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Old 02-25-2024, 09:07 PM   #1
2speed
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Default Clutch finger adjustment

I just got a 1931 Tudor that a guy did all the work himself. Everything seems copacetic, but he was like I "did" the shift tower and now the clutch needs adjustment. This didn't sound logical, but the clutch goes to the floor with nothing happening.


Couple things. The shift tower is extremely stiff, I removed it and looked at it and nothing seems amiss, and everything looks new. I assume this might just wear in at some point.


In reverse and second gear, the shift lever hits the dash, with second whacking the speedometer glass. Any remedy besides bending the lever? It looks like a new shift lever, very shiny. Do they bend cold? I'd rather not heat it.


Is there any way to adjust the clutch fingers in the car? While I can see and access stuff through the inspection plate, I can't see how you could ever measure the fingers without some sort of pretzel bent up jig. Am I going to have to pull the rear assembly?


On the adjustment, I've seen the 5/8" from cover plate, with destaking and restaking the nuts, and then I saw the Paul Shinn video with the pressure plate on the bench. I get the different setting/measurement, but he just back the screws against the nut with no staking. Is that a good way to lock the nuts?
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Old 02-25-2024, 09:33 PM   #2
Gary WA
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

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I just got a 1931 Tudor that a guy did all the work himself. Everything seems copacetic, but he was like I "did" the shift tower and now the clutch needs adjustment. This didn't sound logical, but the clutch goes to the floor with nothing happening.


Couple things. The shift tower is extremely stiff, I removed it and looked at it and nothing seems amiss, and everything looks new. I assume this might just wear in at some point.


In reverse and second gear, the shift lever hits the dash, with second whacking the speedometer glass. Any remedy besides bending the lever? It looks like a new shift lever, very shiny. Do they bend cold? I'd rather not heat it.


Is there any way to adjust the clutch fingers in the car? While I can see and access stuff through the inspection plate, I can't see how you could ever measure the fingers without some sort of pretzel bent up jig. Am I going to have to pull the rear assembly?


On the adjustment, I've seen the 5/8" from cover plate, with destaking and restaking the nuts, and then I saw the Paul Shinn video with the pressure plate on the bench. I get the different setting/measurement, but he just back the screws against the nut with no staking. Is that a good way to lock the nuts?
Shift lever should not hit dash? can bend cold no heat. I have adjusted in the vehicle takes time but is doable. Needs to be attached in order to adjust fingers-5/8"
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Old 02-25-2024, 10:08 PM   #3
Bob C
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

Maybe you have the wrong gear shift lever. Until Dec 1929 the lever was
inclined rear ward at a 20 with the new 1930 gas tank the angle was increased to 28.
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Old 02-26-2024, 09:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

With respect to adjusting the clutch fingers through the inspection plate: There are those who claim you can do it. Me ---- I would never attempt it. It's tough enough to do with the trans removed. I would plan on pulling it if I were in your shoes.
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Old 02-26-2024, 10:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

That's what I'm afraid of. I can see getting to them, and possibly making a jig to adjust them, but I'm not sure how you could do the "rocking" test to make sure they're all even.


My question is how the hell do they get so out of adjustment? I mean I've googled many videos and apparently stock pressure plates that have been on the car for 90 years need an inordinate amount of adjustment.
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Old 02-26-2024, 12:59 PM   #6
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That's what I'm afraid of. I can see getting to them, and possibly making a jig to adjust them, but I'm not sure how you could do the "rocking" test to make sure they're all even.


My question is how the hell do they get so out of adjustment? I mean I've googled many videos and apparently stock pressure plates that have been on the car for 90 years need an inordinate amount of adjustment.
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File Type: jpg 30's all three.jpg (188.6 KB, 11 views)
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Old 02-26-2024, 05:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=301711
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Old 02-26-2024, 06:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

Please try to determine if the shift lever is an original or a reproduction before trying to bend it.

The originals can be bent without risking the integrity of the piece. They are one piece steel in construction.

Some reproductions were made in 2 pieces where the top of the shift lever was cast around a vertical dowel that stuck up from the bottom of the unit. Trying to bend these units will risk the chance of breakage or, at least, fracturing the casting, which could have disastrous consequences if it then breaks while the car is in motion.
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Old 02-26-2024, 06:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

It could be, and this happened to me, that the forks for the throwout bearing were not engaged properly by the previous owner. That means that the adjustment to the clutch, external to the bell housing, worked properly but was not correct. When you were working on the transmission you could have jiggled the fork so that they fell into the correct position. That would make the peddle go to the floor as you describe. It means that the fingers may be properly adjusted but that you will have to re adjust the clutch at the external adjustment.
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Old 02-26-2024, 08:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

Wear would make the fingers come closer to the cover, every video I have ever seen the fingers are way below level, which does not make sense.


I can see the fingers through the inspection hole, and they are definitely too low. I will have to inspect the throwout bearing fork engagement closer and see if that's a problem. The bearing moves in and out a respectable amount.


The shift tower looks like new, forks and all. The shifter looks new too.
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Old 02-26-2024, 08:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

Here's what I tried...

I adjusted the fingers by measuring the clearance on the end of the finger I could get to. In other words the opposite end of the finger from the throwout bearing contact point.

I measured each one and picked a happy medium and adjusted the rest to it.
I used a nut, welded a thin rod to it and used the nut as a "feeler" gauge.

I did help some, and it seems to be getting a little better... I had a fair amount of clutch chatter. I know its not the preferred way, but like you, I couldn't see any way to measure the finger at the throwout bearing accurately.
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Old 02-28-2024, 01:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

I’ve adjusted fingers with everything still in the car. It ain’t easy, but it can be done. Securing the locknuts was the hard part for me.
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Old 03-05-2024, 09:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

I adjusted the fingers. I made a measuring tool and went off the throwout bearing. A 5/8 hex nut with a threaded hole for a long screw. No real chatter, and yes securing the locknuts was hard. Couldn't they just be replaced with Nylock nuts?


I I do have to replace the clutch someday, wouldn't pulling the motor be easier than ripping the entire back end out?
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Old 03-06-2024, 07:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Clutch finger adjustment

For me, pulling the engine is easier and the clutch is more accessible than from under the car. I do not have a lift.
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Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
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