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Cable clutch adjustment

                      Car Clutch Problem

I have a problem that no mechanic and no auto aficionado can answer . So I am down to you guys . I listen to your show all the time here in New Orleans , (when I can) ( they changed your morning time , so now it is more difficult .) I find the show informative and entertaining , especially when you riff on some guy?s junker . I have been listening steadily for 4 weeks , just to see whether I could get an answer for my problem . Alas to no avail . I am now having to abase myself and actually ask ?Nay? ! beg , Please before I spend any more money can you answer my problem .

I have a clutch that isn?t working very well .

This vehicle is a Mitsubishi ?Mighty Max? ; year 1992 , with 145 thousand miles .

It has a 2.4 litre engine , with a two wheel drive .

The cable clutch cannot be adjusted properly . The cable was replaced 2 years ago . The clutch was replaced 4 months ago .

Initially , I had started adjusting the clutch by turning the knurled nut on the cable guide to the foot pedal . I did this In order to keep the clutch working , but that hasn?t worked out well . I have even put 2 big 5/16 ? washers and a 5/16 ? castle nut spaced out on the guide rod in order to space the knurled nut back so that I can adjust the clutch .

Now I am at my wits end ; I have run out of room to adjust the throw of the clutch and I can?t adjust any further .

If I adjust the clutch forward it no longer engages . If I adjust it back (towards the passenger compartment ) the clutch engages but I can?t shift the gearbox . I have to shut the engine off , to shift into 1st . I then start the engine in gear to get going . I then come up to speed and shift into 2nd . Sometimes I am going too fast shift into 3rd and I have to find 4th . I have to drop my speed significantly to down shift ! In the 5th gear the car has to going rapidly to then I push in the clutch and wait drop into gear . Sometimes I can?t even get out of 2nd gear to shift up . I have to raise the engine speed to screaming levels or the other drivers will run into me .

I had a school bus driver almost run me down because I could only go 25 or 30 miles per hour . He wanted to go 55 (in a 35 mile zone) . One time a driver ran into me at a light because I couldn?t shift into 1st without turning the engine off . He thought I was going forward because the light was green . So bamm there I was helpless .

Please , please help me , I am unemployed and I am afraid to travel more than 10 miles . I can?t apply for jobs , or even go across the river for anything . It is now going on into fall and I have no way of decent travel . The bus system here is dismal and costs 2 to 4 hours a day to travel . (Not to mention 4-5 dollars a day in fares .) All bus travel across the bridge ceases after 6 pm . There is no bus over the Hughey P. Long Br. After 9:oo am . So the limitations here are significant .

I read your post and learned a great deal about the problems that the clutch is causing you but little insight into the proper adjustment of the clutch and whether you really were adjusting it. If you get under the Mighty Max and locate the clutch fork you can determine the FREE PLAY of the fork. Proper adjustment will leave enough free play at the fork to allow it to be jiggled, but just barely, against the cable end. And stop by the Rue De La Course on Magazine for a cup of Java and let the traffic clear off that bridge before going home.

And if you look where the cable comes into the fork, there’s generally an adjustment nut there as well - it’s the more important one. The one inside (usually) is mainly to adjust the pedal travel. If the cable is mis-adjusted at the clutch (for instance, the nut has come loose after they replaced the cable allowing the cable to slide freely back and forth at that end) then you can adjust the clutch end all day long and never fix the problem.

Look under the dash, and you’ll find a bracket hanging down that the clutch cable passes thru in front of the clutch pedal. With a flashlight, observe this bracket while operating the clutch pedal by hand. See if this bracket moves towards the clutch pedal as it’s operated. If it does, that bracket is cracked. When this happens, the entire clutch cable assembly is allowed to move, so the center cable of the clutch cable doesn’t fully release the clutch. And you can adjust the clutch cable all you want but can’t get the clutch to operate correctly.

If this is problem, the only way to fix this is to weld the cracked bracket back together so it doesn’t move.


I think that might be a solution . However all I saw was an arm with the cable ending there through a stabilizing bracket . I now have am more serious problem . I no longer have 1st or second only 3rd or fifth . I am stranded at city park , canal blvd

I did have the clutch bracket guide cut and re-welded at the firewall ,so it doesn’t move . The clutch worked alright for about a week and a 1/2 . Then it became harder to push .

Believe me I wouled have done that , if there had been anything to adjust I didn’t see anything to adjust . Now !st , 2nd gear are gone and I am stande at citypark lakeview area between canal and westend blvd .

I now have am more serious problem . I no longer have 1st or second only 3rd or fifth gear . I am stranded at city park , canal blvd . What could’ve caused my transmission to go out ?

Levers operate poorly unless the mid point of their arc is perpendicular to the fulcrum. As the mid point moves away from that position the effort required increases greatly as does the stroke and the linkage is stressed unnecessarily. Incorrect parts or improperly located parts can alter the relationship of the lever and its fulcrum.

Has the transmission lube level been checked? If it is low on lube, the transmission may have internal damage, and the transmission will now need to be rebuilt or replaced.

I did have the mechamic fill the transmission resevoir (it had fluid). There were some bits in the magnetic catch well . What kind of solution should I seek for getting a transmission done . Is it doable for around 12 or less ?

What does it mean to “no longer have 1st…” Is that something like Tony Bennet leaving his heart in San Francisco?

First, there is no transmission reservoir. Second, there is no clutch cable. Soooooo, if your clutch master cylinder reservoir is full of DOT 3 brake fluid and the push rod at the pedal is adjusted out to little or no free play you might consider if the pedal feels somewhat mushy. If so your master cylinder is likely bad. It will cost less than $40 at most McParts stores and they will usually give instructions to get it installed.