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clutch adjustment

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Unread post Fri May 21, 2010 12:28 pm

Posts: 1
OK. Ill admit it ,, Im a dummy..
My tranny is really hard to get into 4th gear on the highway. in the garage, no problem, I'm thinking that the clutch needs adjusting.The car is a 1963 and I'm not sure if the engine is em or lm. I am in the process of building a 110 for it now so i'll run with the one thats in there till I get this installed. the engine in it now is slinging oil out the dipstick tube. Any cures?The 110
Anyway , back to the clutch.. how does one find nd djust the clutch. when looking at the engine. Left will be on the drivers side. front is towards the front of the car, seetc.
where do I look and after I;ve found the clutch parts which way do I adjust so I can shift into 4th?



Unread post Fri May 21, 2010 12:44 pm
Scott Howey User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 3442
Location: Hesperia, CA
It's a pretty common problem. My freshly rebuilt motor does it too.
Although on an older motor it could be worn rings letting compression into the block. It also could be the crankcase breather tube is restricted.
A common fix if it's not rings or restricted breather tube is to remove the oil pan and cut off the extra length of dipstick tube that protrudes out of the block.

Unread post Fri May 21, 2010 12:51 pm
Scott Howey User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 3442
Location: Hesperia, CA
On your clutch, is it hard to get in 4th or does it grind in?

Unread post Fri May 21, 2010 1:56 pm

Posts: 1358
Location: Atlanta, GA

Hmmm it is only hard to get in 4th gear? How about 1-3. All the clutch does is disengage the engine from the transmission allowing smoother easier shifts. If the clutch was causing the problem I would expect to see some issues in the other gears as well.

If it grinds going into 4th while moving and not while stopped I would bet on a synchronizer or other internal trans problem.

If it doesn't really grind but doesn't get into 4th, it is likely that worn shifter/coupling issues are involved. The shift coupler is easily inspected. Directly aft of the shifter coming out of the back of the tunnel is a metal tube with a coupler on it that connects to a shaft coming out the front of the transmission. Check for slop where the coupler head attaches to the coupler shaft, there should be very little and movement should be damped by the rubber inside the coupler. Check the forked end of the coupler where it attaches to the trans shifter shaft. The holes should be round, the coupling pin should be round, there should not be alot of slop. Wear here can cause all kinds of shift related problems. Since you can only push the shifter so far too much wear can mean that the trans does not move far enough to get one or more gears. Having difficulty selecting reverse is common here. There is adjustment at the coupler end of the rod. The coupler slides in and out of the rod allowing positioning of the shifter handle for proper throws. There is also a plastic bushing near the shifter end of the shift tube it is often cracked or missing inducing slop in the system (access it by removing the tunnel pan under the shifter).

The clutch adjustment is done at a swivels located on the clutch rod and the clutch cable. The clutch rod leaves the bellhousing forward of the right exhaust manifold. It attaches to a cross-shaft which attaches to a cable going forward thru the tunnel to the pedal. You need to get in the shop manual and follow the adjustment procedure. Clark's Covair parts and others have nice repro manuals if you do not have one...(to cover a 1963 you will need the 1961 shop manual and the 1962-1963 shop manual supplement).
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.

Unread post Fri May 21, 2010 5:13 pm
UNSAFE User avatar
Corvair of the Year
Corvair of the Year

Posts: 2008
If the clutch was dragging it should be harder to shift into 1st gear than 4th.

I'd agree with Ted about adjusting the shift coupler first. Easier with a helper to move the shifter for you. Also look for worn coupler pin or other slop.

Oil on the clutch will cause it to drag but not just in 4th gear.

The clutch pedal should have about 1 inch of freeplay/travel when you first start to depress it if it's adjusted right. If you have a lot more travel it may drag.

Beyond that it's gonna be internal like worn syncros , dogs or the gear .
Kevin Willson
1965 Monza 3.1
Juneau Alaska

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