Clutch pedal return spring broken

(Mitchell Andrus) #1

'66 4.2.
The hits just-a keep on a-com’in.

I thought my clutch pedal should have a bit more snap to it after removing my size 12… I’ve found that the return spring is a gonner. It looks like a totally bad night swapping in a new one. Can someone talk me into it?

At the factory I assume these are assembled on a bench while standing comfortably upright. Is it at all possible to install this in-situ or is this another weekend project?

At least it’s available.


(L.Lynn '68 OTS, '73 2+2) #2

Good morning Mitch,
It’s a lot easier to replace it on the bench but where’s the fun in that? :wink:
I’ve done it on mine in situ, you have to have your SWMBO handy to slip the bolt back in place while you are supporting the pieces form underneath.
IIRC I set up a kind of platform so that I could lay on my back and reach up under there. Don’t know what else to tell you, it’s otherwise pretty obvious what has to come apart. Some folks have recommended using a clevis pin rather than the split (cotter key) pin as it’s easier to work with when you have to do it again.
Good luck with your project.

(David Langley) #3

If this looks like too much contortion for you, some folks have improvised using bungee cords or the like with apparent success. This thread shows some examples:


(Erica Moss) #4

You’ll be a pretzel for weeks grunting through the job but as Lynn says it’s “possible”. How difficult depends on the car. I know on my car the pivot bolt won’t slip out without fouling against the steering box. So to make it happen, I’d not only need a helper, the thing would still have to be lifted up high enough for the bolt to snake out. You’ll likely also need a fancy offset wrench to loosen the pinch nut on the brake pedal.

It is so not worth it. I’ve gone through 4 of those stupid things in 18 years. At least you got the shiny one. That was the last one I used and lasted the longest. I think I got about 5k miles out of it. I didn’t think sold them any longer. The one I just got from SNG is the plain black spring steel.

(Mitchell Andrus) #5

Thanks Dave. Interesting reading all that. I bled the system with that broken spring, it seems the M/C refills just fine.

I’ll order the spring on the next round (likely tomorrow) just to have it on hand when inspiration strikes.

BTW, there is a hitch pin in place of the original cotter, so I’m walking a worn path. I use hitch pins on all of my SU rebuilds as they have 5 on each on the T-Series MGs. I think they look better than cotters too.

(69 FHC ) #6

And 14 months later my bungee continues to do it’s job. Like I said, if I ever have to pull the pedal box I’ll replace the spring, not until though.

(D Barnes) #7

I think I would be in John’s camp on this one. A few months ago I was trying to get some slack out of the throttle linkage and got the stupid idea of trying to put some sort of shim between the two half-moon pieces inside their pedal box. When I pulled the bolt and heard things drop inside I quickly realized I had made a big mistake. What a pain to get things back to the way they had been a few seconds before and yes it was a real pretzel job that I hated.

68 E-type FHC

(Benny) #8

On the bench is the way to do it. I had a spring bungy on mine till I needed to replace the brake
cylinder. Removing the pin that holds the pedals by itself is a challenge , and with the new springs
on the shaft with the tension they create is also a project. My car has the brake and clutch cylinders on the same pedal box…

(Ole Würtz) #9

I am contemplating a similar operation when I get around to bending the clutch or brake pedal. Or both. They are too close together after doing the auto-to-stick-swap a couple of years ago.
I would try it with the pedal box in the car, but take the driver’s side seat out, put some thick blanket down for padding and when your arms get tired, take a nap while you’re comfortable on your back.
An extra set of hands will be required.
Good luck, cheers … Ole

(Ed Overmyer) #10

That’s a great picture Benny. My clutch return spring didn’t
break, but my brake pedal return spring did! It was at the very end of a N Georgia JCNA slalom when I was going as fast as I could go in first gear. Fortunately there was enough runout in the parking lot that I didn’t hit anything. Dick Maury fixed it for me. He loaded my car on his trailer and I got to drive his race car back to his house.
Mitchman - I’d think it would be a good idea to proactively replace the brake pedal spring while you’re in there.


(Mitchell Andrus) #11

Ed… Oh yes. I am the original “might as well do it while I’m in the neighborhood-er”.

(Geo Hahn 1969 Series 2 OTS) #12

FWIW, I removed the box to replace mine…

That shiny new one lasted about 3 years before it, too, broke. I have another new replacement but feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football - have a pretty good idea what will happen if I do that again.

I did use hitch pins instead of cotters when everything was out:

(67 OTS S1) #13

There is a quick fix you may want to try before you bend the pedals. I wear a size 13 shoe and all I did was to losen the nut on the back of the brake pedal and then turn the pedal 45 degrees. An easier and faster fix if it works for you.

(Mitchell Andrus) #14

Given the number of springs broken, replaced, broken again just among forum members, it looks like we’re dealing with a poorly designed/manufactured part.

(Ole Würtz) #15

I might look into that.

(David Langley) #16

Would it be possible to determine who’s replacement part is failing? I note that SNGB’s part costs more than twice that offered by XKsU, or Welsh. Terry’s part is mid way between the two. Maybe we have a large enough sample of failures here on the forum to determine if they are all junk, or if there are some that last longer?