Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 92 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Our clutch pivot gave up the ghost yesterday. Afer about 1 week of steadily worsening action and gear grinding (as per my wife the driver) I finally pulled it into the garage aqnd it broke clean off after I started it in gear to get it rolling in. I will take and post pictures of my repair method to demonstrate my mad welding skills.

Wish me luck!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,405 Posts
I'd caution against further welding. That may be a temporary repair but the welding will further weaken a weak area. Get one of the up-graded pivot shafts. IIRC, there is a recent post in the for-sale section from John Ortakales.

Here's the BB post
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,125 Posts
Have to agree with ghnl. You don't want to do this job again. I just finished doing the replacement. Getting the pin back into the shaft and clutch pedal requires creativity if you don't remove the entire assembly and drain the clutch and break fluids. I used a very thin copper wire to wrap around the threaded portion and feed it up through the bottom. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Reair all done but will order a new and improved pivot for "stock" and install at a later date. I will post pics tonight when I have more time. The end of my shaft didn't break off, just the factory weld just broke away after 46K miles. Not a lot of use really. I ground the top of the shaft down and then made a bevel on the inside so that I could add a bead back there too. Ground it back and slipped it in. Works great.....so far!

More to come!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The full Monty explanation

The original web site with repair info was dead so I found the info in the internet archive and have brough it here. I also have my own pictures from today that I will share too.


Replacing the Alfa Clutch Pedal Shaft
by Len Leeb
Santa Rosa, CA

[If you notice the clutch pedal in your Spider/GTV gradually dropping lower and lower with respect to the brake pedal, you may have a problem with your clutch pedal pivot shaft. If you're experiencing this, read on. RHH.]
The clutch pedal/brake pedal pivot shaft may be replaced with the pedal cluster in the car, and without opening the hydraulic lines. This is contrary to what the manual suggests, but it works!



Fig. 1. Pedal box hardware

Pull the cotter pin from the pin that holds the clutch lever arm to the master cylinder input shaft. Remove the pin and washer, and the arm, if the weld has broken, will come off. It will help to disconnect the battery as the brake lite will come on when the pedal is moved. It may help to tape down the brake lite switch to keep it out of the way of the pedal.
Remove the bolt and nut that holds the brake vacuum servo to the bodywork. It’s on the inside of the left fender well. Now remove the two nuts and washers securing the pedal cluster housing to the firewall.
From inside the car, remove the two nuts and washers (13mm socket) securing the bottom of the pedal cluster housing--see Figure 1.
Now, working under the hood, rock the master cylinder to loosen the housing from the firewall. There is a sticky gasket between the firewall and the casting. Once this is free, pull up on the casting to get it free of the mounting studs that held it to the firewall. Be careful not to pull too far back, since the brake and clutch lines are still attached.
Pull the cluster housing up until the bolt securing the clutch pedal to the shaft is visible--see Figure 2. Remove the nut part way, until the top of the nut and the end of the bolt are flush. Tap the end of the bolt until it drops down; it will still be held in place by the nut. Reach into the housing, and support the bolt with one hand, while removing the nut and washer with the other. Pull the bolt out.
Wiggle the clutch shaft out of the housing; it may help to use pliers or vise-grips on the end of the shaft. The clutch pedal will drop to the floor, the brake pedal will stay in place.
Installation of the new (or rewelded) shaft is a reverse of the above. First, grease the shaft with a thin film of chassis lube. The clutch pedal must be held in place until the shaft is thru it, the brake pedal will have to be wiggled back and forth to get it into place. Use a flexible-shaft pick-up tool to insert the bolt in the clutch pedal, thru the shaft. A little tricky, until the exact angle is achieved. The shaft must be rotated until the flat lines up with the hole in the pedal pivot.
If rewelding the shaft, be sure to correctly mark its location with respect to the lever arm before removing the shaft. Once out of the car, it is difficult to get the proper angle. Also, be sure to set the clutch master cylinder input shaft to the correct dimension. The book says 5.28" (134 mm) from the end of the cylinder to the end of the connecting pin hole, (nearest the fire wall). Do not measure to the center of the hole!
Note: prop the clutch pedal up to the correct height to be able to mark the lever arm location with respect to the shaft. Make sure the mark does not move between removing the shaft and welding it. (Ask me how I know!)



Fig. 2. Pedal securing bolts

This procedure eliminates the need to bleed the hydraulic system, since it is never opened up. There is enough play in the hydraulic lines to be able to move the assembly a few inches. The whole procedure should take no more than an hour for removal, and a like amount to reinstall.
[This is a good time to peel back the rubber boots on the clutch MC and brake MC and grease the balls at the end of the actuator rods. This makes their operation smoother and quieter. RHH.]
A few Band-Aids for skinned knuckles might help, and some proper Italian automotive words are occasionally in order. I had to use English ones, remembered from my days of owning/working on British sports cars. Maybe my Alfa was over-awed by my command of English colloquialisms!
The hardest part of this procedure is to reinsert the clutch pedal to shaft pin. If the pin drops, it may fall below the car, into the car, or between the firewall and the carpet. In other words, don’t drop it unless you have a spare. [If you do drop the pin, a magnetic pick-up tool can help retrieve it. RHH.] The hood release cable constantly gets in the way, I think if I were to repeat this job, I’d recommend disconnecting it, but don’t drop the hood before before it’s reconnected! When raising the housing from the firewall, the pedals will tend to find their own way up into the under-dash area, binding occasionally on the bodywork sheet metal. (You’ll never see the scratches.)
While I worked alone, it would help to have a second person in the car, moving the pedals for you when you insert the pedal shaft.
[For a second article describing clutch pedal shaft replacement, see Droopy Clutch Pedal, RHH.]



Droopy Clutch Pedal?
by Ed Komzelman





Fig. 1. Pedal box hardware

A pair of phone calls concerning unresponsive clutch pedals prompts a review of Alfa Romeo's suspended clutch and brake pedal engineering. Since 1969/ 1970 the late 105 and 115 series cars (Berlinas, GTVs, and Spiders) have shared the same firewall mounted pedestal arrangement. These cars have the clutch master cylinder mounted on a bracket integral to the power brake booster assembly. The power brake booster is mounted on an alloy pedestal and the clutch master cylinder is mounted on the outboard side of the power brake booster. The brake and clutch pedals are suspended from a shaft mounted inside the alloy pedestal. The shaft then has an arm welded to the outboard end to actuate the clutch master cylinder.
The brake pedal is simply suspended from the shaft, however, the clutch pedal is cinched to the shaft with a taper pin and keeper nut. Depressing the clutch pedal rotates the shaft in the pedestal thus actuating the clutch.
The steel shaft is notched through approximately half its diameter to accept the taper pin. This notch is the weak point in the pedestal set up. Eventually the shaft begins to bind causing it to twist and shear. There are various causes for this problem, mileage, number of shifts, and corrosion enter into the equation, but the other culprits are the springs in the clutch pressure plate. They become rusty and it takes more force at the pedal to engage the clutch hence the shaft eventually fatigues and shears at its weakest point.



Fig. 2. Pedal securing bolts

There are a couple of hints at the impending failure of the shaft. First, the clutch pedal appears lower than the brake pedal. The clutch pedal should be level with if not slightly higher than the brake pedal. Second, engaging 1st and reverse gears seem a tad bit more challenging than usual. When the shaft does shear, the clutch pedal goes to the floor and will not return to its normal height. Shifting becomes a grinding affair. You decide to "help" and when you pull up on the clutch pedal it becomes slack. Now, moving the clutch pedal by hand, you will see no corresponding movement of the clutch master cylinder lever under the hood.
You must remove the entire assembly to include clutch master cylinder, brake master cylinder, power booster and pedestal to effect the repair. Once the entire assembly is removed, the shaft can be welded and put back into the car. The alternative is to let your friendly neighborhood Alfa Repair Shop pull the shaft and recondition it for you.
[For a second article describing clutch pedal shaft replacement, see Replacing the Alfa Clutch Pedal Shaft, RHH.]


Now on to my repairs of today.

Mark the pivot shaft and the arm so that when welded it's in the right position.



Clamped down for some serious grinding to remove all of the old weld on the arm.



A good grinding on both side so the weld will be strong.





Now to grind the shaft a bit.



I put a bevel on the inside of shoulder of the shaft so that I can weld on the inside of the arm where it wasn't welded from the factory.



Some special time with my little friend Mr. Miller Welder. Not pretty welds but they sure are strong!



Weld on the inside of the arm were the shaft enters. Again, not pretty but some grinding will help and also improve the fit.



After some heavy grinding, make sure to check the fit in the box. The arm fits tight so there isn't much room for the weld.



A little bit of paint and it looks 25 years old :)





View inside of the pedal box where the pivot goes in from the left and the clutch pedal hangs inside.



A little bit of grease on the bushing where the pivot shaft goes in. I also put some on the other end on the box as well as in the brake pedal.



Clutch pedal pulled up into position. Readt for shaft insertion.



Shaft 1/2 way into the pedal box.



Almost all the way in. The arm needs to be rotated down into position.



All the way in and now for the magic trick of getting the wedge pin back in from the BOTTOM!!!



Didn't work with the 90 degree needle nose pliers. Not enough room inside of the box. Now to plan B. Wire
around the threads to fee it thru.



Wire .020 dia. wound into the threads of the pin.



The wire let me feed the easy end up thru the hole and then pull the pin in behind it. Orientation of the flat on the pin and the flat in the shaft is super important.



Clevis pin all lubed up with a new cotter pin installed. Almost reay to go. Clevis pin showed some wear from being rusted in place. I have it on the list of parts needed. Make sure to lube yours once in a while.



All buttoned up and ready to go for a test drive!




This all took about 2-1/2 hours with R&R of the pivot pin taking about 30 minutes each. Fitting and welding took the majority of time. There are options out there for a new pivot and being a cheap Yankee along with enjoying fixing stuff, I didn't but the new one. I may order one for the shelf just in case this pin fails again. It's now welded on both sides where the original was just welded on one side and only on the very small turned down section. The repair is plenty strong and should be fine for the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just drove the Spider for the first time since fixing the clutch pivot. OMG! It's like like having a new transmission :) 2nd gear crunch has gone down by at least 50% and every other gear is much better. We have had this car 5 years and the clutch has always been OK. Now I know that the clutch pivot has been bad for that long. I guess that once the welds started to fail, 100% of the effort of pressing the clutch didn't = 100% movement at the slave, even tho it seemed OK it was partially broken. So, if you have a spider or GTV with the original pivot, I would change it ASAP and reap the benefit and not have it fail on you down the line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Nice write up, Just did mine using the wire trick. Unfortunately it was a nightmare trying to work the pin in. After massive frustration I ended up pulling the booster/master assembly out and it was a much easier job. In my opinion well worth it to disconnect, your fluids probably need to be changed anyhow and you'll lose a lot less skin off of your knuckles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
although I bought a replacement pivot it was not the problem. My pedal was a bit below the brake and did not seem to want to come all the way up. I removed the booster which seemed much easier than the none removal method and also affored me the chance to paint it and clean behind it. turns out the problem was 40 year old grease. The dried grease was tough as putty. I went ahead and installed the new and improved pivot but could have saved the $60 if I had pulled it apart first. It turned out the retaining pin was so tight that I could never have removed it in the car anyway, It took a couple of good whacks with a small slege hammer to drive it out. The grease had darn near frozen the clutch and the back pressure from the master could not push it all the way up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
Additional observations

jslocum,

Excellent guidance and pictures for replacing the clutch pivot arm without a major tear down:).

Just replaced mine today and want to offer a few additional points.

After all the work involved in R&R, don't believe saving $70-$80 by repairing the pivot is worth the risk. Bought one new from Centerline. My original never broke, but comparing it to new, the tip of the arm was twisted about an inch.Just as an exercise, put it in the vice and tried to snap it off, but the whole rod turned in the jaws, no matter how much I tightened them.

The hood release is indeed in the way and I removed the three bolts holding the mechanism to the firewall and moved it out of the way. One of the bolts was only finger tight.

As I believe I read somewhere in the post, pulling the pedal assembly out of the firewall is most easily done by first bending the brake switch tab out of the way. Used a 12" adjustable wrench and levered the tab back about 45 degrees. Frankly, don't see things coming apart otherwise. Bent right back later.

Decided to remove the brake pedal assembly from the alloy casting so I could clean out the old grease. Made more work for myself, since the MC needs to come off and the brake rod needs to be compressed at reassembly. Still no need to remove hydraulic lines and you'll have fresh grease. And of course, pushing the new rod through both pedal ends is tricky, since tolerances are tight and alignment is critical.

Fortunate that my clutch locking pin came out with a single tap. For replacement, I cut an 8" piece of wire from an old extension cord and mushroomed out about 1/8" of stranded wire like a daisy, to just cover the end of the pin. A thorough cleaning of the end of the pin and some roughing up with a file provided good adhesion for the hot glue gun I used to attach the wire. Threaded the wire up from underneath and pulling gently, got the pin about 1/2 way in. Pried up against the other end of the pin with a screwdriver and it popped up high enough to start the nut.

Was also concerned about the length of the clutch rod and since it's nearly impossible to wiggle a yardstick in for the measurement, I disconnected the clutch MC as well. BTW, the distance (above) is from the back edge of the large flat mounting surface of the MC, not the end of the cylinder, to the firewall side of hole in the clevis. Mine was Goldilocks. Also, the rubber boot around the clutch rod spring was shot so I just tore it off. R&R later. Noticed the rod spring seat had come awry and fussed it back into position against the back of the clutch MC (large end forward).

Can't recall the former clutch pedal height but it currently resides perhaps 1/2 inch below the brake. I'm not concerned.

Total time was about three hours, but as I have often said, "Next time, etc.". I always clean up as I go so that was 2 hours right there;).

Now don't yell at me, but yet to do a test drive. Pedals feel fine, but ultimate proof is in the drivin'.

Film at 11

Best wishes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Steve,

Good to see you it changed out with minimum agony. Not the easiest task to do on these cars.

Your added notes make a good addition to the thread for fixing the clutch pivot.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
jcslocumb,

Thanks!

Simply adding a few details to your excellent work.

Best wishes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I tried the repair route, a month later I had to replace with an upgraded part. It's been two years now and no further problems. If you own an Alfa from the 80's you'll find that this a common problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
Further developments

Made some time to test drive my car, and all is not 100%

Clutch pedal has found a comfortable home about 3/4" below the brake and the inner arm appears to be about 1/2 off the firewall. Perhaps a minor tweak of the adjustment rod? Don't believe I want to fuss with that.

More worrying is that after several easy pedal pushes, the pedal locked up hard:(.

Always one to avoid forcing things, I got my neighbor, who has much beefier legs, come over and push. Something let go, and the pedal travelled its range, but with much graunchiness ( is that even a word :) and slow return.

Much improved over the last few days, but still not the light feel I have been accustomed to. First gear engagement still greeted wi a crunch, unless i do the bump the 1st gear slot first, then reengage trick. Also, 2nd gear crunch is now gone on most, but not all shifts. Have become so accustomed to both, hardly matters anymore.

I believe I recall references to rusty pressure plate springs or perhaps the throw out bearing, but would welcome additional input. (110k miles, btw).

Suspect there is no simple solution (ie, turn R6 3/4 turn ccw :( ).

Beat wishes, all.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
9,944 Posts
SteveW:

How fresh are your hydraulic components? The flex hose at the clutch slave, the slave cylinder itself, and of course the clutch master?

Can you describe how the clutch feels now that the neighbor broke it free? Are you saying that as you depress the pedal, you feel that "graunchiness"? Or is "graunchiness" the sound the gearbox makes as you shift?

If the problem isn't hydraulic, might the problem have something to do with the new clutch pivot shaft & arm? Could it be binding on the firewall cut-out, or anywhere else? Can you see/hear signs of scraping while an assistant works the clutch pedal? How's the cotter pin that secures the pin between the arm and the pushrod - might that have gotten jammed against the sheetmetal somehow?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
Clutch

AlfaJay,

Thanks for your response.

Blew out the secondary clutch cylinder a few years back ('09?) and rebuilt the primary at the same time. Before pivot broke (actually did not break, but seriously twisted) clutch action, as best I recall was light and smooth (Hey, that was nearly a week ago :D) and with the pedal resting higher, the stroke was of course longer.

Just went out to refresh my memory, and the graunchiness during pedal depression (not shifting) is gone. Worked the pedal rapidly for about 10 cycles (beefy neighbor not available :) and other than a single midJ-cycle "bump", the pedal is moving freely and returning to it's rest position...just a bit heavier feel than I recall, but again, may be a memory issue.

Is there a natural "full relaxed" stop in the primary cylinder? As I mentioned, there is a small clearance between the firewall and the pivot arm so perhaps a small change in the rod length might bring the pedal higher inside. Noticed the pedal can not be pulled any higher from inside. Also, don't want to risk causing too much extension at the secondary cylinder or end up with a "riding the clutch" effect.

Also, took your advice and checked for interference during pedal travel. Everything looks OK.

And of course, can't rule out the possibility that with R&R of the pivot arm, elements of the clutch system are going places they have not been for a very long time and I just need to adjust to the new status quo.

Best wishes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,306 Posts
always wondered why those pivot shafts weren't designed with a hex end on them, where the drop arm (female hex, if you will) would fit over, and be bolted on!
 
1 - 20 of 92 Posts
Top