How Does a Cable Clutch System Work?

How does a cable clutch system work?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The cable clutch system on a vehicle has been around for a long time and only the solid rod and linkage clutch system is older. The newest style of clutch system uses hydraulic lines similar to the brake system hydraulics.

The clutch cable system will include components to include a cable inside a casing with connections at each end. The cable is designed to slide easily inside its casing. The casing also has a stiff inner layer that is flexible and yet rigid enough to support the cable when it is being used to operate the clutch. The clutch cable casing is connected at each end by a support bracket to hold it in place.

The cable is then connected to the clutch release lever that operates the clutch on a pivot ball joint on the transmission. This end of the cable may have an adjustment to take up cable slack on some vehicles. The other end of the cable will go inside the vehicle through the floor and connect to the clutch pedal pivot arm. The clutch pedal pivot arm can be fixed or have an adjustment to take up cable slack as it stretches during normal use.

The clutch pedal free travel is adjusted to be about ½ to ¾ inch. The pedal is pushed in to put the transmission into gear or change gears from one to the next. When the pedal is pushed, the pedal lever will pull up on the cable to pull it up and out of the casing. At the transmission, the cable is pulled into the casing, at the same time pulling on the clutch release lever, causing it to pivot on the ball joint and the release bearing attached to the release lever will push in on the clutch pressure plate, releasing clutch pressure.

Once the gear is selected, while the clutch pedal is pressed in, the clutch can then be released slowly to engage the gear and get the vehicle moving.

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At the transmission, the cable is pulled into the casing, at the same time pulling on the clutch release lever, causing it to pivot on the ball joint and the release bearing attached to the release lever will push in on the clutch pressure plate, releasing clutch pressure.
“A clutch cable is the steel braided cable found on manual transmission vehicles that connects the transmission clutch linkage to the clutch pedal mechanism. When the pedal is depressed, the clutch cable pulls on the clutch linkage to disengage the clutch so that the transmission can be safely shifted.”
In general, there are three different types of gearboxes: concentric, parallel, and right angle.
The modern clutch has four main components: the cover plate (which incorporates a diaphragm spring), the pressure plate, the driven plate, and the release bearing.
Parts In A Manual Transmission

The major parts involved in a manual transmission are engine output shaft (also called the input shaft), countershaft, output shaft, synchronises, dog clutches and a clutch. Shafts have gears in them which determine what torque and speed are transferred to the wheels.

What can cause a snapped clutch cable? Bad clutch pressure plate – The clutch pressure plate applies pressure to the clutch, holding it against the flywheel. Sometimes, a bad or damaged pressure plate can put high levels of stress onto the clutch cable, leading to it snapping and breaking.
When the clutch pedal is pressed, the cable pulls on the release mechanism, disengaging the clutch and allowing the driver to shift gears. Advantages of Clutch Cables: Easy to Repair: Clutch cables are relatively simple and inexpensive to repair or replace.
A typical clutch cable

The clutch cable has a steel-wire inner core sliding inside an outer sheath.

When the clutch pedal is pressed, the cable pulls on the release mechanism, disengaging the clutch and allowing the driver to shift gears. Advantages of Clutch Cables: Easy to Repair: Clutch cables are relatively simple and inexpensive to repair or replace.
While any type of clutch can have issues, a mechanical clutch`s cables can strain and snap. That can be tough to repair for those without experience. Hydraulic clutches are favored by drivers who want a modern set-up. Most importantly, they offer an easier and smoother clutch pedal feel.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Issues with clutch cable on a newly installed clutch/flywheel.
ANSWER : Hi there. If the cable was loose before you changed the clutch out and is loose after the clutch was changed out, then the cable is stretched. I recommend replacing the clutch cable and adjusting it to the correct pedal height. If you need further assistance with your clutch cable replacement, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

How Does a Cable Clutch System Work?
ANSWER : The cable clutch system on a vehicle has been around for a long time and only the solid rod and linkage clutch system is older. The newest style of clutch system uses hydraulic lines similar to the brake system hydraulics.

The clutch cable system will include components to include a cable inside a casing with connections at each end. The cable is designed to slide easily inside its casing. The casing also has a stiff inner layer that is flexible and yet rigid enough to support the cable when it is being used to operate the clutch. The clutch cable casing is connected at each end by a support bracket to hold it in place.

The cable is then connected to the clutch release lever that operates the clutch on a pivot ball joint on the transmission. This end of the cable may have an adjustment to take up cable slack on some vehicles. The other end of the cable will go inside the vehicle through the floor and connect to the clutch pedal pivot arm. The clutch pedal pivot arm can be fixed or have an adjustment to take up cable slack as it stretches during normal use.

The clutch pedal free travel is adjusted to be about ½ to ¾ inch. The pedal is pushed in to put the transmission into gear or change gears from one to the next. When the pedal is pushed, the pedal lever will pull up on the cable to pull it up and out of the casing. At the transmission, the cable is pulled into the casing, at the same time pulling on the clutch release lever, causing it to pivot on the ball joint and the release bearing attached to the release lever will push in on the clutch pressure plate, releasing clutch pressure.

Once the gear is selected, while the clutch pedal is pressed in, the clutch can then be released slowly to engage the gear and get the vehicle moving.

My clutch is not working Entire clutch repair or clutch master cylinder repair? How do I check the cylinder?
ANSWER : Hi there. Check the slave cylinder to the clutch and see if the piston is all the way out. If the piston is all the way out or its not touching the clutch fork, then the release bearing has broken and the fork has moved into the clutch. If the slave cylinder is relaxed and the fork is against it, then the clutch pressure plate has sprung a pressure spring. If the pedal can go down but not all the way to the floor, then the clutch needs replaced with a new release bearing. If you need further assistance with a clutch replacement, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

My dash board don’t work my front light work when I change my light into high beam and my back window won’t go down
ANSWER : As unfortunate as it is, your vehicle would be considered flood damaged. Diagnosing electrical problems in a flood damaged vehicle is nearly impossible. This would take many hours or even days to determine which wiring harnesses and circuits have been affected. Then nearly all of the wiring under the dash would likely require replacement as well as many sensors and switches. On a BMW vehicle, the amount of wires and switches are likely more than that of a lower end vehicle. Due to the inefficiency in cost, you would likely be able to purchase another BMW like yours for less than what it would cost to fix your car. Many insurance companies would consider this type of damage to total out the vehicle unfortuantely.

Just replaced head gasket, changed crack sensor new plugs. The check engine light is on, but dim, the only other light that the dash is a normal battery indicator. The fuel pump is not running when switch is turned on, the power windows don’t work, it turns over but not firing. It’s like only one part of the system is working. Also the heater fans work even if the switch is off.
ANSWER : I would first look at the diagnostic trouble codes. Those codes are available because the check engine light is on. If the fuel pump is not running (momentarily) at key on, that fault alone will prevent the car from starting as there will be no fuel pressure. Pump output and pressure can be directly tested and you can also check for electrical power to the pump. To find out why the engine will not run, the recommended diagnostic is a no start diagnostic. If you request that service, the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Windshield wipers stopped working. They’ll suddenly stop working then suddenly start working again. Has been happening for a week.
ANSWER : The problem you are describing likely stems from an intermittent electrical fault in the wiper circuit. The windshield wiper system uses a small electric motor to move the wiper arms that you see on the windshield. That electric motor is controlled through a switch, relay, fuse, and wiring. One, or more, of those electrical components has failed although it is also possible that the mechanical arms are binding (seized, if the lubricant has dried out) thus causing the electric circuit to the motor to overload. Regardless of the underlying fault, if you request a non functioning wiper diagnostic/repair, the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

My AC does not always work. If I fiddle with the blower knob I can ususally get it to work on the lowest setting.
ANSWER : Hi There,
It sounds like you may have a faulty blower motor resistor. The highest speed setting may still work because in most cars in the highest fan speed settings the current bypasses the blower motor resistor. In some cars, if the resistor is failed, the fan may stop working completely. Another reason a blower motor resistor may fail is when the blower motor has a mechanical problem or when a foreign object jams the blower motor fan blade and prevents it from spinning freely. This leads to increased current through the resistor and causes it to overheat and fail. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your system to determine what may be causing the fan not to work properly.

All dashboard lights and tail lights do not work after driving through a lot of snow. Headlights work. And brake lights work.
ANSWER : Hello. We’ll be happy to help you. There are a few things that I recommend checking to discover why your lighting system is malfunctioning. The headlight dimmer switch should be checked. Along with the wiring harness above the right front tire behind the fender well cover. Also
the main fuse under the hood should be inspected because other people with your particular vehicle have had similar lighting issues if that fuse goes bad. It will be a great idea to check the rest of the fuses in that area too while checking the main fuse. Once the fuses are checked inside of the main fuse box then I would check the fuses inside of their interior fuse box. The interior fuse box should be located on the driver side of the dashboard near where your legs would be. If you need more assistance with repairing your vehicle please keep in mind that our organization provides Mobile Mechanics who can help you diagnose and repair your vehicle, all at competitive rates.