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Old 09-19-2018, 05:31 PM   #1
$te4dyBrickin'
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Default From Bad to Worse - Clutch woes

OK so here's what im going through. About a month ago I tightend up my clutch again to what I had considered an outstanding point. A few days later that "point" had moved back down to the floor board, or at least too close to it (pinky toe hit floor board as I shifted). I didn't hesitate to get back under there and adjust the clutch again.... tighter that is. So the grabbing point came back up naturally, then a few days later it went back to the floor. I started checking the cable for breaks or anything but didn't find anything. This is when I decided to go all out on tightening this cable.... to the point the cable snapped! When I heard the pop I knew what the deal was, but this is where it gets intresting.

When I pulled the cable out I had realized that after all this time the clutch fork return spring was gone. I had recongnized the old one as being weak and very probable to break off or something when I had did my trans mount. At the time it completely skipped my mind to go ahead and order one, but that has been addressed. New cable and return spring ordered.

Now upon installation of the cable and spring along with proper adjustment, the shifting had seemed be on point. I even drove it around the block and evrything was working fine, shifting smooth and everything. I take it out on the highway next and I start to actually notice that the grabbing point is moving towards the floor again! I was under the impression that the cable needed to be "broken in" so I just tightened it some more to comphensate for the slack. This worked for about 2 more drives. After that the clutch was back at the floor. I would tighten it some more but its sooo tight the fork has already hit the trans wall and the pedal cant even be depressed anymore..... far above the floor board (I did loosen it though, just to the point that the clutch point is pretty far from the floor but the pedal can still go down and reach the floor without that extreme pressure). This in turn has left me with a car that grinds going into reverse and has made ALL GEARS hard to get in to. I have to like.... initiate gears through sequences of moves.... like in order to shift to 2nd, 3rd, or 4th gear requires shaking the stick left to right when in neutral and sometimes double clutching in the mist of that just to shift up. Down shifting from 4th to 3rd or 3rd to 2nd is horrible and getting into first is like an Olympic Sport when sitting still, but doesnt grind going in, just gets blocked (first can go in when im at about 1-3mph).

Im currently under the impression that my throw out bearing and pilot bearing are Kaputt. Im saying this because as i kept tightening it without the return spring, the bearing would have been riding the pressure plate extensively. A couple of times I heard a squeak but only when in gear (1st), coming fresh off the clutch (as in from a stand). The reason I dont think it's the synchros is that there is no grinding or gears popping out while riding, or aggressive whining (except of course reverse... its straight cut anyways). Im open to any input at this time!!

P.S. another delima. I also noticed that being the 5 star moron that I am, sometimes I was tightening the clutch with my car still in gear. Is there any possibility that a synchro or a fork could also be moved while I was tightening the clutch? I'll be damned if so :/

As of now though, I plan to buy a new clutch kit from Exedy and try my hand at my first clutch job. I really wanted to go to Oregon, but damn :/
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:13 PM   #2
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Ok on second thought im actually thinking about going for the Sachs clutch kit.

Another thing I'd like to add - up until today, I have been trying to drive the car around. Just today on the way home from work, the pedal did another pop sound as if something broke, but still let me operate the trans as explained. So confidence is high in having to get another clutch cable. Anyways, I never felt any grinding either... well just ber slightly on the way home today... after the pop. The clutch still operates as is though with the engagement point in the best place its been since I've had this lady and there is no slipping, weird smells, or anything else that indicates an actually horrible clutch.

The only thing out of the ordinary is what I call "blockage" going in to any gear. Its like a wall that at sometimes I have to punch through.... I don't like that at all. I know that's some damage! She's grounded!
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:49 PM   #3
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Clutch disk may be sticking to the flywheel, I just went through this on my FWD Toyota Matrix. The disk was literally welded to the flywheel, it took a hammer and screwdriver to knock it loose. It’s hydraulic but was improperly adjusted too tight which was most likely the cause of the failure.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:06 PM   #4
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Bob saget. Guess im just gonna have to dive in on this. I must admit ima little worried bout this. Hopefully i can Do this first try. Go ahead and relplace the clutch, try n get the flywheel resurfaced, and maybe even do the rear main seal too
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:11 PM   #5
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Check the firewall plate where the clutch cable goes through. The metal may be fatigued and cracking.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:11 AM   #6
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^^Would it be catostrophic if the gromet going into the firewall isnt in all the way? I put some grease on the rubber piece but for the life of me I can not get the cable to go fully into the firewall. That was until I tightened it. It appeared to actually go into the firewall after a few presses of the clutch.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:19 AM   #7
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the blocking you feel is the main shaft of the transmission being spun at engine speed, due to a dragging clutch or pilot bearing, i bet if you shut the engine off it will go right into first and reverse, then you can speed shift through the other gears. I would check the firewall for cracks, the clutch fork for cracks and then the pilot bearing-at which point you might as well put a clutch kit in. aaaand with the quality of today's parts possibly the cable as well
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:10 PM   #8
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Well I'll be damned. There's more of a gash at the firewall directly next to the cable for the clutch. I did a personal video of me pushing in the clutch while filming that part of the firewall and surely enough it moves. This is ridiculous. To add to this, that crack has been there since I bought the car back in March (confirmed through some older photos I have of the engine bay area). This crack hadn't caused anything but, once again, I'll be damned if its becoming catastrophic.

Also, regarding freevolvos, it sure can get into gear while the vehicle is off. Easily. The clutch doesn't drag though (tested by putting car in 1st with clutch pedal pressed and rev'd up to see if the car would move.... nope) so I'm guessing the pilot bearing has definitely quit.

One more time though..... I'll be damned to buy this clutch kit and everything else tonight just for that firewall crack to ruin it all. Again, that crack has been there since I bought the car. I had never noticed it, nor was the clutch operation majorly affected by it. Everything ran fine and shifted like butter. So now what?

I appreciate the help you all are providing me. No other community like this in the world of cars. Especially 90's Japanese cars lol
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:29 PM   #9
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Could you share some photos with us? Its interesting...
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:23 PM   #10
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^I sure can! Even a video!
Here's the crack from the engine bay point of view


Here's where you can see light coming in around the pedal assembly (under dash)

It didn't occur to me that water has also been getting in through this crack, aside from the windshield corner problem of the earlier windshields.

Here's the video. You might want to skip to 50 seconds..... it's 50 seconds of me adjusting my phone to stay properly


Hopefully that embed thingy works out
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:44 AM   #11
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and when you depress the clutch this area moves i would weld it up first and foremost as full clutch action could be restored! that's the good news, looks like it could be a bear to fix
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:42 AM   #12
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In your vid I see the end of the cable moving much more than the metal near the crack. You mentioned above that the cable wasn't seating well in the grommet. I would suggest looking more thoroughly at the grommet area to determine what all is going on.
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Old 09-21-2018, 03:38 PM   #13
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10 4 on that. This weekend im gonna try to sort that cable grommet issue along with some sort of temp brace for the firewall. Hopefully a double whammy.
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Old 09-21-2018, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $te4dyBrickin' View Post
10 4 on that. This weekend im gonna try to sort that cable grommet issue along with some sort of temp brace for the firewall. Hopefully a double whammy.
I would look into bushings for electrical fittings like thishttps://www.google.com/shopping/product/12559292728883714410?q=2"x1"+flat+electrical+bushing&client=ms-android-verizon&sa=X&biw=360&bih=512&tbs=vw:l,ss:44&prds=epd:14401240335633757310,paur:ClkAsKraX8y6tCR FdAwtFLW_RVZHXYDbgLxL0pWrjJ8gsED5fNoNXArXqg3dJIOPb Wiu-rK83fkaTWWWDjxfmmpVGKIiYq80u02gHbH4LMT9Ns_9oTylWtp WRRIZAFPVH71ICotXe425obzKismFXkxh3R0hig,cdl:1,prmr :1,cs:1&ved=0ahUKEwjq2Y3TvM3dAhUCVN8KHYp3Dl4QgTYI1AQ
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:58 PM   #15
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Well this may be resurrecting a dead horse but the journey continues. I had to break down and finally contact a shop on this matter. That shop would be Austin Vol-Tech (Austin, TX). So far so good.

Anyways I took the car there this morning and dropped it off :/. They actually were able to weld up the firewall (apparently) before the day ended. Awesome. I gave them a call around 5 and was confirmed that the crack in the firewall was not the main issue. They still had to turn the car off to put it into gear. Also I was told that the pedal became so hard to push it would either snap the cable or the firewall again..... So as it stands now, they're gathering up some info on parts and will let me know (hopefully tomorrow) how much it would be to replace the whole clutch system all together..... transmission is officially coming off :/. So I'll be seeing how much damage this will be.... but its worth it.

Yesterday I had did about a 440ish mile round trip from the ATX area to Winters, TX, out west. The clutch did no slipping or burning smells emitting. The only thing that's been sounding weird is the slight squeak I get when I start driving off from a stand.... prolly pilot bearing? All that aside im hella proud of this car. Now I just hope my Kjet goodies don't get messed with.

P.S.- starting from first is a battle in its own. When im coming to a stop I have to be pushing the stick towards first (not too hard) so that way right before I stop it slides in. Sometimes like butter, sometimes it throws some abrupt grinding or wont let me in at all causing me to shut off my car in traffic just to put it back in first. Now if I successfully get into first, I have to heel toe to stand still but keep the engine at a high enough rpm (900ish) just to keep from potentially stalling. Olympic sport lol

Last edited by $te4dyBrickin'; 10-18-2018 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:36 AM   #16
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Update: Got a call. Im looking at $1055 for a full clutch job, including flywheel resurfacing and rear main seal replacement. Tak on the $200+ for the welding up the firewall and I've officially re-bought this car lol. $1300. It's till worth it.... though it would've been cool to try my hand a changing a clutch finally. Another time maybe

I'll take pics of how the firewall looks next week when I get the whip back. Im interested in seeing if they had to build a plate. The guy had only mentioned welding it up though so idk.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:05 PM   #17
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Got another call. Everything is now good to go! Turns out through tightening the clutch too much I had also snapped the clutch fork. Along with that, they had to get another flywheel due to the hot spots being to far out of wack (or something like that). That brings the tally up to about $1600. At least its running shifting like a champ again. I'll be picking it up on Monday so pics will come then.... Then I'll shut down this down. I just wanted to document this thru
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:28 PM   #18
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Glad you got the clutch figured out. It's a long term repair. You won't have to do that again for a long time.
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:08 PM   #19
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I'm surprised you paid someone to R&R the cluthch after they welded it.

Why didn't you follow through on your original plan to DIY?

Would have saved a bundle.

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Old 10-20-2018, 02:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. V View Post
I'm surprised you paid someone to R&R the cluthch after they welded it.

Why didn't you follow through on your original plan to DIY?

Would have saved a bundle.

Working on our Volvos: it's what we do here at Turbobricks.
I agree with you 100%. I've would've saved even more if I had just went out and bought a welder as well. I figured though trying my hand at structural failures is definitely not my strong point compared to engine/suspension work. I also don't really have friends/contacts with equipment either. Add that up to the fact that I didn't want to have to drive it back home in it's condition or tow it wraps up the decision pretty firmly. Let 'em do it.

I have once heard that one cant maintain an old school Volvo with a pocket book. Completely understandable. I just don't have the truly proper equipment for full DIY'ing this..... especially in my dad's garage. He's got that occupied with his hobby, Harely's.

I wanted to add that those hot spots on the flywheel was prolly from the lady who I got the car from. She was afraid of trying to shift down to second (due to an improperly adjusted clutch cable) and therefore clutch kicked up hills to make things work for her. She drove this car around like that for a solid year before I got it. She also said the clutch was new. So if it was, which it did feel like, then she might of done some premature burning on that clutch.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:46 PM   #21
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All right squadron. This is it. Even got some dank pics to share. So the clutch fork is definitely outta there, no doubt:




Turns out I had been tightening the clutch so much that.... oh I already said that. Well it looks wicked to look at. The firewall crack is welded up relatively nice. Hey, maybe the way its welded added another layer or two of metal on top of the crack lol. Better than an open crack doe!


I also took a pic of where the fork sits right now to compare it to my dumb ass
I don't have an old photo of how I had the fork originally, but lets just say it was waaaay to far forward... the fork rested on the wall of the trans pinching the boot against it.


Its confirmed, through my dad pushing the pedal down, that the wall no longer moves.... ausgezeichnet indeed. Along with that here's a little add on to previous things that have disappeared now;
1)Chattering clutch in neutral - explains it self. That is now gone. Im guessing something may have been warped
2)Faint surging when going from a stop - no matter how "smooth as buttermilk" I was coming off the clutch, she would surge just a little. The previous owner had told me about this. Since all I've ever owned is older cars we both just chalked it up to being an older car lol. Hell, my s13 ('93) did it a little, but the previous owner was a wanna be Tsuchiya with an open diff...… smh. Anyways, the surging was prolly from her clutch kicking in 3rd like a pro to get up hills. Incredible technique on the test drive by her part. It was scary to watch!

So Vol-Tech did an awesome job. Slapped a hella smile on my grill . In total I got a clutch kit, fork, "new" used resurfaced flywheel, rear main seal, and a firewall welded up. The only negative outcome now is my reverse switch must of took a hit for the team or somethings 'cuz the reverse lights where stuck on. I took it back to em but they just disconnected it for now, per my request, due too another switch being near $60 from Volvo. I think I can handle this myself though...……… Only like $25- $30 at autozone. For now though im not trippin. My inspection is good till next September anyways. I got time.

They also took off my brand new clutch fork return spring. Im riding without it but I order ANOTHER one from IDP already. I figure it may not be important but if the factory put it there then I want it there damn it!

All ready. Guess that's the end of this trail. Maybe next time I wont be a total panzee and do it myself in the name of Volvo spirit. For now, I had to suck in my pride. At least im back on the road!!!!
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:50 PM   #22
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Oh actually that $20 - $30 reference was for the wheel bearings - front. My right front wheel bearing is crunchy like pool coping under my board..... Gnarly. I think the light with a new wiring harness pigtail thingy is like $20 - whatever. I keep finding different sources.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:02 PM   #23
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Ok I found another hiccup but its cool since I caught it early. My oil was a literal pinch above the lowest mark on the dipstick. So they must've did my rear main seal but not put oil back in. It's cool though since they didn't charge me for it.... I think. Oh well, I use Mobile 1 Synthetic so its cool.

Does anyone have any words for riding around without the return spring on the clutch fork. I hear its not the worst but i'd like to be edumacated on the fact. Google brings up the throwout bearing is technically not as far back of a resting point as it should be, though others say its not mandatory at all. I mean its only 3 days till I get it and I'm off work so not much driving going to be done.... except for skateparks weather permit.... lol skate in the rain. Skate or die!
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:27 PM   #24
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You'll be fine riding around. I like the spring and used them but it does make the pedal a bit heavier. Somewhere around 1980-82 they stopped using them on the US cars. My turbos have not had them and all the 87 and newer M47 cars don't have the return spring unless it's added by someone.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:01 AM   #25
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^^Bet. That's good to know that I should make it. Lol, I'm driving this car so carefully right now I prolly wouldn't wanna sneeze on the clutch if I didn't know better...… or even if I did! Whichever one. I appreciate it! The spring will be in tomorrow anyways though :D
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