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Sickness! Clutch pedal disaster



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 28th 05, 12:57 AM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Sickness! Clutch pedal disaster

This design screwup applies to my '96 Tracker, but I'm finding it
applies to some others, too, that use a similar pedal arrangement:

The clutch pedal flatbar is welded to a rod, which rides on bushings in
a 7" or so tube & thence to a pawl which both pulls the cable &
actuates the starter lockout switch. The pawl is bolted to the end of
the rod.

In my Tracker, the ****ty & partial weld failed & permitted the rod to
rotate about 10 deg, which is major loss of movement & made declutching
as well as normal starting impossible. No abuse was involved & it
happend suddenly at abt 107K miles of mostly gentle driving.

When this happens, you are instantly fooked. No amount of playing or
jury-rigging the cable will get you by as an interim fix. As an
insult, the factory manual depicts a splined-on clamped pawl that could
be repositioned enough to get you by, but the actual vehicle has a
square-holed pawl & squared shaft end which cannot be practically
realigned.

All you have to do, is take out the clutch pedal with its rod, have it
rewelded (in the correct position!!), reinstall it & you'll be fine.
Simple.

Unfortunately, simple is not easy, and in the Tracker this is one
unbelieveable bitch of a simple job.

The problem is removal clearance to slide the pedal & its rod far
enough to the left to withdraw or reinsert it. Even this hassle looks
simple enough until you try removing the interferences.

First, the ECM and its supporting bracket must come out. (Factory
manual erroneously states it is only the EBCM in the way - did U ever
see an EBCM with 60 ****en wires attached on a non-ABS vehicle (mine is
2-dr covert/no ABS)? Only 2 10mm hex/Phillips bracket screws must come
out, and 1 other loosened. HWVR, the 2 to be removed are sealed with a
hard locking compound (clear, don't recognize it), and may only be
accessed with great difficulty through a removed lower dash panel & a
long, slender extention & socket shoved though 3 interfering harnesses.
A high-quality long Phillips driver will not work due to the cementing
of the near-inaccessible nuts. Good luck ever getting either one back
in, though with a magnetized very long Phillips driver you may get one
after a dozen tries and repeated screw-finding expeditions inside the
dash on your back again. That is, if you figure out a way to hold the
ECM bracket up in alignment with the holes - none of which you can see,
nor reach at the same time.

Then, the pedal return spring must be removed. Perversely, they picked
a very heavy spring for this little job & made its hooked attachments
so deep that you may fook with it for over an hour before finding some
way to destroy it. Naturally, there is no room for a cutter strong
enough to chop it. They made its link to the pedal arm pin
keyhole-slotted so you could stretch it to remove or replace it, but
made that impossible to do by making sure that when you have withdrawn
the pedal far enough leftward to slack the link, it is jammed against
the pedal & cannot be moved nor grasped with tools known to man.

After the spring is finally destroyed, and with whatever may be left of
your lower back, when you finally attempt to move the pedal far enough
to the left to free the rod from its bushing tube, it's welded
bracketry will foul the main harnesses with an inch and a half of more
travel needed. You must abuse the harnesses repeatedly, unless you
plan or dewiring the whole vehicle's essential systems, and if you are
very lucky, you may get the pedal out without destroying the harness.

Allow most of a working day for only the removal phase if you are
reasonably competent but working outdoors & laying under the pedal
area, with enough breaks to just barely keep you from lower back
injury. Don't forget to fish out the 2 ECM bracket screws that fell
into lower dash neverland. Then, you can drive it without a clutch to
someone with a MIG & have it properly rewelded for $5. Be SURE to have
the rod rotated back as far as it will go in alignment with the
original welded position, OR your rewelded pedal assembly will be very
expensive scrap or an interesting refabrication project, because of the
assholes who put splines in the manual dwg but not on the rod or pawl.

Before you jolly off clutchless to tempt traffic & fate, not to mention
your starter & synchros & shifting skills, remember to remount the ECM,
or you may end up wearing an airbag. Fortunately, the close-ratio box
shifts well unclutched if you know what you are doing.

Go buy a new spring that is wimpy enough to deal with & to get
reattached up in the cramped pedal bracket area, unless you have found
a small gorilla with 10" fingers who is willing to stretch & rehook one
with the tension of the original, while standing on his head.

Alternate & much faster idea (considered but not done due logistics):
leave the pedal & rod in, remove the spring & its link which partially
interferes with the weld area, remove the negative battery terminal,
protect the module with a rag, put a crescent on the pawl to yank the
rod into rotary alignment against the pedal bar, and MIG it in-place if
you are very good with a MIG in very tight quarters. Accept that you
will melt or burn the fooken plastic bushing in the tube at the pedal
end of the rod & live with it on the sloppy side. Or, partially
withdraw the pedal/rod only enough to expose & slice the bushing (still
a bitch), get it off, reweld, then stick it back on & in.

In 45 years of working on machinery, this is the most avoidable &
stupidest hassle I have ever seen a builder commit. I completely
understand the online accounts of people paying over $400 to have a
shop fix it, and more if a new pedal assembly is furnished vs
rewelding. Certainly it's a little (not much) easier to reach & dub
with using a lift. Being able to partially stand in a real shop,
having all tools within reach & no mosquitoes or thunderstorms to deal
with might knock it all back to 3 hours if it goes well. But serious
collateral electrical damage is a possiblity.

If you ever push down your was-fine-feeling-and-working-great clutch
pedal and suddenly feel the first 2 inches or so go soft, and very soon
can't shift well, declutch fully or restart the engine, but with the
lower half of the pedal travel still resisting force, don't even waste
time looking at the cable & levers or trying to adjust them, this is
your sad misfortune to deal with. A clutch is a safety-related item
for an average driver and this should've been a free recall & still in
effect. We can dream...

OR, if you are building up a Zuke/Tracker/Sidekick for a cool & agile
offroad toy, remove & reweld the damn thing BEFORE it lets go out in
West Bumfook. If you live simply in a rural area as I do and depend on
the truck for survival, do the same.

This '96 4WD 2D Tracker is a wonderful little rollerskate with amazing
4WD capabilities in competent hands, 34mpg with the EGR disabled, near
sportscar-like handling, very very cute, very stable in crosswinds for
a light tiny truck & contrary to myth, goes like a raped ape when
needed, is relatively trouble-free, is very well engineered in the
larger sense, and well worth what it costs in cared-for condition. But
it has some sick, ridiculously expensive or difficult things to replace
that you must pray never fail.

Contrary to usenet armchair wizards, good parts wrecks are not
plentiful because people drive them forever until they are irreparable
or totalled and many that are still half-decent are wholesale exported
to South America. What used parts that may be found through breakers
and are those which commonly fail & are expensive new, are also
expensive used. Do not think: "Oh, I will just get another framistan
from a junkyard." You might luck out, but 60 other people have already
been looking for one nationwide for 6 months, and this little truck is
the Jeep of the 3rd world, as well as a very popular project
rock-crawler, with almost none sitting around neglected for long. You
will be competing for used parts with guys who are spending $6,000 on a
$3,500 truck with a diminishing quantity of available salvage. You
will usually have to bite the bullet & get the best new parts price you
can find.

- Frank

Ads
  #2  
Old July 31st 05, 05:47 PM
Painless
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Most people are very satisfied with the truck:
http://www.carreview.com/mfr/chevrol...x.aspx#reviews
Frank

> schreef in bericht
ups.com...
> This design screwup applies to my '96 Tracker, but I'm finding it
> applies to some others, too, that use a similar pedal arrangement:
>
> The clutch pedal flatbar is welded to a rod, which rides on bushings in
> a 7" or so tube & thence to a pawl which both pulls the cable &
> actuates the starter lockout switch. The pawl is bolted to the end of
> the rod.
>
> In my Tracker, the ****ty & partial weld failed & permitted the rod to
> rotate about 10 deg, which is major loss of movement & made declutching
> as well as normal starting impossible. No abuse was involved & it
> happend suddenly at abt 107K miles of mostly gentle driving.
>
> When this happens, you are instantly fooked. No amount of playing or
> jury-rigging the cable will get you by as an interim fix. As an
> insult, the factory manual depicts a splined-on clamped pawl that could
> be repositioned enough to get you by, but the actual vehicle has a
> square-holed pawl & squared shaft end which cannot be practically
> realigned.
>
> All you have to do, is take out the clutch pedal with its rod, have it
> rewelded (in the correct position!!), reinstall it & you'll be fine.
> Simple.
>
> Unfortunately, simple is not easy, and in the Tracker this is one
> unbelieveable bitch of a simple job.
>
> The problem is removal clearance to slide the pedal & its rod far
> enough to the left to withdraw or reinsert it. Even this hassle looks
> simple enough until you try removing the interferences.
>
> First, the ECM and its supporting bracket must come out. (Factory
> manual erroneously states it is only the EBCM in the way - did U ever
> see an EBCM with 60 ****en wires attached on a non-ABS vehicle (mine is
> 2-dr covert/no ABS)? Only 2 10mm hex/Phillips bracket screws must come
> out, and 1 other loosened. HWVR, the 2 to be removed are sealed with a
> hard locking compound (clear, don't recognize it), and may only be
> accessed with great difficulty through a removed lower dash panel & a
> long, slender extention & socket shoved though 3 interfering harnesses.
> A high-quality long Phillips driver will not work due to the cementing
> of the near-inaccessible nuts. Good luck ever getting either one back
> in, though with a magnetized very long Phillips driver you may get one
> after a dozen tries and repeated screw-finding expeditions inside the
> dash on your back again. That is, if you figure out a way to hold the
> ECM bracket up in alignment with the holes - none of which you can see,
> nor reach at the same time.
>
> Then, the pedal return spring must be removed. Perversely, they picked
> a very heavy spring for this little job & made its hooked attachments
> so deep that you may fook with it for over an hour before finding some
> way to destroy it. Naturally, there is no room for a cutter strong
> enough to chop it. They made its link to the pedal arm pin
> keyhole-slotted so you could stretch it to remove or replace it, but
> made that impossible to do by making sure that when you have withdrawn
> the pedal far enough leftward to slack the link, it is jammed against
> the pedal & cannot be moved nor grasped with tools known to man.
>
> After the spring is finally destroyed, and with whatever may be left of
> your lower back, when you finally attempt to move the pedal far enough
> to the left to free the rod from its bushing tube, it's welded
> bracketry will foul the main harnesses with an inch and a half of more
> travel needed. You must abuse the harnesses repeatedly, unless you
> plan or dewiring the whole vehicle's essential systems, and if you are
> very lucky, you may get the pedal out without destroying the harness.
>
> Allow most of a working day for only the removal phase if you are
> reasonably competent but working outdoors & laying under the pedal
> area, with enough breaks to just barely keep you from lower back
> injury. Don't forget to fish out the 2 ECM bracket screws that fell
> into lower dash neverland. Then, you can drive it without a clutch to
> someone with a MIG & have it properly rewelded for $5. Be SURE to have
> the rod rotated back as far as it will go in alignment with the
> original welded position, OR your rewelded pedal assembly will be very
> expensive scrap or an interesting refabrication project, because of the
> assholes who put splines in the manual dwg but not on the rod or pawl.
>
> Before you jolly off clutchless to tempt traffic & fate, not to mention
> your starter & synchros & shifting skills, remember to remount the ECM,
> or you may end up wearing an airbag. Fortunately, the close-ratio box
> shifts well unclutched if you know what you are doing.
>
> Go buy a new spring that is wimpy enough to deal with & to get
> reattached up in the cramped pedal bracket area, unless you have found
> a small gorilla with 10" fingers who is willing to stretch & rehook one
> with the tension of the original, while standing on his head.
>
> Alternate & much faster idea (considered but not done due logistics):
> leave the pedal & rod in, remove the spring & its link which partially
> interferes with the weld area, remove the negative battery terminal,
> protect the module with a rag, put a crescent on the pawl to yank the
> rod into rotary alignment against the pedal bar, and MIG it in-place if
> you are very good with a MIG in very tight quarters. Accept that you
> will melt or burn the fooken plastic bushing in the tube at the pedal
> end of the rod & live with it on the sloppy side. Or, partially
> withdraw the pedal/rod only enough to expose & slice the bushing (still
> a bitch), get it off, reweld, then stick it back on & in.
>
> In 45 years of working on machinery, this is the most avoidable &
> stupidest hassle I have ever seen a builder commit. I completely
> understand the online accounts of people paying over $400 to have a
> shop fix it, and more if a new pedal assembly is furnished vs
> rewelding. Certainly it's a little (not much) easier to reach & dub
> with using a lift. Being able to partially stand in a real shop,
> having all tools within reach & no mosquitoes or thunderstorms to deal
> with might knock it all back to 3 hours if it goes well. But serious
> collateral electrical damage is a possiblity.
>
> If you ever push down your was-fine-feeling-and-working-great clutch
> pedal and suddenly feel the first 2 inches or so go soft, and very soon
> can't shift well, declutch fully or restart the engine, but with the
> lower half of the pedal travel still resisting force, don't even waste
> time looking at the cable & levers or trying to adjust them, this is
> your sad misfortune to deal with. A clutch is a safety-related item
> for an average driver and this should've been a free recall & still in
> effect. We can dream...
>
> OR, if you are building up a Zuke/Tracker/Sidekick for a cool & agile
> offroad toy, remove & reweld the damn thing BEFORE it lets go out in
> West Bumfook. If you live simply in a rural area as I do and depend on
> the truck for survival, do the same.
>
> This '96 4WD 2D Tracker is a wonderful little rollerskate with amazing
> 4WD capabilities in competent hands, 34mpg with the EGR disabled, near
> sportscar-like handling, very very cute, very stable in crosswinds for
> a light tiny truck & contrary to myth, goes like a raped ape when
> needed, is relatively trouble-free, is very well engineered in the
> larger sense, and well worth what it costs in cared-for condition. But
> it has some sick, ridiculously expensive or difficult things to replace
> that you must pray never fail.
>
> Contrary to usenet armchair wizards, good parts wrecks are not
> plentiful because people drive them forever until they are irreparable
> or totalled and many that are still half-decent are wholesale exported
> to South America. What used parts that may be found through breakers
> and are those which commonly fail & are expensive new, are also
> expensive used. Do not think: "Oh, I will just get another framistan
> from a junkyard." You might luck out, but 60 other people have already
> been looking for one nationwide for 6 months, and this little truck is
> the Jeep of the 3rd world, as well as a very popular project
> rock-crawler, with almost none sitting around neglected for long. You
> will be competing for used parts with guys who are spending $6,000 on a
> $3,500 truck with a diminishing quantity of available salvage. You
> will usually have to bite the bullet & get the best new parts price you
> can find.
>
> - Frank
>



  #3  
Old December 2nd 12, 08:02 PM posted to rec.autos.4x4
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Sickness! Clutch pedal disaster

On Wednesday, July 27, 2005 7:57:50 PM UTC-4, wrote:
> This design screwup applies to my '96 Tracker, but I'm finding it
> applies to some others, too, that use a similar pedal arrangement:
>
> The clutch pedal flatbar is welded to a rod, which rides on bushings in
> a 7" or so tube & thence to a pawl which both pulls the cable &
> actuates the starter lockout switch. The pawl is bolted to the end of
> the rod.
>
> In my Tracker, the ****ty & partial weld failed & permitted the rod to
> rotate about 10 deg, which is major loss of movement & made declutching
> as well as normal starting impossible. No abuse was involved & it
> happend suddenly at abt 107K miles of mostly gentle driving.
>
> When this happens, you are instantly fooked. No amount of playing or
> jury-rigging the cable will get you by as an interim fix. As an
> insult, the factory manual depicts a splined-on clamped pawl that could
> be repositioned enough to get you by, but the actual vehicle has a
> square-holed pawl & squared shaft end which cannot be practically
> realigned.
>
> All you have to do, is take out the clutch pedal with its rod, have it
> rewelded (in the correct position!!), reinstall it & you'll be fine.
> Simple.
>
> Unfortunately, simple is not easy, and in the Tracker this is one
> unbelieveable bitch of a simple job.
>
> The problem is removal clearance to slide the pedal & its rod far
> enough to the left to withdraw or reinsert it. Even this hassle looks
> simple enough until you try removing the interferences.
>
> First, the ECM and its supporting bracket must come out. (Factory
> manual erroneously states it is only the EBCM in the way - did U ever
> see an EBCM with 60 ****en wires attached on a non-ABS vehicle (mine is
> 2-dr covert/no ABS)? Only 2 10mm hex/Phillips bracket screws must come
> out, and 1 other loosened. HWVR, the 2 to be removed are sealed with a
> hard locking compound (clear, don't recognize it), and may only be
> accessed with great difficulty through a removed lower dash panel & a
> long, slender extention & socket shoved though 3 interfering harnesses.
> A high-quality long Phillips driver will not work due to the cementing
> of the near-inaccessible nuts. Good luck ever getting either one back
> in, though with a magnetized very long Phillips driver you may get one
> after a dozen tries and repeated screw-finding expeditions inside the
> dash on your back again. That is, if you figure out a way to hold the
> ECM bracket up in alignment with the holes - none of which you can see,
> nor reach at the same time.
>
> Then, the pedal return spring must be removed. Perversely, they picked
> a very heavy spring for this little job & made its hooked attachments
> so deep that you may fook with it for over an hour before finding some
> way to destroy it. Naturally, there is no room for a cutter strong
> enough to chop it. They made its link to the pedal arm pin
> keyhole-slotted so you could stretch it to remove or replace it, but
> made that impossible to do by making sure that when you have withdrawn
> the pedal far enough leftward to slack the link, it is jammed against
> the pedal & cannot be moved nor grasped with tools known to man.
>
> After the spring is finally destroyed, and with whatever may be left of
> your lower back, when you finally attempt to move the pedal far enough
> to the left to free the rod from its bushing tube, it's welded
> bracketry will foul the main harnesses with an inch and a half of more
> travel needed. You must abuse the harnesses repeatedly, unless you
> plan or dewiring the whole vehicle's essential systems, and if you are
> very lucky, you may get the pedal out without destroying the harness.
>
> Allow most of a working day for only the removal phase if you are
> reasonably competent but working outdoors & laying under the pedal
> area, with enough breaks to just barely keep you from lower back
> injury. Don't forget to fish out the 2 ECM bracket screws that fell
> into lower dash neverland. Then, you can drive it without a clutch to
> someone with a MIG & have it properly rewelded for $5. Be SURE to have
> the rod rotated back as far as it will go in alignment with the
> original welded position, OR your rewelded pedal assembly will be very
> expensive scrap or an interesting refabrication project, because of the
> assholes who put splines in the manual dwg but not on the rod or pawl.
>
> Before you jolly off clutchless to tempt traffic & fate, not to mention
> your starter & synchros & shifting skills, remember to remount the ECM,
> or you may end up wearing an airbag. Fortunately, the close-ratio box
> shifts well unclutched if you know what you are doing.
>
> Go buy a new spring that is wimpy enough to deal with & to get
> reattached up in the cramped pedal bracket area, unless you have found
> a small gorilla with 10" fingers who is willing to stretch & rehook one
> with the tension of the original, while standing on his head.
>
> Alternate & much faster idea (considered but not done due logistics):
> leave the pedal & rod in, remove the spring & its link which partially
> interferes with the weld area, remove the negative battery terminal,
> protect the module with a rag, put a crescent on the pawl to yank the
> rod into rotary alignment against the pedal bar, and MIG it in-place if
> you are very good with a MIG in very tight quarters. Accept that you
> will melt or burn the fooken plastic bushing in the tube at the pedal
> end of the rod & live with it on the sloppy side. Or, partially
> withdraw the pedal/rod only enough to expose & slice the bushing (still
> a bitch), get it off, reweld, then stick it back on & in.
>
> In 45 years of working on machinery, this is the most avoidable &
> stupidest hassle I have ever seen a builder commit. I completely
> understand the online accounts of people paying over $400 to have a
> shop fix it, and more if a new pedal assembly is furnished vs
> rewelding. Certainly it's a little (not much) easier to reach & dub
> with using a lift. Being able to partially stand in a real shop,
> having all tools within reach & no mosquitoes or thunderstorms to deal
> with might knock it all back to 3 hours if it goes well. But serious
> collateral electrical damage is a possiblity.
>
> If you ever push down your was-fine-feeling-and-working-great clutch
> pedal and suddenly feel the first 2 inches or so go soft, and very soon
> can't shift well, declutch fully or restart the engine, but with the
> lower half of the pedal travel still resisting force, don't even waste
> time looking at the cable & levers or trying to adjust them, this is
> your sad misfortune to deal with. A clutch is a safety-related item
> for an average driver and this should've been a free recall & still in
> effect. We can dream...
>
> OR, if you are building up a Zuke/Tracker/Sidekick for a cool & agile
> offroad toy, remove & reweld the damn thing BEFORE it lets go out in
> West Bumfook. If you live simply in a rural area as I do and depend on
> the truck for survival, do the same.
>
> This '96 4WD 2D Tracker is a wonderful little rollerskate with amazing
> 4WD capabilities in competent hands, 34mpg with the EGR disabled, near
> sportscar-like handling, very very cute, very stable in crosswinds for
> a light tiny truck & contrary to myth, goes like a raped ape when
> needed, is relatively trouble-free, is very well engineered in the
> larger sense, and well worth what it costs in cared-for condition. But
> it has some sick, ridiculously expensive or difficult things to replace
> that you must pray never fail.
>
> Contrary to usenet armchair wizards, good parts wrecks are not
> plentiful because people drive them forever until they are irreparable
> or totalled and many that are still half-decent are wholesale exported
> to South America. What used parts that may be found through breakers
> and are those which commonly fail & are expensive new, are also
> expensive used. Do not think: "Oh, I will just get another framistan
> from a junkyard." You might luck out, but 60 other people have already
> been looking for one nationwide for 6 months, and this little truck is
> the Jeep of the 3rd world, as well as a very popular project
> rock-crawler, with almost none sitting around neglected for long. You
> will be competing for used parts with guys who are spending $6,000 on a
> $3,500 truck with a diminishing quantity of available salvage. You
> will usually have to bite the bullet & get the best new parts price you
> can find.
>
> - Frank


Thanks for the insight (also had a good laugh..) it was very helpfull. My tracker (sunrunner) just experience the same failure. Fortunately I have a garage, got the pedal out in about 2-3 hours. The main difficulty was the spring but it kicked off by prying it where it's linked to the small metal bar. As for getting the rest of the stuff out of the way, it was ok, even the wiring harness, at first it did not look good but the trick is to pull the harness towards the floor to give just a bit more clearance to the upper part pedal lever.

In conclusion, I agree with you that this is a very poor design. I wonder if it's only the North-American tracker and sunrunner that are fitted this way since the manual shop design (Sidekick ?) looks much better.

Michael Canada
 




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