July 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm #233539
I’m 5′ 9″ – 5′ 10″ and find the clutch pedal in my car is a little too far away in my seating position. The brake doesn’t seem so bad and the gas pedal is OK. Without spending $100-200 for pedal extenders from the medical supply houses, has anyone come up with a home-made solution or other less expensive place to buy something that will fit the VW? I also really don’t want to go the route of the hydraulic pedal assembly, just want some easier bolt-on solution, or have to fabricate something myself. Thanks for any ideas, I’m sure this is a fairly common problem.July 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm #245322Peter C. KingParticipant
VW brake and clutch pedals are at the same height. If you feel that the clutch is farther away than the brake then the clutch engagement point may be lower than the brake engagement point. If so, you need to adjust your clutch. There should be 1/2″ – 3/4″ of freeplay at the top of the clutch pedal. That’s the slack before the clutch starts to move. The pedal is harder to push at that point.
The adjustment is under the left rear side of the car. It isn’t hard. There just isn’t much room. You drop the vise grips a lot, usually on your safety glasses. Tell the kids to go play outside when you do it. Do kids still play outside?
Your clutch should be kept in adjustment for more reasons than pedal height. With a low pedal the clutch doesn’t completely disengage. That’s hard on the gearbox synchros on the road, not to mention the rear bumper of the car in front of you as you try to keep your wee beastie from creeping ahead with the clutch pedal on the floor at a stop light. It’s hard on the clutch plate too. If you let it go long enough you won’t be able to put the car into gear with the clutch pedal on the floor.
The procedure along with nicely drawn illustrations is in “Volkswagen For The Compleat Idiot” by John Muir. If you don’t have it, you need to buy it for maintenance projects like this.
Type 1 VWs have a high tinker factor. They were designed in 1936. This is a Model A Ford level of technology implementation. Don’t think that you are driving a modern car. It’s not. Nothing on it is really hard. It’s just busy.
How’s the free play on your steeering wheel?July 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm #245323
Thanks for your input BDriver, but I don’t think the clutch is out of adjustment, I just think the pedal is too far way. I am going to have some engine work done, and will check the adjustment etc. with the car up on the lift, that should be a lot easier than crawling underneath.
There is no play in the steering wheel, the steering is pretty tight.
I will find that book, thanks.
Any other suggestions for a 2-3″ closer or thicker pedal?July 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm #245324Peter C. KingParticipant
How about the redneck equivalent of a phone book? A block of wood with a couple of straps on the back to clamp around each side of the clutch pedal? Some kind of rubber might be better for traction.
Before you spend too much time on treating the symptom, you should look at the pedal assembly. The brake and clutch pedals should be at the same height. Is there something that keeps the clutch pedal from returning to full height? There are springs in the base of the pedal assembly that do that. Is the clutch pedal spring intact? Is there debris in the pedal base? It collects sand and dirt. You might be surprised at the amount of stuff that comes out of there after a shot from an air compressor.July 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm #245325
The pedals are at the same height. Everything moves and feels normal, I will clean everything, etc. The problem is the way these cars are built using the VW pan, the pedal assembly is much further away, the seat is farther back, the windshield and steering wheel are farther back, than in a stock VW, so the pedals are farther to reach. If I was 6′ tall, there would be no problem. It is drivable the way it is, everything works, it’s just a stretch and I was wondering how to get them a little closer.
The redneck solution will probably be the one I go to after all else is done unless there’s some other ready-made bolt-on extender that is not grossly ugly or hideously expensive for what it is.
And using my Northern (NY/NJ) expertise, after being in the South (Panhandle of Florida) for the past 10 years, I know I can rig up something nice that would make any Redneck proud, and maybe amazed.
Also, unless I can get the pedals closer, my SO could never drive the car (which could be a good thing) unless she was almost supine at the wheel or sitting right up against the steering wheel.
mrlmd40728.9740625July 5, 2011 at 8:47 am #245326Richard WobbyParticipant
My seat has a set of adjustment rails. They look like old VW seat rails attached to the seat tub and the pan. This allows the seat to be adjusted for Mrs Wobby or myself. Also the back of my seat has a marine slide bar so I can make the back more upright. I think I have pictures of back of seat in photos. If needed I will pull seat and post pics of that as well.July 5, 2011 at 11:41 am #245327
The seats on my car (Fiberfab ?) are fixed with a fiberglass seat pan or support fixed to the floor with the seat hinged at the front to make a small storage area underneath. I suppose that could be modified to install a sliding seat but I really don’t want to get any closer to the steering wheel.
I may be able to adjust the clutch pedal for less free play when I get the engine work done but it’s still a little bit of a stretch.
I may just have to fab some sort of 2″ pad or extension over the top of the clutch pedal if that doesn’t work.
Can you post a pic of your seat rails? Are they mounted to the floor pan or that fiberglass box beneath the seat?July 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm #245328Mark HendricksonParticipant
The pedals in these cars are moved back quite a bit over the factory Beetle location. Looks like the builder of yours was comfortable with then where he put them.
You can remove the carpet from the tunnel on the passenger side opposite the pedals and see if the builder cut an access hole for the two bolts and nuts that should now hold the VW clutch/brake pedal assembly to the tunnel.
You can move the pedals back (both will move) by redrilling new holes. You’ll have to shorten the clutch cable/tube and lengthen the brake pedal to master cylinder rod. You will also have to move the gas pedal too.
Sounds like moving the seat base forward is an easier fix.
Hope this helpsJuly 5, 2011 at 10:40 pm #245329mikeParticipant
under the pedal assembly is a small piece of metal bolted to the floor that keeps the pedals from falling rearward too much. on the stock vw i believe it was welded to the floorpan.perhaps you could elongate the holes for some adjustment or whack it with a hammer and steel rod.HOWEVER, dont let the clutch pedal fall or it will come loose in the tunnel from the cable and you will have to loosen the whole assembly to put it back in.(been there) and just do the clutch side. not the brake .if this works , you have spent 15 minutes of your time . good luckJuly 6, 2011 at 9:31 am #245330Dale SchumacherParticipant
My fiberfab has flat rods that extend the original controls farther back – can’t
you just use a different hole in the rod or make a new one to push the clutch
back a bit and leave the other two where they are?July 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm #245331Tom ColelloParticipant
mrlmd, can you take a picture and post it. Might save a lot of guessing on everyone’s part.
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