Lotus Elan

FITTING CLUTCH SLAVE CYLINDER CIRCLIP

PostPost by: tonycharente » Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:43 pm

Having just spent ANOTHER two hours lying on my back NOT managing to fit the circlip onto my freshly rebuilt clutch slave cylinder and a further half-hour searching this section of the forum in case the answer was already posted, here's my query. Is there any clever way of getting the circlip into place without circlip pliers? My circlips (both the old and the new one) are the pointed end type (i.e. no little holes), and although I originally managed to get the old one back on by forcing it apart with a pair of screwdrivers, it ended up a bit stretched apart, and so loose in its slot. The clutch would work like this but I was afraid that in time the resultant movements of the casing would just wear away at the casing. Any ideas please? Thanks, Tony.
PS I did at least feel better after my forum search, as others have had real problems just getting their slave cylinder off in the first place........
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PostPost by: type26owner » Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:59 pm

You need the correct tool. External Lock-Ring Pliers. They cost about $20. You should replace a stretched ring but in an emergency it can be bent back to size. It's almost impossible to install these types of rings without the proper tool and not blow it.
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PostPost by: elans4dhc » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:33 pm

There's no reason why you shouldn't use a suitably sized normal circlip. No need to buy external lock-ring pliers when external circlip pliers will do the job.
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:34 pm

Its a few years since I changed a slave cylinder but I am sure I fitted the (square section wire type) with just my fingers. The circlip only needs to be pushed over the chamfered end of the cylinder. It will then drop into the outer boot groove and will then need to be teased out of that with the tip if a small screwdriver.

You did slip the circlip and boot on the pushrod first didn't you?

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PostPost by: tonycharente » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:09 pm

Thanks for this. But....... my cylinder doesn't have a chamfered end. :cry:
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PostPost by: type26owner » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:31 pm

There is difference between a lock-ring and a circlip. IIRC, the grooves are different sizes. The lock-ring is almost twice as thick. It's bad practice to mismatch those items.

Pretty sure the seal in the clutch slave cylinder is silicone. Silicone brake fluid dissolves silicone seals. Look it up online in the Parker O-Ring Handbook if you don't believe me.
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PostPost by: elans4dhc » Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:02 am

Bad practice or not, it's worked for me without any problems. I would still recommend replacing the lock-ring with a circlip for any subsequent removal and replacement.
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PostPost by: tonycharente » Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:20 am

type26owner wrote:There is difference between a lock-ring and a circlip. IIRC, the grooves are different sizes. The lock-ring is almost twice as thick. It's bad practice to mismatch those items.


What is the difference between a "lock-ring" and a "circlip" please? (I've never heard of a lock-ring) And how would the special pliers differ?
Thanks
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PostPost by: worzel » Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:24 am

Re the comment about the inadvisability of using silicon fluid- can only speak from experience but I've had this stuff in my car for the past 25 years without any problems.

Some seals might be silicon for all I know but I've only ever seen the other type.

On a related note there has been posted warnings about mixing the two types of fluid and the dire consequences that result.

Again I can only speak from personal experience but I've never had this problem- I simply kept flushing the system with a pressure bleed. Not sure if silicon fluid is lighter than the "normal" stuff but if so pressure bleeding appears to eliminate any old mineral fluid "pooling" in the system and not being flushed out.

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PostPost by: type26owner » Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:01 pm

Tony,
Change circlip to retaining ring instead. Do a web search on 'lock ring pliers' and 'retaining ring pliers' and you'll see the difference.

John,
I believe it's the new replacement clutch slave cylinders that have silicone seals these days. Silicone brake fluid is fine as long as you don't get it really hot. It has this nasty property unlike most other liquids that it becomes VERY compressible. It's likely that with it in a competition car the brake pedal will go all the way to the floor and fail to do any slowing down of the car. Pumping the pedal is useless too. Don't try this at home.

IIRC US federal law requires EPDM elastomer to be used for all brakes now sold here. In the past there was another type of elastomer allowed but that's been phased out to best of my knowledge. All the types of brake fluids were suppose to be compatible by law with the all elastomers. Not all the worldwide manufacturers have abided by US law though.
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PostPost by: tonycharente » Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:19 pm

type26owner wrote:Tony,
Change circlip to retaining ring instead. Do a web search on 'lock ring pliers' and 'retaining ring pliers' and you'll see the difference.


Thanks, I've done the search and I now understand the terms - to me they were both types of circlips. So my Elan originally came with a "lock ring" (i.e. a circlip ending with points rather than a circlip ending with two little holes).

Now back to the debate. Why should one not use a "retaining ring" instead of a "lock ring" providing the "retaining ring" is the same size in all dimensions? Or are you saying that for a given internal diameter the "retaining ring" is always thinner and/or weaker than the "lock ring"?

It certainly looks as if it would be an easier job with a "retaining ring", not to mention the retaining ring plier being easier to find. (I now live in France, and I've not found a single lock ring plier on any French web-site - plenty of the retaining ring type though).
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:16 pm

Yes, its hard to install the lock ring. There is not much clearance with the exhaust running along side. (hint: this is a good place to put some insulation to reduce the heat radiation on the slave cylinder when you are done)

I used a pair of external snap ring pliers with the removable pins. I made a pair of grooved/dimpled blades for the pliers that would hold the ends of the lock rings apart til I got the ring over the slave. I used two lock rings in the groove which took out all of the play and slop in the installation.

Others have put threads on the outside of the slave housing and installed a pair of locknuts.
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PostPost by: type26owner » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:34 pm

I'm in mid-process replacing both master cylinders and lo and behold the ring on the slave cylinder is a Tru-Arc type retaining ring. This slave cylinder is only one year old and I got it from DBE. Pretty sure the original ones had a lock-ring though.

Right-angle retaining ring pliers is what would make this simple. They are available at most parts houses for like $4. You never have too many tools to Lotus. :wink:

Hey Dan, welcome aboard. Been waiting for you to post here. Are making it to Laguna Seca? :D
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PostPost by: tonycharente » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:45 pm

Oh dear, oh dear!!!!!! Thank you for all the advice so far, but here's a new question. What is the correct size (internal diameter) for the circlip (of either type). I have gone the "retaining ring" (circlip with the two little holes) route so as to be able to buy the appropriate circlip pliers, but living in France I only seem to have the choice between "28mm" and "30mm" circlips. The latter goes on easily, but is much too loose. The former I have been unable to get on, despite the pliers, and it seems too small. So I would imagine the correct size might be 1 1/8 inches (around 29mm), but I can't buy those here. So before I try to source one in the UK, does anyone know for sure, please?
Thanks, Tony. (The one with his Elan STILL on stands.........).
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PostPost by: paros » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:08 pm

Tony

I know the problem well!
However the proper type of circlip with 2 ears is easier to install in situ. I have used before the circlip that goes on the rear inboard drive shafts, it is 030 slack but worked!
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