As with most vehicles, if it is getting progressively more difficult to select gears, then your Series Land Rover either needs the clutch mechanism adjusting, the clutch system bleeding or a new clutch plate fitted. The majority of late Series IIA and all Series III Land Rovers have automatically adjusting clutch mechanisms, so in these vehicless adjustment will probably not be the required solution to the problem.
If air in the clutch system is the problem, then the classic 'sponginess', also associated with air in the braking system, should be noticed in the clutch pedal operation.
It is worth noting here that clutch/brake fluid absorbs water vapour from the air and this reduces its effectiveness as the water can vapourise and behave in the same way as air bubbles. So don't leave the same clutch fluid in your system forever. If you do, then corrosion can result and rust particles can cause a rubber seal to leak fluid out and air in, so causing the problem.
Access to the clutch slave cylinder bleed nipple is via the gearbox tunnel housing (photo 1). It is easiest to fit the rubber tubing onto the bleed nipple first (photo 2) then slide the ring spanner down the tubing. The tubing should be a tight fit else air will enter via the system bleed nipple. Note there is insufficient access to use an open ended spanner effectively here. Series Land Rovers are not metric but a No. 11 ring spanner works fine here.
The other end of the tubing should be immersed in a few cc of brake/clutch fluid in a transparent plastic bottle . The nipple can then be loosened and the clutch peddle pumped by hand (photo 3) until no further air bubbles are seen to come from the end of the rubber tubing. The nipple should then be tightened on the down stroke of the clutch pedal. Job done. But don't forget to check the final level of the clutch fluid in the main reservoir.
If it is still difficult to select gear then maybe the clutch plate is worn.
For details on other possible Series Land Rover clutch faults (e.g. spin, slip, squeal and judder) and help in their their diagnosis then visit the February 2007 Series123.com homepage in the archives section.
(To see previous homepages visit the Homepage Archives link)