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My 29 Buick has a frozen clutch from sitting too long in a damp garage. 

I’ve tried driving it, with clutch pedal pushed in, jacking up rear end and running it in 1 & 3, hitting brakes in both cases.  Didn’t release. 

Then, I opened the inspection cover on the transmission and, with clutch pushed in, squirted brake clean in the squarish holes, several times a day, for a few days and then tried both of the above again.  Didn’t release.

Have been told to jack rear end up get car going 1500 rpm’s and drop the jack quickly.  However, am concerned I’ll break an axle. 

Any more suggestions ?


Bill McLaughlin 

1929 Silver Anniversary Buick Club

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Do not drop that car down like that .........pure insanity. 99 percent  of the time, It will release with heat. By that, I mean start and run the car for about two hours, at idle. When the heat transfer from the engine makes it to the flywheel, plate, disk, and bell housing it will usually release..........it takes a LONG time to get it up to temperature. If it doesn’t brake free from the long warm up, then shut it off, start it in first gear in a safe area, and drive it holding the clutch down and jumping on and off the gas.......and it will free up. I have unstuck countless clutches this way..........it takes time and patients. Be sure the car is full of oil and doesn’t overheat while Idling. 

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Bill your car is punishing you for ignoring her for such a long time. My car had a stuck clutch after being dormant for about ten years. I got it warmed up on jack stands . I got it out into the open by towing . I started it in first gear and proceeded to drive it with the clutch pedal on the floor. I took about five minutes of throttling up and down and actually popping the throttle several time. I knew not to be too aggressive. It suddenly came loose and has worked well since. If this doesn't work you may have to hold the clutch pedal down with a stick and gently pry the friction plates apart from the steel plates in the clutch assembly. Good luck.

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First of all, I sincerely wish the best of luck to the simplest and easiest solution to remedy the stuck clutch.


That being said, those methods did not work for my 27 clutch when it stuck.


The clutch on my 24 is somewhat "out it the open" and can be accessed somewhat through the access cover.  I can see the possibility of playing with the clutch plates and trying to loosen them up in the car.


By 1927, Buick had improved the clutch design to be stronger, and enclosed the clutch plates inside the flywheel.  No such access is possible when assembled.  I don't know if 29 is the same.


My 24 spent 40 + years in an un-insulated detached garage, being exposed to freezing in winter and summer heat and humidity, and never a clutch problem.  My 27 spent the same amount of time in an underneath the house garage partially heated in the winter by a basement furnace (in other words, never exposed to freezing, very dry) and currently is in an insulated unheated garage with a dehumidifier.  That is the clutch that stuck, with no warning.


I tried the driving around with the clutch pedal down, on and off the gas, but I drew the line at putting the car against a tree and popping the clutch (one suggestion I had read somewhere).  I committed to disassemble.


Step 1 - remove rear axle




Step 2 - Remove transmission




Step 3 - remove clutch (notice how contaminated it is)





I freed the clutch by compressing in a hydraulic press, then disassembling and cleaning. 


All parts were in spec, so I just reassembled and only replaced the throw out and pilot bearings.








Good luck, keep us updated as to how it goes!



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I also had a frozen clutch on my 22 after sitting in Florida for 60+ years.  My wife held the clutch in while I tapped the plates with a long screwdriver until they seemed to all move. Then I hit the starter in first gear followed  by hitting it in reverse and it freed up.

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Success with frozen clutch !
Ran engine for about an hour and had wife’s hairdryer on high directed into clutch opening on top of transmission. 
Drove car for 50 yards pumping clutch and it released. 
Won’t forget to put boards in to depress clutch when I put away for Winter, again. 
Now for a drive to nowhere. 
Thanks, all 
Bill McL
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My clutch on my 1917 E-49 was frozen stuck after 80 years of sitting, with mouse nests in it, but I'm glad I didn't use this simple solution because even though it might have unstuck it, and maybe the mouse nest material would have spun out by centrifugal force, but it never would have fixed one of the drive discs which was warped. 1917 was the first year of the multi-disc clutch, and there was a defect in the engineering of the front-most disc. Mine was damaged. They redesigned the front-most disc in 1918. Now it's great thanks to Hubert:


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Bill that is great news. I will admit that I never had to tickle the clutch disc in my clutch but it seems like they may be slightly accessible via the small holes in the flywheel. After posting last time, I remembered a second time my clutch stuck. It came free after maybe 50 yards too. I don't view it as a big deal , but it can definitely be a surprise.

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