Fiat Ducato clutch problem - Mikeym1

The gearbox engages but no drive when the clutch is released. I did managed to engage the gear

when the clutch lever was pulled forward manually from the clutch housing but the gears locked when the

engine was turned (released when the wheels were jacked up)

I have a problem. After speaking to a few garages in the Hertford (London) area. Not many people

want to replace my clutch on 1982 Talbot fitted with Fiat Ducato. I am considering fitting myself.

(please talk me out of it ) (-: , but seriously i havce been advised the job i n question involves approx

8 hrs. Could you please tell me:-

Other than removing the driveshafts which I believe can be difficult are there any other problems I may encounter?

Can I remove the clutch / housing without removing the engine completely?

Is there any way to engage the clutch so the vehicle can be moved to a place of repair because currently
my only option would to have the vehicle towed or relayed could not tow it with my car because the vehicle weighs two tonnes?

I have Peter Russek pocket mechanic but it doesn't tell how to remove the clutch?

Is there a manual or website which will help ru through the process.?



Fiat Ducato clutch problem - Steptoe
Hi Mike,

I replaced my Talbot clutch two years ago, though no stranger to a socket set it was one of the most difficult jobs I have done; like you I found my usual garage wouldn't touch it so I had no choice.

I had been advised that a stiff clutch action meant that the clutch was on the way out, but it was annoying to find hardly any wear on the clutch plate even after 100K+ miles, if I'd known I'd have put up with the stiffness which was down to wear on the pressure plate fingers/release bearing interface, permanently in contact on this model.

From your description of the fault it may be that this is the problem rather than the clutch plate, however in any case a stripdown is necessary

I will reproduce a post I put up on another forum as to how the clutch can be removed with engine in place. the main problems I had were removing/refitting the driveshafts; however the Peter Russek manual was helpful on this, and engaging the gearbox which was a b......y swine of a job.


I will miss out the boring stuff about secure axlestands and a scaffold pole to undo the hubnuts as I guess you are no stranger to the spanner.

The key to doing the job singlehanded is to place a substantial piece of wood ( I used 2 x 3 ) between the spare wheel bay and the bonnet shut crossmember. I then strapped the gearbox and took the weight on the wood using my faithful Haltrac hoist from the back of the shed ( I hope you also have one as I don't think you can buy them any more ) I supported the engine with a trolley jack under the sump and with some judicious adjustment of jack and hoist it is possible to remove the gearbox, drop it, and refit it without too much strain on the machinery or oneself.

So far so good, but what reduced me to a quivering wreck was that I initially got the gearbox in place and within ½'' of going home comparatively quickly. Deciding it was a mismatch I pulled it out again, it then took me another 8 hours to get it back to this very same position( at one point I was laying on my back using all my hands and feet to manoeuvre the b.....y thing ) I then decided that was why the bellhousing bolts were exceptionally long and pulled it in the last bit with the bolts. By then I was so stressed that I stamped on the brake pedal instead of the clutch to test the action of the clutch release lever and almost had a heart attack to find an apparently seized clutch!

The final sting in the tale was the NS driveshaft coming loose in the diff some 2 months later and 100 miles from home, presumably because I hadn't driven it fully home. My roadside repair damaged the boot necessitating a subsequent repeat of the scaffolding pole shenanigans! >>>>

Good luck!

One mans junk is another mans treasure
Fiat Ducato clutch problem - Mikeym1
Thanks Steptoe.

I have worked on other vehicles, mechanic in my early years (although not a very good one), but I have never had to work on anything this big. It is probably not the clutch. I thought the lever may have moved at first.
My mate kept adjusting the clutch cable which had broken previously and then after hae trouble trying to get the engine in gear all through the day the engine started to shudder and I lost the drive. I thought the lever on the housing was broken it seemed to be split. We had a problem earlier in the year when the clutch had seized on which was resolved engaging gear, brake on the pedal and turning the engine. (thanks to the help from this site) I suppose we should have had the clutch replaced when the vehicle was running, but we never thought because it was working and we didn't want to spend £500. Will I never learn. The clutch doesn't slip and the bite is o.k.

Trouble seemed to start after the gasket failed on the water pump pouring water over the engine.

I thought water may have gone inside the clutch housing causing the clutch plate to seize on.

Could it be the pressure plate has perished?

Seems to be tension through the pedal.

Trouble is I don't seem to be able familiarise myself with clutch operation. Did theory and a little practical in my early years and replaced clutches on fords but I cannot remember how I did it.

I suppose more internet searching required.

I have a few more wo may be interested in the wrok. To be honest I probably can't afford it anyway (-:

Fiat Ducato clutch problem - Steptoe
Hi Mike,
I am certain the pressure plate diaphragm fingers are in constant contact with the release bearing so it is not beyond the realms of possibility on an old/high mileage vehicle that the bearing is worn or has broken up ( if as you say water got into the bell housing this might have hastened things along ) the need for frequent cable adjustments seem to confirm this.

It seems that whatever the problem you will have tp drop the gearbox. The problem you face is that were you running a Talbot express van you could cheerfully scrap it, but even an old Motorhome in good order is worth much more than the cost of getting the job done at a garage; however if the van is becoming a bit unreliable it may become a money pit and you could end up spending more than it's worth.

Fix it & sell it????.......that's what I did......

One mans junk is another mans treasure
Fiat Ducato clutch problem - Mikeym1
Thanks Steptoe,

Why do they make these vehicles really difficult to work on. I own a Passat and I had a struggle to remove the
air filter today. I only wanted the measurements to order a new one... still that is another story. To be honest
I would have liked a Transit Motorhome. You know where you are with them and I believe they are still rear wheel drive. I think the mileage is about 80,000 miles but it has several owners who seem to use it and it has suffered neglect and years of pathcing upo. The roof leaked like a sieve and the water logged ceiling had to be replaced.

The only serious problem has been the clutch. The starter has been rebuilt due to intermittent problems with the bendix and the battery was palying up a little other than that it hasn't been to bad.

The plan is to refurb the the vehicle but due to the council blocking my path (council estate) we have not
achieve this yet. We have no where to repair or refurb it now. It is a catch 22 situation. Can't tow it due to the size, can't repair it easily due to no place to take it to and have to return it back to reasonable standard
before we can sell it.

We haven't spent that much on it. The roof is done which had to be covered in vinyl and now we have
the ceiling partially covered now we do not have the leaks.

I would still prefer a Transit though (-:


Value my car