Clutching at Straws

Well, following on from Herman’s embarrassing hill-climbing exploits in Whitby the other week and also from some advice I got on the Brickyard Forum, I decided to see if his clutch just needed adjusting up, before resigning myself to the complete arse of a job that would be replacing it.

I perused the workshop manual for the correct settings and found that the clutch pedal should have 20mm of freeplay in it. Herman’s clutch pedal had none at all. It was as solid as a rock, and the biting point was so high you had to lift your foot about three or four inches off the floor, before it started to engage.

Luckily adjusting the clutch is a fairly simple process, as it is doable from inside the cockpit, without having to feck about, crawling under the van. So it only took about twenty mins to half an hour until I had the fecker adjusted precisely, as per the recommendations in the manual.

It was well out! - I had to tighten the cable by up about an inch [or was it loosening it off? - I cannae quite work it out], to get it right.

Clutch pedal adjustment is on the bulkhead behind the pedal
Clutch pedal adjustment is on the bulkhead behind the pedal
Before adjustment -note the metal adjuster on the end of the clutch cable just emerges from the hole in the bulkhead
Before adjustment -note the metal adjuster on the end of the clutch cable just emerges from the hole in the bulkhead
After adjustment -now the metal adjuster is completely pulled through the hole.  That was easily an inch of adjustment needed
After adjustment -now the metal adjuster is completely pulled through the hole. That was easily an inch of adjustment needed

What a difference! - at first, I thought I’d overdone it as the pedal felt really soft and wobbly, compared to how it had been before. But, the biting point is far better now. You just have to lift your foot slightly, and the boy starts to roll. He also feels like he’s pulling a lot better now. Pressing the ‘pedal to the metal’ and the ‘heel to the steel’ disnae cause the engine to race like a bastard with no result any longer. It revs slower and you can feel Herman accelerating a bit more than previously, where he seemed to lethargically get gradually faster by a process of osmosis.

Of course, the real test will come when I next throw him up a steep hill. Unfortunately, there aren’t any near where I live, so that test will have to take place in the wild, next time I go off somewhere. I’ve got a feeling that the clutch will have been worn a bit by being so out of adjustment and slipping for so long and will probably need replaced eventually. But I’m hoping it’ll be good enough to at least last the summer out, as I’ve got other stuff I want to be getting on wi’ and lots of trips, and visits planned. I dinnae want to be spending the whatever sunny days we get, crawling about under the van, wrestling with the clutch.

Meta TAGS: clutchadjustment
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE: 02 May 2009
AUTHOR: stíobhart matulevicz