Clutch Pedal Helper Spring: Thoughts and Technical Details - Mustang Evolution

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Old 08-09-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
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Exclamation Clutch Pedal Helper Spring: Thoughts and Technical Details

Like many of you, I have some clutch pedal weirdness after a couple high rpm shifts in my 2012 GT. It's not so much that the clutch pedal gets stuck down, but that it doesn't want to return all the way when released. Many people have tried removing this assist spring to solve the issue.

I drove with this spring removed for about a week and here are my thoughts:

There is a definite increase in pedal pressure. This alone doesn't bother me much, I ran a Spec Stage 2 clutch in my '95. What I don't like is the non-linearity of pedal pressure without the spring. Basically, that spring has two functions. First, when the pedal is above a certain point, it increases the pedal force and wants to top the pedal out. Below that point, the spring is assisting you in depressing the clutch. In my opinion Ford did a good job with this design, because the composite nature of this spring combines with the other torsion spring, the hydraulic clutch cylinder, and the pressure plate to provide a pretty linear (if a bit dainty) pedal feel. With the compression spring removed, there seems to be a spike in pedal force right near the engagement point that can make lazy shifts require more attention than they should to be smooth. The pedal also feels like it's connected to cake at the the very top of its travel (spongy as hell). I don't like this.

Did removing the spring solve the issue for me? No. At best it made it less noticeable, but it is clear that the underlying cause is still there. The trade off in pedal feel isn't worth the small improvement in pedal 'sticking' to me. Not to mention if I have to let someone else drive my car (god forbid), the chances of them launching it into a solid object are a whole lot bigger without the spring in there!

The instructions are to push out the upper steel retaining pin, then the whole assembly simply slides off from the lower fixed pin. Many people struggle with pushing the pin out, and this is because the pin is not meant to be pushed out.

Assembly Description:
The pin is not a continuous cylinder. The upper spring perch has two outboard ears for capturing the pin. It is a cylinder inside those ears, but has two flat spots ground into it in between these ears, where it connects to the housing. At this pin attachment point on the pedal, the pin does not engage a hole, it is actually a slot, with the open portion facing backwards (towards the floor). When you try to drive the pin out, you are forcing the full size portion of the pin to deform the more narrow slot.

To remove the assembly, you need to push straight backwards on the upper perch. I haven't done this because when I removed it, I drove the pin out like has been directed, and after reinstalling it's going to stay there. But, if I can reinstall this by hand, getting it out should not be a problem. I think the ideal tool would be something that has a small fork in it, which would allow one side to be placed on each ear of the upper perch, then given a firm tap. You can also play with depressing the pedal to see if a certain position helps the removal.

Installation looked to be a nightmare using the the "pin in from the side method", which is why I looked closer at the design. I thought there is no way Ford intended it to be this hard. I assembled the spring stack (including the upper pin), slipped it over the fixed lower pin with the assembly laying towards the floorboard, then rotated the assembly towards me and into the upper mounting slot. If I remember right, at first I depressed the pedal all the way which assisted the assembly to seat in an initial notch and stay in place. I then took some pliers and grabbed the head of the metal pin and rotated it to align the flat spots (to the top and bottom position). Once more tug on it seated the whole thing in place.

Hope this is of some help, prevents people from breaking things during removal and allows for re-installation if you so choose!
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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Wow this is some good info, I have noticed the clutch get spongy after a bit, I would love to see what's really behind it
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
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I know this is an old post, but I found it while googling for helper spring removal - and after reading it I have no plans to remove the helper spring.

gweze001, I've read that the sponginess that occurs after a bit is due to the plastic/rubber hydraulic clutch line. Allegedly replacing it with a steel braided line is supposed to resolve it, but I can't vouch for that.
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