Clutch Lever Failure

Brought my recent BAT purchase (XK 140MC S812797DN) to Oregon for some fun and have had a rather big failure. Upon depressing the clutch, I got a ‘bang’ and the clutch peddle went straight to the floor. Underneath the the car I found the offending part!

clutch lever

Because I am stuck here in OR, can anyone help me understand the job that needs doing? SNG Barratt is sending a new part overnight. I will have to scrounge a jack and wonder if someone has done this job recently and can advise me. The broken part looks like pot metal. Inferior stuff for sure and I have little confidence that I will get anything better. Begger can’t be choosers.


The clutch lever is secured to the shaft on the 120 and I believe the 140 also with a tapered pin. Is there any evidence of this still remaining on the clutch operating shaft itself? The failure on mine was due to the pin shearing, a not uncommon experience I’m afraid, my solution was to drill out the shaft and utilize a Gr. 8 bolt with Nyloc nut in place of the tapered pin. However, I took the gearbox out and removed the shaft from the bell housing. Not sure you could do it with the shaft in place. It might be possible to tap out the pin if its sheared and put in a new one with the replacement clutch lever. I used Coventry Auto Components in the U.K. for my replacement pin on the throw out bearing fork. Not sure what you have in the way of a lever, but mine on the 120 was certainly not pot metal.

If you check the archives (spy glass at the R.H. page top) there is a lot of previous posts on this issue.


I’d wager that on average, every two-three months there’s a posting regarding a failure of a clutch lever bell crank, sheared pin securing same or the throw-out bearing fork. How long must we suffer this madness?!?! Just kidding, a huge number of us have been where you are. Take a deep breath and steel yourself for the thought of a gearbox/ clutch housing pull in your future. Sorry to have to write that. This area is very much a weak spot on XK’s.

Good thing you weren’t in stop-and-go traffic when it happened causing you to plow into the car ahead of you.


The attached photo shows the clutch lever arm on my gearbox following the failure of the tapered pin securing the throw out bearing. It shows the bolt I referred to in my post above. When the tapered pin sheared it allowed the clutch shaft to rotate forward. By adjusting the adjuster to it’s maximum at the side of the road and with the throw out bearing fork jammed on the shaft I managed to get home. The second photo shows the replacement fork from CAC alongside the original. The new one, reinforced at the base, we also drilled and pinned to the shaft with a high tensile, Allen-headed pin, also secured with a Nyloc nut in addition to the tapered pin.

That’s why I am moving to a hydraulic annular release bearing. And a hydraulic pedal set. Gives me twin circuit braking and a hydraulic clutch. It does away with nearly everything on the list of items that break. Clutch lever, shaft bushings, clutch fork etc. and easy to set up. Even easier if you have a Tremec as the mount for the annular bearing just bolts on with 4 bolts. And they are self adjusting. Bonus is 4 inches of additional leg room.


Iain, I don’t have a picture of it, but my bell crank external to the clutch housing failed under a previous owner too – only it was limited to a failed shear pin. Maybe it even happened more than once as someone went to the effort of removing the bell crank plus cross shaft and then brazed the two together. Drastic, but it seems to still be holding all these years.

Can anyone shed light on why Jaguar didn’t go with the forked rod protruding from the opposite side of the clutch housing instead of the linkage we do have? Per the center left image of the picture below?

Iain, when you get under there, this is what you will see.
clutch linkage 004

If you had the floor out, it would be easier.

Chris, that fork is one of the many things on the prototype concept drawing that never made it to the production stage. Instead they copied the setup that had worked fine since the 1930s in the pushrod cars.

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I am so very grateful to you for these pictures! I can see exactly what I am dealing with now. I have a “new” lever on the way and will try to execute the repair without being at home with the lift and all my tools!

Again, thank you.


XK140MC [S812797DN]

If you think you can get to a place that has a lift, like a tire shop or something, you always have the option of driving without using the clutch; put it in 4th gear, then start the engine and it will lurch forward and go, now drive carefully, shutting the engine off when you have to stop. I once drove home 160 miles that way with a broken clutch.

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Coventry Auto Components offers the Clutch Lever Arm in SG (Spheroidal Graphite) (malleable) CAST IRON.

Thank you. Pricey for us in the US!

$74.97 US…perhaps $20 max to ship. I realize it doesn’t help you much stranded in Oregon. My thinking is this is a job I only want to do once.

Good Luck to you Iain. I hope it’s not long before you are motoring again, with a smile!

edit for $ to £

Thanks, I must’ve misunderstood the 71 pounds and 59 pounds and thought they were additive. Also, since it was a UK site, I imagine the worst for VAT and shipping. I definitely see that the cast-iron unit is what I need. The c— that is being offered from SNG is the material that was in there. It looks like pot metal. I can see a rough crystalline like surface at the break.


I have absolutely no connection with Coventry Auto Components, however, having owned my XK for some 60 years and having ordered parts from all the usual suppliers I can vouch for the quality of their stuff. I had two tapered pins shear in the space of one year (not from CAC) and it is a real pita! The same set up was used on the D-types so I have a feeling that the failures I experienced were related to the quality of the replacements. I drove the car for some 58 years without issue, it was only when the originals sheared upon removal when I stripped the gearbox for a rebuild that I replaced them with, unfortunately, the results noted. Also, you don’t pay VAT if ordering from the U.S.


Yeah…well I screwed that up the money conversion by about $15. VAT is Value Added Tax…and not charged to US Customers. So, a lot of sellers list 2 prices. One with VAT included, one without. Credit Card companies also charge a small fee for money conversion.

I’m very fortunate to have all this input! Thank you. I will get the part from the usual suspects to get back on the road; should be here today and then with the sturdier part from England redo it at home.
Thanks again.

Rob, fourth gear? You must have been on a highway. I was on a road rally when the clutch slave cylinder blew out on my MK2. It was on back roads and the speeds were slower and stops were frequent so I drove the rest of the run in second gear, where I could comfortably start up in gear and drive at 45 MPH. That was around 5 years ago and reminded me of the adventures I had with these cars when I was young.

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Yes, old route 66 Peoria to Chicago about 1972.

I’ve been thinking about this lever failure. It looks to me like a forged part, not a casting, and pot metal would not be the correct term. I don’t recall that we have had any reports before of failure on this part. Iain’s looks like a brittle fracture. Perhaps it had a crack or some other previous damage of which we have no information?

It has always been the throw out bearing fork inside the bell housing that fails, and there has been discussion about poor reproductions and tapered pins.

Iain, don’t throw out the broken part. I’d be interested to see a pic of the rest of it.

I will save it. Michael Carpenter the PO did a restoration of this XK 140 prior to my ownership. I have some records and may be able to pinpoint where this particular part came from. The good news for me is that it is clean and tidy under there and I will be able to see what I’m doing, despite the lack of a lift. The new part was expected yesterday, but has not arrived as yet.
As if there were some sort of higher order managing all of us, the failure of the clutch coincided with my wife falling ill while we are here in Portland and she is in the hospital. Both loves under the weather at the same time. Wendy will, of course, take priority.


Yes, take care of her. I lost Jeanine 3 years ago.
At least you’re in a city, I thought you might be up in the mountains somewhere.