CLUTCH PEDAL ADJUSTMENT PROCEDURES
 

MAKE CERTAIN TO FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE BEFORE TEST DRIVING THE CAR.

Inspect the clutch pedal assembly

89-94 DSM:  The 89-94 DSMs have a pedal assembly that over time will wear out and cause you all sorts problems when it comes to shifting. The transmission will be notchy and will block the shifts, it will not want to shift smoothly through the gears and it will want to grind when trying to shift fast, especially at high rpms.

THE PROPER WAY TO CHECK IF THE PEDAL ASSEMBLY NEEDS REPLACEMENT

IF YOU REALLY WANT YOUR TRANSMISSION TO SHIFT AT ITS BEST, THEN YOU NEED TO KNOW IF THE CLUTCH PEDAL NEEDS REPLACEMENT.

JUST FOLLOW THIS SIMPLE  PROCEDURE.

  • Loosen up the locking nut of the clutch adjuster rod.

  • Turn the adjuster rod all the way in, so that the clutch pedal is closer to the floor. The reason you must do this is so that you have ample room to conduct this test without the clutch pedal hitting the upper pedal stop or cruise control cut-out switch.

  • Grab clutch pedal with both hands and try to pull it upwards. If the clutch pedal can be lifted upwards then the end link is slotted out and you will need to replace the clutch pedal assembly.  REPLACE CLUTCH PEDAL ASSEMBLY.

  • To repeat this test procedure, push the pedal down to the floor and release.  Note the height of the clutch pedal and then lift upwards on the clutch pedal, if the clutch pedal sits higher up after you lift on it then it needs replacement. REPLACE CLUTCH PEDAL ASSEMBLY.

If you have tried to adjust the clutch and found that you are near the few threads of the adjustment rod, then your clutch pedal assembly is worn out. The end-link and clutch pedal shaft have finally worn out and where the two fit together is slotted out, leaving you unable to get the freeplay adjusted correctly. The main reason for the clutch linkage getting slotted out is the use of heavy pressure plate type clutches. If you're going to use a heavy pressure plate clutch you should inspect your linkage every now & then for damage.

It should also be noted that an excessively heavy clutch pedal is often a sign that the flywheel step height is not machined to the correct offset for the clutch you are using.  This will also have a drastic affect on how the clutch functions. For more info click HERE.

 A worn pedal assembly is extremely common on the 1st Gen DSMs so don't just think that yours is fine, CHECK IT AND REPLACE THE ASSEMBLY IF WORN.  The parts to repair the clutch linkage are cheap enough to just replace them versus trying to weld the link onto the shaft. Often times when the pedal is welded the plastic bushings melt out or the link doesn't get welded on at the correct angle and this will have a negative effect on how the clutch works which can lead to a transmission that shifts poorly because the clutch isn't working as good it should. Do not piss around with trying to weld the pedal assembly, just replace the damn thing!

95-99 DSM:  Luckily for the 95-99 DSM owners, the clutch pedal assembly was redesigned which eliminated the end-link that would often become slotted out.  Proceed onward.

EVO:  Evolution 4-9 owners shouldn't have issue with their clutch pedal assembly. Proceed onward.

Adjusting clutch rod length

After you have checked to see if your clutch pedal is worn out and have replaced it with a new assembly, now is time to inspect and adjust the clutch rod length to make sure it's properly adjusted.  Most of you know where and how to do this but here are some important tricks.

  • Raise the cruise-cut or upper limit switch. This will raise the clutch pedal slightly which will allow the master cylinder to manipulate the clutch better so it'll shift best. Seriously, give this a try if you haven't done it already.

  • Loosen the jamb nut and back out the cruise cut switch as far as possible yet still allowing the pedal to close the switch.

  • Now adjust the actuator rod, removing all but a titch of free play between the rod and master cylinder so that the master cylinder can return all the way, exposing the balance ports so the hydraulic system can balance the fluid between master and slave cylinder.... so you don't get that pumped up clutch pedal trouble.

  • If you have tried to adjust the clutch and found that you are near the few threads of the adjustment rod, then your clutch pedal assembly is worn out. REPLACE THE CLUTCH PEDAL ASSEMBLY!

  • Check and adjust the cruise cut switch again if necessary.

  • Again, if you are on the last thread of the adjuster rod you will need to replace the clutch pedal assembly if you ever want a ghost of chance of your clutch functioning properly. How many times must I repeat it before you'll do it?  I don't know... but if you really want your transmission to shift its best you should read the complete FAQ section on this site.

NOTE:  Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has revised some of their clutches for the DSM.  They feature the larger damper springs in the sprung hub assembly and a revised pressure plate/ spring plate.  The larger springs are an excellent improvement but there are some things you need to know about. It is possible for the spring plate fingers to make contact with the damper springs if the clutch is being overextended. The solution is to pay special attention while adjusting the clutch so that you get ample clutch release but not so much that the spring plate makes contact with the damper springs.

 

CLUTCH REALITY CHECK

The easiest way to do the reality check of the clutch is to get all four tires in the air by placing the car on a hoist.

1. Start the engine and put the car into 1st gear.

2. Slowly let the clutch out until the wheels start to turn round and round.

3. Now slowly push the clutch in until the wheel stop turning. Hold the clutch at this position.

4. At this point the clutch pedal should be at least 2-3 inches off the carpet.  If not then the clutch needs adjustment and/or the clutch needs to be inspected for issues that are causing it not to release fully.

The reason why the clutch should be this far off the floor at the engagement point is to allow enough room for movement of the clutch disc so it finds a nice center position between the flywheel and pressure plate. While this may be a tedious method to make sure clutch is functioning properly but this is the preferred method and the true reality check for where the clutch releases.

NOTE:  Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has revised some of their clutches for the DSM.  They feature the larger damper springs in the sprung hub assembly and a revised pressure plate/ spring plate.  The larger springs are an excellent improvement but there are some things you need to know about. It is possible for the spring plate fingers to make contact with the damper springs if the clutch is being overextended. The solution is to pay special attention while adjusting the clutch so that you get ample clutch release but not so much that the spring plate makes contact with the damper springs.

 

  2007 TRE