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Thread: Clutch Hard to Depress on 87 Dodge Ram 50

  1. #1

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    Clutch Hard to Depress on 87 Dodge Ram 50

    Aloha

    Just bought this 87 Ram 50 with lots of things to work on. On of my main problems is a very, very stiff clutch peddle. I loosened the star nut next to the master cylinder but then the gears would grind. Any way to loosen the clutch action?

    James

  2. #2


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    Welcome to the board. You got a pic of this thing? Lol. The adjustment nut is to adjust the clutch pedal for wear on the clutch friction surface. If the pedal is stiff, look for binding or kinks in the pedal. These can go bad sometimes when dirt gets in the cable, as well as a possibility of fraying. It can on the other hand have a heavy duty clutch assembly with a heavy pressure plate. I would replace the pedal and if it's the same, then it's because of the pressure plate. How hard would you rate it? It could be that it's just harder then what your used to in a truck or car since you said you just got the truck.

  3. #3



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    Pull the cable off the trans and see how easily it moves. If it works freely then you will need to look at the pedals or the clutch pressure plate. There might be a lube point on the pedal. Just start under the dash and work your way down. Old truck = old grease = gunk = friction = old truck, The circle of life.

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  4. #4

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    Aloha, we are on Kauai, are you on the big island? The clutch is pretty darn stiff, plus it doesn't fully engage. I have to put the peddle to the floor to shift, and often times it it resists going into gear, especially reverse. It doesn't slip at all, so I'm hoping the clutch isn't bad. I've adjusted the star nut by the brake master cylinder up as far as it goes. The cable looks pretty new, but I'll check it out down below and see if any thing look a miss. I'm also looking for a back bumper. The salvage yard on Kauai doesn't have any Ram 50's and I don't want to order a new one. Any suggestions. Anyway the clutch is my immediate concern. I appreciate the feedback. Also, I'm putting up a picture, if I can figure out where to post it. I guess it is on my profile.

    Mahalo

    James

  5. #5



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    To insert a picture there is an icon just above the place to type in replies. If it only gives you the option to use a URL for a picture then look in the site news and support. Or here.. http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...a-build-thread
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  6. #6

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    Pictures of the 1987 Ram 50

    Aloha

    Here's the new pickup.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    James
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    Last edited by blindeyed; 05-20-2011 at 07:54 PM.

  7. #7


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    I'm on Oahu. Nice looking truck. Could take a mallot to the front valence. The rear bumper, it would look cleaner without the bumper but you could always make a custom racket to hold different bumpers. A few guys on here have had luck with the Toyota chrome bumper inthe front, and can't be too hard for the rear. I won't name any names, but they can jump in anytime. Try to adjust the cable so the threaded section sticks further and further out of the firewall. Sounds like improper adjustment causing enguagment issues. Still a little confused on how hard the pedal is to press down. Try to give us a picture of the cable as it sits now. Maybe a few pics of the firewall and the a few more at the trans connection.

  8. #8

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    Aloha

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll maybe remove the back bumper after the next safety check, unless I figure out how to remove and repast the safety sticker. I'll try to get some pictures of the clutch parts tomorrow. I tried to make some adjustments today and went from bad to worse. I also went underneath and watched the lever as my wife depressed the clutch. With her holding it all the way down I taped the bracket the cable is attached to with a hammer and noticed it has a lot further to go than is being activated by the foot peddle. The problem is not just a tight pedal, unless the clutch is to the floor it's resists going into gears. Anyway, i'll throw up the pictures tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for the help.

    James

  9. #9

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    Clutch Cable Picture

    Aloha

    Here's a picture of the cable under the hood. I'm heading out for a bit but will try to get the pictures of the cable at the trans, and post it later. I did tighten up the star nut by the brake master and it did help with the shifting some, but it is still pretty fussy about going into gears smoothly. I think I can handle the hard clutch if I can get a little better clutch response. My other vehicle is a 91 Miata, and when I switch to driving it after the truck, I about put my foot through the floor the clutch is so light!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    James

  10. #10



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    How much free play is there in the clutch pedal? it should be between 1/2 to 3/4" measured at the adjusting screw on the pivot under the dash. If you have more than that, the clutch will never disengage, less than that, and it will never fully engage. If I get a chance tomorrow, I will take a pic of the place under the dash.
    Pennyman1
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    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  11. #11

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    Clutch Free Play?

    Aloha

    I'm not sure how to estimate "free play". I have messed around with that nut, I think you are talking about, the one that adjusts the height of the peddle? But I didn't notice any improvement in the clutch response, except it seem to get worse the more I backed it off. Anyway I'm not sure how to measure free play. Could you clarify please. Also, I did tighten up the star nut, pictured above, and I have a much better response now from the clutch. I don't know if I can adjust it further, it seems to rotate back after I turn it, so maybe that's all she will go? Anyway the clutch is doable now and I'm breathing a sigh of relief.

    James

  12. #12


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    You can always try to pull out the cable and turn the nut more. Is the miata newer with a hydraulic cable system? That could be why it's easier. To get the safety sticker off, use that clear tape for packaging and use a razor blade to cut the rear off the bumper. I seen lots of Nissan and Toyota pickups in Oahu with the sticker already on the rollpan under the bumper, don't know if they passed withut the bumper though.

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