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Discussion Starter #1
Well its been a while since I have posted. The car is doing fine and my son has Graduated from one college, Oklahoma State University. And is getting an MBA and MS in Finance at University of Texas @ Dallas.
The car has Been a daily driver for him and been relatively worry free.
Here is our problem. The car has the original 289, Headman headers, With a T-5 5 speed tranny. We are using the original 3 speed clutch setup. Z bar and the 1 inch spacer in the bell housing.
We are putting a strain on the z bar. I found the upper bar section weld was cracking which caused an adjustment problem. I welded the Z bar and the weld is holding fine. We adjust the clutch pedal to the optimum position and after a couple of weeks the setup is out of adjustment.
When I reworked the Z bar I had to hammer it back into position, weld it and reinstall it. It has now been 2 weeks since we did it and the clutch is once again out of alignment. Looking at the Z bar, the weld is fine, but the upper bar section has rotated, or bent. Has anyone heard of this happening?
We considered getting a new Z bar, but I would hate to spend the money, and have the new Z bar bend.
He is in a very demanding, time wise, MBA program and we would have to remove the T-5 to install the T-5 fork clutch if we do the Hydraulic conversion As well as the time to install the hydraulic setup.

Your opinion would be appreciated.

Dave
 

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Figure out how and where to weld in extra metal to make it thicker
 

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I would replace the Z-bar and plan for a Hydraulic conversion down the road during spring break...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the info guys. I just wanted to see if anyone had heard of the Z bar bending. I do figure it is getting old. The clutch setup is from the PO and unknown about the strength and such. It was in good shape when we did the rebuild so we re-used it.

Right now were going to adjust the clutch and then next Friday he will come home ( he has no classes on Fridays)and we will weld steel plate on the Z bar upper and lower arms. I will try to make a C channel shape to provide support. Z bar bushings are new. Pedal support is fine, no elongation of the hole.

I am thinking of a Hydraulic set up, but that will require a little down time. Thinking Spring break will be the time for that conversion. As I posted, he is VERY busy. 14-18 hour days getting his degree. I'm very proud of him, He graduated form OSU in three years Summa Cum Laude, and was accepted into this Honors MBA program at UTD (16 month program). Last month he asked if he could go another semester and get a MS in Finance while he's at it.
As said by the famous Sheriff Beauford T. Justice of "Smokey and the Bandit" fame. "When I get home. I'm going to punch your momma in the mouth. There is no way you could be from my loins" I don't know where he comes from at times. He will do very well in life.

Again thanks for the info
 

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This happened to my Z bar with my toploader. It was not straight from the beginning which caused it to bend. It bent so bad than the pin fell out of the fork while I was driving. I heated up the Z-bar and bent it straight. Then I took a fat bolt and welded the head to the shaft and the threads to the arm, then did the same thing on the other arm. Opentracker has a modified Z bar that has nicer looking bracing. He used 2 triangle shaped pieces of metal. You have to be careful not to weld them where it'll interfere with the exhaust.
 

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A buddy of mine beefed up his Z-bar on his son's '67 fastback by welding additional metal ( same size, thickness & curve ) to portion that was bending -- problem solved. I had never heard of this problem before either.
 

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I had a similar problem years ago with a 65 I owed. I took another z-bar, cut off the upper and lower tab areas, cut off the center tube area and then welded it to the existing unit, essentially doubling it up. There was as stiff pressure plate which contributed to the problem but I later learned the bushing in the pedal support under the dash was elongated, causing misalignment to begin with and adding further strain to the system. You may want to peek under the dash to make sure things are ok there.
 

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The stock Z-bars were fine with the stock clutches; but heavy duty "long-style" clutches can be too much for them. However, high performance "Diaphram-type" clutches (like Centerforce, etc.) are very easy on the clutch linkage and your left leg too. You may want to consider installing a diaphram clutch, particularly if your current clutch is a HD long-type. I'm using the stock linkage in the Fastback with a Centerforce Dual Friction clutch; and it is smooth operating and trouble free (last adjustment was 3 yrs ago).
 

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This is a common problem. Even the originals bent over time, even with a stock clutch. We would pull them, straighten them and then weld reinforcements on them.

You should see the one in my Shelby. The PO welded 1/4" strap up and down the length of it. Doesn't bend now.
 
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