Fiat 850 Clutch Cable or Spring?

Fiat4Fun

Daily Driver
Been driving my 850 more since the weather has been decent.
My clutch pedal has been acting weird. Sometimes it seems fine, other times I have to put my foot under the pedal and pull it back up.
I am going to crawl under it this weekend, and check the spring on the clutch release arm on the transmission. As I recall there is only the one spring
at the transmission. Is there another in the tunnel up by the pedals?
I do have another clutch cable, but not getting any "strange sounds" from the cable. Can the cable be lubed in the car, or is it better just to replace it.

Any suggestions or thoughts is appreciated, as I dive in to see what is happening.........
 

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Frank L. Di Gioia

True Classic
Good morning,
I'd suggest you start with the cleanest and most acessable first, then crawl under the car. Use some WD40 with the extension tube to lube the clutch shaft crossover shaft above your feet. Put a towel on the floor to catch drips. Next remove the curved tunnel cover and squirt some oil on the V shaped pivot up front. Also look for anything out of place causing drag or binding. This failing jack the car up on the drivers side and PUT RWO JACK STANDS UNDER IT. Check the return spring and cable routing. Hopefully there's nothing wrong in the clutch department. Have fun driving!
Frank D
 

Frank L. Di Gioia

True Classic
Forgot to mention the cable could have broken wires inside the cable cover between the bracket on the trans and the 4" x 6" panel all the controls pass through. This would cause drag and unpredictable pressure.
 

myredracer

True Classic
Inspect the bracket on side of transaxle where the cable attaches. These are a known weak point and can bend and not allow the clutch to fully release. Check the return spring. Check the cable and clean and lube if needed. Might be a good idea to replace. Check pedal assembly for worn parts or damage. See if there is any adjustment left in the cable "tension". Clutch disc could be worn out and need replacing. If you pull the engine out, inspect the throwout bearing and face of flywheel and clutch cover. Report back when issue found. :) FWIW, if you do pull the engine, it might be prudent to replace the front & rear crank seals.
 

Fiat4Fun

Daily Driver
Here's an update:
1. Went under the car, took off spring and pin attaching cable and replaced springwith a new one, lubed cable as much I could.
Readjust cable, and the pedal engages as it should.
2. Went and lubed pedal assembly, and feels really stiff. There is a little noise when I push the pedal down. I think the plan is pull it out and rebuild it. Car is drivable, but not the way it should be. I think I have an extra pedal assembly somewhere, or will look on eBay. Might try to rebuild one before I take out the current one. I think many years ago, may in the 80's, I did the "Pedal Update" from Greg Schmidt's book, so I know I have an issue before.....
Maybe I just have worn it out and need to replace. The question is "where did I hide the other pedal set"????
 
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myredracer

True Classic
Here's an update:
1. Went under the car, took off spring and pin attaching cable and replaced springwith a new one, lubed cable as much I could.
Readjust cable, and the pedal engages as it should.
2. Went and lubed pedal assembly, and feels really stiff. There is a little noise when I push the pedal down. I think the plan is pull it out and rebuild it. Car is drivable, but not the way it should be. I think I have an extra pedal assembly somewhere, or will look on eBay. Might try to rebuild one before I take out the current one. I think many years ago, may in the 80's, I did the "Pedal Update" from Greg Schmidt's book, so I know I have an issue before.....
Maybe I just have worn it out and need to replace. The question is "where did I hide the other pedal set"????
Sounds like you need to disassembly the pedal assembly, clean and lubse.
 

Jeff Stich

True Classic
Before going through the hassle of pulling the brake/clutch pedal assembly, check the plastic bushings on the smaller clutch cable bellcrank assembly. It's inside the center floor tunnel, just ahead of the gas pedal assembly. When these bushings wear badly, you'll get the symptoms you've described having (the other usual cause - a frayed clutch cable - you've already ruled out). The 2 bushings are Fiat part number 4092664, not sure if our parts suppliers will have them, but replacements could be fabbed-up fairly easily using some plastic or Delrin-type bar stock on a lathe.

If you have the old "Fiat & Abarth Tricks" book by Greg Schmidt, there's a short write-up of the replacement procedure on page 107, as well as a bellcrank reinforcement diagram on the top of page 108 (I can scan & post it here if needed).
 

Fiat4Fun

Daily Driver
I forgot that you can pull those bushings out without removing the pedals. I think I saw those still available from fiat part vendors. I just keep thinking I had to pull the whole pedal assembly out. As I recall there is a small clip that is a pain to replace?
Been so long since I pulled the tunnel area apart. Starting to think I should pull the cable out and replace since I have to pull the stereo console and stuff out to get to the tunnel. Replacing the cable eliminates the other possible cause.
Thanks for the advice, any other suggestions of what to do while there, let me know.
 

DSpieg

True Classic
I had the same problem - what I found on my car was that several of the spot welds that attach the central tunnel sides to the floorpan inside the cabin (underneath the center console and carpeting), had broken, so every time I worked the clutch, the torque transmitted by the crossover shaft from the pedal was actually bending the sides of the central tunnel, rather than completely transmitting the pedal motion to the cable. Since I can't weld (and might not have wanted to weld in that area anyway given the proximity of fluid lines), I spent a bunch of time making and bolting in several reinforcement brackets and plates to keep the central tunnel from bending. That said, I believe I still have some problem(s).
 
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Fiat4Fun

Daily Driver
Found my extra pedal set. Forgot that the bolts for the brake master and the other hard to reach areas. Hoping I find the problem in the tunnel, really don't want to take the pedal set out, seems like a bunch of extra work.....
Will check the welds in the tunnel too.
Thanks for the advice
 

Fiat4Fun

Daily Driver
Well, here's an update.....
Took out the cover to the tunnel, unhooked cable, the pedal was still stiff.
Unhooked the upper rod from the clutch pedal and still stiff
The arm in the tunnel is fine, but will replace bushings.
Tried to put some 3in1 oil on the area that pivot, got a bit better, but not as "loose" as my spare....
The spare moves super easy, Thinking I might loosen the bolts over the the center of the tunnel on the pedal assembly and see if the pedal shaft is torqued?
So, hoping I don't need to pull the pedal assembly out, and replace it with my spare. Hate to pull the bolts on the brake master to pull the pedal assembly out.
Any other advice is appreciated............
 
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FR85

Low Mileage
Hi There,

I was just wondering if you have got to the bottom of this?

I've a weird thing going on with my clutch on an 850 Berlina/Sedan.
If I fully press the clutch in I cannot get gear, if I 1/2-3/4 press in the pedal there's no problem.
I've checked all the known places, pedal is free, cable looks un-damaged, have oiled everything.
Had a look at the tunnel, doesn't seem to be much movement but I did have to straighten the cross brace and while I couldn't do Gregs mod due to the heater pipes I did a temporary version with a small length of threaded bar. Still no joy.
Have looked at everything, car was flying until I went to downshift and the pedal felt weird, nursed it home.
Noticed today when it was at idle if I pressed the clutch the half to three quarter way the note changed but if I pressed fully the note went back to its normal idle....it's almost like pressing too far turns it back on itself if you follow me.

Thanks!
Gavin
 

kmead

Glutton for punishment
Hi There,

I was just wondering if you have got to the bottom of this?

I've a weird thing going on with my clutch on an 850 Berlina/Sedan.
If I fully press the clutch in I cannot get gear, if I 1/2-3/4 press in the pedal there's no problem.
I've checked all the known places, pedal is free, cable looks un-damaged, have oiled everything.
Had a look at the tunnel, doesn't seem to be much movement but I did have to straighten the cross brace and while I couldn't do Gregs mod due to the heater pipes I did a temporary version with a small length of threaded bar. Still no joy.
Have looked at everything, car was flying until I went to downshift and the pedal felt weird, nursed it home.
Noticed today when it was at idle if I pressed the clutch the half to three quarter way the note changed but if I pressed fully the note went back to its normal idle....it's almost like pressing too far turns it back on itself if you follow me.

Thanks!
Gavin
Welcome, glad to see you here. I hope we can help you parse out the problem.

i will think about this a bit and post back.
 

FR85

Low Mileage
Welcome, glad to see you here. I hope we can help you parse out the problem.

i will think about this a bit and post back.
Many thanks, I'm going to drop the cable partially out, wire brush the adjuster end and see if there's anymore left. Again confused at this point as to which way to go if there is any left to give.
Thanks kmead!
 

gene cooley

Autocrosser
The springs in my 128SL clutch disc used to collapse, break up, and drop into the clutch housing. Mine wouldn't shift at all at that point but it's possible that there's a loose part in yours that's in a position to cause the problem you are having.
 

FR85

Low Mileage
Hi Gene,

When I removed the inspection panel no fingers came out and there were none of the other strange noises you would associate with mechanical breakup. I also spun the engine over with the plugs out at the flywheel and nothing looks out of place, broken or twisted up there.
I have 6mm of of adjustment left on the adjuster coming away from the box and I forgot to mention totally that the pedal is high in the car and always has been so before I go any further I'm going to investigate pedal stop up front.

Thanks again!

Gav
 

gene cooley

Autocrosser
This is more of a curious question, has the clutch cable sheath slipped through the bracket on the trans? Sometimes the bracket opens up over time and the sheath slips through. This is as bad as working its way through the end of the tunnel, same effect.

Also, if any parts jammed up the clutch they would be between the clutch fingers and the disc. As you said they usually make some noise before they do this.
 

FR85

Low Mileage
All good in the "bracketry", it's in there.

I have in a round about way solved it, the clutch pedal as mentioned was running very high, it was on its bump stop and to be honest it wasn't comfy to drive, when you were going for brakes and clutch the feet were having a fight. I put a bolt with a locking nut in place of the rubber grommet on the pedal stop and brought both the brake and clutch pedal in line with one another and then re-adjusted the cable at the box end and sure enough were engaging, changing and acting as it should be. I still have the car stripped as I'm going to put some miles on it and then re-adjust again.

I don't see how the cable would have suddenly lost adjustment, I would have been sure it would have been talking to me long before it suddenly went but hey, we seem to be back up and motoring. Oiled up all links and to be honest while it's not factory standard it's much better feeling so far!

Another good thing came out of this, I disconnected the earth strap off the starter and gave the connections a good wire brushing, instant start!

On yet another side note I also finally managed to get the rocker gasket on my 500 sorted as it was constantly leaking so it has been a win win day, both cars up and flying!
 

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