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Weird clutch thing happened



Hope I can give enough details to get ideas from ya'all...

Clutch & ring gear was replaced in May 98 (less than 10k miles ago)
Tranny was rebuilt in July 01 (less than 1k ago), plus they changed the clutch rod & linkage clips (said it had the wrong linkage on it before)

She's been driving fine (except, of course when her rear end went out 2 weeks after the tranny did :L, but that's fixed now too). Anyway, back to my story, she was driving fine but we had noticed that there was some slop in the clutch pedal (traveled probably 2" before feeling any resistance). I've been meaning to take it back to see if he could ajust it or something, but haven't gotten around to it...

I was driving home from work on Thursday and everything seemed fine. I slowed down alot to go over some RR tracks, and when I downshifted to 2nd the clutch felt really hard to push. The next 2-3 times I had to depress it to downshift or upshift, it got progressively worse, where it almost took all my strength and at the same time, I couldn't really tell where it was being engaged. I always push it to the floor anyway, even if I can feel the point of engaging, so I just kept pushing it to the floor as best as I could. When I came to a stop for the first time after feeling this weird thing happen, I was expecting to have to push really hard again, but lo & behold it was back to normal (I think I almost put my left foot through the floorboard!). Since I was almost home I only had to use the clutch a few more times, but they all felt normal after that. I haven't driven her since.

Any ideas from the mechanical wizards out there as to what this might have been and might it happen again?

Barb :w
rust / burr / smutz???

NO WIZARD ... This is entirely a GUESS! Tranny was R&R 1K /2-3 months ago. As you know, when pedal is moved the ID of the throwout bearing slides along the OD of the front "snout" of the tranny. Could it be there is interference @ snout-TOB ... maybe from rust forming ... or a burr ... or out-of-round ... or dirt. Could there be an exacerbating or causative temperature problem? I've had (non-vette) TOB's stick on snout ... but only after sitting and rusting ... they freed right up after driving around a bit. Again, just guessing. I'm sure someone here'll have a solution. Let us know what gives?
Sounds logical to me. Or does anyone in the heighborhood have a cat missing?

Check Clutch Linkage too

Sometimes the Clutch linkage, over it's life, will loose the plastic inserts, or need a shot of grease. There is a lever that fits over a ball stud on the engine block and the frame. I've seen these get miss aligned because of well, Just getting old and used a lot. There is a spring that attaches to this assy. too to help keep the clutch pedal off the floor and provide resistance when pushing in on the clutch pedal.

A good visual of this and maybe a shot of grease in the zerk in the middle of the housing is in order.

Jack makes good sense too. Hmmmmm Tom has a point too.
Agree that the linkage could be hung up or need repair/adjustment. Could the throwout bearing have somehow gotten caught up in the pressure plate fingers preventing full release of the brake pedal and causing the "hard" pedal when attempting disengagement?
Have you examined the clutch through the inspection hole in the bell housing?
No, we haven't inspected anything yet. I'll let you know when we do... (We've got a ton of other things going on right now too since we're working on our garage addition plans.)

One other thing I noticed that I forgot to mention in my explanation above, is that since the tranny rebuild, when I first start the car and it's idling fast because of the choke, if you press in the clutch you can feel a shimmy/shake in the pedal. I know she needs a tune-up too but could that be all that shimmy is - the engine idling rough?

Thanks again!
Ah ha. The shimmy/shake when pressing the clutch again points to a throwout bearing related issue. I bet you the throwout bearing was installed improperly on the fork.
I hope I'm wrong.
Sorry for my ignorance, but is that something that would have happened during the tranny rebuilt? The reason I ask is because the shimmy wasn't happening between the time the clutch was replaced and the tranny was rebuilt, only after the tranny...

Thanks again!
Barb :w
Yes. The throwout bearing rides on the trasmission input shaft.

Another shot in the dark

How are the motor mounts? If the engine can move too much, it can bind the linkage between the motor and frame. Other than that, I think the other suggestions here have been excellent.

I am trying something kind of radical with my car. I am getting a Quatermaster hydraulic thow out bearing assembly. It is really cool. It fits right where the throw out bearing goes and will do the clutch action from that one spot. I am running a regular stock style truck hydraulic clutch master cylinder on the firewall. This should eliminate all the linkage hassles and keep the engine vibrations from shaking my pedals. This system has been used for years on race cars, and most Fords use a similar hydraulic action. The down side, well if it goes bad I have to yank the trans and or lift the motor to service it.

You can check them out at.


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