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[Svo] Clutch Problems {1}

Well, my SVO got a piggyback ride home today via Rollback. I was headed down
Rt. 3 in southern MD when I was downshifting while coming to a toll booth. As
I went for 1st gear(did not engage it, just as I started to go into it) I
heard a "POP" and then there was nothing, nothing at all. Clutch pedal still
had pressure. Upon getting it home I checked the cables>no problems there. I
went to pull the rubber boot off the bellhousing and bits and pieces of
clutch disc fell out. So now I am on my way to get a new clutch kit from
Ford. My question is, has this ever happened to anyone else? Anyone know the
cause or reason why this might have happened? The clutch assembly came in the
car when I got it but looked new when I replaced the rear main seal a couple
of months ago so I left it alone. The car sat a long time before I got it,
Could age of the clutch disc play a part in this?  Just looking for answers
to help avoid this in the future. I have not pulled it apart yet, that
happens tommorrow morning.
Thanks, Paul
Bright red 86 (as seen traveling up Rt. 3 on a rollback)