Guide: Fitting a new clutch cable
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Author:  chicken_eyebrows [ Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Guide: Fitting a new clutch cable

I did this in about an hour yesterday, but managed to tear my arms to shreds and nearly get a screwdriver stuck in my skull. So heres a guide to how to do it a bit more easily. I'm assuming your old cable has snapped somewhere near the gearbox end.

You'll need: two pairs of pliers (helps if one is long-nosed), a screwdriver, a new clutch cable and some copper grease.

1. Open the bonnet and remove air box etc so you can see the clutch cable. Using pliers, grip the broken end and slide it out of the lever on the top of the gearbox. Push the rest of the cable towards the back of the engine bay, so it slides out of the retaining hole on the top of the gearbox.

2. Squeeze yourself into the drivers footwell and using a screwdriver, unhook the spring from the middle of the clutch pedal. push the clutch pedal back as far as it will go and you will see the end of the clutch cable is looped over the top of it and held in place on a retainer.

3. Grip the brass lug at the end of it with pliers and release it from the retainer. now go under the bonnet and reach behind the inlet manifold and you will find the cable feeds into the bulkhead through a round plastic seal. Twist the seal out of the bulkhead and completely withdraw the old cable from the engine bay.

4. To fit the new cable, slide it behind the back of the engine, and making sure the inner cable is fully pulled out (from the outer cable) at the gearbox end, push the new plastic seal into the hole in the bulkhead. This is the hardest part on your hands and arms, I tried to do it from the coolant reservoir side of the inlet manifold but it might be easier to do it from the brake servo side or even better get the car up on a pair of axle stands and get under it. The hole in the bulkhead is just above where you fit the new oil filter when you do an oil change. This whole bit is not easy because the new clutch cable doesn't like to bend easily!

5. Push the inner cable into the outer cable at the gearbox end. This will make the other end of it poke out into the drivers footwell. Go into the drivers footwell and use a pair of long nose pliers to grab the brass end of the cable, loop it over the top of the clutch pedal and hold it in place in the retainer. Now use a pair of long nose pliers to grasp the clutch pedal spring and pull it out so you can hook it back into the hole in the pedal.

6. Return to under the bonnet. Make sure the new clutch cable is looped round so it rests on the special hook for it under the brake servo, then it feeds under the tray that holds the air box and through a retaining hole on the top of the transmission (there may be two holes - use the one on the right).

7. Now you need to use two pairs of pliers. Use the first to pull the inner cable out of the outer cable. Then hold the inner cable out of the outer cable with one pair of pliers while you use the other pair to pull the cable towards the lever and slide it into the hole to keep it in place. Give it a bit of copper crease to stop it rubbing too badly on the metal edges.

8. Check the operation of the clutch and you should be ready to go.

I read on that snapped clutch cables are common on high end Mk3/3.5 Fiestas because the clutch is so heavy. This is the second one I've had in a year. Does anyone know of a decent solution to stop it happening?

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