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Konrad Sauer Konrad Sauer is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 14
81 SC clutch cable adjustment – first and reverse trouble

Long time reader with first post and first 911 (a very well maintained and documented 81 SC coupe) arrived less than a year ago after 30 years of dreaming about it. We have been enjoying it ever since… still pinching ourselves that this is our car. 88k miles now, we have added 4k since it arrived.

Went out for a drive and shifting into first was suddenly tough - started buzzing after we backed out of the garage. Not really crunching, but not shifting into the gear as it had since it arrived. Figured it might be me, so continued for a couple blocks, but no change, so drove back home. Sent a video to an experienced SC owner and he said the clutch cable needed adjusting – clutch not fully disengaging.

Pulled out the Bentley book and the 101 projects book to read up on it. Jacked the car up (for the first time), check the gap between the stop bolt and the large release arm – it was well past 1mm. Loosened the cable housing lock nuts and adjusted the gap between the stop bolt and the lever arm until it was 1.2mm and the feeler could be held in place, but also removed without to much effort. Then tightened the lock nut on clutch cable until the gap was 1mm. There was enough pressure to hold the feeler gauge, but could be removed with similar effort to when it was 1.2mm. Pressed the clutch in several times and re-checked the gap. It had changed several thou, so re-adjusted to get the 1mm gap back. Pressed the clutch a few times again, and re-checked. It was still a little off, not as much, and adjusted again, pressed the clutch several times, and it didn’t move. Put the car down, started it up, first was fine and backed out of the garage. Drove around the block a few times, then for a longer drive the next day. Used reverse twice (to back out of the garage).

Was thinking the problem was solved until we wanted to go for a drive today and reverse was buzzing. Put it into first, still fine, then slowly into reverse… still buzzing. Jacked the car back up and checked the gap. Still 1mm. pressed the clutch to the floor 3 times and re-checked – still 1mm.

Checked the clutch travel distance - 23.5mm. Adjusted the stop behind the clutch to 25mm. Now first and reverse are buzzing – clutch not fully disengaging.

Checked the coupler behind the seats, - set screw is tight as is the bolt. The bushings still have give (pressed in finger nail) so seem fine, no debris in the boot. Bowden tube seems secure - does not move. The roll pin that holds the clutch pedal looks good – front and back.

Starting to wonder about the clutch cable itself, or the clutch release fork as this seems to be a bit of a moving target, but am also recognizing I may have missed something or done something wrong. I am new to this type of work, but work with my hands for a living, so feel I am capable of learning and doing it. Hoping someone can pick up on something I have overlooked or offer a new approach to figuring this out.



here is a photo of what things look like.

Thanks in advance.
Old 06-24-2020, 05:22 AM
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