Adjusting clutch cable
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Old September 6th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #1
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Adjusting clutch cable


I am interested in adjusting my clutch cable. I have been experiencing some problems I believe may be the clutch cable.

Some times my transmission is hard to shift into 1st or Reverse. Sometimes the car bucks like crazy when I shift and let out on the clutch pedal. I thought maybe it was me and I was simply letting out on the clutch too fast, but no matter how much I try to feather the clutch it just feels like it reaches a certain point and then it gives a slight jerk.

I've also been experiencing a clunk sound when I push the clutch in. I was thinking this could be a universal joint, but since I'm having other problems also I'm wondering if this might be due to the same reason.

How do I adjust the clutch cable though? I have read different ways of doing this. I read the clutch auto adjusts each time the clutch is pushed in. Someone else said you pull the clutch pedal out all the way until it clicks, then push it back down and it should adjust. I even read it could be adjusted at the clutch fork, but when I looked at mine I didn't see any way of adjusting it at the fork.

I would appreciate if someone could clarify this. Thanks.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 10:24 AM   #2
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I tried pulling up on the clutch pedal and it will NOT move at all. The pedal also feels kind of stiff when I step on it. When my wife pushes the clutch down or tries to, it actually pushes her back into the seat quite a bit so I think it is too stiff.

If the pedal will not pull up does that mean it is adjusted all the way?
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Old September 6th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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Have you ever replaced the clutch cable itself? They stretch over time and eventually stretch to the point where no amount of adjustment by the quadrant will fully disengage the clutch.

Now, I can't help you on the stock quadrant, I scrapped mine as soon as possible in favor of an aluminum one and a firewall adjuster. Reason for this is that you're dealing with 20 year old plastic; it gets brittle and eventually WILL snap on you.

I like MM's kit, it uses the stock Ford cable and can be bought with or without a new clutch cable. Steeda sells a very similar setup, and I actually prefer the Steeda firewall adjuster (I run the FRPP-branded version in my 'vert) as it has a spring-loaded detent that makes it easier for me to keep track of how much adjustment I make and to keep it in adjustment once it's there. It also has two mounting ears to the MM's one. I do prefer the MM clutch quadrant, however.

Once you have one of those in, adjustment is much more straightforward; adjust the firewall adjuster so that there's just shy of 1/4" of play at the top of the pedal (this keeps it responsive, but not riding on the TOB).
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:12 AM   #4
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I am not entirely sure if the cable that is on it is stock or not. I have never used an aftermarket adjustable one so I don't know for sure what the stock one looks like vs. an aftermarket one.

The cable does not adjust at the fork. The part at the firewall where the cable goes through is metallic pink colored and the backhalf is aluminum, which leads me to believe it is not stock. Photo below shows it at the firewall. Not sure if it helps to tell if it's stock or not. I know the picture quality sucks. The camera is cheap and it is very bright outside

If it is adjustable do I just turn it to the right to tighten it?

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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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Another reason I think the clutch is too hard to push is because the firewall flexes a little when the clutch is pressed. Where the cable goes through the firewall tries to flex which leads me to think the cable is not sliding through the firewall very smoothly.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #6
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I can't tell by that picture, but are there threads on that?
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Old September 6th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Yeah the aluminum portion that goes through the firewall has what appears to be threads on it. If I turn it to the right it looks like the whole thing screws into the firewall, lessening the distance between the nut and firewall. I may play around with it and see what happens. I guess worst case I'll be buying another.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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Ah, okay, so you already have a firewall adjuster then.

Curious why you have that AND the stock quadrant, though.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 12:57 PM   #9
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It wasn't until after I got this car I realized there were a lot of things that didn't make sense. I swear it was owned by a 16 year old kid. It needs a lot of work.

I am thinking about getting a cable that can be adjusted at the fork, like the steeda cable on LRS. Seems like it would be easier to put on also. The stock one was a pita to put back on when I changed the TOB because it was tight.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 01:00 PM   #10
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I've never heard anything good about adjustable cables.

Were it my car, I'd just get a full kit, new FW adjuster, new quadrant, new cable, and make sure it's in there and right. Adding an adjustable cable while having a {probably misadjusted} firewall adjuster and the stock {probably misadjusted} quadrant just seems like more of a headache than it's worth.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 11:13 AM   #11
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Well I think I got it fixed. I was wrong, the cable wasn't loose it was too tight. It was like that when I got it and I guess I just didn't pay that much attention.

I backed the firewall adjuster off as far as I could go with it and started to retighten. Right now the point where it engages/disengages is kind of high on the pedal and I may adjust it a little more but it feels like a totally different car.

I can actually shift gears without it bucking every time I let off the pedal. It shifts so much smoother and it goes into 5th like soft butter when as before it felt like I was pushing against a wall before it went into gear.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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I think mine has the same issue it feels like i gotta push through a wall when i shift to 5th and im always having trouble getting into reverse i dont buck into gears but my clutch is really tight it wears my leg out after long periods of driving i thought all this was normal but now im reconsidering how do u loosen it
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Old September 14th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by shamrock81887 View Post
I think mine has the same issue it feels like i gotta push through a wall when i shift to 5th and im always having trouble getting into reverse i dont buck into gears but my clutch is really tight it wears my leg out after long periods of driving i thought all this was normal but now im reconsidering how do u loosen it
I got mine to loosen up by pulling on the clutch cable and turning the firewall adjuster counter clockwise. As for the stock one I have no idea.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 09:37 PM   #14
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That is a stock cable it is only adjustable on the side of the transmission there will be a small pan on the drivers side remove that pan and you can adjust the clutch cable there. I just replaced my cable with one that easily adjusts at the firewall. With the bucking it could very well be a flywheel issue as I have seen some BUCK in the past.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #15
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Thnx for the info so im assuming that when i engage my clutch it shouldnt be pushing me back in the seat
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Old September 15th, 2011, 10:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by shamrock81887 View Post
Thnx for the info so im assuming that when i engage my clutch it shouldnt be pushing me back in the seat
LOL no it should be smooth and fairly easy!!
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Old September 16th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #17
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Ok thnx i def have a issue cuz it wears my leg out at this point its very tense i have only had one other manual car and it was tense too so i just thought that was normal
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