Gears grinding.....having problems. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 04, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hey guys, you've always helped me in the past, so something tells me you'll get me through this one too. Ok, just recently (I'd say about a week or so) it has become impossible to accelerate in my '67 Camaro. It has a 4-spd Muncie by the way. It obviously feels like the clutch isn't disengaging correctly, because it feels like I have the clutch pressed in even when I don't. Plus it takes like 30 seconds to be able to get my car up to 10mph (and even though it's not a SS, it's not supposed to be that slow, lol!). The question I have is: what do I do? I'm new to the old muscle car scene, so don't assume I know more then I just posted. Any ideas? I don't mind going to buy whatever piece or getting my hands dirty, I just don't know where to begin. I'm stuck here! Thanks a bunch guys! -Mike
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 04, 07:34 AM
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It reads like you may need a new clutch system. First, check clutch pedal free play. This can be done by placing a ruler from the floorboard, w/carpet and floor mat, if you wish, next to the pedal. Place other hand onto pedal and note setting on ruler. Press down with clutch hand to till resistance is felt, note second ruler setting.

There should be no more than 3/8 inch of free play. If more, then adjust clutch at its adjustment. This being the linkage between the clutch fork and Z-bar.

Sometimes, in the life of a clutch, there will be no more adjustment left. This is a sign replacement is mandatory, or linkage may be bent or broken, or both.

Another test after free play, press onto clutch pedal, attempt to engage fourth gear. If it does not engage with relative ease, gear grinding, it can be assumed the flexible diaphram in the pressure plate may be broken. Hence, replacement is warrantied.

The last test is on the road. Watch speedo and tach, or listen to engine rumble. Place into fourth gear at, say 30 mph. Press on the gas pedal. Watch tach or listen to engine rumble, if engine speeds up and car does not move with engine rpm, its safe to say clutch system needs replacement.

If clutch has been slipping for a long time and driven this way, the engine flywheel will need to be removed, during the clutch system repair, and resurfaced at a machine shop. Depending upon amount removed, will determine if replacement of flywheel is warrantied.

Hope this helps........

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 04, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply Everett, I appreciate it. I havent been able to do the ruler test yet, but I already know the answers for the other things you mentioned. Yeah, all the time I'll push the gas down (in whatever gear, even reverse) and the rpms will increase but the car doesn't seem to respond to it, and then a couple seconds later it'll catch, and the car will be equal to the engine. That was a week ago. Now it's much worse. Now I have to floor it to about 4500 rpm for about 10-15 seconds just to be able to get it to move. For all practical purposes, it's undriveable. You think it's the clutch system? Couldn't it just be that the clutch isn't aligned right or that there is something stopping it for disengaging properly? How much do you think this will cost me (for a clutch system)? See this car was handed down to me from my older brother (who now goes to school out of country), and I don't have a clue as to where to take it for repairs. Anyone know of any good repair shops in Miami, FL?? I'd be really appreciative! See even when my older bro was here he went to college at UF in Gainesville, FL and that's about 5 hours away, so he doesn't know of any places either here in Miami. This sucks, I mean I love the car to death, but I have no idea where to take it. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! -Mike
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 04, 03:56 AM
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The reason I say clutch system rather than the clutch itself is because of the other parts and not just pressure plate, clutch disc and throw-out bearing.

There are linkages, pivot points, and a couple other items and all work together to make a smoothe clutch work. So see, its a clutch system.

The repair will probably cost around $500-$700 and should include pretty much replacement of all pivoting points and the linkages fixed and other items needed for a smooth operating clutch.

You might want to include the price of a new flywheel cause it reads like the friction material on the clutch disc is worn away and the disc is riding on its rivets. If this has happened, and it reads like it has, then there will be two grooves well worn into the face of the flywheel and too much material will have to be removed to clean the face up. Only a visual inspection once torn apart will determine the repair.

In finding a repair shop, I'd ask friends, relatives and family for advice. Neighbors' opinions also help. While driving around running errands and other things, you might look for older GM cars parked out front. This would be a good sign.

You could look in the Yellow Pages for the local track, ask the general manager for racers' advice, and maybe even talk to a racer for a place to fix.

Be sure to ask about a warranty and don't get a rebuilt clutch, go for new.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 04, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Everett, thanks again for the reply. You're a pretty nice guy to be answering all this for me, but it means alot.
Regarding your suggestions, I think the best bet would be asking somebody at a local track. Because I've looked through the yellow pages, and trust me I've had my eyes out for anyone who has any type of old school muscle car. You see, this is Miami, and the muscle car scene is completely dead here. In fact, I get people asking me all the time if my car is some strange european import (yeah, believe it), but then again you have to understand that Miami is barely part of the US to begin with, lol. We have enough BMW and Mercedes dealers/shops to fill a phonebook though. Even the Chevy shops around here are not that much help, they ONLY deal with new chevys, so forget about first-gen chevys. It's a hassle. I love this car, and it means alot to me b/c of my brother, but sometimes it becomes alot to handle. But hopefully I'll find a place somehow.
Another question: would it be possible (assuming I had the parts of course) for me to do the repair, or is this way out of my league? Do you know of any online (or off-line for that matter) manuals or guides that could help me through it? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks again. -Mike
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 04, 06:44 AM
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Best info for this job is the ol' blue Motors Manual, any years from 1969 to 1976. They have an 8 year span. You might find these gems at a thrift house, definately at an older repair station.

Now, they MIGHT, loan it to you, or make copies of the pages needed. Central library would be another place to look, Reference Section #629.

You also might do a search in directory for FL members here.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 04, 08:05 AM
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My Camaro did the same thing when I first got it back in the late 70's. I bought it in a non-running condition knowing the clutch was trashed and would need replacing. The reason for all the slipping is the clutch is not grabbing due to needing adjustment or it is just totaly trashed IMHO. The guy I hired to fix it took it apart then ran off with my money never to be heard from again. Now I do my own work.

If the free play adjustment does not fix it, you will need a new pressure plate, disk, pilot bushing and throwout bearing. There might be a few pieces of linkage that will need replacement as well. This is common on these old cars. Good news is it is not a real difficult repair but hopefuly you will find someone to help you with it. I have done the "remove and replace" the clutch boogie 3 times in one day once but that was after a lot of practice. Your times may vary

You have gotten some very good advice here and I would only add that the free play adjustment is actualy closer to 1" at the pedal. This comes from the factory assembly manual. Hope you get it back to running soon. Ask if you need anything.

-Mark.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 04, 11:54 AM
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Sound's like your clutch is definately shot. As bad as it sounds from you, I'm almost sure that adjustment wouldn't do any good. This isn't a hard repair if you have the place and tools to do it. 500-700 is a pretty high estimate for a clutch replacement. You can buy a complete clutch kit (pressure plate, clutch disc & throw out bearing) for around $170.00. Pick up a new pilot bushing for 5 bucks. Your flywheel may still be ok so take it to a good machine shop and they can tell if it can be saved. Most shops will resurface it for 15-20 bucks. If you need a new one, try to get a used one. A new one will set you back $150 -200 bucks depending on the size you need. Hope this helps.

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