Odd 4 Speed 1st Gear Engagement Issue

73inNH

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1973 Q Code 351, 4 Speed

I have an odd issue engaging 1st gear. When letting out the clutch in first gear (and only first gear) the car often "catches" quick. It's difficult to explain. It acts very normal (as you'd expect a clutch to react when starting from 0 MPH) then all of a sudden it feels like the clutch grabs really quick. It's a quick enough grab that at times you feel like you might stall the car. It's tough to explain.

The clutch acts normal in every other gear.

I've changed the z bar (and bushings) and tranny mount. It didn't affect the problem at all.

Any thoughts?

 

Don C

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Two things come to mind, how are your engine and transmission mounts? If the engine rotates it may be causing the clutch to engage faster than what you want, due to changing the angles on the Z bar and clutch rod. The other is oil contamination.

 

73inNH

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The transmission mount is new, so I'm hoping that's not it. Is there a way to test the engine mounts, or just change them if they look old?

Re: tranny fluid, I have to get a small siphon to empty it. I'll do that this week.

 

boilermaster

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73inNH,

Pretty sure Don means leaking oil on the clutch disc.

Otherwise that would be a new one on me.

 

73inNH

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73inNH,

Pretty sure Don means leaking oil on the clutch disc.

Otherwise that would be a new one on me.
Ahhh, ok that makes sense. Is it something I can see from the outside?

Also, is there a clutch adjustment procedure I need to follow after installing the z bar?

 

boilermaster

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73inNH.

Look for oil dripping between the engine plate and bell housing or between the bell and front of the transmission.

I usually like to take the spring off and look for about 1/8'' between the release lever and adjuster at the pivot.

you should be able to spread the two with your thumb and fingers.

 

73inNH

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73inNH.

Look for oil dripping between the engine plate and bell housing or between the bell and front of the transmission.

I usually like to take the spring off and look for about 1/8'' between the release lever and adjuster at the pivot.

you should be able to spread the two with your thumb and fingers.
I went through the adjustment procedure for clutch engagement per your notes (above) and an old Chilton's I have for 65-73 Mustangs.

Success! The clutch engages/disengages better and that 1st gear "catch" appears to be gone (after a short test drive).

I'm going to go with Don's recommendation, too, and replace the engine mounts, as well. They look old and the rubber looks cracked.

Thanks for the help!

 
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