Situation: I've got an issue with my '72 Mini clutch. It will not disengage with the pedal. The pressure plate goes in when pedal is pushed. What do I check?
First, take a look at this article on clutch adjustment.
Did you have the flywheel off? Was it sitting for a long time? If it has been sitting for a long time it may just be that the clutch disc has rusted to the flywheel. This can be freed by removing the starter and jarring the clutch disc loose from the back side.
If you had the flywheel off, it it possible that the flywheel has pulled down too far onto the taper and is now pinching the primary gear. With the starter motor removed and the car on jack stands you can see into the back side of the flywheel and see the pressure plate operating. You will also be able to see the center of the clutch disc. Once the pressure plate has moved away from the flywheel the disc should be free to rotate a little. Have an assistant press and hold the clutch pedal. If the the pressure plate moves but the disc will not rotate then it is likely that the primary retaining clip is pinched into the flywheel. To remedy this you will have to remove the flywheel for inspection.
Once apart check to see that the primary gear lock ring fits freely within the groove in the center of the flywheel. If not, create a little clearance with a grinding stone by removing a little material from the flywheel. The lock ring assembly only has to fit loosely into the groove; it doesn't have to be precise. Test by fitting the primary gear, and flywheel without the clutch assembly. You should be able to turn the primary gear independent of the flywheel.
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