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Unread 12-22-2013, 12:26 AM   #1
Vegasjones
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1979 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 9
Clutch question, First Jeep! First Post!

Hi everyone. I just picked up my first Jeep tonight. It's a super clean 1979 CJ5. I'm very excited about it. Having never driven one before I have a question about the clutch. It seems to have a very high release point. Is this normal? Is it possible it needs adjusting? Or is this just the way they are and I have to just get used to it? It doesn't release until the pedal is almost all the way to the top. Thoughts?

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Unread 12-22-2013, 12:46 AM   #2
jnicewan
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 2,051
How much free play do you have in the clutch pedal, somewhere around 1/2" is plenty, don't want more than that. If you have excessive free play you might just need adjustment but look at all the pivot points for wear too. Check the bell crank pivots for wear, it might help to have someone push the pedal down/up while you are under there looking at it. The bell crank is what the clutch rods attach to and its under the master cylinder. The clutch adjustment is made on the short rod from the bell crank to the clutch fork. If parts are worn they can be found new all over the .net and easy to replace.
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Unread 12-22-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
Vegasjones
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1979 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 9
Thanks for the reply. Overall the clutch pedal feels pretty tight. Little to no play. It's just a matter of how high it releases. I'm used to my clutches releasing pretty close to the bottom of the pedal stroke and this is towards the top of the pedal stroke. And knowing nothing about these Jeeps I wanted to see if that was something I just need to learn to live with. It seems to be functioning fine. Just a different "feel" than what I'm used to in most cars.
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Unread 12-22-2013, 10:30 AM   #4
Vegasjones
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1979 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 9
After crawling under there and looking at the clutch linkage. I noticed that the spring is missing. I would guess that's a pretty good indication it's not properly adjusted since that's what allows the pedal to have some play and still stay taut before it starts to work the clutch. Am I correct in believing that or is it possible it's properly adjusted without having the spring?
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Unread 12-24-2013, 02:06 AM   #5
jnicewan
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1995 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 2,051
The spring keeps forward tension on the fork to help return the throwout bearing to its disengaged position. I'm not sure if its going to cause the issue you have noted but it should be there. If the clutch linkage seems to be adjusted and no excessive free play then the clutch is probably close to being worn out. A new clutch will release near the bottom of the pedal travel and then works its way up as it wears.

Free play can be felt with your hand. Just grab the pedal and move it up and down until you feel resistance pushing down. The amount the pedal moves up/down before resistance is felt is the free play. The more I think about it when the linkage gets real loose it will make the pedal feel goofy but the engagement should be low not high. Regardless of whats wrong you still need the linkage to be adjusted and verify that everything else is good an not worn out or loose.
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Unread 12-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #6
Vegasjones
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1979 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 9
Well I found out what most of the problem was. The spring was missing. And what's worse is the dingbat that had it before me didn't see that the clutch fork was being held up by the exhaust gasket. The header collector dumps right below the clutch fork and it had an oversized collector gasket that was interfering with the fork. I got it all ground down to allow for clearance, adjusted the clutch and now it's releasing down closer to the floor. I think I allowed too much play in the pedal. I purchased a fork return spring but it's not very heavy duty and not enough to hold the pedal up. I'm missing a clutch pedal spring too. Good news is now I know the problem and can play with it. I'm sure it caused some premature wear but at least now I'll know its correct when the time comes for a new clutch. I'm going to re-adjust it to about 1/2" of play as your first reply said. I read somewhere to leave it at 1"-1 1/4" but that leaves it way too sloppy. Thanks for the replies and the help.
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Unread 12-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
big_o_tom
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1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tazewell, Tn.
Posts: 345
Glad you got it figured out. You also need to check the ends of the clutch pedal rod, they dont have a ball and socket type fitment like clutch adjusting rod has. They are about 1/2" thick and Ive seen grooves worn halfway through them and the hole on the bellcrank wallered(spelling?) out. Like mentioned before the replacement parts are easy to get. The ear on my bellcrank tore almost all the way off this year, once I got it out I also noticed the wear on the rod and the bellcrank hole, which is pretty common I would say. I hammered the ear back in place and used small mig welder to weld it back, I also welded the rod and bellcrank hole back up and then filed them down some.
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