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Old 06-17-2007, 05:04 PM
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4 speed shift problems

OK i have a saginaw 4 speed hooked up to a 57 chevrolet bellhousing attahed to a '62 impala 283....all shoved into my 1954 chevrolet 210 sedan.
I found an old thread about a muncire that was pretty damn close to the problem i was having....but it was never resolved and is 5 years old.

THE PROBLEM: After driving for a little while and is at temperature, at a complete stop (engine idling) when shifting, it will not go back into 1st gear. It will NOT go back into any foward gear without a lot of difficulty. It does not grind, it just will not go into gear. Everything behaves fine when the car just starts up. the problem is somehow directly related to heat.
plus it always grinds in reverse when its hot

Other deatails:
-I'm currently using the origional clutch fork from my '54 three speed
-I never replaced the ball pivot in the bellhousing
-I took out the mechanical clutch and put in a hydrolic(hopefully to solve this, what i thought was a clutch geometry was off....it didnt solve it.)
-When the car is off you can shift through the gears with no problem
- i am running a hurst competition shifter, it still has the crappy plastic bushings and crappy spring clips,(i just dont know if that slop problem would magnify with heat.)
-With the engine hot and the problem occuring i was able to get the car on a lift, push the clutch, watch it realease and was able to get it to rotate a little, (so i dont think its the pilot bearing, which is the brass type)
-The transmission was "rebuilt" when i got it....but i dont have a lot of faith in these folks anymore, not since i found the blocked with a brass plug.
-When i start the car when it is hot in gear with the clutch in, the starter spins way slower like iit is under some sort of load.....

To me it seems like the clutch is not completely releaseing....or doing so unevenly....or....
but perhapse ther is an internal problem that would be affected by heat?...i dunno
thanks in advance

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Old 06-17-2007, 05:34 PM
F&J F&J is offline
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You already figured it out, the clutch is not disengaging enough.

You either need a little more throw on the slave or a long shot would be that the disc is a lttle warped and catching the high spots.

Does it chatter when starting off on a slight hill? (high spots or oil on disc)

When you had it on the lift, how much space did the disc have when pushed in the pedal. It should spin real easy and you should see plenty of space between the disc, flwheel & P-Plate.

How much free play at pedal? crank it tighter to try.


Edit: Another way to tell if it needs more throw AFTER the freeplay is set correctly, is to see how far off the floor it starts to grab as you try to move the car. If it grabs way down close to the floor, (and the free-play is good), then you need more throw. You would need to change the ratio on the manual linkage, or if going to stay with hyd, then check to see if the slave piston is coming ALL the way out. If it's not, then the master needs to be a bigger bore? I've had a bunch of tri5 four speed cars and all ran the stock clutch linkage with no problems at all. Muncies, borgs & saginaws

Last edited by F&J; 06-17-2007 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:26 PM
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well i appreciate it, i'll be back on it tomorrow. I was hoping to use the mechanical linkage but after a few weeks of building unsucessful bellcranks it just didnt seem reasonable anymore. The 54 linkage isnt the same as the tri fives, i ll see if i adjust it way out if that solves the problem, I do have a little bit of concern that there might be enough slop between the ball pivot(origional 50 year old part) and the clutch fork(the one i pulled out of my 54 three speed) due to the wear to make the thowout bearing not apply preassure evenly. though i don t know how that relates to the heat.
If i put i feeler guage in there...any idea on how many thousanths the clutch should lift.
We'll see, i ll add some updates as it goes along, i have to get this car on the road within the week, before i lose the use of my friends lift.
By the way this is my first car, it has had this problem from the word go to some degree....so there is a part of me that feels like i need to check allignment on the bellhousing and that sort of thing to figure out if there is something makeing the clutch bind or if somehow through a few incarnations of a mechanical clutch and this new hydrolic set up there is something else that has been a constant that is screwing this up...
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:22 AM
F&J F&J is offline
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I am wondering if the 54 throw out arm is longer? If so, it would take a longer stroke on the slave cyl.

I don't know what the freespace should measure on the disc, but it is very noticable, not just a few thousands.

I wouldn't suspect the ball pivot for unequal push either. The ball & fork socket is designed to be able to self center the push on the bearing because the mechinical linkake is swinging in an arc, rather than straight push from a slave. But you still need the slave mounted somewhat close to parellel with the crankshaft centerline.
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