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Thread: Hydraulic Clutch

  1. #21
    Registered Member chasracer's Avatar
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    My questions are what style of clutch do you have? Diaphragm or Borg-Warner and is it a normal model or H.P. unit? Huge difference in the effort it takes to operate a Borg-Warner style unit compared to a diaphragm type - I mean just that simple difference can mean a car that a 85 pound woman could drive (with diaphragm) versus one that she couldn't push the pedal in on. If it's a race unit compared to a street unit, you can about double the effort required.

  2. #22
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    Back in the late 70s I had a 3500# Borg & Beck with roller assist in my 67 Camaro it required a Competition Engineering firewall brace to keep the firewall from flexing. I was damn near like pushing on a brake pedal. It would fold up a 55-57 linkage with the first hit.

  3. #23
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    I remember having a similar but homemade firewall brace on my Camaro. Tied the master cylinder area to the steering box. At least trifives don't flex the firewall like an early Camaro, mainly because of the good pedal support and stiff dash.

  4. #24
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    You described the bracket perfectly, while trifives dash are stiff the shallow splines on pedal under dash are the weak link. I cannot believe original poster has not a problem there since it appears someone reduces his pedal ratio. You are one of the ones who encouraged me to ship my 55 stuff to Earl Williams. His upgrades were as useful to 55 as the brace was to Camaro. I still have the brace on the Camaro although it has a much tamer diaphragm clutch.

  5. #25
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    I would love a great way to make a very stiff brake pedal mount in a tri-five. Only twist is I'm going try and figure out how to make a stiff mount for a manual Wilwood brake pedal with side by side master cylinders, which allows for stagger cylinder diameters, plus a brake balance bar.

  6. #26
    Registered Member enigma57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turk1955 View Post
    Ok guys I added some more pitchers of my clutch linkage and it looks like the point where the clutch pedal rod connects to the Z-bar has been shortened to miss the steering box, now I know everyone says that shouldn't have to be but the new Z-bar I just got as the same except it hasn't been cut. Anyone can tell me what's been put on incorrectly that would cause this problem. HELP


    Turk, looking at the photos you posted on page 2...... I see 3 issues (#4 is probably not part of your problem, but would bear looking into just to be safe) ......

    1. Engine has been moved forward. That means the pivot point on frame must be moved forward same amount and rod from clutch pedal to Z-bar must be lengthened by same amount as well. If engine has been lowered or raised any at rear, or shifted slightly towards passenger side to gain clearance to steering box...... Be sure Z-bar pivot points are adjusted to ensure Z-bar is horizontal to ground and square to chassis as well.

    2. Rod from clutch pedal to Z-bar is mounted on wrong side of Z-bar. Probably to gain clearance to header primary tube, but this puts both ends of rod in a bind, increasing friction and pedal pressure to move Z-bar.

    3. Hard to tell for sure in photos, but it looks like upper arm on Z-bar may contact rear extension of new steering box when clutch pedal is depressed and upper arm is pushed forward.

    4. Probably not and issue here, but make sure you have correct length release bearing for style pressure plate you are running, as well.

    These are some of the issues encountered when moving engine forward. I have done only 1 big block swap into a '55 Chevy and that was many moons ago. Steering box was not changed and engine was not moved forward. We did not convert to side engine mounts. Used stock '55 - '57 bellhousing and bellhousing mounts. Made front mount angle brackets for big block that allowed us to shift stock front mount stands forward to 6-cylinder holes in front crossmember. Also had to relocate radiator forward to 6-cyl. position and have radiator redone with thicker core.

    Trial fitted engine several times. Marked firewall for rear of wider big block heads and distributor clearance. After pulling engine and removing wiper motor to prevent damage, worked out on firewall with 15 lb. sledge hammer to reshape it where interference points noted. Probably wouldn't hurt to do this before installing windshield, but we didn't have new rubber windshield gaskets available in those days and managed to pull it off without cracking windshield. After trial fitting engine to make sure no more issues with firewall, painted (and in this instance, undercoated firewall and allowed it to dry before installing engine for final time. Firewall area adjacent to distributor did not require much, as we were running standard diameter distributor (no HEIs in those days...... We ran dual point distributor).

    If you change over to hydraulic setup, let us know how it works for you. I am thinking of adapting one of the Jeep type slave cylinders myself, as these 70 year old knees are pretty shot. If I do this, I believe I will use the older style external mounted slave cylinder rather than the more expensive type that fits inside bellhousing, as they are easier to bleed and replace and more importantly, as with the mechanical linkage, have a return spring and can be properly adjusted to have a small amount of air gap so clutch release bearing is not in constant contact with fingers on pressure plate and constantly spinning even when pedal is not depressed. At my age, the very thought of that and of having to pull the tranny to replace the release bearing more often than should be necessary gives me pause.

    (This is assuming length of arms and pivot points (both upper and lower) on Z-bar have not been shortened. If either have been shortened, the proper ratio between pivot points at rod connections must be restored. Otherwise, alles ist kaput.)

    Good luck in sorting out your clutch issues,

    Harry
    Last edited by enigma57; 09-19-2018 at 02:44 AM.
    'G-d Bless The U.S.A.'...... Lee Greenwood......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5aoptI5j0

  7. #27
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    I disagree with moving the pivot for the z-bar forward if the engine is moved forward. Leave it in the same place on the frame. That means the rod from the clutch pedal to the z-bar remains the same. The bracket for the pivot ball that bolts to the bellhousing must be shortened, as well as the lower linkage rod.

    Moving the z-bar forward changes the geometry of the linkage, and will require elongating the hole in the firewall where the upper rod comes through. That also may be where the steering box interference comes from.

  8. #28
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    Thanks for all the info, at this time I am thinking hard on switching to a 700R as it would make it easer for the wife to drive, still on the fence as the $$ to make this change is up their.

  9. #29
    Registered Member enigma57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_L View Post
    I disagree with moving the pivot for the z-bar forward if the engine is moved forward. Leave it in the same place on the frame. That means the rod from the clutch pedal to the z-bar remains the same. The bracket for the pivot ball that bolts to the bellhousing must be shortened, as well as the lower linkage rod.

    Moving the z-bar forward changes the geometry of the linkage, and will require elongating the hole in the firewall where the upper rod comes through. That also may be where the steering box interference comes from.
    You could do it that way as well, Rick.

    Happy Motoring,

    Harry
    'G-d Bless The U.S.A.'...... Lee Greenwood......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5aoptI5j0

  10. #30
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    Always sad when someone goes auto, I have a 700r4 in 56 and wish it was a Muncie. Th350 in Corvette wish it was T10.I do have a Tremec in 55 and two 4 speed Camaros.

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