1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - pmh2
Cordoba Vario - basically a Polo Estate

Daughter is currently hiding up the emabankment on the M3, waiting for RAC recovery. Her initial description is that the pedal has 'broken', not the cable, altho it is possible that the pedal has come off its pivot point. It is not a suitable enviuroment to get head under the dash with legs in the slow lane to investigate further! Obvious Recovery options conflict with plans for the weekend away so can anybody give instant advice on the most likely mechanism of failure.

I must give her lessons in driving with no clutch! I am prepared to drive it back here in the small hours around the M25 without the clutch if that becomes one of the recovery options that has minimum impact on her weekend away.
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - Old Navy
If it is a TDI with a hydraulic clutch, mine had its clutch pedal replaced under warranty (in 1998) as the pedal would sometimes fail to return. There was a faulty batch of pedals with the push rod pivot welded on slightly out of place. According to the dealer! If this is the problem with yours I would have expected it to have occured / been fixed before now.
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - pmh2
Thanks for that comment, but it is a cable operated clutch, petrol.
The clutch has been heavy, with a low operating point, since she has had the car, but did previously respond to oiling the cable. The auto adjuster never seemed to take up the slack properly. I just wonder if this is connected to failure.
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - Screwloose

The bracket on the pedal box that holds the outer cable will have broken - like literally thousands before it.

Replacing the pedal box is a real joy; either get a skilled welder to mend it in-situ, or drill the failed spotwelds and bolt it back on.

That repair has roadside potential [at a pinch] so take a drill with you and a few 5 and 6 mm nuts and bolts. [One big self-tapper might suffice temporarily - with a bit of care.]
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - pmh2

Thanks for that - I had spent some time browsing since the original post and come to that as a possible conclusion. However I have just spoken to the RAC man on the hardshoulder of the M3 and he has said that ' was the end of the clutch cable that had broken' and he has 'fixed it using some replacements nuts'. he has said 'drivable. shouldn't fail, but a little bit iffy' and needs a new cable.

I can picture the set up ( having had it off about 15months ago to oil the cable), but cannot work out what he has done to fix it! Unless the screwed end had sheared off at the nut, and he has removed the rubber 'damper' block, has put new nuts onto the remaining shortened threaded section. Journey resumed.

Obviously daughters diagnostic skills need improving, to recognise the difference between pedal failure and cable breaking.
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - Screwloose

All may be revealed when you see it; but that sounds implausible to me too.

I've done some horrendous bodges with clutch cables in the past, even ones involving metal plates with slots cut in them; so I wouldn't think that just a sheared thread would stop it working??

Modern daughters' diagnostic skills seem to be limited to calling it a "Stupid Car!!!"
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - pmh2
Sorry my description was minimal. I presume it was the threaded 'adjuster' section (or would be the adjustable section on an old style (think Mk2 Golf) non auto adjust version).

I will post when I get a sight of it next weekend.

Thanks for your help.

1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - injection doc
you will need to fit a new clutch & genuine cable & as screwloose say's modify the pedal box. This used to be such a big issue that at one time pedal boxes were on back order. The brackets can't take the strain as the clutch gets heavier. If you remove the pedal box you will see what a poor build quality it is. They are better to weld as they end up stronger than a replacement, but clean the weld & paint before putting back.
I seem to remember its about 2-3hr job
I doc
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - pmh2
Just to complete the story.

Having inspected it, it would appear that the RAC man cut the end of the clutch cable, and refixed a new 'threaded end'. Secured to the old cable by 2 roll? pins (at 90deg) pressed thro the new end and and the cable. He was confident that the repair was as good as a replacement cable for intended journeys. It would appear that the old threaded section had fractured somewhere.

The interesting comment is that the clutch operation now seems lighter than before, altho the biting point remains the same.

Has anybody seen this type of repair kit/piece before?

Full marks to the RAC man for a motorway hardshoulder repair. He did leave daughter with instructions to watch for errant lorries ' upstream' from the verge and scream at him if anything looked amiss while he worked on the car.
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - Screwloose

That's a temporary clutch cable inner - there are proprietory kits available for roadside/recovery use.

They usually have a couple of grub screws to attach appropriate ends to a length cut from a roll.

Despite his assurances; I'd fit a new cable - and beef that bracket up at the same time.

Hard shoulders are indeed dangerous places - death is an occupational hazard for a patrol.
1998 1.6 Clutch pedal failure? - pmh2
Final closure.

Just replaced the temporary repair with a new GSF cable (auto adjust against my better judgement).

Fortunately I did not believe the the book of lies, which tells you to take out/ loosen the steering column, and relied on daughter to get her head under the dash to fit the new cable to the pedal. The other bits of advice to any future readers of this thread, remove the whole wiper mechanism (only 3 bolts) to make removing the old and threading the new cable easier and get yourself 4 new plastic clips (at 48p each) from Seat to secure the the plastic scuttle shroud.

If your cable breaks like this at the clutch end you will need to buy the clutch arm fastening clip and damping weight from a Seat dealer as they will be distributed over the carriageway at the site of failure.

Enjoyable job even at this temperature, total cost about £29. The clutch now feels like new and very light.


Ask Honest John

Value my car