Clutch Repair

I think I may have found the fault!  Really, the hose flexible hose was in a dreadful state, as the photos show.  The splits and cracks were well hidden with the hose in situ, but once removed and unbent, it was obviously knackered.  From underneath that side of the vehicle, I could see fluid all over the flywheel housing (though some of it might have spilled during removal of the hose).  The photos show a comparison between the old standard rubber hose and the new Goodridge stainless steel braided hose, which is also sheathed in clear plastic to prevent dirt ingress into the braiding.  It is similar to the brake lines that have been on the car ever since the big rebuild and which have not shown any signs of aging in six years and nearly 40,000 miles.

Removal and fitting of the hose was not easy.  In fact, it was absolutely no fun whatsoever.  Access is very restricted with the wiring, fuel lines, fuel filter and lift pump of a Tdi, and is probably not a great deal better with a standard 2.25 petrol or diesel engine.  It’s plain to see why LR changed the piping configuration on the Defender, running a fixed pipe around the bulkhead and the flexible hose from the left foot well to the slave cylinder.  The job took a lot longer than anticipated, but was finally completed.  The system was bled with the use of an EziBleed kit, and a quick check afterwards showed a firm pedal.  I haven’t replaced the slave cylinder as the hose was so clearly damaged and thus the likely culprit and because the fluid was clear and clean when I bled it last week – failing cylinders normally contaminate their fluid and I’d expect the bleeding to have produced some very grey or black fluid if the cylinders were at fault.  Time will tell if that diagnosis is correct…

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