Did my clutch cable snap?

will_95gt

Member
Jul 27, 2004
298
1
16
Austin, TX
I hopped in my car today ready to leave campus. As I pressed my clutch pedal down to start the car I hear somewhat of a pop and the clutch pedal loses all resistance. It takes a mere breeze to push the pedal to the floor now and the clutch obviously isn't engaging.

The pedal still returns to it's original position though, which is puzzling to me. Unless there is an actual spring somewhere around the pedal that pushes it back to it's original position, wouldn't the cable still have to be intact in order for this return to take place?

The car is stuck along side a pretty busy hill-side road so I can't do much with it without getting it towed but if anyone could point me towards some tutorials/diagrams that might help diagnosing the problem I would be very appreciative!

Thaaanks.
 
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Yeah, sounds like a clutch cable. Being on a hill is to your advantage. You can start the car in gear rolling down the hill, and just drive it to a better place where you can change the cable out. Buy an original cable, they are much better than aftermarket ones.

Kurt
 
good times driving a manual trans w/out a clutch to use...the looks you get...

might be worth a look under the dash, on the quadrant (assuming its the original), there is a plastic ratchet type gizmo on there...(I think) it is supposed to take the slack out of the cable over time...again its plastic, could have gone too far and disengaged....might be able to finagle it enough to get home...

just a thought,.... also never heard anything good about aftermarket cables...
 
I actually have a BBK aftermarket cable in my car, been there for 10 years with a very heavy clutch, and I've never had a problem. I've heard the stock one is much stronger though.

Speaking of driving without a clutch. I remember about 3 years ago when the clutch slave cylinder went bad on my truck in the middle of the ghetto. It was 4 am in the morning, and I HAD TO GET TO WORK. I was on probation with the company, and you simply could not give less than 2 hours notice for not showing up. I started it in gear, and drove it the remaing 28 miles without a clutch.

Kurt
 
I actually have a BBK aftermarket cable in my car, been there for 10 years with a very heavy clutch, and I've never had a problem. I've heard the stock one is much stronger though.

Speaking of driving without a clutch. I remember about 3 years ago when the clutch slave cylinder went bad on my truck in the middle of the ghetto. It was 4 am in the morning, and I HAD TO GET TO WORK. I was on probation with the company, and you simply could not give less than 2 hours notice for not showing up. I started it in gear, and drove it the remaing 28 miles without a clutch.

Kurt

lol, now that's tenacity. :nice:

I checked under the dash like Hef advised and after maneuverer the quadrant back and forth a couple times in attempt to get a grasp of how things were put together under there, this literally fell into my hand:
 

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I guess my next question is, how hard is it to replace a clutch cable? I have a guide in my all encompassing "fix your mustang" book but it's fairly limited. Anybody know of a good pictoral guide online? Does any one have any specific tips for the process in our cars?

Most importantly, will this be possible for me to do myself and without jacking up my car? It's at stock height and I think I can get under there somewhat. The car is on the side of a busy road in a parking spot so I wouldn't be able to jack it up.

I'm also wondering if there is a temporary fix, like a way I could attach something to the other end of the cable or temporarily mend it back together until I can get it home.
 
is your car lowered? i remember when my mechanic did mine, we actually had to use a 96-98 4.6 cable becuz thats all they had in stock locally(but as a sidenote the 94-95 wont work with the later) & no firewall adjusters in stock either, but i know there is a cover on the outside of the T5 that needs to be removed. thats the 1st thing that comes to mind.
 
is your car lowered? i remember when my mechanic did mine, we actually had to use a 96-98 4.6 cable becuz thats all they had in stock locally(but as a sidenote the 94-95 wont work with the later) & no firewall adjusters in stock either, but i know there is a cover on the outside of the T5 that needs to be removed. thats the 1st thing that comes to mind.

No my car is the stock height.
 
pretty simple, old one out, new one in.

if you get a quadrant while you're at it you may have to take the pedal assy out, again, easy, no smoke and mirrors to it.

from memory, get underneath and take off the clutch dust shield, should be a screw and a c-clip to remove around there, then pop the cable off the clutch fork. Somewhere along the cable housing (under the hood now)there should be a bracket with a bolt, remove the bolt, bracket will stay on the cable housing and a new one (mine did) will have a new bracket. There might be 1 sheet metal screw at the firewall to remove...since yours is broke, no need to un latch it from the pedal, just pull it on out. that should be removal. opposite for install...I put mine on the pedal side first then ran it to the clutch, and had to compress the clutch a bit to get it to mate up, a good c-clamp helped out there.

not trying to advertise for them or spend your money for you, but Maximum Motorsports has a nice quadrant, adjuster and cable as a package, price was right as well.

not sure there is a temp fix, but you can drive it clutchless, not the nicest thing you can do to your car, but you won't kill anything...I do that kinda stuff in the middle of the night. If you can get to a safe parking lot you're golden, easy enough to swap out right there. Just bring a jackstand and some basic tools...I always have a cooler of beer when I mess with my car as well.............I'm usually in my driveway though.

hope that helps,
-Hef
 
Update:

Got this in the mail:
Steeda Double Hook Clutch Quadrant and Clutch Adjustment Kit

It took me about 3 hours to install everything: quadrant, cable, and firewall adjuster. There were a few tricky parts but it seems to be running smoothly. The only thing I'm a little concerned with is the small squeak thats emitted each time I press the clutch completely to the floor. The rubber cable shield must be rubbing on something in the engine bay and I'm not sure what it might be. Anybody else ever had this happen after replacing a clutch cable?

Do you guys think it will go away after a while? :shrug: