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1984 GL wagon [1800] Troble downshifting

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I have an 84 gl wagon, 1800 non-turbo. bought it at 180,000, installed a new clutch cable at 190 or so (it was bent or frayed, or something), and it just turned 238,000. It's really recently been having a hard time going from 4th to third. If I act like I am going to 2nd from 4th, kind of just touching that lower left corner of the H pattern without going into 2nd all the way, it goes into third much easier. I also notice that there is more play in the clutch pedal than I remember being used to. for instance, if I reach under the pedal and pull up, there is about 2-3 inches of pedal just flopping around.

Question is: how to proceed? My inclination is to tighten the cable and hope that works. Is it that the clutch is just spent (I drive this car easy on the clutch), or is it a throwout bearing sounding issue? I am hoping to milk this car to at least 300,000 if not 4. unless the rust beats me to it.

thanks!

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adjust your clutch first. its likely your issue. then look under the dash at where the cable mounts to the pedal box, it likes to bend.

if that doesnt work come back and we'll see if we can help some more.

 

since its been 48k miles since the last clutch adjustment, do that first.

a clutch will last 100k on these if used correctly.

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Definitely adjust the clutch first. AKghandi said tou can get 100k out of a clutch...i agree, but i think a properly driven clutch can go much longer than that!

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Depending on what kind of driving you do a clutch can last a lot longer than 100k if you take care of it. Defiantly try adjusting the cable first and see what happens

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well, it seems that all the play I described before was not in the cable, just in the pedal. that pin where the pedal and cable meet is loose, or worn and the pin seems too long for the hole it is filling - kinda wobbles around in there instead of being all snug. I was thinking I can replace that with a nut and bolt, as there is only one groove for the spring clip to fit on. so I did not tighten the clutch cable at all, as it engages when I push the pedal.

Any thoughts on how to proceed?

If I tighten the cable, it seems that it will be overtight and just further wear on the plate. Is this a correct line of thought?

thanks!

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Yes you dont want it to be too tight. The proper way of adjusting the clutch is to disconnect the spring (or hillholder if so equipped). Then adjust the clutch cable so there is just a ever so slight air gap between the throw out bearing and the pressure plate fingers. In other words adjust it so its just about to touch the pressure plate fingers but doesnt when the return spring or hillholder is hooked up. Just wiggle the clutch fork back and forth to test as you adjust it.

 

Also make sure that when you routed the clutch cable you routed it BELOW the heater core lines.

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Yes defiantly don't want it to tight that will end up burning your throw out bearing up. As for the pedal I don't see why a bolt wouldn't work.

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Interesting... I've noticed something similar to what your describing as well. I hadn't driven it in a while but when I got back to it it seems like the pedal has a lot of free play but the clutch engages smoothly so I'm wary to mess with it. Good luck and post what you find.

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yes I am weary to mess with it as well. the cable is routed correctly, and adjusted just as you described. Once again, thank all of you for the help and for the support. this forum is a gem!

I plan on just seeing how it goes. the haynes manual said the first thiung to do to check a clutch is to try the reverse gear for noise or grinding. I only get that once in a while, and its been that way for 40,000 miles. its seems like a timing thing, like you have to wait till it 'feels' right and it will pop in no problem. otherwise there is a grind and a chunk when it finally makes the move.

 

on another note, for those of you with this engine/model, is it normal for the shifter to be stiff when its cold, or cold out? mine is hard to move until the engine is warm. I just chalked it up to personality.

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if the shifter is stiff when its cold that just means your tranny has extra thick gear lube. not sure if thats good or bad though.

 

so the problem is the pin that holds the cable to the pedal?

I would be wary of driving it like that. having a clutch cable break/ come unhooked is no fun, especially in rush hour! lol

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yes I am weary to mess with it as well. the cable is routed correctly, and adjusted just as you described. Once again, thank all of you for the help and for the support. this forum is a gem!

I plan on just seeing how it goes. the haynes manual said the first thiung to do to check a clutch is to try the reverse gear for noise or grinding. I only get that once in a while, and its been that way for 40,000 miles. its seems like a timing thing, like you have to wait till it 'feels' right and it will pop in no problem. otherwise there is a grind and a chunk when it finally makes the move.

 

on another note, for those of you with this engine/model, is it normal for the shifter to be stiff when its cold, or cold out? mine is hard to move until the engine is warm. I just chalked it up to personality.

 

 

Once again, I experience everything you describe above as well. I have an 85 Brat, so not much difference in models. I think the reverse thing is normal (at least it is for me, I've had it for 9 years and two clutches and its always been that"timing" thing you described about putting it into reverse. The cold shift thing is normal too (could try different gear oil as described above).

 

Post up what you find out about the pedal, im interested in what you dig up...

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Senor, I'd love to post on what I find about the pedal, but other than replacing the pin with a bolt, I doubt I will take any action. it doesn't seem to affect anything. the pedal rattles around a bit, but it is functional.

let's hope it doesn't pop out in traffic.

it will be hard to pay for a new clutch or throwout bearing if it goes, as Ive had this car in colorado for 5 years, and the rust is starting to get a bit much. And I do not have he tools to do it. If there's a CO garage that wants to do it for a trade, or let me use the shop for a small price, I'll look into it. for now, just wait and see. (same approach on my creaky front end that no one seems to know what to do with. ball joints are new, but it rattles when I corner. CV joints are good. king nuts are tight on the wheels. I've heard from others with this rig that it is normal. maybe from the ridiculous factory toe-in. but thats another post.

I can say, that if this one bites the dust, I will be on the hunt for another - same make/model.

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So the new pin didnt change the floppy pedal? hmm.. I swear my pedal had more travel and less free play in the past than it has now, but like you, clutch function is normal.. guess I'll have to play around with mine and see what i can come up with. maybe I'll find someone nearby with an ea81 car to let me compare..

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Hard shifting when cold is normal with these old gearboxes. Hell my '03 focus svt is stiff shifting when cold too.

 

When i had my coupe i would double clutch it in 2nd and 3rd when it was cold to avoid a grind from syncros not catching up quick enough.

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Let me know if you want to bring it by my shop sometime. Usually little to no charge to take a look at it. I also highly recommend Subaru Extra S Fluid and use that exclusively. Its a factory gear oil and doesn't cost much more than than anything you can buy off the shelf at a parts store. Seems to really work well in all the Subaru transmissions.

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