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Clutch Cable or Other Issue?

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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 11:48   #1
Maver1ck
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Default Clutch Cable or Other Issue?

I have a 1970 two-door 122S with a B20B motor and cable clutch. The car has 152K original kilometers. Most likely everything involved with the operation of the clutch is original (now 45 years old).

About a month ago I noticed that I had to really push my clutch ALL the way to the floor in order to shift easily or get it into reverse without grinding.

I adjusted the cable clutch at the adjustment point, where it passes through a bracket integral to the bell housing. With this adjustment more threads were visible in front of the bracket (towards the front of the car) and fewer threads behind the bracket. I put in the back of my mind that a replacement cable clutch cable should be ordered "at some point" since this cable had clearly stretched and I was nearly out of thread for any future adjustments.

This worked great for about a week. Then the same trouble started up again, but now the problem seemed accelerated. Over the course of a 30 minute drive home from work I went from having a perfectly functional clutch to not being able to get it in gear while the car was running. So I adjusted the cable again, this time to the maximum possible while still utilizing the two nuts. I also ordered the clutch cable from Simon at Brookhouse (but this will take several weeks to reach me in Zimbabwe).

Again, the clutch worked great for almost a week, then coming home from work the clutch quickly went from being great to almost not functioning at all.

Another adjustment, but this time the back nut just hanging on the cable, as there were no longer any threads visible behind the bracket.

It was great for 3 days but coming home from work yesterday I barely made it to my driveway, where I had to coast to my parking spot, since I couldn't select a gear while the car was running.

Last night I made the "final adjustment" meaning that I have completely run out of adjustment even though I am only utilizing the front nut. There is no more usable adjustment thread. Unfortunately that was not enough and my car is now sitting and waiting for a new clutch cable which may be a long ways off. As it is my daily driver I am looking for any ideas regarding:

1. An innovative way to further extend the cable (unless this is a bad idea, as the only logical thing that can happen after stretching is breaking)

OR

2. Any ideas on what else may be causing the issue, in case I need to order other parts (e.g. can Amazon clutch forks bend? Maybe it wasn't the cable at all, but a fork getting fatigued and bending out of shape?).

Thank you!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 12:44   #2
Ron Kwas
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Mav;

You've got it...yours are typical failure symptoms for either stretched Cable (1) or bending Throwout Fork (2).
A stretched cable would likely have completely separated and failed already, so I expect it's more likely the later (unlike the forged forks used in the hydraulically activated [push] systems, the forks used in the cable [pull] systems were of formed sheetmetal [heavy gauge, but none-the-less sheetmetal]. Failure of Fork is probably not visible form outside Bellhousing...but you might have a look with a decent light, after first moving the rubber dustboot out of the way...

I've had both failures on a 140...the cable is inexpensive and relatively simple to replace...replacing the failed Fork requires separating engine and Bell-Housing. It's no fun, and knowing there is a problem, you probably should repair first, but if complete failure occurs away from home, car can be driven/limped home by RPM matching and shifting without clutch...carefully! I've limped home in one gear a few times...

After removal, when inspecting the failed Fork, ("C" cross-section) and seeing where it was weak, welding a closing piece across the same area of the replacement fork to make it a closed "O" section came to mind. I'll see if I can make and post a graphic (what little help it will be).

Lube cable,and fork pivots well when there is access.

Good Hunting!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 13:04   #3
mocambique-amazone
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80% a cracked fork I say,they are prone to crack and bent. Disconnect driveshaft,remove gearbox by seperating from bellhouse, remove bellhouse,remove fork, weld fork and back again. Easy job, done on a lift slowly in less than 3 hours, on the road(jacks) maybe 5 hours. The cable type is a sh.... one. Good luck, Kay with his Amazone out of Mocambique (yes i picked up my Amazone there, long story)
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 13:11   #4
Ron Kwas
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Mav;

...you get the idea:



Kay; Are fatigued/failed/welded/reused forks reliable in subsequent service, or would it be better to replace with a reinforced new one? Your experience?

Cheers from Connecticut!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 13:48   #5
mocambique-amazone
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Hello Ron, I would prefer the new reinforced version, for shure!

The "ball" end will be worn ot too at the old one.

If I stay in Zimbabwe like Maverick I would do the job two times: First weld, and then the same game again with the new reinforced part.

cheers from the grey, stormy, northern part of Germany, Kay
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 17:06   #6
Maver1ck
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Thank you both!

Yes, it appears it is a fatigued / cracked / bent fork that is the crux of the issue.

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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 18:21   #7
mocambique-amazone
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Yep ! Easy fixed, good luck!

regards, Kay
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 21:13   #8
simonvolvo
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Yes, as already mentioned, a common failure.

I also have a 1970 model and had to replace the clutch fork very early on in its life (in the 1970s already) for that reason.

Volvo recognized it as a design fault and the later forks were provided with an extra lip along the more stressed parts of the edges. Looking at your pic you do seem to have one without that lip.

New ones are available from CVI, and you can clearly see the lip in the pics on their web-site.
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Old Feb 19th, 2016, 18:55   #9
Ron Kwas
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Simon; ...looks like Craig maybe having a similar issue (http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=245092)
...can you post some links or pics of the "lip" you speak of?

Maverick; Did you, and how did you get this resolved? Can you post any other pictures, particularly of that crack, and can I have permission to repost.

Cheers

Last edited by Ron Kwas; Feb 19th, 2016 at 19:00.
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Old Feb 20th, 2016, 13:48   #10
Maver1ck
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Hi Ron,

Simon is referring to this photo from CVI's website:


I did get this resolved, thanks to Simon from Brookhouse Volvo in the UK. Except for his shipping company's choice in their American import partner, it was an easy process. Simon himself was very helpful and equally frustrated with his shipping company. Hopefully he can get that one issue sorted for future international customers.

As soon as I got the package from Brookhouse, I dropped the transmission / bellhousing (in my driveway) and removed the old clutch fork. One very helpful comment from this forum was to not separate the bell housing from the transmission, as the Green Book would have you do - there is no need.

I tossed the old clutch fork as quickly as possible (with prejudice and without taking any more pictures - sorry Ron). You are free to re-use the photo I put in this thread.

My new clutch fork from Brookhouse looks exactly like the one pictured on CVI's website. I was not able to take advantage of Ron's great advice to convert from a "C" structure to an "O" structure due to the daily driver requirement of the car - no time to find a welder to do such a small job.

In the end the clutch is once again working flawlessly and I am thankful to the forum for the support.
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