Car is hard to shift when up to temp

Foxbodyguy49

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My 91 mustang has started giving me a issue with the clutch/gear box. When I first start the car it drives fine shifts into every gear smooth. The Exedy stage 1 clutch is a few years old now and the flywheel was brand new along with the throw out bearing and pilot bearing and the clutch cable is new and in good working order with fire wall adjuster and after market quadrant. It’s a OE cable with the only adjustment being at the firewall. The clutch grabs were its suppose to about mid way up but after driving the car for a few miles it gradually gets harder and harder to change gears. Now I’m wondering if this is my clutch going out or possibly something with the transmission itself. I changed the fluid a few months back and it’s not leaking from what I can see. Any ideas would be great before I go and just change the whole clutch assembly out this winter
 
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bird_dog0347

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Just a guess here, but even with a new cable, that's what will get hot next to the headers the way it loops in the engine bay. I'd look hard at that first.
 

Foxbodyguy49

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Just a guess here, but even with a new cable, that's what will get hot next to the headers the way it loops in the engine bay. I'd look hard at that first.
Yeah your deff not wrong I have long tube headers and the cable is now sleeved with heat sheilding but today I Took the cable out and check it’s function when the car was cold no binding no burns on the casing but I may check it again if I can get it out of the car after it starts acting up without burning my arm lol. But do you think a bad clutch would have these symptoms? It’s not slipping grabs fine when first driving but after it warms up even the pedal feels weird
 

bird_dog0347

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Yeah your deff not wrong I have long tube headers and the cable is now sleeved with heat sheilding but today I Took the cable out and check it’s function when the car was cold no binding no burns on the casing but I may check it again if I can get it out of the car after it starts acting up without burning my arm lol. But do you think a bad clutch would have these symptoms? It’s not slipping grabs fine when first driving but after it warms up even the pedal feels weird
That I can't say... if it were slipping for sure I'd guess that, but not just "hard to shift". Have you looked at your shifter? I know a lot of heat soak gets in that area with the exhaust right underneath it.
 

Foxbodyguy49

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Idk I’ve had this car for 9 years now and last time I had issues getting into gear it was the clutch but I can’t remember if it was just all the time or same as now but I should prob change the fluid again and check the shifter/ shift stops
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Take the boot out, inspect the shifter for dirt and junk, there should be a boot that seals the base of the shifter tower, the round part, to the trans tunnel.
I should ask does the feel of the peddle change? Does the shifter feel change?
See if shifts the same driving verses sitting still and shifting.
 

revhead347

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I'd check the fluid level in the transmission while you are at it. Sometimes when a transmission gets older, a little thicker fluid helps it shift better.

Kurt
 

Foxbodyguy49

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The pedal feels different too as the car gets to temp and it’s harder to get into gear the gear engagement point feels off I really think it’s the clutch not the transmission itself
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Check the clutch cable at the fork when cold, feel how tight it is, get it to the point temp starts effecting the 'feel' and check the cable tightness again.
The higher temp may also be affecting the tob sliding on the retainer it rides on. Is your retainer steel or aluminum?
Just thinking out loud here
 

Foxbodyguy49

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I believe the retainer is aluminum because I haven’t changed it myself but yes I was thinking that as well cause I’ve never had the cover on the bell housing in the fork area so it’s exposed to the elements which could cause the grease to dry up or wash away even was thinking of using some white lithium grease and trying to carefully spray it in on the bearing and shaft. This is like clock work the car drives fine for the first 10 minutes then almost impossible to shift and it grinds hard and bangs into reverse. I mean the cable is a stock replacement from the parts store I was thinking of getting the MM cable also to rule that out
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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Another thing you could do is after you get to warmed up jack up the rear end and with the trans in gear (engine off) have someone push in the clutch and see if you can spin the rear wheels, also see how far the clutch fork moves when the pedal is pushed.
Remember to use jack stands, getting crushed under a mustang will cause the revocation of your membership.
 

Noobz347

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Does this car have a firewall adjuster? If so, give it a turn or two.

If not:

Push down on the clutch pedal while holding the clutch quadrant pawl hook with your thumb.

You'll need to get your head under the dash to see this thing.

Once you have pressure on the pawl hook, pull up on the clutch pedal and take it for a drive.

If it's better: Your clutch is indeed getting worn --or-- your cable is stretching --or-- you are missing teeth on the OEM cable quadrant or pawl.

This all assumes that your fluid is correctly serviced.

I don't think that it's your TO bearing because they generally scream like banshees when not happy. The clutch fork is still suspect though :chin as is your transmission bearing retainer.
 

jrichker

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AS the car warms up, the cable gets longer due to the heat; heat causes metal to expand. or cables to get longer. Long cable= clutch that doesn't completely disengage.


Clutch Adjustment for stock and aftermarket setups
Revised 28-Apr-2016 to include need for longer cable with single hook quadrant

Clutch adjustment with stock cable and quadrant
There is a self-adjusting mechanism for the clutch cable. As the clutch wears the cable tension changes, that is why there is a self-adjusting mechanism built into the clutch pedal. On the clutch pedal there is a toothed plastic quadrant with a ratchet pawl that engages the quadrant. As you pull up on the clutch pedal, it ratchets and takes any slack out of the clutch cable. Mess around with the pedal or even bump it while the end that fits in the clutch fork is loose, and it tries to take up the slack in the cable. That has the effect of shortening the cable.

Do the clutch adjustment first before considering any other problems. With the stock plastic quadrant and cable, pull up on the clutch pedal until it comes upward toward you. It will make a ratcheting sound as the self-adjuster works. To release to tension of the stock quadrant, use a screwdriver to lift the ratchet paw up and out of engagement with the quadrant teeth.

You can use a screwdriver to lift the ratchet pawl off the quadrant teeth. That will allow you to move the quadrant to allow more slack in the cable. If the cable is too loose, pull up on the pedal. The ratchet pawl will allow the quadrant to take up the slack in the cable and lock the adjustment.

The following applies to aftermarket clutch cables and quadrants.
Adjustable cables are used when the plastic quadrant is replaced with an aftermarket metal quadrant. The downside to this setup is that you have to get under the car to adjust the clutch. Add a firewall adjuster to an adjustable cable setup and you can spare yourself from getting back under the car to make any fine adjustment that you desire.

The fancy 2 and 3 hook quadrants are for use with stock length cable and a firewall adjuster. Use the firewall adjuster and screw in and out to take the slack out of the cable and get the clutch engagement point just where you want it.

Binding clutch cable
A binding clutch cable will make the clutch very stiff. If the cable is misrouted or has gotten too close to the exhaust, it will definitely bind. The binding common to adjustable cables is often due to misplacement of the adjusting nuts on the fork end of the cable. This will also cause the cable to wear and fray. Both nuts should be on the back side of the fork so that the domed nut faces the fork and the other nut serves as jam or locknut to the domed nut.

Clutch pedal adjustment
Clutch pedal adjustment with aftermarket quadrant and cable: I like to have the clutch completely disengaged and still have about 1.5” travel left before the pedal hits the floor. This means that I have only about 1” of free play at the top before the pedal starts to disengage the clutch. Keep in mind that these figures are all approximate. When properly adjusted, there will not be any slack in the clutch cable. You will have 4-15 lbs. preload on the clutch cable. With a non-adjustable cable and a firewall adjuster, the cable needs to go in the second hook of the quadrant. Single hook quadrants used with a firewall adjuster may make the clutch too tight, causing it to slip. The possible exception to this is the Maximum Motorsports cable which is a bit longer to make it work with a single hook quadrant.

Adjustable clutch cable tips:
Loosening the cable adjustment nut (throwout bearing arm moves to the rear of the car) moves the disengagement point towards the floor.

Tightening the cable adjustment nut (throwout bearing arm moves to the front of the car) moves the disengagement point towards the top of the pedal.

Firewall adjuster tips
Turning the firewall adjuster IN makes the engagement point closer to the floor since it loosens the cable. You have to push the pedal to the floor to disengage the clutch. Too loose a cable and the clutch won't completely disengage and shifting will be difficult. Gears will grind and you may have difficulty getting the transmission in first gear when stopped.

Turning the firewall adjuster OUT makes the engagement point farther from the floor since it tightens the cable. You push a short distance to disengage the clutch. Too tight a cable will cause clutch slippage.

Aftermarket solutions to the problem:
The quadrant needs to be replaced if you use any type of aftermarket cable or adjuster. My preference is a Ford Racing quadrant, adjustable cable and Steeda firewall adjuster. The adjustable Ford Racing cable is just as good as the stock OEM cable. It allows a greater range of adjustment than a stock cable with a aftermarket quadrant and firewall adjuster. Combined with the Steeda adjuster, it lets you set the initial cable preload and then fine tune the clutch engagement point to your liking without getting under the car.

Using a stock OEM cable, firewall adjuster and a single hook quadrant may result in not having any free pedal travel before the clutch starts to disengage. I found this out the hard way.

See Summit Racing - High Performance Car and Truck Parts l 800-230-3030 for the following parts.

Ford Racing M-7553-B302 - Ford Racing V-8 Mustang Adjustable Clutch Linkage Kits - Overview - SummitRacing.com Cable and quadrant assembly $90
fms-m-7553-b302_w.jpg


The Ford Racing Adjustable cable is available as a separate part:
Clutch Cable, Adjustable, Ford, Mercury, 5.0L, KitFMS-M-7553-C302_HE_xl.jpg

[url=http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SDA-555-7021/]Steeda Autosports 555-7021 - Steeda Autosports Firewall Cable Adjusters - Overview - SummitRacing.com
Steeda firewall adjuster. $40

575166.jpg


Fix for the quadrant end of the cable popping out of the quadrant when installing a replacement cable courtesy of Grabbin' Asphalt




Help for those who have replaced the clutch assembly and are still having problems with adjustment:
The next step doesn't make much sense it you already have the transmission installed, but just for sake of discussion, here it is:
The throwout bearing sits in the clutch fork arm with the wave springs pressing on the rear flange of the throwout bearing.
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Major differences between the distance between the flywheel surface and the clutch fingers may require tinkering with the clutch fork pivot ball. Stack your old pressure plate, clutch disc and flywheel up like they were when installed in the car. Tighten down all the pressure plate bolts and measure the distance between the clutch fingertips and the flywheel face.
Too much thickness will cause the clutch fork arm to sit too far back to get the clutch cable on the quadrant. It may even sit against the rear or the bell housing hole for the clutch fork arm. In that case, reduce the pivot ball height.
Too little thickness will cause the clutch fork arm to sit too far forward and bottom out against the front side of the bell housing hole for the clutch fork arm.. This will prevent the clutch from fully disengaging.
In other words, the clutch fork arm should sit positioned midway or a little towards the rear in the bell housing hole for the clutch fork arm when the cable is properly tensioned.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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I had this exact problem awhile back. Had long tubes and coudn't get the cable far enough away from the headers. Ended up going back to shorties and problem solved. Well guess what? My car had Mac longtubes for an aod car.
 

Foxbodyguy49

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Jul 30, 2019
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Longisland
So got the car warm today and again it got super hard to get into gear. I shut the car off and it goes threw the gears just fine. From what I can tell the clutch isn’t disengaging all the way when warm. I can tell this cause when i have the clutch pedal down all the way and go to try and get it in first the car starts to move forward ever so slightly. Now to figure out why the clutch isn’t disengaging when the car heats up I’m assuming it’s go to be this parts store clutch cable I’m using. The next step is going to be buying a better quality cable. This all started after I decided to change out my clutch cable a few months back just cause I’ve had the cable a long time it was a ford racing cable didn’t ever give me any problems but I wanted peice of mind so I changed it with a amazon replacement cable first. That lasted 2 weeks before it started getting hard to put into gear and when I pulled th cable it was frying. So I put another cheap cable in and that one did the same. So now this is the 3rd cheap cable and even tho when I just removed it the cable was in good shape I’m just thinking maybe it’s stretching when hot cause it’s a Autozone cable. So I’ll be buying a ford racing cable again this week to change it out and see what happens from there