficult again.

    Make sense?
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    The hydraulic (or leverage) pressing power is massive to be able to operate the pressure plate, way way more than a sticky spline can be.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    My bets would be on either a release bearing operation problem as stated or a contaminated clutch plate that doesn't release from pressure plate / flywheel when clutch pressed.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Isn't a clutch supposed to be dry. Sounds like you need a fly wheel skim and new clutch plate or possible master cylinder
    The clutch plate is supposed to be dry but the splines need lube, if correctly applied and using the correct grease it should last the life of the clutch.
    The Sachs link below explains it nicely
    https://www.sachsperformance.com/en/...isc-hub-spline

    Quote Originally Posted by sparewheel View Post
    The hydraulic (or leverage) pressing power is massive to be able to operate the pressure plate, way way more than a sticky spline can be.
    It's not that the clutch won't release completely but that it drags a little when cold because the clutch can't slide freely on the splines.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    You need to get under the vehicle, and have someone press the clutch when it is cold, take note of the travel of the fork, measure it if you can. Then when it is working nicely, measure it again and you may find that it travels further.

    My bet would be on a worn master or air in the system. The air would compress after a few presses of the clutch and not be able to push the fluid back due to the fluid being pushed down due to the many gear changes, and then only has a chance to return and push fluid back to the master when the car stands again, making gear changes difficult again.

    Make sense?
    That is a good deduction and I wish that was the issue but it's definitely not that, that would typically show symptoms at all times. I've been though everything and the splines needing lube is the answer. Well like with all things regarding vehicle repair it's the logical next step but I have great confidence it's the issue because I have tried everything else and it would explain the bizarre difficult shifting I have experienced once ambient temps dip to somewhere around below 20 degrees. Which for gearbox oil isn't particularly cold and which is what had me stumped for a long time.

    Once it's warmed up it's only is difficult to shift into 1st after standing at a stop street etc every once every blue moon, once it's warm I can park for an hour or so and not have any issue. It has gradually got marginally worse over the last year but other than this issue the shifting and clutch operation is fine.

    The info below is what made the light switch on:

    "Higher-than-normal gear engagement effort of a manual transmission at low ambient temperatures is usually caused by either incorrect transmission fluid or a faulty clutch.

    Itís certainly to your advantage to use a prescribed synthetic oil to help minimize that engagement effort.

    The hydraulic clutch mechanism can certainly exhibit the symptom youíve described. Your problem may be faulty slave cylinder action due to misalignment.

    However, a failing clutch slave or master cylinder usually shows symptoms regardless of temperature.

    Another possibility: sticking clutch plate splines, which hamper the plateís full release from the flywheel when the clutch is released (that is, when the clutch pedal is depressed).

    The result is a spinning transmission shaft similar to when the clutch is engaged (the pedal is up), making it almost impossible shift into first or reverse.

    Once the vehicle is warmed up, the temperature rise in the clutch and transmission input shaft will cause the plate to free up and allow normal shifting."
    Last edited by Skylark; 2020/04/29 at 01:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by KobusDJ View Post
    That would be the answer, I could zip tie the spray tube the head of the camera and be able to direct the spray to exactly where it's needed.

    Have you used that exact model?

    Those Chinese cheapie cameras vary widely in quality, some are very impressive for the price though.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    i have had this exact same issue in an old car of mine and replacing the clutch slave and master and the rubber lines solved it, the rubber lines bellowed out and absorbed the travel so my clutch was dragging - which is exactly what yours is doing

    it was hell when cold, and I blamed the pressure plate springs, much like you blaming the splines and once my clutch and car was good and warm it was perfect

    honestly dont bother with trying to lube the splines its a waste of time

    a clutch plate hardly moves, pressure plate clamps and engages it but it has very very little movement on the clutch plate splines

    remember that lube will attract the clutch dust and road dust as a flywheel area isnt sealed and you risk gumming up the works as the chance of you being able to apply lubricant past the thrust bearing, thrust bearing arm, pressure plate and more from outside the gearbox is slim to no chance of it happening - dont waste your time remember a clutch plate moves probably 5 mm at most in old (voortrekker cars) and more like 2 or 3 mm on average and less on new cars so no the clutch is not stuck on the splines, if it was your gearbox would chatter as the driven plate would be stuck against the pressure plate or flywheel

    your giveaway that its hydraulic is that is still gets sticky into first when warm

    clutch and master cylinders are cheap and typically each one is held on by two bolts, the engine side one can be bast#rd to access with long rubber arms needed but its not impossible

    I promise you change the master and slave and any rubber pipes that flex and grow soft with age, they bellow out and you have this issue

    you do need to bench bleed the new parts prior to fitment otherwise you will swear very very loudly

    good luck with your new slave and master cylinder

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Gearbox oil viscosity?
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by wiel View Post
    Gearbox oil viscosity?
    That is also a possibility. With my old Isuzu, if I put in the oil viscosity that people recommend then I battle to get gears till hot, but once I drained and put in Bot 402 my gear changes were smoth
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3bar View Post
    i have had this exact same issue in an old car of mine and replacing the clutch slave and master and the rubber lines solved it, the rubber lines bellowed out and absorbed the travel so my clutch was dragging - which is exactly what yours is doing

    it was hell when cold, and I blamed the pressure plate springs, much like you blaming the splines and once my clutch and car was good and warm it was perfect

    honestly dont bother with trying to lube the splines its a waste of time

    a clutch plate hardly moves, pressure plate clamps and engages it but it has very very little movement on the clutch plate splines

    remember that lube will attract the clutch dust and road dust as a flywheel area isnt sealed and you risk gumming up the works as the chance of you being able to apply lubricant past the thrust bearing, thrust bearing arm, pressure plate and more from outside the gearbox is slim to no chance of it happening - dont waste your time remember a clutch plate moves probably 5 mm at most in old (voortrekker cars) and more like 2 or 3 mm on average and less on new cars so no the clutch is not stuck on the splines, if it was your gearbox would chatter as the driven plate would be stuck against the pressure plate or flywheel

    your giveaway that its hydraulic is that is still gets sticky into first when warm

    clutch and master cylinders are cheap and typically each one is held on by two bolts, the engine side one can be bast#rd to access with long rubber arms needed but its not impossible

    I promise you change the master and slave and any rubber pipes that flex and grow soft with age, they bellow out and you have this issue

    you do need to bench bleed the new parts prior to fitment otherwise you will swear very very loudly

    good luck with your new slave and master cylinder
    I agree with 3bar. With wearing of clutch, dirt etc you don't want to make a paste as imho you will have a bigger problem. Maybe best is remove gear box and give the clutch assembly a good clean and proper lube and inspection.
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3bar View Post
    i have had this exact same issue in an old car of mine and replacing the clutch slave and master and the rubber lines solved it, the rubber lines bellowed out and absorbed the travel so my clutch was dragging - which is exactly what yours is doing

    it was hell when cold, and I blamed the pressure plate springs, much like you blaming the splines and once my clutch and car was good and warm it was perfect

    honestly dont bother with trying to lube the splines its a waste of time

    a clutch plate hardly moves, pressure plate clamps and engages it but it has very very little movement on the clutch plate splines

    remember that lube will attract the clutch dust and road dust as a flywheel area isnt sealed and you risk gumming up the works as the chance of you being able to apply lubricant past the thrust bearing, thrust bearing arm, pressure plate and more from outside the gearbox is slim to no chance of it happening - dont waste your time remember a clutch plate moves probably 5 mm at most in old (voortrekker cars) and more like 2 or 3 mm on average and less on new cars so no the clutch is not stuck on the splines, if it was your gearbox would chatter as the driven plate would be stuck against the pressure plate or flywheel

    your giveaway that its hydraulic is that is still gets sticky into first when warm

    clutch and master cylinders are cheap and typically each one is held on by two bolts, the engine side one can be bast#rd to access with long rubber arms needed but its not impossible

    I promise you change the master and slave and any rubber pipes that flex and grow soft with age, they bellow out and you have this issue

    you do need to bench bleed the new parts prior to fitment otherwise you will swear very very loudly

    good luck with your new slave and master cylinder
    It only has one rubber hose in the clutch line and that's been replaced, it only has an issue when the vehicle is cold and ambient is below 20 degrees anything above that it's fine from "cold". It only gets sticky into first once warm on very rare occasions, typically doesn't happen at all. Sachs make some of the finest clutches and they are unequivocal about lube on the clutch plate splines so whether the movement is 2mm or 5mm it needs to be lubed to operate correctly. And as anyone who has worked on vehicles for long enough knows, don't discount it just because it's 2mm..

    As I pointed out in a post above an issue with the slave or master would show symptoms at other times not just during the narrow window mine does. Granted I'm not totally discounting your advice but I very much doubt that is the issue, do you know why with your issue it would have only shown when cold?
    Last edited by Skylark; 2020/04/29 at 01:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by wiel View Post
    Gearbox oil viscosity?
    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    That is also a possibility. With my old Isuzu, if I put in the oil viscosity that people recommend then I battle to get gears till hot, but once I drained and put in Bot 402 my gear changes were smoth
    Been there done that x 2, didn't help much, and zero help on the difficult cold shifting once the temps dropped marginally.
    Last edited by Skylark; 2020/04/29 at 12:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Sounds like you are confident and made your mind up to lube, if that's the case drop the box and do it properly. Shortcuts are never the best option.
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Question, if a clutch plate spring breaks, what are the symptoms
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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2.8i rocks View Post
    Sounds like you are confident and made your mind up to lube, if that's the case drop the box and do it properly. Shortcuts are never the best option.
    Ingenuity is not a "shortcut", I'm hoping someone has had this issue before and found an innovative way to solve it.
    The long piece of pipe on a spray tin of lube is what I found on another forum and the guy had success with it, the tip to use a Borescope is likewise a good one.

    If I have to go as far as dropping the box I'll replace the clutch so I may as well try lubing the splines in situation and if that contaminates the plates then the box will be have to be dropped and the clutch will get replaced.

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    Default Re: Any tricks to lube the clutch plate splines without taking out the gearbox?

    If you do drop the 'box, this is what I would do since you then have proper access to everything: I will polish the splines and the clutch's splined hole. Polish as in buff it with suitable Dremel tool. And then lube it with dry graphite.

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