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© 1998-2008 Joe Weaver

 

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As the name suggests, the clutch & brake pedal support provides mounting and support for both the brake and clutch pedals on a manual transmission car, or for the brake pedal alone on automatic transmission cars. The support itself mounts to the bottom of the dash, just above the steering column, and on the other end to the firewall. The dash mounting bolts also hold on the steering column to dash bracket. The support is mounted to the firewall with four bolts from the engine compartment that go through the firewall and attach to the clutch & brake pedal support via four blind nuts. The top two of these bolts are only for the support, the bottom two also hold on the brake master cylinder in the engine compartment in addition to the support.

The pedals themselves are mounted to the support with the use of nylon bushings between the pedal shafts and support. Rebuilding of the unit for a daily driver might consist of simply replacing the nylon bushings, where a from-the-ground-up restoration rebuild of the unit would probably consist of complete disassembly of the unit, stripping the parts to bare metal, painting the parts, and reassembling the unit with new bushings and new rubber pedal covers.

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This photo was taken during disassembly of the car and, although it is very difficult to make out, is looking through the hole in the dash where the speedometer goes (he half circles below the date in the lower right are for the ignition switch and cigarette lighter, the steering column is just out of sight in the lower left corner). The clutch/brake pedal support is shown by the green arrow. The blue arrows point to two of the four blind nuts for the bolts from the engine compartment to attach the clutch/brake pedal support to the firewall (two of them also bolt on the master cylinder. Just as an aside for reference, the yellow arrows point to the mounting for the windshield wiper motor/transmission.  

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This photo is looking up from the floor under the dash. Although the photo is at a bad angle it shows the support and both brake and clutch pedals under the dash. The steering column goes between the brake and clutch pedal (light blue arrow). The yellow arrow points to the brake pedal and the blue arrow points to the brake push rod from the pedal to the master cylinder on the other side of the firewall in the engine compartment. The red arrow points to the clutch pedal and the green arrow points to the clutch push rod from the pedal to the clutch equalizer bar in the engine compartment. The pink arrow points to the actual brake/clutch pedal support.

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This shows the bolts that secure both the steering column under the dash, and the brake/clutch pedal support above the bottom portion of the dash. These bolts attach to two blind nuts on the rear of the support (in actuality they are threaded studs that go through the bracket and the lower dash and into the blind nuts on the clutch/brake pedal support, then two nuts go on this side of the studs as can be seen in the photo).

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This is the unit out of the car just before restoration. Note how rusty the brake pedal is, while the clutch pedal is fairly clean. This is probably due to the fact that the brake pedal is used more than the clutch pedal and the rubber pedal pad was worn through so that salt in the winter time (off my shoes) got down to the base metal and under the pad of this pedal while the clutch pedal was more protected. In the bottom of the left photo is the rebuild kit containing new nylon bushings. The right photo shows the blind nuts in the front of the unit that the bolts (threaded studs) from the steering column support bracket screw into.

These photos are of the unit upside down on the bench (most of the remaining photos will be of the unit in this upside down orientation). The top of the brake pedal (both for brake pedals used in cars with automatic transmissions and for brake pedals used in manual shift transmissions) has a hollow tube with metal bushings through which a shaft is inserted for the pedal to ride on and be supported by (red arrows above). On cars with automatic transmissions the shaft that holds the brake pedal in the support frame is a separate part used only for support of the brake pedal. On cars with a manual shift transmission the shaft is part of the clutch pedal. On these cars the clutch pedal is supported by the metal bushings in the side of the support, and the brake pedal is supported by the clutch pedal shaft. In addition to the metal bushings, nylon bushings are installed to ride between the shaft and the metal bushings in the frame and in the hollow tube in the top of the brake pedal. These nylon bushings should be replaced when the unit is disassembled. In extreme wear conditions the metal bushings should also be replaced (although this seems to be a rare need). As can be seen above, the hollow tube at the top brake pedal fits in the middle of the support as seen by the red arrows in both photos above. The clutch pedal slides through the metal support bushing in the direction of the green arrow, then through the brake pedal (with the bushings installed), then through the support bushing on the other side of the support and is held in place by a clip (blue arrow). The pink arrow points to the brake push rod that goes to the master cylinder and the light blue arrow points to clutch push rod that goes to the equalizer bar in the engine compartment. The yellow arrow points to the brake pedal up-stop rubber bumper. The black arrows point to the holes for mounting under the dash.

The right photo above is a close up and only shows the red arrows so more detail can be seen. As mentioned above, in automatic transmission cars, the clutch pedal is replaced with a separate shaft that has a large washer welded to the end where the clutch pedal would go, and the other end of it is machined to accept the same retaining clip as the clutch pedal shaft uses. As an aside, if one is changing from a manual transmission to an automatic, all that is needed is to acquire the correct (wide) brake pedal that was used in automatic cars, and the separate shaft that replaces the clutch pedal shaft. Making the change would take less than 10 minutes and would be "correct" rather than just hacksawing off the clutch pedal and being left with a narrow brake pedal.

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These two photos are of the unit disassembled. The left photo shows the clutch pedal removed with the brake pedal still in place. The right photo shows the brake pedal removed as well. The green arrow points to the support shaft that is part of the clutch pedal. The red arrows point to the hollow tube at the top of the brake pedal. The blue arrows point to the bushings in the side of the support frame for the clutch shaft (or separate shaft on automatic cars) to ride in and be supported by.

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Since several places on the pedals are machined for a tight fit (i.e. the support shaft on the clutch pedal, the hollow tube on the brake pedal, and the stud for the push rod to the brake master cylinder), I masked them off prior to media blasting and painting. Since the masking is difficult to see in this over exposed photo, the red arrows point to where the masking was done.

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These are two kits for rebuilding the unit. The one on the left is from Melvin's Classic Ford Parts and is just the nylon bushings. The one on the right by Scott Drake includes the metal bushings that go on the support frame itself and, as mentioned above, is for extreme wear situations where the nylon bushings had been worn completely away and the metal bushings were also worn. In my case, the metal bushings were still in excellent shape and fit tight when new nylon bushings were installed. These metal bushings are mounted to the support frame by being crimped or smashed in several areas around the circumference to hold it in place. Since mine were still in good shape and replacing them would be a great deal of work I did not replace them.

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This photo shows the original metal bushings still in place (red arrows) and a new metal bushing just sitting on the frame (blue arrow) to give an idea of where they go and how they fit if you need to replace them.

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All the parts have been stripped, primed & painted and are ready to install in the unit (if I'd had my powder coating system when I did this work I would have powder coated most if not all of these parts).  I decided to use some wheel bearing grease with the nylon bushings just for added lubrication and longevity of the bushings.

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To assemble the unit the support frame is turned upside down as seen above. Two of the nylon bushings are inserted into the metal bushings in the hollow tube of the brake pedal (green arrows), one on each side, and the remaining two are inserted into the metal bushings on the sides of the support frame (red arrows), one on each side. The brake pedal is set down into the support frame, and the clutch pedal is inserted from the side, through the brake pedal, and through the other side and secured with the clip. The clutch pedal spring is reinstalled and the push rods are reinstalled.

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This is the unit fully assembled. Notice the showroom look of the new pedal pads.

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These photos show the clutch side of the support. Notice that the brake and clutch pedals are not aligned with each other (the clutch pedal is higher than the brake pedal. The resting height of the brake pedal is not adjustable since it just has a rubber stop; however, the resting height of the clutch pedal is adjustable. My finger is pointing to the clutch pedal height stop which is a movable bracket with a rubber stop on it. Simply loosen the bracket and adjust its position so the two pedals are the same height. This is a rough adjustment for now. After the unit is installed in the car and the car is drivable, this bracket is used to set the total clutch pedal travel (per the shop manual specifications) so in the end the pedals may not end up the same height after final adjustments are made.

The red arrow in the right photo above points to where the clutch pedal spring mounts to its adjustment bracket, and the green arrow points to where the same spring mounts on the clutch pedal arm. If one is converting from a manual transmission to an automatic, both silver colored brackets in these photos can be removed completely if desired. As mentioned in the edition on adding power brakes, the bracket that my finger is pointing to interfered with the stud on the new power booster. Since I had a manual transmission in the car at the time (my '65 Futura hard top) I cut the stud in length so as to not interfere with this bracket; however, I later swapped out the manual transmission for a C4 automatic and at that point simply removed this bracket from the support.  Also, if the same power booster I used is installed, the two bottom blind nuts on the firewall side of the unit must be removed since threaded studs from the booster slide into these holes and are secured with nuts & washers on the under dash side. One of the lower blind nuts can be seen just to the left of my finger in the right photo above.

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This is one of the blind nuts that was removed from the clutch & brake pedal support to accommodate the power booster.

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This shows the clutch spring installed. After installation in the car and the total clutch pedal travel has been set, the silver colored adjustment bracket on the right in the photo above is used to set the proper length of this spring when the pedal is fully up (it should be 10 ¼" long). A preliminary adjustment can be made before installation in the car if desired.

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These are closeups of where the spring attaches. The right photo shows the spring length adjustment bracket. The left photo also shows a closeup of the clutch pedal height stop. It also shows the upper blind nut in place and the lower blind nut removed. Unfortunately, the paint finish got messed up during adjustment of the pedal height stop and the rust colored primer can be seen. I will touch this up prior to installation in the car. For purposes of these photos I temporarily installed the old spring before any refurbishment. Refinishing the spring is a challenge since the coils touch each other when the spring is relaxed and in this condition media blasting or painting between the coils is impossible. I will come up with some way to stretch the spring to separate the coils enough for media blasting and cleaning, and so that paint or powder coating can get in between the coils. I will then touch up the ends of the springs where they were mounted in a stretching device of some sort. As will be discussed below this spring acts in a dual role -- both as a return spring and as spring to assist in pushing the pedal down.

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These photos show the clutch pedal fully up. When this is the case, the angle of the spring mount for the pedal puts a downward force on this arm (green arrow) which helps pull the pedal upward (red arrow).

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These photos show the pedal pushed just partly down. Now the force from the spring is directly in line with itself (green arrow) which puts a neutral force on the pedal, neither helping bring it up or down.

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These photos show the pedal further down. Now the force of the spring is pulling the spring mount arm on the clutch pedal upward (green arrow) which exherts a downward force on the pedal (red arrow) thus actually assisting in pushing down on the clutch pedal. When the clutch pedal is let back up the process reverses until the effect of this spring is neutral on the pedal and then eventually it lifts the pedal up. This is done to help take pressure off the throwout bearing when the clutch is not needed, thus greatly reducing its wear. When the clutch is adjusted, it must be adjusted high enough so the pedal will return to the full up position or this spring will actually put pressure on the throwout bearing causing it to work 100% of the time while the engine is running rather than having it operate only when the clutch pedal is pressed. The shop manual calls for the pedal to have approximately 1¼" free play from the full up position to where firmer pressure of the clutch itself is felt (this measurement is made with the engine running) and this is just the right amount of play to allow this spring to pull the pedal fully up. Pedal free play is adjusted with the pedal to equalizer bar rod (the silver colored rod that is seen just below the red arrow in the right photo above) and is done from inside the engine compartment. If you find yourself in the situation where the clutch pedal is not coming fully up after removing your foot from the pedal and it will be a few days before you can get around to adjusting the clutch, you can actually use the toe of your left foot behind the pedal to pull the pedal all the way up to remove excess wear on the throwout bearing, but the correct fix is to adjust the clutch properly. Proper clutch adjustment is a three step process as discussed above and complete directions and specifications for clutch adjustment are in the shop manual. If you follow the procedures in the shop manual and cannot obtain a good pedal height then you probably need a new clutch. Another possibility is that the linkages are worn to the point that there is excessive play in them. These will need to be repaired (the oval shaped holes welded up and re-drilled to round) or the linkages will need to be replaced with new (reproduction) ones.

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Overview

Discussion & Procedure

Rebuilding the Clutch & Brake

Pedal Support

This is the end of the Rebuilding the Clutch & Brake Pedal Support Edition

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Feel free to save this page to your computer for your personal use and future reference--no other use is authorized without prior written permission from me. All illustrations from the 1964 or 1965 Falcon Shop Manuals used pursuant to permission granted by Ford Motor Company. Disclaimer: This site is not intended to instruct or teach anyone in proper or safe methods of working on or maintaining any type of vehicle or use of any tool and the author takes no responsibility for the use of the information contained herein.

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at joe@joesfalcon.com

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