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Old 12-26-2014, 01:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clutch cable lifespan/behavioral issues

I'm so tired of messing with clutch cables. I'm on cable #3.

The first I replaced because the shifting was notchy and difficult. This helped. I got an OEM cable and used it for a few thousand miles, I bought a spare Beck cable to keep under the seat for a spare. Recently the clutch action got really rough, it was popping at the end of the travel and had trouble keeping adjustment. Cable replaced with the aftermarket one and works better but have had to tighten it 3x in the last 200 miles. Also its stiff operation but I think that may be normal for the Centerforce (I think) clutch. The clutch is in great condition, I had the engine out for replacement less than 1000 miles ago. The clutch action is still stiff, especially towards the end of travel. I have had clutch vehicles all my life and replaced countless clutches and cables, never had this much hassle getting and keeping it right.

Any input on this issue would be great.

Trans recently rebuilt with new bearings/sychros/proper GL4 fluid, shifts like a dream when clutch allows. All U-joints and driveline up to par and recently done. Thinking about crafting a hydraulic clutch system for it to avoid this constant hassle.

Thanks.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hmm...I still have the original clutch cable in my sammie. Knock on wood
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As I hear the OEM cables are superior to aftermarket. This one is inconsistent. I drove away this morning and it was a little stiff but working well, then it started that not going into gear at all thing, then it was fine again. It's very inconsistent and rather annoying since I have to rely on this as my daily driver for the foreseeable future.

I would suspect the pressure plate but it was almost like new when I had the engine out.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Didi you change the clutch release bearing when you changed the clutch?
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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TO and pilot are new, flywheel was freshly resurfaced and the clutch components were nearly new so I inspected and reused.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You put a used pressure plate on a resurfaced flywheel? that could very well be part of the issue (as i will attest to from unhappy experience on several occasions with people trying to save money)
Pressure plates by their very definition have a lot of spring tension on them and the plate itself will warp and take a "set" to the flywheel it is fitted on. Even reusing one is risky unless you put it back in exactly the same position with the same clutch plate. A lot of people I know have fitted new clutch plates on an old pressure plate and had it fail 3 months later.

There is a reason the pressure plate and clutch plate come as a set.

However, I also think you have a cable issue, fit an OEM one and don't touch the aftermarket ones with a pole. I've seen the aftermarket ones stretch one day, go tight the next, unravel, bind, work perfectly one press of the clutch and not the next, the list goes on.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thats what seems to be going on. When I pulled the engine I saw an issue with the flywheel teeth so I got a diff flywheel and had it surfaced by an experienced reputable local machine shop that knows how to do the two step flywheels properly. The clutch plate, pressure plate and TO bearing were nearly new so I looked it over and re installed it. It was fine for a little while.

I have on other vehicles reused clutches with no problem unless replacement would be such a hassle that it begs to be done. If there is any doubt as to the condition of the clutch I replace it. If it shows any discernible wear, it gets replaced, when I replace clutches I ALWAYS replace all components together. This time the components stayed together but the flywheel was swapped out. The plate literally looked like it had 100 miles on it. Visually it was all quite solid.

It is a little stiff but I think centerforce clutches tend to be that way, this is the first one I have used. What you described with the aftermarket cable is pretty close to what I'm experiencing with regards to inconsistency. I bought it as a trail spare and never intended to use it, it was there for an emergency. I guess I'll have to go after another OEM one and see what happens. I dont have any place to work on this vehicle so replacing the clutch in single digit temps with ankle deep snow is not something I'm looking forward to.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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oh harden up, working in snow is fun.....NOT
I can understand the reluctance, even in a dry shop low temps are not fun at all.

go for the cable first, its got to be cheaper and easier than the clutch. I usually find pressure plate issues are consistent where cable issues vary from day to day. low temps don't help cheap cables either.
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I built a great deal of this vehicle in the snow on my deck, wifey helped quite a bit to. I put the diffs back under it with new leafs and such in snow blowing sideways. I just wanted to get it done before the REAL snow came. I'm working on finding an OEM clutch cable now.

It is consistently stiff, that seems to be a constant, proper operation and adjustment is wildly all over the board, worse now with the aftermarket cable. Aside from being stiff sometimes it shifts sweetly between all gears and works fantastic, then a few moments later I'll be at a light and have to shut it off to get it into first gear, then fire it up and speed away while it reluctantly catches 2nd and 3rd. The feel of the pedal changes when this happens to.

I do know how to swear fluently in English, Ilocono and Ilonggo and I string them all together and still fail to capture the true frustration associated with this. I to figured that a defective pressure plate would exhibit consistent symptoms, I do believe the stiffness comes from the plate, that might be normal for Centerforce, not sure. If I end up replacing the clutch I'll just go with OEM, there is no amount of power here that justifies a fancy clutch.

If you have a source for a new OEM cable please share haha.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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its the cable...try pumping some graphite lube down it...it may help...but it seems the cable was fubar when you put it in.
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