Q: How Does a Cable Clutch System Work?

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How does a cable clutch system work?

The cable clutch system on a vehicle has been around for a long time and only the solid rod and linkage clutch system is older. The newest style of clutch system uses hydraulic lines similar to the brake system hydraulics.

The clutch cable system will include components to include a cable inside a casing with connections at each end. The cable is designed to slide easily inside its casing. The casing also has a stiff inner layer that is flexible and yet rigid enough to support the cable when it is being used to operate the clutch. The clutch cable casing is connected at each end by a support bracket to hold it in place.

The cable is then connected to the clutch release lever that operates the clutch on a pivot ball joint on the transmission. This end of the cable may have an adjustment to take up cable slack on some vehicles. The other end of the cable will go inside the vehicle through the floor and connect to the clutch pedal pivot arm. The clutch pedal pivot arm can be fixed or have an adjustment to take up cable slack as it stretches during normal use.

The clutch pedal free travel is adjusted to be about ½ to ¾ inch. The pedal is pushed in to put the transmission into gear or change gears from one to the next. When the pedal is pushed, the pedal lever will pull up on the cable to pull it up and out of the casing. At the transmission, the cable is pulled into the casing, at the same time pulling on the clutch release lever, causing it to pivot on the ball joint and the release bearing attached to the release lever will push in on the clutch pressure plate, releasing clutch pressure.

Once the gear is selected, while the clutch pedal is pressed in, the clutch can then be released slowly to engage the gear and get the vehicle moving.

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