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Guest Message by DevFuse

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80' BRAT Clutch/Brake Support

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4 replies to this topic

#1 asis


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Posted 08 February 2010 - 09:50 AM

I came across this BRAT while looking for a replacement driver when my 86' GL Wagon went down after loosing the left rear hub at 40mph :eek:
The BRAT is fairly clean, does have some cancer but mostly all the issues it has is from neglect and not so much abuse.
I noticed an issue with the clutch when I test drove it, several times, but had figured it was similar to problems I had had on my GL, (new cable and proper routing) so was not too worried. I put a couple K's on the car shaking it down and everything else seems to be in good shape, (less a noisy,incorrect? fuel pump) The engine seems much stronger than my GL and it is a fun lil ride I hope to refurbish into a reliable driver for my daughter when she starts high school in a few years.
I adjusted the cable at the tranny and was able to improve the clutch action for a period of time, but it always returned. Finally decided to pull the cable and see if it was the cable or routing or...?
What I found was that the "gusset" or "support" that the clutch/brake pivots attach to as well as where the clutch cable housing mounts to, has a crack which allows the support to fold or bend when the clutch pedal is pressed.
From what I can see this is just sheet metal, maybe galvanized??? and is spot welded in place.
Originally I thought I could make a backing plate from some real metal and bolt up from the opposite side that the cable housing and pivots attach. Yesterday I was going to start removing parts to affect the repair and noticed a "stamped", "raised" area, that would not let a backing plate sit flush against the support and decided to rethink the repair.

I have done lots of looking around here and other places but have not found any mention of similar issues so....hopefully some one will read this who knows what I am referring to and perhaps has experience or at least some ideas.
I will try and get some pics of the problem area today as well...



#2 asis


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Posted 08 February 2010 - 02:12 PM

Some photos of the problem...kinda tight and pics a "bit" fuzzy perhaps but not too much so...


This is the backside of the gusset/support, and the raised or stamped area is apparent. Also the clutch pedal arm and cable can be seen mounted on the opposite side.



The next two pics show the mounting side and the crack where the cable housing mounts.

I have a little 110 wire feed but not sure just welding it will do. I can do the metal fab but not sure I have all the tools I would need to fab a perfect fit, and I would rather only do this once.
Opinions, ideas, thoughts.....???

#3 Subieguy


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Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:47 AM

This is quite common on the old Gen 1's. I ended up taking the one out of my 78 Brat and doing a little mig welding and some tig welding on it. Ended up adding a 1/2 piece of steel in the same area as yours as a gusset to add more strength and really stiffen it up. Worked out great too. You can weld it in the car but it really was not that big of a deal to get out. Made it easier and I was able to really strengthen it up all over the whole pedal box assembly with it out.

#4 asis


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Posted 09 February 2010 - 08:14 AM

Thx for the reply,
I have no problem removing it and would prefer to do so, I was just not sure if some of those spot welds are actually holding it in place and that is what I wanted to avoid.
I hope to get it pulled down today so I can see more what is there.

Thx agin,


#5 asis


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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:55 PM

Well I tore it apart today to see what was there. I cut a piece of 12GA or better steel channel from an old lawnmower to see how it would work just bolted up with the bolt for the clutch cable mount. I figured I would give the crack a lil zap from the welder first and lo n behold I blew a hole in it :mad:
Cranked the unit to min setting and got a bead or two on the rest of the crack and installed my stiffener.
It does work now but there is still an awe full lot of slop. The clutch pedal pivots freely, and the cable is free even after making the bend to the pedal if I unhook it from the clutch arm on the tranny....wondering if maybe the throwout bearing on the shaft is sticking because the pedal still has a lot of resistance.

It'll hold for now no more than I use or need it but I think I will go try to find another to pull and use as a jig to fab a new one. Mainly so I can see how the hell it comes out without learning the hard parts on a working rig.

Still hopin and open for ideas....:slobber:

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