Clutch Cable.. Pedal Hard To Push In

Benz510

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Feb 19, 2016
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Hey all,

Just purchased a '89 GT. This is my 3rd fox body. It has been a while since owning one so i'm kind of new to all of this again.The 91 i owned seemed to be the same but it had a centerforce in it and my 92 i owned seemed to be easier than this one. Anyways, The clutch pedal seems a bit hard to push in. I have been reading up on it and I know if there is a aftermarket clutch installed that it may cause it to be hard. Also i have read that the clutch cable may be worn out and need to be replaced etc.

I believe the clutch is stock so i was thinking about replacing the clutch cable with an aftermarket cable. Would this be a smart thing to do or is there anything else that i can check? To be honest the clutch cable probably needs to be replaced anyways being that it is a 27 yr old vehicle. I don't remember if these pedals are just hard to push in like that from the factory or what not. I know i can go to a hydraulic conversion but would rather save money and go with a new clutch kit if this will cure the problem. Everything goes into gear without any problems but reverse seems to grind here and there unless i make sure i put it in reverse slow.

What is everyones thoughts? Info? Suggestions?
 
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Benz510

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The first thing I would do is look and see if it has the stock plastic quadrant on it.

If it does I would suggest replacing it with this. http://www.maximummotorsports.com/Clutch-Cable-Quadrant-and-Firewall-Adjuster-Package-P385.aspx
yep, it's stock. I've known this from when i bought it. Will this kit change the pressure needed to apply the clutch pedal? I have been thinking of either this kit or going with an Hydraulic conversion kit BUT if this kit will make a difference like night and day then i would rather save money and go the route you are recommending. I appreciate your feedback :)
 

Davedacarpainter

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yep, it's stock. I've known this from when i bought it. Will this kit change the pressure needed to apply the clutch pedal? I have been thinking of either this kit or going with an Hydraulic conversion kit BUT if this kit will make a difference like night and day then i would rather save money and go the route you are recommending. I appreciate your feedback :)
It's an old car, replace the quadrant, cable and put in a firewall adjuster. The original stuff just needs to be retired.
Now wether this will fix your problem or not, I'm not sure, there are a couple other things that might be a problem.
You talk about going to an hydraulic clutch system? Loads of dough, but if you can, what the hell. It's an extra nice upgrade. I would like to have that on mine as well
Admittedly, an hydraulic system would take car of any other problem there might be. Bad throw out bearing, pivot ball, yada, yada...
 

LiquidStangs

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Take with a grain of salt, given I'm a clueless noob, but here's my experience.

I bought my '89 with what I was told was a brand new billet quadrant, cable, and adjuster. The clutch was really hard to push in, but I chalked that up to inexperience--I had only driven Asian sticks before this.

It also popped out of first, so off to the shop it went. While there, they told me the cable was mis-adjusted, and they tweaked it a bit. After that, the clutch was a lot better. (The throwout bearing squeaks now, but I think they may have gone a little too far the other way.) I might have been persuaded to get a hydraulic kit before, but now I think it's perfectly fine.
 

Davedacarpainter

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Take with a grain of salt, given I'm a clueless noob, but here's my experience.

I bought my '89 with what I was told was a brand new billet quadrant, cable, and adjuster. The clutch was really hard to push in, but I chalked that up to inexperience--I had only driven Asian sticks before this.

It also popped out of first, so off to the shop it went. While there, they told me the cable was mis-adjusted, and they tweaked it a bit. After that, the clutch was a lot better. (The throwout bearing squeaks now, but I think they may have gone a little too far the other way.) I might have been persuaded to get a hydraulic kit before, but now I think it's perfectly fine.
Honest to god, I don't need an hydraulic clutch, BUT I WANT ONE.
 

90sickfox

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These cars are known for firewall flex where the clutch cable goes through the firewall. I've had the cables saw through the firewall adjusters and snap. If you pop the hood and look at where the grommet goes through there should be a straight edge to the left side (toward transmission ). Another thing is the cables melting internally from header heat. Really, the only way to know is to pull the cable out and check it. Check for fine cracks around where the cable goes through the firewall and if it slides back and forth smoothly. I've had nothing but bad luck out of aftermarket clutch cables. The last one I bought brand new from ford a couple years ago, less than 30 bucks and in stock at the dealership.
 
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A5literMan

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These cars are known for firewall flex where the clutch cable goes through the firewall. I've had the cables saw through the firewall adjusters and snap. If you pop the hood and look at where the grommet goes through there should be a straight edge to the left side (toward transmission ). Another thing is the cables melting internally from header heat. Really, the only way to know is to pull the cable out and check it. Check for fine cracks around where the cable goes through the firewall and if it slides back and forth smoothly. I've had nothing but bad luck out of aftermarket clutch cables. The last one I bought brand new from ford a couple years ago, less than 30 bucks and in stock at the dealership.
MM kit uses a stock cable also. Just a FYI
 

Benz510

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Thanks everyone. I will probably go with a clutch kit vs the hydraulic kit. I drove my gt around today and got used to the worn hard pedal and it wasn't "that bad" for the most part.

I'm sure after this upgrade i will be pleased.
 
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Boosted92LX

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+1 On the MM kit. That cable is hands down the best one I've ever put in a fox. DON'T buy a Ford Racing cable.. They are Chinese crap. I threw one away after a year, installed the MM kit and never looked back.
 

Benz510

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+1 On the MM kit. That cable is hands down the best one I've ever put in a fox. DON'T buy a Ford Racing cable.. They are Chinese crap. I threw one away after a year, installed the MM kit and never looked back.
I will do just that. Lmr Has a kit also for about $120. Familiar with those?
 

RacEoHolic330

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I'm actually going from a hydraulic setup back to a cable setup. The hydraulic is nice, but it takes a lot to get it adjusted properly and I had issues with mine not releasing off the pressure plate completely causing my twin disc setup to slip.

Oh, and I bought the MM kit. There's no better alternative.
 

jrichker

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Clutch adjustment
Do the clutch adjustment first before considering any other problems. With the stock plastic quadrant and cable, pull up on the clutch pedal until it comes upward toward you. It will make a ratcheting sound as the self adjuster works. To release to tension of the stock quadrant, use a screwdriver to lift the ratchet paw up and out of engagement with the quadrant teeth.

Binding clutch cable
A binding clutch cable will make the clutch very stiff. If the cable is misrouted or has gotten too close to the exhaust, it will definitely bind. The binding common to adjustable cables is often due to misplacement of the adjusting nuts on the fork end of the cable. This will also cause the cable to wear and fray. Both nuts should be on the back side of the fork so that the domed nut faces the fork and the other nut serves as jam or locknut to the domed nut.

Clutch pedal adjustment
Clutch pedal adjustment with aftermarket quadrant and cable: I like to have the clutch completely disengaged and still have about 1.5” travel left before the pedal hits the floor. This means that I have only about 1” of free play at the top before the pedal starts to disengage the clutch. Keep in mind that these figures are all approximate. When properly adjusted, there will not be any slack in the clutch cable. You will have 4-15 lbs preload on the clutch cable.

Adjustable clutch cable tips:
Loosening the cable adjustment nut (throwout bearing arm moves to the rear of the car) moves the disengagement point towards the floor.

Tightening the cable adjustment nut (throwout bearing arm moves to the front of the car) moves the disengagement point towards the top of the pedal.

Firewall adjuster tips
Turning the firewall adjuster IN makes the engagement point closer to the floor since it loosens the cable. You have to push the pedal to the floor to disengage the clutch. Too loose a cable and the clutch won't completely disengage and shifting will be difficult. Gears will grind and you may have difficulty getting the transmission in first gear when stopped.

Turning the firewall adjuster OUT makes the engagement point farther from the floor since it tightens the cable. You push a short distance to disengage the clutch. Too tight a cable will cause clutch slippage.

Aftermarket solutions to the problem:
The quadrant needs to be replaced if you use any type of aftermarket cable or adjuster. My preference is a Ford Racing quadrant, adjustable cable and Steeda firewall adjuster. The adjustable Ford Racing cable is just as good as the stock OEM cable. It allows a greater range of adjustment than a stock cable with a aftermarket quadrant and firewall adjuster. Combined with the Steeda adjuster, it lets you set the initial cable preload and then fine tune the clutch engagement point to your liking without getting under the car.

Using a stock OEM cable, firewall adjuster and a single hook quadrant may result in not having any free pedal travel before the clutch starts to disengage. I found this out the hard way.

See Summit Racing - High Performance Car and Truck Parts l 800-230-3030 for the following parts.

Ford Racing M-7553-B302 - Ford Racing V-8 Mustang Adjustable Clutch Linkage Kits - Overview - SummitRacing.com Cable and quadrant assembly $90

The Ford Racing Adjustable cable is available as a separate part:
Clutch Cable, Adjustable, Ford, Mercury, 5.0L, KitFMS-M-7553-C302_HE_xl.jpg

[url=http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SDA-555-7021/]Steeda Autosports 555-7021 - Steeda Autosports Firewall Cable Adjusters - Overview - SummitRacing.com
Steeda firewall adjuster. $40

ford-racing-mustang-v8-and-v6-topside-clutch-adjuster-79-04-161-m-7554-a.jpg


http://www.steeda.com/images/watermarked/1/detailed/7/ford-racing-mustang-v8-and-v6-topside-clutch-adjuster-79-04-161-m-7554-a.jpg

Fix for the quadrant end of the cable popping out of the quadrant when installing a replacement cable courtesy of Grabbin' Asphalt
imag0825-jpg.85883.jpg



Help for those who have replaced the clutch assembly and are still having problems with adjustment:
The next step doesn't make much sense it you already have the transmission installed, but just for sake of discussion, here it is:
The throwout bearing sits in the clutch fork arm with the wave springs pressing on the rear flange of the throwout bearing.
?temp_hash=3b781a008f68f70d0bde9d6310e08fdb.gif

Major differences between the distance between the flywheel surface and the clutch fingers may require tinkering with the clutch fork pivot ball. Stack your old pressure plate, clutch disc and flywheel up like they were when installed in the car. Tighten down all the pressure plate bolts and measure the distance between the clutch fingertips and the flywheel face.
Too much thickness will cause the clutch fork arm to sit too far back to get the clutch cable on the quadrant. It may even sit against the rear or the bell housing hole for the clutch fork arm. In that case, reduce the pivot ball height.
Too little thickness will cause the clutch fork arm to sit too far forward and bottom out against the front side of the bell housing hole for the clutch fork arm.. This will prevent the clutch from fully disengaging.
In other words, the clutch fork arm should sit positioned midway or a little towards the rear in the bell housing hole for the clutch fork arm when the cable is properly tensioned.[/url]
 

Benz510

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Hey guys. So I'm getting ready to order the kit. I went on lmr And i actually seen a steeda adj kit. Anyone have any luck with those or any opinions on it vs. The mm kit? I know the steeda kit is about 45 bucks cheaper but the cost isn't a problem. I want the best.

Ty