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Clutch Cable Question: Hard to engage in gear?


I am experiencing difficulty engaging the clutch when the car is cold or has been sitting for a while. I installed your clutch quadrant and adjustable cable a while back and was very pleased with the ease of installation and the result. Then a while later I replaced the worn factory clutch with a new one. Now, for the past two months or so I have noticed that it is getting increasingly harder to get the car in gear when it sits over night and the pedal is grabbing much lower than it did earlier. After the car sits running for 5-10 minutes it seems to operate much better. The cable is adjusted as far as it can be. Its getting so that I have to start the car in reverse or first so I can be sure to get it into gear. Will the adjustable firewall adjuster work with this quadrant and cable and will that fix the problem? Is this a common problem? Has the cable possibly stretched and I am out of adjustment? 


The first thing to check is the rubber bushing where the clutch cable meets the firewall. Sometimes these bushings crack or split, allowing the cable to move closer to the firewall, creating slack in the cable. This will make the transmission hard to engage in gear. If the bushing is damaged it can be replaced under warranty (up to one year), or better yet replace it completely with our firewall mounted cable adjuster.

Usually when the car is harder to engage in gear when it is cold it is because of something worn internally in the transmission, such as synchronizers, blocker rings, or the little 10 cent "dogs" that engage the sliders. The incorrect oil in the transmission can also make gear engagement harder. 

Occasionally a hard gear engagement is caused by a clutch that expands too much when it gets hot, combined with a pedal setting (cable adjustment) that is too low. If you adjust it when the engine it is hot, sometimes the adjustment is a little off when it is cold. You need to find an adjustment range that is a compromise between cold and hot engagement points.

If the clutch is grabbing too close to the floor, the adjustable cable needs to be adjusted shorter. If you are using Steeda's Double Hook Quadrant make sure you are using the hook that takes up more slack in the cable. If you are at the maximum adjustment you can add the Steeda Firewall Adjuster for more adjustment range. It is very rare for the cable to stretch. Usually when you run out of adjustment range it is because of a new clutch and a re-surfaced flywheel. As the clutch wears the clutch fork moves back towards the rear of the car, making the clutch cable tighter and the pedal engagement higher. When a new clutch is installed, the fork moves closer to the front of the car. Add a re-surfaced flywheel and the clutch moves even farther to the front of the car. Depending on the clutch and flywheel used, sometimes the cable can not be shortened enough to compensate for the new clutch. This is a rare problem, but we have seen it with every major brand of adjustable cable and quadrant out there. The simplest way to fix it is to add Steeda's Firewall Cable Adjuster.

Source: Steeda Autosports.