Hard to Get into 1st Gear - MustangForums.com


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Old 08-02-2009, 06:57 PM   #1  
RRTRACKS
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Default Hard to Get into 1st Gear

I am the original owner of an 87 Mustang GT convertible with approximately 89,000 miles. The problem is it is difficult to get the manual transmission into 1st gear without using a great deal of force on the gear shift lever. At this point it has been an intermittent problem but the frequency of the problem seems to be increasing. Sometimes this occurs with other gears as well.

The clutch engages within about 1 inch of pedal movement from the floorboard. This is how it always has been on my car. It is not engaged with the clutch pedal fully depressed. At least the car does not move on level ground with the clutch pedal fully depressed while in either 1st or reverse gear.

The clutch seems to be OK as I can, with a little bit of stain on the stock motor, get the car moving on level ground in 3rd gear. The 5.0 liter motors
rock.

Trying the simple stuff, I have used the clutch self adjuster with no success.
Pressing the clutch pedal in all the way in, followed by pulling the clutch petal past the at rest position, until it both clicks and hits its upper limit of travel.

I have never done any power shifting, so damage to the shifting linkage,
other than normal use should not be an issue.

For about two years I did use a pedal lock with a pretty strong set pressure.
Although it has been a while since the pedal lock has been used, I am
wondering if damage to the nylon bushing on the clutch pedal from having done this is now surfacing.

The reason I am here and why some of the remarks made above might not make sense, is because I do not know very much about cars. Any comments or suggestions about what is the best way to address this problem would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Rich
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:08 PM   #2  
mjr46
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a stretched cable coupled with a wearing clutch may be some of the issue
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:14 AM   #3  
RRTRACKS
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Thank you for the response. It has been a while since the transmission fluid has been changed, so that was done tonight to ensure the fluid level was correct. That did not help very much if at all.

Replacing the clutch cable should (a great word when it comes to estimating a problem or amount of work on a car) not a big deal or expense so I will do that next. Since my car is about 22 years old, do you think it would be a good idea to scrap the stock self adjuster and add a quadrant kit? Before posting my question here a reasonable attempt to find an answer was made and I noticed that mentioned quite a bit.

Now for a few more dumb questions. Is 89,000 miles of 50/50 highway/street miles with little or no racing, about what should be expected from the stock clutch? Would a heavy duty street/racing clutch last longer than the cheaper OEM replacement clutch under normal driving conditions? Does a heavy duty street/racing clutch have any effect, positive or negative, on the drivability of the car under street driving conditions?

Today was my first day on this site. The discussion found here was informative and interesting. Unfortunately I do not see that there is much I could add to the discussion given my limited knowledge on cars and other commitments. However an update reply will be presented on this thread as to what was done in solving the problem presented and any difficulties encountered in doing so.

All the Best,

Rich
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #4  
projectresto83
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If you are going to upgrade it you might as well get an aftermarket clutch cable kit for about $110 name brand. Your clutch wear is normal really. Some can make them last longer some no where near that. Depending on what brand you get for a new clutch will determine how it is. The only "issue" really depends on your leg strength. Ford Racing clutchs have a heavy pedal but can withstand some abuse. A centerforce dual friction has an easier peddle and can hold more power but also costs slightly over $300. Do you ever hear any grinding when trying to get it into gear?

Visit
http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/...tang-Driveline

Also, welcome to the forums. Being the original owner that fox should be clean! GET SOME PICS ASAP!
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:25 PM   #5  
RRTRACKS
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Projectrest083,

Thanks for the comments. There has not been any grinding noise when shifting into any gear except for reverse and it has been doing that forever. One other item I did not notice until recently is that it is very difficult to get it into 5th gear while stopped.

It looks like a new clutch and cable is what is needed. With the gear box and bell housing being seperate units it does not appear this should be too difficult for even the home garage I have to work with.

For whatever reason I have never taken a picture of my car until tonight. A couple of the ones I took are presented below. Unfortunately the car needs a wax job, and I did not have time to clean the wheels. After I have time to get it cleaned up I will take some more photos with better lighting and post them here.





The photos here are kind of small. How do you post larger ones?


All the Best,

Rich

Last edited by RRTRACKS; 08-04-2009 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Photos were too small
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:27 AM   #6  
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What name brands do you recommend for a clutch cable and a quadrant kit? EBay has a Steeda kit available for an out the door price of $82. For a replacement clutch cable intended for street driving does this sound reasonable? I do not mind spending money on quality improvements, the extra costs associated with racing in mind I would rather put aside.

Thanks,

Rich
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:53 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRTRACKS View Post
What name brands do you recommend for a clutch cable and a quadrant kit? EBay has a Steeda kit available for an out the door price of $82. For a replacement clutch cable intended for street driving does this sound reasonable? I do not mind spending money on quality improvements, the extra costs associated with racing in mind I would rather put aside.

Thanks,

Rich
I would choose the BBK one the first time if i had a choice. I bought the cheap one and the ball came off the end of the cable the first time i pressed the pedal.
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1st, 3rd, clutch, depressed, difficulty, engage, gear, gt, hard, manual, mustang, oil, shifting, trans, transmission

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