I have had this unfathomable clutch problem with my ‘66 BJ8 for over six months. It’s become increasingly unsafe to the point it can be difficult to change gears quickly as needed. It began with the replacement of the clutch master and slave cylinders and slave cylinder flex line. It is important to note this problem didn’t exist prior to these recent replacements. And I have owned the car since 1967 and have never had this problem before.
On the road, I feel the clutch depression become increasingly heavy while shifting, until the petal will no longer depress. As I continue with more force, with my foot, to work the clutch petal to shift, suddenly I feel what ever is restricting the petal give way as if overcoming a resistance. Then I hear and “feel” a “clunk “ in the petal, with my foot, as the clutch petal returns to normal. The feeling, and sound comes from the direction of the clutch and brake petal box bracket.
My first thought was the replacement Lucas master cylinder was defective. A second replacement cylinder was installed. The problem remained.
The slave cylinder flex line was again replaced with a Classic Gold braided flex line. The problem continued.
I have been on the Online Austin Healey Blogtrotter for suggestions. While I received many ideas, none of them helped.
I have checked the clutch and brake petal shaft and bushings in the petal bracket. No problems there. Everything is free.
My next thought is the problem is inside the bell housing and clutch itself. Perhaps the release bearing is worn or the clutch fork to the throw-out bearing is binding? Or the pilot bushing is sticking? However, the “clunk” sound doesn’t come from that direction. And I have never heard of anything in the bell housing working intermittently, or fixing itself.
I have been able to go for long periods of driving time with the clutch as normal. Then, when least expected, the problem returns.
As an aside, I have already talked to Randy Zoller, Terry Cowan, and Erick Grunden. They are as mystified as I am. If you have any ideas or thoughts, let me know...