In The Clutches
Correctly increasing the pedal count and the fun factor inside your early GM
Wayne Scraba - January 09, 2014 10:00 AM
This vintage Corvette might not be for everyone, but it sure is easy to imagine rowing that stick shift! What follows is a look at how to convert pedals from an auto-box to a stick.
The clutch linkage “kit” including the cross shaft, shaft-to-subframe mount, clutch pedal linkage rod, clutch fork pushrod and return springs, along with various felt washers and hardware.
The stock automatic transmission pedal mounted within the steering column/pedal mount.
The reproduction pedal assembly.
The pointer shows the clip that must be removed prior to sliding the pedal pin out of the pedal mount.
You’ll need a clutch pedal bumper as shown here. It simply snaps into the slot in the OEM pedal box. Many reproduction parts houses sell them.
At this point, you can reinstall the stick shift pedals (reverse order of the disassembly). Note the nylon bushings (they’re included with the pedal kit). A small dab of grease is all they require.
The pedal pads can be installed next. It’s not a bad idea to add a small amount of silicone sealer to the back of the pad where it mounts to the actual pedal. It helps to the keep the pads affixed to the pedals.
These two holes allow you to fit the pedals to a car with either manual or power brakes. The upper hole (closer to the dash top) is used for manual brakes. The lower hole is used for a power set-up.
Here’s a look at the finished pedal box project. As you can see, preparing the cockpit for a clutch isn’t a tough swap.
You’ve been driving an automatic for what seems like forever.
Your daily driver has one. Your pickup truck has one. And your muscle car has one too. But you’ve always longed to row a stick, especially in a car with some steam under the hood. Banging gears in a hopped-up muscle machine is a hoot. But sometimes in the haste of daydreaming about the perfect 2-3 shift, it’s easy to overlook the little details – like what it really takes to do something seemingly simple, such as setting up the pedals for a clutch.
For many cars, the pedals along with the associated under-dash linkage have long been discontinued from the manufacturer stockpiles. Fortunately, restoration supply companies pretty much have you covered. For example, Classic Industries offer a complete, stock replacement 1967-1969 Camaro and 1968-1972 GM under dash pedal set-up. Classic also offers them for other vehicles.
We’ll be using a first generation Camaro as the example. Installation of the basic pedal assembly isn’t exceedingly difficult, and it’s particularly easy if the pedal “box” is first removed from the car. In the case of a Camaro or second generation Nova, that amounts to less than a half-dozen bolts, and a single electrical connection (brake light switch).
Pedals aren’t the only parts you’ll need. For most (make that “all”) muscle cars, the clutch linkage wasn’t complex, but there are still quite a few pieces of hardware required. You’ll need a couple of pedal pads (those too are available in the aftermarket), since the brake pedal regularly “shrinks” in size, when compared to the one found on automatic cars. You can also buy brake pedal pads with the correct “Disc Brake” logo. Some cars came with bright (stainless) pedal trim. These pieces (pedals pads and clutch linkage) are readily available in today’s restoration aftermarket. So how does the pedal box go together? Check out the following photos and captions for more information.
For Your Information
Classic Industries, (800) 854-1280, www.classicindustries.com