<VV> Corvair clutch diagnostic puzzle

Doug Mackintosh dougmackintosh at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 19 19:05:17 EDT 2005

Hello gurus!  I need some diagnostic help.
2-1/2 months ago I replaced the clutch cable on my daughter's 1964 Spyder.  Since then it has been driven by her regularly, and the clutch has worked fine.  Last night I drove it to the movies, and as I turned into the parking lot and pressed the clutch, I felt something through the pedal and suddenly the clutch began engaging very close to the floor.  Besides the sudden change in the engagement point, I noticed no other problems.  We drove home after the movie (about 30 miles, probably a dozen clutch operations) and it continued to engage just off the floor but otherwise operated fine.  There was no deterioration (as might be expected if the cable were stretching).  
Tonight I checked it out.  I could not determine why it changed.  The 2 pullys I can see from inside the car appear to be working fine, the cable is seated properly, they rotate, etc.  The cross shaft doesn't appear to have any unusual slop.  Nothing seems to be deflecting excessively underneath when the clutch is operated (forward motor mounts aren't broken and only flex a little - looks normal to me). 
I readjusted the clutch by shortening the pull rod (it had to be shortened about 1/4" to adjust per the '64 manual again).  Based on a quick test drive, It appears to be operating fine now and engages well off the floor.
Any ideas as to what might have caused the problem?  I know my daughter will want her daily driver back ASAP, but I would feel a lot better if I knew what happened (and that it won't recur).

-- Doug Mackintosh
  Corsa member since 1996
  Corsa/NC member since 1996,  Virtual Vairs member
  Corvair owner 1969-1971 and 1996-on
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