...after having what must've been something around Stage 2!
As per this thread, I've been having a new clutch, flywheel and rear main oil seal fitted this week.
Picked it up this afternoon and just driving back I couldn't believe the difference. Pick up from stationery was so much quicker and crisper than before - no juddering when idling/low revs - and no slip when giving the throttle a bit of a zip! Also the bite point was a good bit lower than it used to be, although it was always like that (higher) from first having the car. I remember a few folk who had driven it commented on it. It's now a lower bite point and more progressive, whereas before it was a bit more abrupt when engaging so sometimes made gear changes not too smooth. Not any more.
Took it for a spin and OMFG! is all I can say. I soon realised how much of a difference the clutch had been making to the power etc. It's amazing how you don't notice things so much when it's a gradual occurrence. I knew the clutch was slipping under certain conditions (heavy load) as I could feel it, but I soon realised that it must have been slipping (albeit only a little) a large majority of the time as the car was completely different to drive in all gears and conditions. This is what I remember my Stage 3 being like!
I'd asked them to keep the parts for me to look at as I was curious to see what wear they had on them. The clutch plates had noticeable wear and high points (the cause of judder on pulling off) - although the guy did say I must be pretty good with the clutch as whilst worn, it hadn't shown signs of abuse. The flywheel also had more movement in it than it should've, so signs of components wearing there - springs etc. and explained the judder on idle when blipping the throttle.
So whilst an expensive little lot, it was a very worthwhile little lot as the car is transformed back to what it used to be like, the parts did need replaced and they will definitely see me through for all the time I will have the car i.e. certainly all next year. The guy said to me, as he'd road tested it, that it drove really well for a car with 70K on - one of the benefits of it being well looked after.
Regular servicing and a few bits and bobs are all I, hopefully, foresee needing done. I don't think there are any major ones that could be looming given that it's had things like a new steering rack last year.
So, a very happy bunny and very, very pleased I got it done now before heading up to the NE. Just one less thing to worry about on a long journey!