The clutch is a critical component in the operation of manual transmission vehicles. The clutch allows the transmission to disengage from the engine, allowing the operator to change gears.
To function properly, the clutch needs the proper amount of free play in the connection between the pedal and the clutch operating lever. If the amount of free play or play is low, the clutch will slip. If there is too much free play, the clutch may be dragging.
Over time, the clutch wears out and requires adjustments. Clutch free play should be checked and adjusted every 6,000 miles or as specified in the manufacturer’s service schedule.
Newer vehicles use a hydraulic clutch and slave cylinder that adjust automatically and require no adjustments. Older vehicles use a clutch cable and clutch lever that require adjustments at regular service intervals to keep the clutch using evenly and in good operating condition.
- Warning : Improper clutch adjustment can cause clutch to slip or uneven clutch wear. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specifications while adjusting the clutch and consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the correct process.
Part 1 of 3: Measuring the clutch pedal free play
The first step in adjusting a clutch is to check the clutch pedal free play. This measurement will give you a baseline to go back to and then you can adjust the clutch pedal free play to be within the manufacturer’s specification range for your vehicle.
Materials needed: clutch problems
- Wooden block for drawing
- Eye protection
- Measuring tape
- Socket set
Step 1: Measure the position of the clutch . Place a block of wood next to the clutch pedal. Mark the height of the clutch pedal without pressing it at all.
Step 2: Depress the clutch and measure its position . Press the clutch pedal several times. Mark the height of the clutch pedal where you feel it engage.
- Note : You will need someone else to press the clutch pedal for you so you can get an accurate measurement.
Step 3: Determine Clutch Pedal Free Play . Now that you have a measurement of the height of the clutch pedal when it is disengaged and engaged, you can use the measurements to determine free play.
Calculate free play by determining the difference between the two numbers previously obtained. Once you know the free play, check the number against the vehicle’s free play specifications provided by the manufacturer.
Part 2 of 3: Adjust the clutch cable; regular clutch
Step 1: Locate the clutch lever and adjustment locations on the clutch cable . Depending on the vehicle, you may need to remove parts such as the battery and air box to access the clutch cable.
Most vehicles will have a locknut and adjusting nut. The first step is to slightly loosen the locknut and adjusting nut.
Next, pull on the clutch cable and make sure the locknut and adjuster can be turned by hand.
Step 2: adjust the clutch lever . Now that the adjusting nut and locknut are loose, re-pull the clutch cable.
You will feel a point where the clutch lever engages. This is where the clutch cable should also be adjusted.
While maintaining constant pressure on the clutch cable, position the locknut and adjuster so that the clutch lever engages completely and smoothly without overloading. This may take a few tries to get the correct fit.
Tighten the clutch cable locknut and adjuster in place once you are satisfied with the location.
Part 3 of 3: Check the clutch pedal free play
Step 1: check free play after adjustment . Once the clutch cable has been adjusted, return to the car to recheck the clutch feel and free play measurement.
Press the clutch several times and check the pedal feel. The clutch should engage smoothly. This will also fully seat the clutch cable after a few pressures.
Now measure the clutch pedal free play as described in the first part. Free play should now be within the manufacturer’s range specifications. If it is not within specification, you will need to adjust the …