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Old 07-31-2015, 05:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Post Volvo 240 Clutch Cable. How to Guide.


As some of you may have read, my 87 244 clutch cable snapped while driving from NY to NC. So I just drove for 6 hours by rev-matching. Excellent.

This is meant to be informative as the cable standards have changed. That way, you won't have to go through the whole job x number of times in the 100+ heat... like my dumbass.

Anyhow, my car in particular uses that large hunk of steel/iron block. Some vehicles DO NOT use this, and instead use a simple metal washer. I will address this.

The stock Volvo cable uses metal adjusting screws. I'm sure this is far superior. If you can source one in good shape. It will be worth it. If not... I can tell you that the NON-Volvo one, is too short. I was able to adjust it to maximum length, and get it installed with the iron block, which was challenging, but it wouldn't let the clutch out enough to engage to move the vehicle.

I had FCP send me the VOLVO branded cable which coincidentally is identical (manufactured by Gemo) as the first crappy cable I got. Plastic, etc. But was considerably longer. I have it installed with the metal iron slug, and adjusted to about the back third (have a third of length to extend the cable) and it's just the ticket.

I suspect I could've used the NON-OEM cable with the metal washer, but only just... and that's with no adjustment. My clutch isn't new... and I have no idea what the mileage is on it. For my money, and frustration... get the Volvo branded one.

As for the install. I used an extended snow brush handle to hald the clutch pedal where I needed it, and some 175lb zip ties to hold the fork where I needed it.

One assumes you're replacing this because it broke, so under the dash... there will be the pedal torque tube. Find the clutch pedal arm above this (I reclined the seat and threw my feet into the back window. There is a small clip that slots on. I fit needle nose pliers into that and popped it off (SAVE THIS!), and wiggling the pedal up and down slightly, the pin slides right out.

From there, pop undert he hood. To the drivers side of the brake booster, you should see the cable. You can now just pop it out (just yank it). Take note of how it's routed (above/below the steering column, how it goes past the booster, etc. If that's not an option... nbd, but pay attention on the install). Once that's out, crawl under the car.

Under the car, with jackstands and such. you should see the fork sticking out of the side of the transmission. The cable slots right into that hot action. Push the cable, and busing out of the bushing cylinder on the transmission, and boom. Done. If yours broke, and nothing is connected, just pull the cable on out of the car (I did this from the top).

Now, grab your new (hopefully OEM metal cable, but if not... then the crappy OEM OEM OEM Gemo) cable. Get some lube on the rubber seal that goes into the firewall, and pop that sucker in there. Be sure it seats correctly. But with the lube, it goes right in.

Get your feet back up in the back windscreen, and you should see the cable fork coming through the firewall. Wiggle everything about until that pin slides in. I did this by first aligning things with a dental pick, and then pinching the pin with needlenose, and fishing it around until it slid in. Then pressed it home by hand. From there, slip that safety clip onto the end of your needlenose, and pop that back on. Ensure that it seats correctly by hand afterwards. Now, back under the car.

Now... route the cable appropriately, and if possible, see how much length you need by comparing it to the old cable. This didn't really work for me, because of the differences in the old cable, so I maxed out the length first to see how it fit. Once you slide the robber bushing into the mounting hole, (I don't recommend using lube here unless you ABSOLUTELY have to. Mine is a winter car, and it popped right in, and right out.)

Once the cable is all in place, simply slide the metal ball WITHOUT the rubber ball bushing, and the iron block dampener into the fork. Take note of how much slack you have. Take note of how much cable the iron block and rubber bushing will actually take up. Make some minor adjustments if you feel like it.

My suggestion here is... use your snowbrush or whatever to hold your clutch pedal in the ENGAGED position. This gives you maximum length. Adjust the cable (i popped mine out again, because to hell with wrenching on a plastic nut for 2 hours) so it just barely slots into the fork without the other pieces. Then, depress the clutch pedal (again, I moved my seat forward and used a snowbrush handle) as far as it will go without significant resistance. Then... grab one, or two of those 175lb zipties (I used one for some time, but it did eventually snap... 2 is probably better... I had been using 4 40 pounders successfully also x2.), and zip tie the fork around the bushing mount so it stays in the "clutch disengaged position". It is preferable to not crush either the rubber boot, or cover the rubber bushing for the cable, and you'll need to adjust/remove it.

Now... back into the cockpit to prop the clutch pedal into the maximum engaged position. Now... you should have plenty of room to slide the rubber bushing (I used lube for this) onto the cable ball, and then of course the iron block.

I did this by clamping some needlenose vice grips onto the cable ball, and yanking, while I pressed the iron block into the fork. Theoretically, the cable end (it's hexed just before the ball) will slide into the block, but I had to get the block far enough back to slide over the cable ultimately. Diagram: C=- The block had to go over the minus, but it SHOULD go over the equal sign.


Once it's all set, head back up and depress the clutch as far as it goes. If you feel resistance that is abnormal, stop. That's too far. Once it's depressed, head back under, and check those zip ties. Are they still tight? Did you get a full pedal swing? If you feel good about the adjustment, cut the cable ties, (WHILE THE PEDAL IS DEPRESSED), and then pop back up top and see if there's any play in the pedal (by lifting it aft). If there's play... the cable is too long, and you need to depress it again, zip tie it again, and adjust it again.

Ultimately... you're looking for "1-3mm at the fork". Good luck with that. I have mine setup so it gets a full throw, grabs fine, and yadda yadda yadda it's a Volvo from 1987.

HOPEFULLY... this guide helps someone out. Because IPD, and FCP while providing excellent customer service, had no idea which cable worked.

Questions. Ask. I'll sub to the thread.

Last edited by EivlEvo; 07-31-2015 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 11-19-2021, 03:38 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2020

Damn, thank you for this write-up. Wish I would've stumbled onto this before I went blindly into a clutch adjustment last night. The bene manual was virtually useful for this task, and I ended up breaking the plastic screw mechanism. Clutch seems to be adjusted "ok" with decent engagement, but I'm sure that lack of adjustment will bite me soon enough. Just ordered an OEM Volvo cable, looks like it has the metal adjusting nuts, instead of this plastic crap I just dealt with. Fingers crossed.

Thanks, duder.
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