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Discussion Starter #1
My 2.0L Carlton CDX seems as if its at the point of needing a new clutch assembly but I'm undecided at choosing.

The current clutch was fitted by the local Vauxhall dealers in 6 May 2004 where the cars mileage was about 100383.
Today the mileage is 196486, so to date the clutch as been in use for 96103 miles over nearly a 16 year period.
Even though it was quite costly at the time ie. £280.50 I believe it was cost effective considering the amount of use
and time it has been in position.

Believing that I could save a few quid I've purchased a Borg and Beck clutch assembly via ebay at the price of just under £70.00
which on the surface of it would seem a good buy. However when I checked out the friction plate the rivets were just below the
friction material which according to the seller is the normal thickness on all current friction plates. On the basis of this I couldn't see
this clutch lasting very long. Ideally I would like to buy another clutch which will last over a similar period of time then I can send this one back
and have a good quality unit fitted that will last more than five minutes.

I welcome any advice that can be offerred.

djbthatsme
 

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93 Carlton 2.0 Diamond Estate, 06 Vivaro 1.9 CDTi
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1,107 Posts
Borg & Beck is a very good make.
You may be getting confused with brake shoe linings that are riveted on and have quite a bit of meat on them above the rivets, as a clutch lining is not as thick and usually only has no more than about 2 - 3mm above the rivet heads.
You shouldn't have any problems with this clutch if it is a genuine one.
Don't forget to fit a new release bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks DKT1 for your reply,
I am not confused between brake shoe linings and clutch linings, at my stage in life its a matter of memory more than anything else. It was many years ago when I last fitted a clutch which was before my current car so its not something I would normally remember. Another consideration, which was pointed out to me by the seller, is that clutches are manufactured to last a shorter period of time than they previously were. He claims that a clutch is normally built to last only 6 months, which is why this post was instigated. From the above you will see that the current clutch as been in place for quite a number of years, so perhaps you can understand my concern.

I know that Borg & Beck have been around for a long time and believe that they have a good history which you seem to agree with. The clutch assembly that I've purchased includes the friction plate, pressure plate and release bearing and together with this a new spigot bearing will also be fitted. IMHO its only common sense to do the job properly first time otherwise the lifespan could be compromised. My view is do it once correctly not several times, otherwise it would wind up costing more. With some arm twisting I've also managed to acquire a manufacturing warranty for 4 years or K40 miles in the price so hopefully this should be sufficient to help keep my old Carlton on the road.

DKT1 you have given me the information I require ie. clutch lining thickness above rivets, which I thank you for. Your input is much appreciated.

In closing I was wondering whether you still had the Diamond estate.
 

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93 Carlton 2.0 Diamond Estate, 06 Vivaro 1.9 CDTi
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1,107 Posts
HI @djbthatsme ,
I whole heartedly agree with your sentiments on doing things right first time, I am also in my later years and find I am having to buy inferior spares as "that's how they make them now".
So am mostly repairing my Carlton by modification rather than replacement now, but it keeps me active and enjoy it.
Today I have been under the bonnet again tinkering ;)
Decided to replace all heater hoses and header tank hoses with silicon ones and fit a bleed valve in the system, also wanted to give the heater matrix a good flush/clean out, as I've been suffering with lack of heat from the heater all winter but it's been too cold or wet up till now to work outside on it.
As always one job leads on to another and you find things that were hidden just waiting to let you down usually when you have to do a long journey, so have been repairing earth cable connections, corroded starter motor cable connections and while I had the inlet manifold off decided to put some new cable sleeving on all the engine cabling as most of the old wrapping was looking very tatty.
We have spoken before on Total Carlton which sadly is no more, glad to see there's some of us still going.
Will post some pic's of my modifications when it's all back together, should be tomorrow if I don't find anything else wrong.?
All the best
DKT1
 

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I suppose there's always going to be a bad story, regardless of the parts manufacturer, so possibly just ignore what I'm going to relate, but many years ago a relative of mine worked as a mechanic for a Reliant main agent and they had a lot of problems with Borg & Beck clutches with a number of comebacks from customers. When they used replacements from one of the other main manufacturers of the time they had no further trouble - perhaps B&B just couldn't make Reliant clutches, I think the problem was bad juddering soon after fitting.

I don't think you've actually said what makes you think you may need a new clutch. In my opinion a Carlton clutch should certainly be good for well over 100K miles with normal driving. I've now got four old Carltons in various states of either repair or disrepair and the only one that I know of that had a replacement clutch fitted was probably down to oil contamination. The problem with the gearbox fitted to these cars is that they shouldn't be filled to the brim with oil, most mechanics don't know this and pump oil in until it runs out of the plug hole and then stick the plug back in. These gearboxes should only be filled to about half an inch below the filler plug hole and no more, otherwise it'll blow past the seals at both ends with both messy and disastrous results as had happened with the car in question. When I first got this car some 15 years ago, I had to syringe something like half a litre of oil out of the box and the oil contamination did eventually burnt off the replacement clutch that the previous owner had had fitted by a garage a year or so previously, but was juddering badly again.

The Carlton estate I'm running at the moment has done over 100K miles and still on the original clutch. It's been in my ownership for nearly 20 years now and I do sometimes tow heavy things with it and no clutch problems - yet!

There is, however, one little clutch issue that does show up from time to time and is a relatively easy fix and that it the 'Carlton clutch squeak', which folk generally think is the release bearing starting to fail, but it isn't.
 

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93 Carlton 2.0 Diamond Estate, 06 Vivaro 1.9 CDTi
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1,107 Posts
Glad to see another Carlton enthusiast on here.(y)
I do agree with you @HMK clutches should last over 100K on normal use, but as he had already purchased the new clutch, the reason he was replacing it was somewhat irrelevant.;)
I must confess I have a wry smile as my Estate is auto.:giggle:
Finished the hoses & wiring just in time before the rain.
91045
91046
 

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Yes, I don't think there's many of us left that are still running Carltons, and certainly not actually running them as everyday drivers.

Good work on the hoses and wiring etc. Not raining here - yet, and I'm outside applying coats of wood stain to a cabinet, coming back in the house between coats for a cuppa and a quick look on the 'net etc.

I forgot to say - regarding the heater matrix on these cars, one of the biggest problems regarding lack of heat compared to how they used to be is the after market all metal heater matrix. These are slightly smaller than the original ones making them easier to fit on a manual car with the clutch pedal still in place, but not such a problem with yours being auto without the pedal getting in the way. The problem with them is that they also have a much more open mesh, so air not only passes down the sides of them without being heated, but also passes through them without being heated as much as with the Vauxhall originals. The original type with the hard plastic end caps tended to fail where the metal matrix joined the plastic, whereas these all copper/brass ones will last forever, but just won't work as efficiently as the original type did. In the Carlton I'm running at the moment, I replaced the original one when it blew with another genuine Vauxhall replacement that had been fitted to a car that I was given as a scrapper by a family that were emigrating, and I dismantled it for spares (it was very rotten), so I've got good heat at the moment in this particular car. However, when/if this one eventually blows, then I'll have to fit one of the all metal ones that I've got in stock - I certainly noticed a difference in heat output when I fitted one of these all metal ones to one of the other estates.

As regards the OPs clutch, he doesn't have to have the clutch fitted if it isn't needed, as the labour charge for fitting is going to be a lot more than the clutch itself cost, so he could just hang on to it for when the time comes when it's needed - I'm a bit of a believer in the saying, "if it ain't broke etc....", although having said that, he may well have a clutch that's starting to slip, so therefore needs replacing sooner rather than later. I ought to say that I do however, believe in preventative maintenance when necessary.
 

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93 Carlton 2.0 Diamond Estate, 06 Vivaro 1.9 CDTi
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1,107 Posts
I'm a believer in the "be prepared" I buy spares to keep for that just in case moment, but find that if you have it in the spares box in the back of the car you'll never need it, as it's always the bit you haven't got that goes I think it's called "sod's law".?
I've fitted one of the new type heater matrix's and your right you don't get much heat out of them, cleaned & flushed the old one out and re-fitted it, with new rubber foam around it to seal it off, worked fine for 2 -3 years and just started messing about at the end of last year.
So finished the pipes etc, run it up to temp, heater pumping out loads of heat, cleared up all the tools & swept the drive to keep the wife happy, went to park the car back against the house and the heaters blowing cold again ! checked the pipes and there both hot ? checked the new bleed valve and there's no air in the top heater pipe??
I've got to go to Maidstone on Thursday so will go in the car & see if it is OK after a run.:rolleyes:
Don't think it will be head gasket problem as it runs super cool with the electric fan only coming on for 20 - 30 seconds every 2 -3 minutes, got loads of silt out of the heater when I flushed it through, so was hoping I'd cured it but that sod's law keeps proving to be right.
Looking on the bright side, at least I've got something to do whilst in isolation over the next coming weeks.?
 

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Yes, ideally you need to fit the foam sealing strip to the sides, but unfortunately it's not possible to fit a matrix to the manual car and get it to stay in place. To do the job properly you're supposed to remove the complete pedal box, which also involves removing the steering column - something you're lucky you don't have to do with having no clutch pedal in the way. I've done them by holding the clutch pedal down as far as it'll go and just about squeezing them in, usually when I've needed to use the car the next day - perhaps I'll take a bit longer and do it the hard way next time, seeing as I don't need the car to go to work in anymore.

As you've no doubt realised, you've got air that's moved round and ended up in the heater matrix. This sort of problem can usually be sorted out by getting the front of the car up in the air and giving all the hoses a good squeezing while running the engine and with the filler cap removed - now you've fitted new hoses they may not 'squeeze' as easily as the old ones did. I doubt you've got a head gasket problem.
 

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93 Carlton 2.0 Diamond Estate, 06 Vivaro 1.9 CDTi
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1,107 Posts
Yes, no chance of squeezing the hoses, I went for the heavy duty silicon hoses with 5mm wall thickness on all except the last two elbows onto the heater matrix which are the standard 3mm wall thickness.
91052
 

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93 Carlton 2.0 Diamond Estate, 06 Vivaro 1.9 CDTi
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1,107 Posts
Just an update, got the airlock out of the heater, glad I fitted the bleed valve, heaters perfect again.
While I was running it to test the heat output, started to hear a bearing noise from the front, getting progressively louder, traced it to being inside the timing belt cover after removing the alternator & power steering belts.
Stripped it down & removed the belt tensioner, feels perfect turns smooth.
Can't take a chance so got a timing belt kit.
Fitted the belt & tensioner and put it all back together, started it up and it sounds so quiet, must have been the bearing going.:eek:
That was lucky, don't suppose it would have lasted much longer with the journeys I've got to do in the next couple of weeks, Maidstone, Cornwall, Portsmouth & Isle of Wight.
I'd still use as my daily driver if I had somewhere to go every day.?
 

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The thing with the roller tensioner is that when you give a new one a spin it slows down fairly quickly due to the sealed in lubrication coupled with the close tolerance of the unworn bearings. When you give a used roller a spin and it seems to go on spinning forever, that's when you need to worry, as all the lubricant has probably gone and the bearing hasn't got long for this world, regardless of how smooth running it seems, which will be very different with the tension of the belt running hard against it. It's nearly always the roller that fails and takes out the belt, rather than the other way round. As far as I know, these engines are 'valve safe', but still not worth the hassle of belt failure. Sometimes a bad water pump bearing can take out a cam belt as well. All my cam belts are out of 'time' now, but still within 'mileage', other than on one care, which will need doing immediately if I ever put it back on the road.

I've never considered fitting an air bleeder on the cooling systems, as I always manage to get all the air bled out anyway, but it's definitely a bit of a necessity by the sounds of it with those thick walled new hoses. I see you've got a specially made stainless or ally header tank fitted.

I'm still on viscous coupled fan power for cooling. I've got two good working examples and the one that I've got fitted at the moment, which I call my winter one as it's a bit late in cutting in and lets the engine run a bit hotter. However, when I got stuck in bad traffic a couple of months back and the temperature started to rise a bit and I had to keep holding the engine at revs to get it to cut in to bring the temperature back down, also running the heater blower flat out - I was wishing I'd got one of the other fans fitted instead. As you probably know, quarter, or sometimes slightly over, on a Carlton gauge is around normal and half way or just over is starting to get hot, anything over this is very hot and three quarters is too hot!
 

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93 Carlton 2.0 Diamond Estate, 06 Vivaro 1.9 CDTi
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1,107 Posts
The belt tensioner roller felt exactly the same resistance to turn as the new one, if it had have spun i would have known it was duff.?
I had the viscous fan issues several years ago, so set out to fit the electric fan & controller, decided to change the thermostat housing for one with two sensor holes rather than use the temp gauge sensor to do both.
Saw a small split in the header tank starting, possibly all the strain from the overheating problems previously, had to replace the radiator due to a split in the plastic, so decided to make a new header tank and bottom hose manifold from stainless to get rid of all the plastic.
Worked pretty good so far.?
Easier to work on the engine without that fan cowling in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, I don't think there's many of us left that are still running Carltons, and certainly not actually running them as everyday drivers.

Good work on the hoses and wiring etc. Not raining here - yet, and I'm outside applying coats of wood stain to a cabinet, coming back in the house between coats for a cuppa and a quick look on the 'net etc.

I forgot to say - regarding the heater matrix on these cars, one of the biggest problems regarding lack of heat compared to how they used to be is the after market all metal heater matrix. These are slightly smaller than the original ones making them easier to fit on a manual car with the clutch pedal still in place, but not such a problem with yours being auto without the pedal getting in the way. The problem with them is that they also have a much more open mesh, so air not only passes down the sides of them without being heated, but also passes through them without being heated as much as with the Vauxhall originals. The original type with the hard plastic end caps tended to fail where the metal matrix joined the plastic, whereas these all copper/brass ones will last forever, but just won't work as efficiently as the original type did. In the Carlton I'm running at the moment, I replaced the original one when it blew with another genuine Vauxhall replacement that had been fitted to a car that I was given as a scrapper by a family that were emigrating, and I dismantled it for spares (it was very rotten), so I've got good heat at the moment in this particular car. However, when/if this one eventually blows, then I'll have to fit one of the all metal ones that I've got in stock - I certainly noticed a difference in heat output when I fitted one of these all metal ones to one of the other estates.

As regards the OPs clutch, he doesn't have to have the clutch fitted if it isn't needed, as the labour charge for fitting is going to be a lot more than the clutch itself cost, so he could just hang on to it for when the time comes when it's needed - I'm a bit of a believer in the saying, "if it ain't broke etc....", although having said that, he may well have a clutch that's starting to slip, so therefore needs replacing sooner rather than later. I ought to say that I do however, believe in preventative maintenance when necessary.
I feel that it would be wise at this stage to respond to comments concerning the clutch change. First of all I am a great believer in preventative maintenance due to the cost of the alternative measure of breakdown cost. Being stuck on a motorway is not for the faint hearted where passing traffic seems oblivious to other users. Not only is this scary (speaking from recent experience) but can normally also significantly increase the cost of repair compared to scheduled maintenance. Buying parts before hand allows controlled expenditure at a time convenient to the individual but the alternative is being left at the mercy of others.

The clutch doesn't start to engage until it reaches its uppermost extent of travel and it is showing signs of slipping when moving from a standing start on a pretty steep hill. I believe that with care it can be nursed along for some time yet but will need to be changed in the not to distant future. It may also be prudent to understand that many of my journeys in the car have been local where gear changes are more than they would be on motorway usage, which could in part explain the reduced mileage between clutch changes. Personally, however, I would expect a clutch to last about K100 based on the last change. There are a number of variables that can effect this eg driving habits, amount of local to motorway driving, quality of materials used etc. Nevertheless leaving the clutch change until some distant time in the future is in my opinion foolhardy and not worth considering. I don't want to breakdown and sit in another passenger seat of a recovery vehicle if it can be helped, this as already happened to often. However I thank you for your input which as been useful.
 
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