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Stiff Clutch

Hey,
I just got my first Opel last weekend (picked it up Friday). Unfortunately the clutch is really stiff - difficult to depress. Does anyone have any ideas what could cause this, and how to fix it?
It's a 1970 GT with the original 4 speed. Since everything else is pretty much original, I doubt the clutch has been replaced either, but I don't know.

Thanks for your help.

~Jayna
 

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Opeler
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Funny you should have that problem, I just got a 73 GT. The fella that sold me the car told me that the clutch slipped and I didn't even look at it till I got it home, upon looking I found that the clutch cable broke. Although your cable likely isn't broke, I bet it is where it is stiff. You could take it off and work on lubing it up, but it may be better to just get a new one. I haven't priced them yet but I am sure that opelgtsource has them in stock. Good luck with the new toy
 

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101st Airborne 1/327 Inf
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I have the same problem and was told to disconnect the the cable from the transmission, then push the the cable from the inside. If the cable is still stiff the problem most likely is there and not the clutch.
 

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you can futz with the clutch in several places.

one up top where the cable comes out of the firewall, easy to get at.. not so easy is the the adjustment on the trany. it is on the right side on the top of the bellhousing at say around 1 to 2 o'clock as you look at it from the back of the car. There is a lock nut which is a 17 or 19mm and a square adjuster. turning it in tightens the cable out loosens...

Under the car measuring from the center of the fork where the end cable is to the front of the support bracket that the cable slips through where the engine and bellhousing meet should be 4.37 inches (that off the top of my head, look it up in the book or someone might put the correct measurement down who reads this and has a book at home..hint hint) I might be a tenth of inch off either way

you should have about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of play in the clutch pedal otherwise it is too tight and you will end up breaking cables... I know, I learned the hard way

The easiest way on the manta is pull out the stick and you can reach right in as from the bottom exhaust and what-not doesn't make it all that easy.
 

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I don't know that the clutch and throttle correlate. However, I have found that if the car has been sitting, you need to drive it for a while. Often these things will work themselves out. Amazingly, sometimes the electrical problems will "magically" fix themselves after regular driving.

Vickie
 

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And electrical problems will sometimes actually fix themselves. my front left turning signal was not working since I took my gt apart to restore. I noticed that It wasn't working the day before carlisle (becuause I finished the car the day before carlisle) it mysteriousily started working again last week and this was after about 2 hours searching through switches and wiring.
 

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since mine has been sitting for 8 months I hope you guys are right! I got it more or less ready (ok less) for it's first mildly (serious on the mildly) test run to see if it is ready enough to put the hood back on. Anyway I was all set to go and it starts raining!!

No big deal we have wipers right? Except mine choose then not to work anymore... oh well I do hope they fix themselves as mucking around under the dash is no fun
 

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Opeler
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My $.02 worth. I think the clutch in the GT is always going to be a little stiffer than anything else you may have driven. I thought I remember reading here that the clutch fork on the GT is shorter than the similar one on Manta's Ascona"s. If that's true, less leverage to help make it easier. I hate getting caught in stop and go traffic on the "uphill" side of the moutain on my commute. I've been seen limping in to work after a battle with that! Does strengthen up the left leg though.
 

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Another thing to check.....

If the clutch is adjusted incorrectly, it will be stiffer.

The proper adjustment technique is to set the clutch arm 4.25" from the leading edge of the bellhousing, then to adjust the cable so the appropriate pedal freeplay (1/2"-3/4") is there. Very often, people simply adjust the cable a few notches as the clutch wears, but leave the clutch arm adjustment as is. Now, this WILL work fine, but it changes the fulcrum point and the pedal effort goes up exponentially. Many a high-mileage Opel has this affliction.

HTH
 

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Opeler
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Thanks Bob.
This is something I'm going to check when I get home. I think I remember that in whichever book I've gone by, cannot remember which of the three I have, the procedure listed was to set the pivot ball stud for a certain height inside the bellhousing. That would get you the distance you describe in the same way I would think, but who knows. This is much easier to check, and my left leg is wanting to thank you in advance. :)
BD
 

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another thing to check is make sure all your bellhousing bolts are tight, sounds stupid but i had a few start to back out and my clutch pedal was a bear to use, when the bolts get loose the clutch disk on the front input shaft is all that holds the front of the trans up and it puts a bind on it, dought this is your problem but you never know.
 

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Possibly an Internal Wear Problem

If the problem persists, it's also likely to be caused by excessive wear on the 2 "pegs" that hold the clutch release bearing on the clutch fork. I have
experienced this, when I kept repeatedly breaking new clutch cables.

Unfortunately the only way to verify this, is to pull the trans and clutch out, and the only cure is to swap in a known good replacement clutch fork.
(Make sure it is the same length, as the Manta clutch fork is too long
to operate in the narrower GT underbody "tunnel" area).
 

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101st Airborne 1/327 Inf
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Another Stiff Clutch Pedal

Okay, I have read all of the threads and went though my 1973 Opel service manual on the clutch lash adjustment, but really can not find a solution to my problem. I did all the adjustments under the car and returned to the seat, press the pedal again and no change. I went under the car again and disconnected the return spring to see if the cable would stay in but there was no change ( as if the spring was still attached to the return lever. Pedal is stiff. Any good answers????? :(
 

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MICAH1 said:
I have the same problem and was told to disconnect the the cable from the transmission, then push the the cable from the inside. If the cable is still stiff the problem most likely is there and not the clutch.
I merged this last post with the earlier thread.
What happened when you disconnected the cable from the release fork? Did the pedal move easily (just moving the cable) or was it still stiff?
 

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101st Airborne 1/327 Inf
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kwilford said:
I merged this last post with the earlier thread.
What happened when you disconnected the cable from the release fork? Did the pedal move easily (just moving the cable) or was it still stiff?

Hey Kwiford,
Cable moves freely with no binding. Connected everything back up and still have a hard pedal. What now??? :confused:
 

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It's good to eliminate that. I assume you have adjusted (and re-adjusted) your pivot bolt (called the Clutch Release Lever Ball Stud in the FSM) and clutch cable. In that order The release fork end should be 4 1/4 inches from the front edge of the bell-housing when it is pushed forward by hand. The pivot bolt is what adjusts that dimension, NOT the clutch cable e-rings at the fire wall. That is ONLY for the pedal free-play adjustment.

Hey, when you removed the cable, could the release fork move BACK easily? In other words, does the release bearing move rear-wards easily? One thing I have seen, is the tube (called the "Release Bearing Sleeve") that the release bearing slides on gets rusted, and the release bearing sticks to it. To fix it, you have to remove the transmission and bell-housing, and then remove the tube from the bell-housing, and clean it up.

The FSM also says a worn driven plate can cause a high pedal effort.

If it isn't the release fork sleeve, it might be the pressure plate itself. They can get rusted, and get stiff to release.

In any case, it seems you are removing the tranny and bell-housing to see what the matter is.

HTH
 

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101st Airborne 1/327 Inf
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" Hey, when you removed the cable, could the release fork move BACK easily? In other words, does the release bearing move rear-wards easily? "

Kwiford,
The release fork could not be moved by hand..... Could that, would that be a problem?????
 

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MICAH1 said:
Kwiford, The release fork could not be moved by hand..... Could that, would that be a problem?????
First, it's "kwilford". As in k for Keith, wilford for Wilford. Now that we have that settled :)

By george, I think you have it!
 

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101st Airborne 1/327 Inf
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Clutch Performs Better

Thanks Keith,
I was looking to ebay or OGTS to purchase a new trans but after our last threads I decided to back track and run through the lash process one last time. I guess what people say may be true on the third time being the charm.

I adjusted the ball stud one last time and knew something was different when I reversed the car out of the garage (smooth shift), and kicked ass down three one mile straight aways on the back roads. This is the stock four speed but it really pulled. My son (Micah) had this big grin because he knew my frustration.

The car does have a slight back fire (new pertronix, bosch plugs, wire, cap, and rotor), will reset the timing, and adjust the 32/36 weber, and check for vac leaks today. Much thanks again. :D :D :D
 
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