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'89 3.2 Burning Smell


New member
3 Feb 2004
Just a quick one before I get stitched up by a garage...
Been getting an occasional burning smell coming from somwhere and I've got a horrible feeling it could be the clutch as it only seems to happen when i'm revving it hard and letting the clutch out slowly - not that I do this all the time of course.

I once heard that if a car can pull away in 3rd gear then the clutch is on it's way out - fact or fiction? I tried it and it did pull away and there was a burning smell!

A previous owner had a new clutch fitted by JZ Mactech about 12k (4 years) ago and feels fine apart from a knocking noise when letting the clutch out when taking out of gear once stopped.

Any ideas before I extend my overdraft... a lot.

On another note, I made it up to the Bedford Autodrome as a spectator but was far too hung over to engage in any conversation and they wouldn't let me bring my car round to the pits. Looked really good though. Definatley up for that one sometime.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 14252

I have read (in Adrian Crawfords guide) that clutches on our cars are finished long before they start slipping.

Bedford was great fun and it was very interesting to see just how fast the car can corner. Id never pushed it anywhere close to its limit on the road before.


Migration info. Legacy thread was 14257
Smelly 3.2.

Pulling away in 3rd is likely to make the clutch slip..and smell. If the operation of the clutch is fierce or sudden and heavy then its likely to be at the end of its life. If there is any slippage when shifting the higher gears under hard power...its finished.

But you say it was changed 12k ago, and they usually last 50-80k in normal use....so it may not be the clutch. It could be an operating mechanism proplem.

Or the smell could be unrelated, there are plenty of electrical items that can create a burning smell in the cabin of a 911.

Before you rush off and ask for a clutch replacement, get it diagnosed, and get a second opinion if you are not happy. Need I say use a 911 specialist not a quick fit shop.

Adrian Crawford.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 14271
I just replaced my clutch. It had the original one on & had covered 75k. It only slipped once when I was making an over-enthusiastic getaway, but when I pulled the engine out the friction material on the clutch was almost flush with the rivets. Specialist Cars (Malton) did me a great price on an OE clutch kit (£235+vat), the problem for me was that it had never had the factory fork & guide tube update done, so that cost me a lot of extra ££££. The smell when it slipped was disgusting, got right up my nose and stuck to my clothes. With all the weight at the back, and excellent traction, the clutch is always going to have a hard time if you rev it hard and let it out slowly, whether it's a good clutch or a bad one. As Adrian suggests, get a couple of expert opinions before parting with a chunk of £££.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 14273
Clutch could be on the way out, but I find with mine that when the car is cold it tends to slip more anyway particularly if doinf hill starts and tight parking manoeuvres etc. It's fine when the car has warmed up a bit. My clutch went last year and it was very noticeable that it was slipping under any kind of load. Do get a second opinion though.....


Migration info. Legacy thread was 14345
Thanks for that everyone. Specialist it is then... although I haven't noticed it at all in the past week.

Migration info. Legacy thread was 14357

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