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Old 14-05-2004   #1
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Clutch - cable or clutch itself?

I am well aware that this topic has been done to death, but once more won't hurt! ;)

Well I have changed the clutch cable twice in the space of just over a year, and it seems to have snapped once more, yesterday!

The clutch does not really feel heavy at all... if anything i've adjusted the clutch cable so the clutch bites quite high up, out of fear that the sudden jerks of the clutch biting when the pedal is only a little depressed will snap it!
But, to no avail, the girlfriend drove the car today and lo and behold, I got the call I hate the most - come tow me, the clutch cable is buggered.

So bearing in mind the clutch appears to have little resistance (if you have to think about it, it's very slightly heavy, compared to when it gets fully depressed), yet the cable still snaps, should I just buy one of them thar reinforced cables, and hope for the best?

To be honest, the clutch does not really feel heavy, and feels a lot lighter than my 106's clutch.

Or should I get down and dirty and butcher the gearbox and replace the clutch? Do I need a pit for this, or can I do this on the street? Will I be half way there to changing the timing belt if I change the clutch, as that too needs attention, not to mention the transmission fluid needs changing?

If I change the clutch, could the bushes or something else still be buggered?

What's your advice guys? I've been fixing a million faults with this bugger, including just changing the CV boot, which meant battling the hub nut for a few hours, which I understand needs to once again come off...

HELP!!!!

Apart from not having the time, I am running out of money and patience, although I love the car to bits when it runs! Just stuffed a new pair of 6x9s, a new head unit and a 400w amp in the little beast (after the old ones got nicked)! LOVELY!

What is the average life expectancy of a healthy clutch / reinforced clutch cable?
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Old 14-05-2004   #2
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Sounds like the pressure plate in the clutch, get it done, saves hassle in the long run

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Old 14-05-2004   #3
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ive had 3 cables replaced in the space of 12 months, roughly every 3000 miles.

i can not help with the rest of your query but I have just got myself a new clutch and am going to get it fitted soon.

im fed up off living in the fear of my cable snapping again, i already carry 2 spare around with me just in case


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Old 14-05-2004   #4
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As Steve says, really you need a new clutch - chances are it's worn the spring 'fingers' down. You could chance one of the 'unbrakeable' cables, might get you away for a little longer. If it's any consolation, my Turbo one's the same.

In some cases the nylon pivot bushes that the release shaft mounts in have been found worn or have seized onto the shaft.

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Old 14-05-2004   #5
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Thanks a bunch guys, I've just ordered a new 'unbreakable' cable from Rambico (http://www.ricambio-web.fsnet.co.uk/ tel. +44 (0)20 8642 8577 ). Indeed the guy is a nice bloke, we had a nice chat and the cable is just 14 quid minus VAT.

I'll most likely consider changing the clutch soon, it's just that if it's not one thing it's another.

The unbreakable clutch appears to be far better - it doesn't have the stupid L-shape at the end, but rather adopts a different mechanism.

I'll let you know how I get on...
as it stands, your advice is: change the clutch!
right??
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Old 15-05-2004   #6
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Yep, that's about it I'm afraid!

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Old 15-05-2004   #7
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unbreakable cable? what the..? What's it made out of? Sounds like a futuristic space age kinda thing.

Gimme 2 weeks and I bet I'll break it :p

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Old 15-05-2004   #8
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yeah its a small block of wood you screw to the floor under the clutch pedal, cable never snaps but changing gear requires a bit of skill and hill starts can only be done backwards:D

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Old 15-05-2004   #9
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lol!

Unbrakeable cable doesn't have the L shaped bit on the end, but a ring instead.

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Old 18-05-2004   #10
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Hmmppfh..

just fitted this miracle clutch cable and for some insane reason, now the clutch feels really 'lumpy' and stiff.

Certainly qualifies as a bad clutch that likes to break clutch cables, but it did not act in this way prior to the old 'L' shaped clutch cable (and plastic triangular thingie) breaking.

So my clutch pedal is now a stiff and lumpy bas**rd, could it be something wrong with the clutch cable?

Or is the clutch showing it's true colours (remember - it wasn't that stiff before, let alone lumpy).

How much of a headache is it to change the clutch? Should I change the bushes while I'm at it? Do I buy the thrust bearing separately?
Will I need a pit?

One last thing... upon fitting the clutch cable about 2 breakages ago, I overtightened one of the nuts that holds the clutch cable onto the body of the car, and the bolt sheared off... so now it is held on by just the bottom nut.
Is this a bad thing, and how do I get the top one on again? cut the thread off a no. 10 bolt and weld it on!? would you recommend this?

many thanks guys.
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Old 18-05-2004   #11
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Deffo the pressure plate, I managed to do a clutch on my own in 4 hours, but I have had some practice, 2 people, 3 hours max.
Do one job at a time, you'll be p155ed off with the thing by the time you have finished the clutch, oh and half the skin on the backs of your hand will be missing :D

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Old 13-02-2005   #12
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Re: Clutch - cable or clutch itself?

On older FIATs the clutch cable used to suffer if the engine ground strap was loose or missing...

The theory being that starter motor current would find it's way through the clutch cable, causing a slight heating/cooling that eventually damaged the nylon lining and broke the strands.

I know this sounds rather dodgy, but it was a verifiable fact that the clutch cable in a FIAT 128 lasted a lot longer if the engine ground strap was properly in place.

So, if I was ever changing a clutch cable, I'd always check the engine ground strap (or cable). Take it off, sand it, clean it, refit it.

On the FIRE-engined Uno, the ground cable bolts to the gearbox. Hope it's the same on a Cinq/Sei...

-Alex
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Old 13-02-2005   #13
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Re: Clutch - cable or clutch itself?

So many questions!

In no particular order. Sort out the mounting bracket bolt, any flexing of the bracket is going to to endanger the cable.

The clutch is at the opposite end of the engine from the timing belt, so two different jobs.

You don't have to remove the hub nuts to do a clutch, Undo both suspension arms and you will be able to pull the box back, swing it down and leave it on the ground under its original position, whle you change the clutch. While its down there make sure the operating arm moves smoothly in the bellhousing, if not, sort it.

Itys not only Fiats that have a problem with clutch cables seizing if the earth strap fails. Most cables now have a nylon lining between the parts and this melts causing the cable to seize.

Cheers

D
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