Clutch Pedal Adjustment

The free-travel of the clutch pedal should be checked every six months or 6,000 miles, and adjusted whenever the clutch does not engage properly or when new clutch parts are installed. Improper clutch pedal free-travel adjustment is one of the most frequent causes of clutch failure and can be a contributing factor in some transmission failures.

The procedure for adjusting the pedal free-travel is as follows:

1964-65 Models

  1. Measure the total travel of the pedal. If the total travel is less than 6 3/8 inch or greater than 6 5/8 inch, move the pedal bumper and the bracket up or down until the travel is within specifications. Always check and adjust total travel before checking free-travel.
  2. With the clutch pedal against its bumper (pedal released), measure the overall length of the spring. The spring should measure 10 inch. If it does not, it must be replaced, as it is not adjustable.
  3. With the engine at normal idle, depress the pedal just enough to take up the free-travel, and measure this distance with a tape measure. The difference between this reading and the reading taken where the pedal is released is the clutch pedal free-travel. If the free-travel is not between 7/8 inch and 1 1/8 inch, adjust the clutch pedal-to-equalizer rod. To increase the free-travel, loosen the rearward adjusting nut and tighten the forward nut. To reduce the free-travel, loosen the forward nut and tighten the rearward nut. Both nuts must be tightened against the trunnion after making the adjustment.
  4. As an additional check, measure the pedal free-travel with the transmission in neutral and the engine running at 3,000 rpm. If free-travel at this speed is not 1/2 inch, readjust the clutch pedal-to-equalizer rod. Otherwise, the release fingers may contact the release bearing continuously, resulting in premature bearing failure. Free-travel must be exactly as specified.

1966-73 Models

  1. Disconnect the clutch return spring from the release lever.
  2. Loosen the release lever rod locknut and adjusting nut.
  3. Move the clutch release lever rearward until the release bearing lightly contacts the pressure plate release fingers.
  4. Adjust the rod adaptor length until the adaptor seats in the release lever pocket.
  5. Insert the specified feeler gauge against the back face of the rod adaptor. Tighten the adjusting nut finger-tight against the gauge. The proper feeler gauge sizes are as follows: *
    1966-67-6 cylinder-0.178 inch; V8-0.128 inch. *
    1968-71-390, 427, 428, 429-0.178 inch; all others-0.136 inch * 1972-73-all-0.194 inch.
  6. Tighten the locknut against the adjusting nut, being careful not to disturb the adjustment. Torque the locknut to 10-15 ft. lbs. and remove the feeler gauge.
  7. Install the clutch return spring.
  8. Depress and release the clutch pedal a minimum of five times and recheck the free-play setting with a feeler gauge. Readjust if necessary.
  9. Finally, with the engine running at 3,000 rpm and the transmission in neutral, check the pedal free-travel. Free-travel at this speed must be at least 1/2 inch. Free-travel must be exactly to specification. Otherwise, the release fingers may contact the release bearing continuously, resulting in premature bearing and clutch failure.