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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update: Previous owner modified the z bar to fit the Hedman headers. The angle of the push rod isn't ideal but I have the Opentracker kit on the way and the rod end will be able to handle the angle better. I'll get a new spring and see how it goes. I thought the rod was welded to the lever but it was just sitting in that nut they used as a new cup. I also repositioned the frame bracket as it had moved also making the z bar loose. I may need to add a washer to take up the slight side play in the z bar.

Day Four: Got the engine purring like a kitten after a carb rebuild to clean it out. While out driving it around I was getting a lot of judder when moving away from a stop. I thought it was just me not use to a manual clutch (I've always had hydraulic clutches) but it just got worse.


Under the hood the first thing I noticed was the broken return spring.



But then I started to look at how the clutch rod is apparently welded to the clutch lever.

Then I had the wife push in the pedal and it just looks wrong. Can anyone tell me what they think?

I assume you can't replace the clutch lever without pulling the trans?
 

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Okay I’m fairly familiar with the zbar system from the video it is clearly a the pivot issue
The Frame rail mount it’s busted so it’s the bolts came out would be the best case or the nuts pulled out worst case
Or the bracket broke

all the spring does is keep the clutch fork connected to prevent it from going to far back and the pedal going to the floor but your getting improper geometry with the frame rail bracket the way it is

so my recommendation is take the z bar out and pivots out only need common hand tools it’s super easy without long tubes

Get new bushings
Pivot if needed
Clean up zbar and inspect the fork and linkage
Especially on the pedal hanger
And get a new return spring

if you want to open a can of worms it can go on forever so fix the issue and drive it
Hood Automotive design Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire
 

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But then I started to look at how the clutch rod is apparently welded to the clutch lever.
Yes, and that is the root of your problem. It should NOT be a rigid joint. And yes, you have to pull the trans to remove it, but to me it looks like the formed divot is still present on the clutch arm. If so, the arm itself is salvageable if you can manage to cut off the welded BS. That might save you from pulling the trans.

The video confirms it. The clutch fork swings and makes the rod swing in a huge arc. That's why your Z-bar is kinda telescoping left-to-right on its pivots. Man, that's hokey.

I think you need to yank the whole linkage and start fresh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, and that is the root of your problem. It should NOT be a rigid joint. And yes, you have to pull the trans to remove it, but to me it looks like the formed divot is still present on the clutch arm. If so, the arm itself is salvageable if you can manage to cut off the welded BS. That might save you from pulling the trans.

The video confirms it. The clutch fork swings and makes the rod swing in a huge arc. That's why your Z-bar is kinda telescoping left-to-right on its pivots. Man, that's hokey.

I think you need to yank the whole linkage and start fresh.
Why did they make that rod so pointy? It’s like they wanted it to wear through the clutch lever.

Someone on Facebook posted a kit with rod ends. That’s how I would have done it. Is the rod end kit common?

If the tranny comes out a four speed is going in!
 

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Why did they make that rod so pointy? It’s like they wanted it to wear through the clutch lever.

Someone on Facebook posted a kit with rod ends. That’s how I would have done it. Is the rod end kit common?

If the tranny comes out a four speed is going in!
If you're going to start over with new linkage, which might not be a bad idea at all, check out Opentracker's Z-bar kit. Top notch and it does include rod ends.
 

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Why did they make that rod so pointy?
To minimize friction, in a connection that need to be able to move in all directions. It will usually last longer than the car. The other end of the lower rod do also have a "strange" design for the very same reason. They got at least one really smart engineer af Ford, simple and cheap low friction joints that didn't need maintenance.
 

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My F100 has a Z-bar linkage, similar to Mustangs. I used rod ends on it. At the clutch fork, I drilled through it (which was incredibly hard to do - I guess the dimple was work-hardened) and bolted in an in-line ball joint from McMaster-Carr. Probably overkill, but it's been in use for years now.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you're going to start over with new linkage, which might not be a bad idea at all, check out Opentracker's Z-bar kit. Top notch and it does include rod ends.
As soon as I find out what else is amiss I’ll get the OT kit. Need to get under there to see if the clutch lever is usable. And how the Z bar could be moving that much.
 

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So I took a closer look at the pictures and I believe someone welded a nut to the fork, maybe to repair damage. It looks like the rod was tapered. I think it will fall out when you are working on it. Personally, I would just fix the loose end of the Z bar mount and see how that works. And check all the motor and transmission mounts.
 

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I wonder if the nut welded to the fork is just a fix for the broken spring? It looks like you just got the end part of the big long spring that should be mounted to the spring tower and are ment to keep the linkage from ratling and TOB away from the pressure plate when the pedal aren't pushed..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wonder if the nut welded to the fork is just a fix for the broken spring? It looks like you just got the end part of the big long spring that should be mounted to the spring tower and are ment to keep the linkage from ratling and TOB away from the pressure plate when the pedal aren't pushed..
I think the spring broke yesterday so the weld was well before that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your go-to for roller clutch linkage parts.

CLUTCH Archives - Opentracker Racing Products
Yes, that is what I will be using. Need to research and see what other parts I need too. Will crawl under car today and do more of a survey. Z-bar should not move that far side to side. I'm guessing the mount on the frame has failed. But it's hard to see as it's under the steering column.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I looked a little closer and with the headers cold I could stick my arm down there. Keep in mind this car has Hedman headers so the alterations were made to accommodate those. Looking at it it seems that someone has filled the divot where the clutch rod normal sits has been filled with a weld. Then a nut has been welded towards the end of the lever to help clear the headers. I'm guessing people have a better way to help clear the headers?
 

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I would check the motor mounts. It seem your engine is moving quite a bit from pushing the clutch pedal. Good luck
Start with the motor mounts - you were advised about this in your last post on clutch chatter. Watching how much it moves in the video, they're toast.
 

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@Huskinhano made his own clutch linkage roller setup, and that's what I used as an example to make mine. I bought 3 right handed threaded Heim joints from McMaster, 3/8 x 24 threads. I reused the upper clutch rod. I cut off the 90* end which goes into the clutch pedal and threaded it enough for one of the Heim joints. I used the joint with one 3/8" socket cap screw and locking nut to hold it in place on the clutch pedal. On the other end which goes into the engine compartment on onto the z-bar, I removed it from the pivot which goes into the z-bar and then removed the pivot from the z-bar. I measured and cut the upper clutch rod for the Heim joint and used another socket cap screw and locking nut to attach it to the z-bar. At the bottom of the z-bar where the lower clutch rod is, I removed the pin from the z-bar where the lower rod attaches. I disassembled the lower clutch rod and just kept the "pointy" piece. I took a short piece of cold-rolled 3/8" rod and threaded it on both ends with a 3/8 x 24 die. I put the pointy piece back on one end, and put the last Heim joint on the other end and attached it to the lower z-bar with another socket cap screw and nut. Make sure to leave room for a jam nut for each Heim joint. All set!

Wish I took pictures along the way as I assembled this, but you can save yourself a bit of money doing it yourself. I think I paid about $20 for the three Heim joints from McMaster, to include shipping. Reused the z-bar and upper clutch rod, and spent less than $10 for the socket cap screws and nuts. The 3/8" bar I used at the bottom was $3 or $4 and already had a 3/8 x 24 die.

On your frame bracket, you can see it is most likely loose and allowing the z-bar to move side to side when it shouldn't be. Mine is secured to the frame rail with a pair of 9/16" hex bolts that I have to tighten by feel. One thing I do to make sure the bracket doesn't move around while tightening the bolts is put a longer tire iron between the backside of the bracket and the fender apron, behind the steering column. I turn it like a screw driver and it pushes against the frame bracket and holds it there. Really helps if you have an extra pair of hands to hold the tire iron. Then tighten the two bolts for the frame bracket and it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@Huskinhano made his own clutch linkage roller setup, and that's what I used as an example to make mine. I bought 3 right handed threaded Heim joints from McMaster, 3/8 x 24 threads. I reused the upper clutch rod. I cut off the 90* end which goes into the clutch pedal and threaded it enough for one of the Heim joints. I used the joint with one 3/8" socket cap screw and locking nut to hold it in place on the clutch pedal. On the other end which goes into the engine compartment on onto the z-bar, I removed it from the pivot which goes into the z-bar and then removed the pivot from the z-bar. I measured and cut the upper clutch rod for the Heim joint and used another socket cap screw and locking nut to attach it to the z-bar. At the bottom of the z-bar where the lower clutch rod is, I removed the pin from the z-bar where the lower rod attaches. I disassembled the lower clutch rod and just kept the "pointy" piece. I took a short piece of cold-rolled 3/8" rod and threaded it on both ends with a 3/8 x 24 die. I put the pointy piece back on one end, and put the last Heim joint on the other end and attached it to the lower z-bar with another socket cap screw and nut. Make sure to leave room for a jam nut for each Heim joint. All set!

Wish I took pictures along the way as I assembled this, but you can save yourself a bit of money doing it yourself. I think I paid about $20 for the three Heim joints from McMaster, to include shipping. Reused the z-bar and upper clutch rod, and spent less than $10 for the socket cap screws and nuts. The 3/8" bar I used at the bottom was $3 or $4 and already had a 3/8 x 24 die.

On your frame bracket, you can see it is most likely loose and allowing the z-bar to move side to side when it shouldn't be. Mine is secured to the frame rail with a pair of 9/16" hex bolts that I have to tighten by feel. One thing I do to make sure the bracket doesn't move around while tightening the bolts is put a longer tire iron between the backside of the bracket and the fender apron, behind the steering column. I turn it like a screw driver and it pushes against the frame bracket and holds it there. Really helps if you have an extra pair of hands to hold the tire iron. Then tighten the two bolts for the frame bracket and it's done.
What exhaust/headers are you using? If you still have the vehicle can you take a picture of how it looks from above?
 
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