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Replacing Broken Clutch Pedal - How to Guide (with pics)

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by AJC, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. AJC
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    AJC 3rd Gear

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    [Sep 6, 2012]
    Thought I'd write a guide on replacing the clutch pedal (which regularly fails) as I haven't found a complete guide on this forum. I have also discovered by accident a way that makes the job much easier ;)
    I've found you can lock the pedal right back and then slot the spring into place without the need for cable ties etc. which makes the whole job pretty straightforward.

    Have done this twice now and so far no swearing and no busted knuckles!

    Hope this helps someone if you end up having to do the same......

    For starters here's a pic of the entire clutch pedal assembly for reference.

    [​IMG]


    1. First job is to remove the lower dash surround to gain access to the clutch pedal. If you haven't done this before you start by removing the side fuse cover by placing a small bladed screwdriver in this gap (blue arrow). The cover is held in by three spring clips and hides most of the fuses for the car.
    [​IMG]



    2. Now remove these 3 torx screws.
    [​IMG]


    3. You now have a further 3 screws to remove (blue arrows). With these out the way you can gently prise the lower dash surround away from the car. Start by gently pulling the lower part of the surround away from the pedals, you may find that it's quite stiff around the fuse panel end but it will come away. At the same time start to pull the surround up and away from the top. It is held in by two spring clips, one either side of the steering wheel and you simply need to pull the surround away from the dash to remove. The clips can be seen in the next two pics.
    [​IMG]


    4. One here.......
    [​IMG]


    5. ......and one here.
    [​IMG]



    6. The lower surround should now fall away and look something like this. 3 wiring connectors to remove which simply unplug, the headlight switch, dimmer control and VAG COM port (blue arrows). The surround can now be removed from the car.
    [​IMG]



    7. Before tackling the clutch pedal it's worth removing this switch. You'll need this out of the way when we come to replacing the pedal. Simply unplug the wiring connector and then remove the switch by turning it 45 degrees anti-clockwise. On my car there was a bit of yellow paint to indicate the position of the switch correctly fitted.
    [​IMG]


    8. If the switch has been removed before it may be quite loose. If damaged new ones can be ordered separately from the dealers. Make sure you take the part number with you as my local dealer couldn't find it on ETKA! Here's what mine looks like. Notice the lugs at the top that hold the switch in place, break these off and it's new switch or plenty of Araldite.
    [​IMG]



    9. If you're pedal is still intact you'll see something like this. Go ahead and remove the nut at the top (13mm) and withdraw the bolt that secures the pedal to the bracket. There is a metal cylindrical shaft that may fall out too once the pedal is clear of the bracket. If the nut is on the other side of the pedal you'll find it tricky to withdraw the bolt as the brake pedal and steering column gets in the way so you may end up cursing for the first time here. Once the bolt has been removed the pedal should still be hanging loose by the master cylinder rod and white clip assembly (blue arrow). The main spring will also have fallen down and needs to be retained.
    [​IMG]


    10. To remove the white clip from the pedal you'll first need to remove this black plastic cover. SImply insert a small flat screwdriver in here (arrow) on both sides to prise it off the pedal. You now need to remove the white clip that holds the master cylinder rod to the pedal. This can be tricky (especially once the pedal is loose) but you need to insert something into the recesses on both sides and allow the clip to be prised away from the pedal. Once out the white clip can be prised off the rod (again tricky but brute force works) and if planning to purchase a new pedal then this white clip is supplied as part of the pedal kit and can be discarded. You've now finished removing the old pedal, replacing a new one is quick and easy.
    [​IMG]



    11. If your pedal has snapped you've probably got a selection of these parts on your floor. The only thing you need to hang on to is the large spring. The white clip and black plastic cover are supplied with a new pedal so don't worry if you can't find them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Your pedal may look something like this. This is the main cause of the pedal failing. The welds simply aren't strong enough and over time this will eventually happen. You could weld this up if you wish but a new pedal kit is only around £25 from the dealers.
    [​IMG]




    13. Although mine hadn't sheared I opted to buy a new pedal and had it welded for extra strength. This is not my pedal but you can see what's required. Before replacing the pedal in the car make sure you insert new metal bushes here (arrow) on both sides. These bushes are not routinely supplied with the pedal so be sure to order them. You could try and remove the original ones from the old pedal but I just bought new ones. They are part number 8 on the ETKA pic at the start of this guide and cost around £0.70 for the pair but without them the pedal will wobble from side to side once fitted. In this picture the bushes and metal cylinder have yet to be fitted.
    This is important, if you have welded the bracket you must make sure that the white clip will fit into the recess. If it doesn't remove some of the weld from the inside of the recess using a dremmel or drill bit or simply file some of the plastic away from the white clip. It is essential that the clip slides perfectly into the recess and locks into place so take your time to get it right.
    [​IMG]


    14. With all the fabrication complete we can now refit the pedal to the car.

    1) Start by refitting the white clip onto the master cylinder rod. Again this is tricky but you can either use brute force and a pair of pliers or try putting the clip in some boiling water for a while and then snap it onto the end of the rod. Once fitted to the rod, position it into the recess of the pedal but DO NOT push it firmly home.

    2) Now refit the bolt securing the pedal to the bracket. It's a good idea to apply some grease to the metal cylinder to ensure it rotates freely within the pedal especially if your pedal has been squeaking. Remember to push the bolt in from the left side as there's much more room. Only tighten the nut finger tight at this stage.

    3) Now the clever bit. First pull the pedal back all the way until it rests against the back of the bracket (circle). You can do this as the white clip has not been fully engaged.

    4) Whilst holding the pedal back you now push firmly to the right so that the pedal can sit behind the left lip of the bracket. This lip will hold the pedal in place and you can let go and the pedal should stay put (as in the picture). I'm sure this has been designed this way as it holds the pedal perfectly.
    [​IMG]


    15. With the pedal locked safely back we can easily fit the clutch spring without having to compress and tie wrap it. Before fitting check to make sure the spring is still greased (to prevent possible squeaks) and using your fingers simply slide it up and past the rod and ensure the back of the spring sits perfectly into the recess at the very back of the bracket (circled). The spring will either sit right or be 90 degrees out because of the design of the spring and the recess. You'll know when you've got this right as the spring is held fairly secure and you'll find resistance if you try to twist it. Then just let the front end fall down and rest against the arm of the pedal as in the pic. Notice how the spring rests perfectly in place and how the arm of the clutch pedal fits into the recess on the top of the spring. Now pull gently down on the top of the spring and it will follow the arm of the pedal (arrow) and eventually 'pop' into it's final position with the end of the pedal arm pushed securely into the recess on the end of the spring. You only need to pull down gently on the spring enough to get it moving and there is no risk of the spring firing off into your face as it's not under any tension. The pedal will stay firmly put during all of this process.
    [​IMG]


    16. With the spring securely in place we can now put the clutch pedal back into its usual position. Hold the end of the pedal and push it back down towards it's normal position. You may need to push it firmly as it's wedged against the lip of the bracket but it will move back into place comfortably. As you move it forward you'll hear a 'click' as the white clip locks into place. If it doesn't click and lock into place you have either not trial fitted it beforehand or you have inserted it upside down. As mentioned before if you have welded the pedal you must check that this clip will fit perfectly and this is much easier to do with the pedal off the car and not hanging upside down in your footwell! I had filed some of the plastic away on mine and consequently it was unsymmetrical and only fitted one way round. To make sure I fitted it correctly I marked the bottom of the clip with a red marker.
    Remember that once this white clip has locked into place you will not be able to put the pedal back into the locked position. If for whatever reason you need to do this then you will first have to disengage the clip before attempting to pull the pedal back.
    [​IMG]


    17. With the pedal fitted and the spring in place you can now fully tighten the 13mm nut and bolt. Then refit the black plastic cover which acts as the backing plate for the clutch switch to press against. You can see the mark the switch has made on my clip.....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    18. ........and then refit the clutch switch. Be careful here as the lugs aren't that strong and can snap off easily.
    [​IMG]


    19. Refitting the lower dash surround is the opposite of removal.
    [​IMG]


    20. That's it job done! With a replacement new pedal welded and ready to go, this whole job took me about an hour.

    Again hope this helps anyone that is faced with doing this. Before I realised you could lock the pedal back it was a right PITA trying to work out how to get the spring in place. Don't know if this is the Audi approved way of doing it but it seems to work well!!

    Cheers

    Andy
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
    #1
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  3. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Active Member

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    [Sep 6, 2012]
    Excellent post! Pehaps this should be made a stickie?
    #2
  4. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Sep 6, 2012]
    Done 30 mins ago :)

    <tuffty/>
    #3
  5. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid Supporter

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    [Sep 6, 2012]
    Excellent mate..... :icon_thumright:
    #4
  6. Ralfy
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    Ralfy New Member

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    [Jan 13, 2013]
    Andy,
    Great write up and images. Just hope I never have to use it! One question - is it possible to remove the lower dash and then remove the black plastic cover to check the condition of the pedal and see if it looks like it may break, without doing anything else?
    #5
  7. AJC
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    AJC 3rd Gear

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    [Feb 20, 2013]
    You can certainly remove the clutch switch and cover without removing the lower dash or any other part of the clutch pedal but it may prove difficult to then see inside the bracket to check the condition even with a torch......just be careful removing an old clutch switch as the lugs can bend and snap.
    #6
  8. L33h
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    L33h Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    Thanks for this, great guide. Done It the other day due to mine snapping. I welded mine up and had to sand down the white clip to get it to fit but found it pritty straight forward. Happy days :)
    #7
  9. L33h
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    L33h Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    And I'm guessing the clutch switch is for cruise control as my agu hasn't got one?
    #8
  10. manikm
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    manikm Member

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    [Mar 23, 2014]
    Andy thank you so much for this brilliant guide. Last week we tried following another article which inc compressing the spring and had no info on the pedal trick so we ended up having to drill out the white clip housing. It took us 8 hours. All last sunday. Night mare. And the clutch pedal was riding high as a consequence of drilling the clip. Anyway we found ur guide and repeated the work and it took us just 2 hours. Thanks thanks thanks !!!!!
    #9
  11. AJC
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    AJC 3rd Gear

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    [Mar 24, 2014]
    You're very welcome, glad to help. I've found this entire forum quite a resource for the DIY mechanic.
    #10
  12. manikm
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    manikm Member

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    [Mar 24, 2014]
    Ps I actually performed this on my audi tt as its the same. The only thing to note was that moving the pedal to the right took a bit of force. It maybe easier on an a3. Also getting that white nylon clip onto the master cylinder took a lot of my brute strength. Ive still got indentation on my left hand for my efforts. Maybe a glove is in order for this bit. That was after putting it into some hot water first. Again thank you as it made an eight hour job into one less than two hours.
    #11
  13. phil08
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    phil08 Member

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    [Mar 25, 2014]
    Fantastic guide.

    My old mk4 Golf 4mo had this issue and was a mare to work out what went wrong.

    Interestingly I have noticed a bit of play in the clutch pedal on my S3 recently. It feels like its moving around a bit and feels odd on the foot. I've also noted when pressing the clutch the brake pedal moves ever so slightly.

    I'm a bit worried this could be the start of a clip failure if I'm honest.
    #12
  14. manikm
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    manikm Member

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    [Mar 25, 2014]
    U could always try taking off lower dash taking off the black plastic stopper and checking out the welds. Doubt its related to brake tho mate
    #13
  15. Arwyn Palmer
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    Arwyn Palmer New Member

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    [Jun 21, 2014]
    Thanks for this guide made my life a lot easier, well it was still a back ache of a job. I could not manage to get my pedal locked into bracket as you said though, gave it a good go but the bracket was flexing quite a lot and I didn't want to break anything still managed it in the end. Just a note the size of the person doing helps too, being 6'3 and quite broad shouldered it was a ***** but someone smaller shouldn't have such a problem.
    #14
  16. Swervedriver
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    Swervedriver Member

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    [Jun 22, 2014]
    One of the best guides, I've ever seen.
    #15
  17. TheRunningMan
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    TheRunningMan Member

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    [Jun 22, 2014]
    I was dreading seeing a post like this on here... I had the same problem with my mk4 Golf and apart from the inconvenience of having to have the car recovered it is a PITA job. I was under the impression the new clutch pedals supplied were a revised item with stronger welds but does anyone know if these made it onto later cars from the factory? Mine being an 03 I certainly hope so. More worryingly the pedal in my A3 is a lot stiffer than it was in my Golf so I would expect it to go a lot sooner.
    #16
  18. danger S3
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    danger S3 Member

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    [Jun 24, 2014]
    Great Job Andy, thanks
    hopefully i dont have todo this for a while :o.k:
    #17
  19. S3Hendry
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    S3Hendry Member

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    [Jun 24, 2014]
    I was driving to work the other day in my s3 8l went to select 3rd and heard something break, then pedal was stuck to the floor, got the car towed by a colleague to the local garage, they welded the pedal, cost me 65 quid, was charged 1 hrs labour
    #18
  20. Aaron1.8t
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    Aaron1.8t Member

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    [Jun 26, 2014]
    Mine jus broke on me the other day.. Ordered a new pedal from audi for £32... Might actually jus get it welded now.
    Is it the same system for a a3 1.8t as im guessing this is a write up for a s3?..
    Thanks
    Aaron
    #19
  21. AJC
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    AJC 3rd Gear

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    [Jun 26, 2014]
    Aaron the pedals are the same across the A3 range with manual gearbox.
    #20
  22. Aaron1.8t
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    Aaron1.8t Member

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    [Jun 26, 2014]
    Nice one mate..
    #21
  23. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Jul 29, 2014]
    Great guide, thanks.

    I've just done this.

    A couple of tips from me.

    I tried fitting the white plastic clip to the pedal first, then fitting the pedal, then using the pedal leverage to push the white plastic clip on to the master cylinder. This did not work. Don't bother!

    What did work is some long nosed pliers. You can fit the white plastic clip at 90 degrees. It's basically a ball joint. Fitting it at 90 degrees lets you get the long nosed pliers in to squash the 2 parts together.

    I'm pretty sure I would have broken something if I forced my pedal to the right any more to make it fit behind the 'lip'. I used a screwdriver in the upper hole that looks the same as the hole the clutch switch was removed from. Use the screwdriver to lever the pedal to where you want it. Nice and easy.

    I now have a working clutch again. I'll hang on to the old one in case it happens again as the new pedal was exactly the same design and has not been reinforced.

    I read somewhere that the plastic clips came with the pedal. This isn't true. Luckily Audi confirmed that before I ordered, so you need to order the pedal, the white plastic clip, the black plastic switch stop and ideally the 2 bushes that make the clutch pedal spindle / bearing a tighter fit.

    Cheers,

    Paul
    #22
  24. Aaron1.8t
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    Aaron1.8t Member

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    [Jul 30, 2014]
    Hi guys talkn bout the bushes... The clutch bushes mentioned that joint to pedal... I only had metal rod type o bush.
    Now the clutch pedal seems to move a lil... What have i missed? I jus used the metal rod that slipped into the pedal where the bolt n nut tightens up at joint? Its mentioned above there two bushes? :/
    #23
  25. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Jul 30, 2014]
    There are 2 very thin bushes if you look at the old pedal. I nearly missed them but realised that the new pedal when fitted with the old spindle felt much looser than the old one so figured something was missing. I just took the old ones out. They come out easily. Probably better to get new ones though as I bet they are just a few pence.
    #24
  26. Aaron1.8t
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    Aaron1.8t Member

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    [Jul 30, 2014]
    Damnn okk il have a look later today!! Cheers mate
    #25
  27. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Jul 30, 2014]
    If you have to redo the pedal, have a look at my post above for a couple of tips to make it easier. Basically use long nose pliers to fit the plastic clip and a screwdriver to lever the pedal over.
    #26
  28. AJC
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    AJC 3rd Gear

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    [Jul 31, 2014]
    pol when I wrote this guide back in 2012, both the white clip and black plastic cover were included in the replacement pedal which cost from memory around £27 + VAT.

    Aaron1.8t the bushes are mentioned in the guide, they are part number 8 on the ETKA pic and cost pence from the dealer.

    pol if you leave the 13mm nut loose you should find there is enough movement to lever the pedal over and into the recess.
    #27
  29. pol
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    pol Member

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    [Jul 31, 2014]
    I appreciate the guide, these were just a couple of tips from me doing this recently and they might help someone else out. There was now way my pedal would have moved over enough without levering through that hole. It was flexing / bending where it mounts to the bulkhead. The 13mm nut was loose.

    Definitely no plastic clips with my pedal ordered the other day. It's worth checking with Audi.

    Pulling the spring down without doing the cable tie thing works really well.
    #28
  30. Ndevj
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    Ndevj New Member

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    [Aug 16, 2014]
    Good guide I have just completed it. First the bolt what a pita. I couldn't push the pedal to the side like you did, so I had to cable tie the spring to get it back in. Thanks a lot that was a real help. I think I would have set fire to it if I didn't follow your detailed guide.
    #29
  31. Jeepster
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    Jeepster New Member

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    [Sep 4, 2014]
    Have this to do on mine as it failed today! New pedal ordered £32 including vat, welding first then fitting cheers for the guide! Ajc
    #30
  32. dunny
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    dunny New Member

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    [Sep 5, 2014]
    I also used this guide and some of the extra tips recently and it worked a treat, thanks very much!
    #31
  33. Jeepster
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    Jeepster New Member

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    [Sep 8, 2014]
    Havin trouble with this I followed the guide! But cannot get the spring in or the pedal to lock out againest the bracket to place the spring in! Only need the spring in and it's done.
    #32
  34. dunny
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    dunny New Member

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    [Sep 8, 2014]
    I had to use a screwdriver to push the pedal in place it wouldn't budge otherwise. Then the spring is easy to fit.
    #33
  35. Jeepster
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    Jeepster New Member

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    [Sep 8, 2014]
    Hey mate it's all mounted but guide says push the pedal firmly to right to lock the pedal out,feels like I'm going to bust the bracket doing that! Having a mare!
    #34
  36. dunny
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    dunny New Member

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    [Sep 8, 2014]
    Had the exact same problem mate, but wedging a screwdriver in the top hole next to the pedal above where the switch goes allowed me to lever it over no problems.
    #35
  37. Jeepster
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    Jeepster New Member

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    [Sep 8, 2014]
    Tryed mounting the spring with out the bolt through that nearly worked but the tension won't let me put the bolt through aaarrrggghhh!
    #36
  38. AJC
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    AJC 3rd Gear

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    [Sep 9, 2014]
    jeepster - is the white clip still loose? If the white clip is engaged then the master cylinder rod will only allow minimal travel and you won't be able to move the pedal rearward at all.

    If it is loose then you should at least be able to pull the pedal backwards.....being able to lock the pedal back simply makes the job easier and free's up your other hand.

    If you can't lock the pedal against the bracket then try holding it back with one hand and use the other to insert the spring.
    #37
  39. Jeepster
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    Jeepster New Member

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    [Sep 11, 2014]
    Hey AJC thanks for the reply, I got it all mounted as you described but with the pedal all the way back It wouldn't lock out on the bracket! Felt like I was going bust something. So I removed the bolt to let the pedal sit a bit freely and I got the spring in managed to get the bolt through what a mare that was only to discover that it had not located in the recess at the bulkhead and the recess cup had moved up and to the left. So currently back in bits till sat so I will have another go at it. It seems easy enough just going to take my time as it took over four hours for me the first time. The white clip never locked out on the second attempt does this mean the spring wasn't located properly cheers in advance and how will I know if the white clip is upside down? Cheers j
    #38
  40. dunny
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    dunny New Member

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    [Sep 11, 2014]
    Like I said @Jeepster I had the same problem as you, the pedal literally would not budge any further right without feeling I'd break something. But use a screwdriver into the hole above where the plug goes and I promise you can lever it across. It makes life a lot easier that way. I'm sure the white clip only fitted in one way, but I could be wrong.
    #39
  41. Jeepster
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    Jeepster New Member

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    [Sep 11, 2014]
    Cheers dunny! Back on it Saturday..
    #40

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