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Old 10-28-2010, 09:36 PM
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Hyd clutch for early hemi

Hello, I'm in the process of building a '53 Chrysler 331 Hemi for my '59 Chevy pickup.

I'm working on some ideas for the hyd clutch setup. I have the Hot heads trans adapter for the extended bellhousing block (see below). I'm going to bolt up a Muncie 4 spd

This slave cylinder looks like it will bolt up to the side of the bellhousing ( #91025605)
What size master cyl would I need to use? The slave has a 7/8" bore, & 1.25" travel. I also need to attach it to the original clutch pedal, which goes down thru the floor.
hyd push cyl

Any advise would be great

I also attached a pic of an extended bell block as an example (not mine)
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:50 AM
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Use a '55 Chevy clutch fork and pivot.

You'll need to cut an access hole in the lower half of the bellhousing for clutch fork clearance.

Run your pedals through the floor, instead of on the firewall, and you can use mechanical linkage and do away with the slave cylinder. A simple clutch pedal with an arm extending downward below the pedal arm will pull a rod connecting the clutch to the fork. Almost a no-brainer.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:56 PM
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So use a setup off a '55 car? I will check that out. I would prefer a mech system over a hyd any day.

I'm not going to install the hemi into my pickup at this point. It will hopefully go into a T bucket or something like that.

Thanks
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:56 PM
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Hydraulic setup uses much less space, is less complicated and works just as good if not better than a mechanical system IMHO. (Provided you don't use a hydraulic throw out bearing.... they are prone to fail and require trans removal to fix.)

Here's the simple setup I use on the hemi in my Deuce, a '61 Chevy truck slave cylinder. Easy to adjust and uses the stock master cylinder with a period correct Anson pedal system.





Uses this master cylinder.



Centerline

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Old 01-01-2012, 05:57 PM
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Centerline, that is a clean setup. If possible, can you take a pic of the master cyl installed and how the pedal attach?

Do they still make those pedals?

That master cylinder & slave are both for that '61 chevy pickup as you mentioned?
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjet
Centerline, that is a clean setup. If possible, can you take a pic of the master cyl installed and how the pedal attach?

Do they still make those pedals?

That master cylinder & slave are both for that '61 chevy pickup as you mentioned?
Yes they are both for a '61 Chevy pickup. The pedal assembly is still available from "The Hot Rod Company" I believe. You may be able to find it elsewhere as well. Its a reproduction of the original which was made back in the 60's. I'll take a pic of the master cylinder and pedals and post them tomorrow.

Centerline

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Old 01-02-2012, 02:34 PM
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Here's your pictures.

Master cylinder installed. This is the same unit used on the American Graffiti Coupe.


Complete pedal assembly. The washers were added to give a little more clearance for the steering column.


Close up of the push rod connections.


Centerline
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:23 PM
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Wow, that M/C fits nicely on the pedal assy.

What were the internal mstr cyl parts you swapped around?
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:58 PM
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You just swap the internals from side to side. Couple of snap rings and that's it.

Centerline

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Old 01-04-2012, 08:06 AM
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I converted my 65 Ranchero from a C4 auto tranny, to a T5 setup. Used a Ram hydraulic bearing setup with a Wilwood master cylinder, obtained from Speedway Motors. No fork, no linkage necessary. Just uses a braided steel flexible line. Used a Heim joint and threaded rod for engagement from the swing pedal. Works very nicely, without having to worry about clutch linkage clearance through the headers. Neat, efficient and relatively inexpensive.



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Old 01-04-2012, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltmail
......Used a Ram hydraulic bearing setup with a Wilwood master cylinder, obtained from Speedway Motors. No fork, no linkage necessary.....
And if that throwout bearing ever goes our or leaks you'll have to pull the trans to replace it. Hydraulic throwout bearings are way more trouble than they're worth.

Centerline

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Old 01-04-2012, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centerline
And if that throwout bearing ever goes our or leaks you'll have to pull the trans to replace it. Hydraulic throwout bearings are way more trouble than they're worth.

Centerline

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"The only place you'll find a helping hand is at the end of your own wrist" - Joe "Dr. Olds" Mondello
To each their own. In my case, it was the best option. I am running headers that would interfere with any external slave unit. If any throw out bearing goes out, the tranny has to be pulled. I can pull and reinstall my transmission in less than 2 hours. So far, so good for me. I like my set up.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:25 PM
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Waltmail is right. You have to pull the trans to replace any t/o bearing. Centerline's installation is clean but is the '61 pickup m/c a dual reservoir on the brake side? Something to consider.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easyrodder
Waltmail is right. You have to pull the trans to replace any t/o bearing. Centerline's installation is clean but is the '61 pickup m/c a dual reservoir on the brake side? Something to consider.
True. Mine uses a dual (single pot) master cylinder... but it is period correct for my build. However, the same system can easily be set up using a dual brake master cylinder for the brakes and a separate single master cylinder for the clutch. The clutch slave cylinder just needs to be sized according to the master cylinder that is chosen. There are also slave cylinders that pull rather than push and can be mounted behind the clutch fork and pull it open if more room is needed.

It is also true the trans needs to be removed to replace a throwout bearing. But, and its a big but... Hydraulic throwout bearings have more failure modes than a typical "old fashioned" unit and if you do the math, have at least a 50% higher chance of failure.

All that said, use what suits your needs and what you feel comfortable with.

Centerline

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:08 AM
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Due to our Muncie 4speed business, I get a fair amount of questions about clutches and linkages.

Generally I try to nudge the customer in the direction of the OE Z-bar setup. Its usually something they're familiar with, its simple and it flat out works. It seems a lot of the Hyd conversion setups have a higher than normal failure rate (whether its bad parts or an installer who isn't well versed in the application and unintentionally messes it up).
Additionally; due to the support for the OEM 5 and 6 speeds we do, I have to keep up with the guys at LS1tech. Under their manual transmission forum is page after page of 'clutch doesn't work', 'can't bleed the clutch', 'bad pedal feel' etc.

That being said, sometimes Hyd is your only option. Learn the system from front to back and try to use as many OE components as possible to make sure it is easier to service as time goes on. For this kind of thing, Upstart Hot Rod Co. might have a neat slave cyl. but, if they go out of business, is it going to create havoc to get proper replacement parts?

To the OP: Let me know how the Muncie 4spd adapter works out for you. I've had several people ask about them, but I have no knowledge either way

On a side note: Ansen made a pedal assembly that was dual master cyl for the brake and a single for the clutch. Seemed very compact and 'period', although I don't know if they worked well or take standard sized seals and bushings. They pop up on flEaBay occasionally (although not right now )
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