What Clutch Kit to Buy

I’d like to hear opinions on what clutch kit (Throw-out Bearing, Clutch Disk and Pressure Plate) I should buy. I’ll be driving it regularly but no autocross, etc.

I understand there was a bad run of pressure plates recently. Anyone familiar with that? Should I pay the extra to get a Borg & Beck kit?


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My Bork and Beck from Welsh was bad purchased in Dec 2019. I’m not sure if they solved the problem by now.

In addition to the bad pressure plates, a spate of release bearing failures have also been reported. As I understand it, these have not been confined to one manufacturer, so though name brands such as Borg & Beck may be a better choice, they are not immune to problems. Maybe try Pork & Peck… :grinning:
Pork and Peck

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Let’s see what others have to say would be a good clutch and pressure plate assembly that are offererred today
But I know that Bob Beere does try to make parts that do not fail like some parts being offered
I know he has a better timing chain tensioner and also the IRA rubber mounts. Just to mention a few

If you do buy a clutch kit with a graphite throw out bearing, make sure there is a screw or a pin that stops the graphite bearing from rotating in its housing. This was a common failure for a while causing bearing to be consumed quickly. There is usually a little old stock out there so I suggest you make it a condition of purchase that the graphite bearing is retained with a pin or screw.
69 OTS

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It wouldn’t be my first choice, but I wonder how hard it would be to drill a proper size hole and epoxy in a roll pin.

I’m really not sure that the manufacturer drilling a hole through the housing and graphite ring and inserting a roll pin is a good idea at all. I could imagine it actually causing the graphite to break up due to the undoubted stress raiser the pin would cause if the graphite was not tight in the housing. I understand that the original release bearings were an interference fit in the housing (housing heated to allow the graphite ring to be inserted), and now the aftermarket ones are bonded, sometimes not too well. If I was given the choice of one with a roll pin inserted or one without, I think I’d opt for the one without. That said, has anyone here used one with a roll pin and had the bearing fail?


My new borg and beck clutch kit came with a pin to stop the graphite bearing from rotating


FWIW there are multiple examples to be found in MG enthusiast sites of release bearings disintigrating early on where the problem was blamed on the use of a roll-pin rather than bonding the graphite to the housing. Borg & Beck was manufacturer in at least one case. Most of these cases seem to be around 10 years ago, so maybe the problem was fixed in their case. [edit: I’ve just found another site describing similar failures from 2018-2020, so maybe it’s still an issue for the MG folks too]

Borg and Becks all now come with a pin in them.
The aftermarket throwout bearing sold by one “usual” has a hole with a screw in it to pin the graphite from moving.

Given that I had a removal and replacement of the engine and tranny just to fix a rotating graphite that did not have a pin, I would take the one with the pin…


Are there really no later bearing type throwouts that can be fitted instead of the old carbon types??

No: unless you completely redesign the clutch fork and input shaft of the transmission, one has to use a carbon throwout bearing.


There was a long thread about using roller bearing based release bearings in E-Types here about 12 months ago: Roller throwout bearing
SNGB offered such a bearing for a short while and then removed it from the market. Rob Beere Racing offers one also. If the graphite bearings were of the original quality I don’t think anyone would be looking for an alternative. Unfortunately, as seems to be the case with many things E-Type, the modern reproductions can be prone to early failure so alternatives are sought. I have not heard any good news on this front. Personally, I keep a look out for old graphite bearings (even used ones if not heavily worn). I recently picked up on eBay a NOS B&B release bearing for the coil spring clutch on my XK140.

So true, thanks David.

For what it’s worth, I’m one of those with an SNG roller throwout bearing. Seems to be holding up well, I have no complaints with it in my 70 FHC.

I’m planning on replacing my clutch soon. The pedal has always picked up high (too high for my taste) and following Davidxk’s advice and others about the spring on the slave cylinder, the pedal got a bit better. On my last drive going uphill in third and pressing down on the throttle, the clutch slipped.

Fortunately, I was able to buy a NOS throw out bearing from Tim G here on JL.

If I couldn’t have bought an NOS throw out bearing, I was seriously considering just reusing the throw out bearing in the car. It’s got quite a bit of meat left on it. I’d say worst case, it’s about half gone. So that’s half gone in it’s first 36,000 miles. I’m 64 so I doubt I’ll put even 10,000 more miles on it. Bad idea?

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Nope! I’d much rather use an old school TO.

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mine picks up low. What does one do to change the pick up of the clutch?

There are a couple things to do if the clutch starts ‘grabbing’ when the pedal is still down near the floor; which means there isn’t as much clutch arm movement as you optimally need/want. First be sure you have bled the system well. Any air in the system will not give you as much travel as possible. Second, check to be sure there is the correct gap (1/16" per book) between the face of the release bearing and the clutch. Those two things are the most common faults, another might be a worn fork hole(s) and/or pivot pin on the clutch pedal arm/master cylinder push rod. Another less likely possibility is the m/c if the seal that keeps fluid from backing up to the reservoir or main seal is worn out (though a main seal weep would show leaking into the cabin area).

I don’t think you can change the pick up. On mine, the threaded rod wasn’t set correctly and the return spring wasn’t pulling back completely. Setting those correctly helped.