Treb
Treb Reader
2/1/12 8:15 p.m.

I have a 1976 Fiat 124 spider. It has a cable clutch which gives me 10x more trouble than the rest of the car put together.

Last summer, I replaced the cable (again), welded up the firewall where the cable comes through, and put in a new (reinforced) clutch pedal in.

Now it looks like the clutch fork -- the piece that lives mostly inside the bellhousing -- has come loose (or something).

Clutch pedal goes straight to the floor. Firewall, pedal, and cable all appear intact. And pushing on the bottom of the clutch fork, I feel resistance. But from the drivers' seat... nothing.

Any ideas/suggestions? (Preferably not ones that start with "well, just drop the transmission, and...")

Thanks Matt

Raze
Raze SuperDork
2/2/12 6:33 a.m.

In reply to Treb:

While I'd be the first to say if you've checked all the externals and they're functioning correctly, it sounds like it's time to drop the trans... I won't say that, but what I would suggest is posting this problem over here: http://www.fiatspider.com/f08/index.php . Ordinarily I wouldn't steer someone off GRM but the old-timers on that board know more about Fiats in their sleep than a pile of modern mechanics. I also found a thread that looks somewhat similar to yours: http://www.fiatspider.com/f08/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8199&sid=3adf9cac6edc6cfd70001dc0b761afe0 Have you double-checked your firewall again, did it tear originally? How was it repaired?

-Jeff

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon SuperDork
2/2/12 6:47 a.m.

Get a buddy to work the clutch pedal whie you watch what's happening at the transmission end of things. If the end of the cable is moving as it should and pulling on the fork, then the transmission will need to come out.

OTOH, if working the pedal does not move the end of the cable, then that says the problem is in the cable, pedal etc. I have seen motorcycle cables which came apart inside the housing although that's kind of rare, usually the ends come off.

Treb
Treb Reader
2/2/12 9:13 a.m.

Yes, working the pedal moves the bottom end of the cable.

The firewall had cracked originally, but hadn't torn badly, like the one in the linked thread. I took out the brake booster etc. last summer and welded it up from the engine bay side, with an added 1/8x1 inch brace across the top of the clutch pedal hole, where the crack had been. Last night, I was on the drivers' floor looking up at the firewall while I operated the pedal with my hands. No movement in the firewall, no flex in the pedal. All of that looks all right.

Which I guess tends to point to something inside the bellhousing... either the fork itself or the throwout bearing?

Matt

Treb
Treb Reader
2/2/12 10:04 a.m.

I've now posted on mira and on fiatspider... we'll see what turns up over there. One question I didn't ask here, but did there: is it possible to drop the trans with the engine in, or do I have to pull the engine?

Thanks, Matt

Treb
Treb Reader
8/11/12 1:41 p.m.

Okay, update: The firewall crack was beginning to re-appear, but the big problem was that the clutch fork had broken and was flexible. The bottom end would move (where the cable attaches) but the middle wouldn't push on the clutch, it would just bend.

So: trans out. Which is actually pretty easy. Going to replace the clutch while I'm in there -- who knows if the PO put in a heavier clutch, or put it in backwards, or what.

So here's a question: which way does the clutch disc go on a Fiat 124? The splined portion sticks out much further on one face than on the other, and of course it isn't marked "engine side" or anything.

Thanks Matt

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