I punched the Bus today.-FIXED!!!!

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Vdubtech
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I punched the Bus today.-FIXED!!!!

Post by Vdubtech » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:31 pm

I did. Smacked it right under the radio. I've been battling a clutch cable/clutch problem for a couple weeks now. Frustration reached its peak today and I had to walk away. Anyway...it started a couple weeks ago after the June Jitterbug. I came home from Niagara Falls, we unpacked the Bus and drove to meet my sister for dinner....maybe 6 miles or so away. Everything was fine, I pulled out of the parking lot and decided to take side roads home. I got a few blocks away and it got very hard to shift. Started grinding going into any gear. I left it in second and drove it home. I figured the clutch cable(original) was starting to stretch so I check the adjustment....all the way down to the end. It was fraying where it was crimped to the threaded end at the transmission. I ordered a new cable (german) bowden tube (german) and clevis pin. I replaced them all and it was still grinding going into gear. I adjusted the bowden tube and carefully adjusted the clutch. Good pedal freeplay at about an inch and I feel resistance in the pedal. I noticed my clutch tube bracket was broken off at the torsion bar so I grabbed my brand new welder and tacked it back on right where it came off. Still grinding going into any gear, if I can get it to go in at all. I decided to start over and I took off the cable and bowden tube and reinstalled it. Shifted like buttah. Felt beautiful. I tried to take it on a run to the store last night and with every stop sign I came to it became harder and harder to get into gear. I was 4 blocks away when I couldn't get it in any gear. I shut it off and started it in second and brought it home. I readjusted the cable tonight and it still grinds going into every gear. I'm thinking my next move is to put the old bowden tube back in and see if the problem is still there. They're the same length and style as the original I took off. Dixie Bus Gathering is in a couple of weeks and I can't get this thing out my neighborhood. The 90+ degree temps aren't helping much either. Had to walk away and try to figure out where I'm going wrong.....any suggestions? I can take a pic of the bowden tube as it's installed now tomorrow after work before I do anything....any ideas?

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BellePlaine
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Post by BellePlaine » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:52 am

Have you checked the rear coupler cage? Progressively harder shifts might be to a broken cage.
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hambone
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Post by hambone » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:03 am

Didja read about my recent pressure plate issue? Something to consider anyway.
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sped372
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Post by sped372 » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:10 am

hambone wrote:Didja read about my recent pressure plate issue? Something to consider anyway.
My thoughts exactly.
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Amskeptic
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Re: I punched the Bus today.

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:34 am

Vdubtech wrote:I've been battling a clutch cable/clutch problem for a couple weeks now. ....any ideas?
Be very very careful with your transmission. Use 4th gear only, as an input shaft brake, or shut off the engine if you are trying to get into 1st gear or reverse. All other shifts with a known clutch problem, you need to exercise your best double-clutching skills.

DO NOT ASSUME that you have a clutch cable/actuation problem!
If you FEEL the resistance of the pressure plate spring against your foot, then the clutch cable is doing its job. If the resistance feels too close to the floor, or doesn't even occur, then check the bracket on the side of the transaxle UNDER LOAD. Have your SO step on the clutch pedal and look at the bracket. You'd be surprised at how many times it bends under load, but looks normal at static inspection. But if you have that resistance and you have less than 1 1/2" freeplay, the next step is to remove the engine and disassemble the clutch assembly, *clean the input shaft splines, *make sure the disk slides beautifully along the input shaft in a bunch of different positions, *lubricate the pilot bearing with moly grease, and *inspect the cross shaft arms at the release bearing for cracks, check the bushings for wear or collapse.
Good luck! Be Nice To Your Transmission!
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 98,380 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Vdubtech
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Re: I punched the Bus today.

Post by Vdubtech » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:03 pm

Amskeptic wrote:DO NOT ASSUME that you have a clutch cable/actuation problem!
The old clutch cable was visibly frayed and starting to break. Two days ago I removed the new bowden tube and reinstalled it and adjusted the cable. Shifted beautifully.....for less than 6 blocks. If it wasn't a clutch cable problem, why would it be ok for a little bit and then not be? I'm inclined to reinstall the old bowden tube and see if the problem is still there. I really don't wanna pull the engine out of this thing until the body is ready for the scrapheap, and we're not there quite yet. :-) I do have resistance on the pedal as I should, and about an inch of freeplay, adjusted per Bentley. I do plan to have Vicki press the clutch pedal while I watch from underneath and see what's doin...

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Amskeptic
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Re: I punched the Bus today.

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:53 pm

Vdubtech wrote: I do plan to have Vicki press the clutch pedal while I watch from underneath and see what's doin...
I'll wait here.
ColinInSantaCruz
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 98,380 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Vdubtech
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Post by Vdubtech » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:47 am

Ok I just put the Bus up on a jackstand, removed the wheel and had Vicki press the clutch to the floor. I have the proper freeplay at the pedal. Resistance within about an inch. When the clutch is pressed, the lever on the transmission is only moving a 1/4", maybe 1/2" if I'm lucky. Pretty obvious why it's grinding going into every gear, but where does the problem lie? The bowden tube and it's bracket bolted to the side of the transmission don't move when the clutch is pressed. The sag on the bowden tube looks good. I took a video with my phone but apparently I didn't save it and now Vicki is gone for a few hours. Any suggestions? Ugh....something totally simple turns into a 3 week project so quickly.

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bretski
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Post by bretski » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:01 am

Got another cable you can put on? My thinking is that the new cable you installed might have been faulty, and is stretching when you push the pedal...
1978 Deluxe Westfalia - "Klaus"

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Vdubtech
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Post by Vdubtech » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:03 am

I don't have another cable to throw on there....the threads on the original, fraying cable were so rusty I had to cut it off. I did manage to take a couple of pics though, one with the clutch pedal at rest and one with it to the floor. You can see how little the cable is moving. What doesn't make sense is when I installed the cable originally I had this problem, then the other day when I removed the bowden tube and reinstalled it and adjusted the cable and it worked perfectly for a few blocks....then back to grinding. There's something I'm doing wrong here, it has to be something simple that I'm missing. I do still have some threads left on the clutch cable but like I said, the adjustment and freeplay are right where they should be. Maybe I screwed something up at the pedal end....which seems pretty unlikely but I suppose anything is possible. Anyway, here are the pics, first with the clutch pedal up and the second with it on the floor.

Image
Image

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Vdubtech
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Post by Vdubtech » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:05 am

Unbolted the pedal from the frame, all is well at that point. New clevis pin, all clean and lubed. Tried a different bowden tube-not the one I removed but an extra used one I had, readjusted the cable and the same thing.

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Vdubtech
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Post by Vdubtech » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:27 pm

A little more information to add to this nonsense. I let the Bus sit for a while while it was pouring this afternoon. I just went out, fired it up, and it went right into gear, no grinding. It went into reverse and all forward gears fine. As I was going through the gears and putting it in and out of reverse, a little grinding could be heard.....couple more times in and out of reverse and full on grinding into gears is back. Actually, I should be more specific.....it grinds like hell trying to go into reverse, but when going into forward gears, with the clutch pedal to the floor it's going into gear, but the wheels are moving. I have the LR wheel off and I can see the drum spinning in the mirror. This wasn't the case when I started it cold, it was going into all gears and the wheels weren't spinning. I was out there a minute, maybe two at best. It went from going into gear fine right back to where I started. I'm really at the end of my rope here, this just doesn't make sense.

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Vdubtech
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Post by Vdubtech » Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:54 pm

Went outside and tried again. Shifting into reverse, first shift was fine, second a little grind, third full grinding. WTF.

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:37 pm

Vdubtech wrote:Went outside and tried again. Shifting into reverse, first shift was fine, second a little grind, third full grinding. WTF.
The range of movement at the lever looks correct.

The reason you got a few good shifts in was colder heavier transmission oil drag. As soon as it warms up, it can't stop the input shaft.

I think you are looking at an engine drop. Clutches can work fine until they don't work fine. Something as simple as grease drying out in the extreme heat of a hot summer drive because it is not the Valvoline Molybdenum Disulfide Semi-Synthetic Dura-Blend, as recommended on this very forum, can cause a non-release . . . .
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 98,380 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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Vdubtech
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Post by Vdubtech » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:47 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Vdubtech wrote:Went outside and tried again. Shifting into reverse, first shift was fine, second a little grind, third full grinding. WTF.
The range of movement at the lever looks correct.

The reason you got a few good shifts in was colder heavier transmission oil drag. As soon as it warms up, it can't stop the input shaft.
Do you think it would happen that fast though? I literally put it in reverse, take it out and try to put it back in.....
Amskeptic wrote:I think you are looking at an engine drop.
Balls. I was afraid you were gonna say that. Guess I'll be spending my vacation under the Bus.
Amskeptic wrote: Clutches can work fine until they don't work fine. Something as simple as grease drying out in the extreme heat of a hot summer drive because it is not the Valvoline Molybdenum Disulfide Semi-Synthetic Dura-Blend, as recommended on this very forum, can cause a non-release . . . .
Colin
Non release. That sounds awful. In your opinion, your best guess....should I have a clutch kit onhand just in case or do you think this is more of a remove, inspect, clean and reassemble? It just doesn't seem right....I've driven this thing well over 20K trouble free miles without a hiccup and now I can't seem to get it out of my driveway without something going wrong. Shifts fine one minute and the next I'm yanking the engine. Oh well....it is what it is. No weird noises, never had a problem shifting this Bus ever before.

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