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Pedal Cluster Rebuild
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Pedal Cluster Rebuild

Norm Smith

Time:

2.5 hours

Tab:

$15-$20

Talent:

**

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-74)
Porsche 911 Carrera (1974-86)
Porsche 911E (1969-73)
Porsche 911L (1968)
Porsche 911S (1967-77)
Porsche 911SC (1978-83)
Porsche 911T (1969-73)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 912E (1976)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)

Parts Required:

Pedal bushings
Very often, on older 911s, 356s, and 914s, the pedal cluster binds and sticks. This is often caused by a number of factors. Rain water from old and worn seals sometimes has a habit of leaking down into the pedal area. Leaky master cylinders can also cause the plastic bushings that the pedals slide in to bind and stick. Either way, rebuilding your pedal cluster is not a very difficult job to perform, and can be completed in a day.

The most common upgrade for the pedal cluster is to replace the original plastic bushings with bronze, oil-impregnated ones. The bronze pedal bushing kit is shown in Figure 1. The bronze bushings won't be subject to the corrosion from any leaky master cylinders, and they also help protect against rust that may be caused by water leakage. Replacing the plastic bushings also helps guarantee that your pedal cluster won't squeak anymore, or even worse, get stuck in the down position. You will most likely also need some new rubber pedals for your brake and clutch, and also some white lithium grease to make sure that everything stays lubricated. (Figure 2)

The pedal cluster for the early 911s and the 914 are identical (see Figure 3). Figure 4 shows an exploded view of the pedal cluster that is very useful for reassembly. See our 914 Parts Section for more details on the exploded view. The accelerator pedal itself is a separate unit from the entire cluster. The clutch pedal on the cluster is sprung so that the pedal is always pushed towards the floor. If you disconnect the clutch cable, then the pedal will drop to the floor. This is important to remember if you can't figure out which direction the clutch spring goes. When the clutch cable is connected to the car, then the actual spring of the pressure plate is what pulls the pedal out from the floor. The brake pedal on the other hand, is sprung so that the pedal is pushing out towards your feet, and works in conjunction with the spring inside the master cylinder.

The first step in rebuilding your pedal cluster involves removing it from the car. Start by removing the carpet down by the floorwell. Depending upon how previous owners of your car mounted the carpet, it should easily pull up and away from the cluster. On some cars, this involves only removing the driver side floor mat. If the carpet is glued down, then remove it very carefully, as you can tear the carpet, and have to replace it.

Once you get the carpet removed, then you need to remove the wooden floorboard. There should be two hex-head bolts holding the wooden floor board to the chassis. Remove these bolts, and then remove the floor board. On some cars (356s in particular) you may need to remove the accelerator pedal to get the floorboard out. Be careful not to bang the 356 fuel cock hanging down in the inside of the car.

If you look carefully at the wooden floorboard, you will see that there are slots around the openings for the pedals. These are there so that the pedal can be pressed down and not bang into the wood. These slots also help you in removing the floorboard. Carefully twist it out, but make sure that you don't damage it when you are removing it. Sometimes it is useful to remove the pedal covers when removing the floorboards, as that gives you just a little more room to maneuver.

After you get the wooden floorboard out, inspect it and make sure that it is all in one piece, and not water damaged. Seeing how they are made of wood, they often wear out and deteriorate over the years. Pelican Parts stocks good used replacement floorboards if you need one for your car. If yours is ok, you might want to respray it with some newer high-tech sealant paint that will keep it fresh for many years to come.

Once you have the floorboards out, you should have access to the pedal cluster. If your car is like everyone that I have owned, there will be a lot of debris down there. Dirt, rust, screws, washers, leaves, small animals, lost episodes of "Gilligan's Island" and other assorted junk has a unique habit of finding its way underneath the pedal cluster. I would advise taking a vacuum cleaner and cleaning out the area near the cluster before you remove it. This will make the job a lot more pleasant, and will also prevent you from tracking dirt and other debris across the interior of your car when you remove the cluster.

After the cluster area is cleaned, then you can remove the cluster itself. Start by disconnecting the clutch cable from the cluster. The cable should be attached with a small cup-like coupler that can simply be snapped off of the ball on the pedal cluster. I usually like to use a screwdriver to perform this task, as my hand almost inevitably slips, and bangs against something sharp. Now, disconnect the gas pedal from the cluster. A similar ball-cup connection device should join the two together. On the 914, simply pull the pedal out towards you, and the ball should separate from the rubber pedal.

Once you have the clutch cable and accelerator disconnected, you can now remove the pedal cluster. At this point, you need to jack up the front of the car, and remove the belly pan, or metal lid that protects the steering rack from dirt and debris. You need to gain access to the nuts that mount the master cylinder to the car. It's not obvious at first, but the master cylinder mounts to two studs that are welded to the pedal cluster base, and sandwiches the sheet metal of the car in-between. It took me a while to figure this out when I first performed this job several years ago. Remove the two nuts that hold the master cylinder to the pedal cluster underneath the car. This is shown in Figure 4B. Then, move back to the cockpit, and remove the two bolts that hold the cluster to the floor of the chassis. After you have these four nuts/bolts removed, then you should be able to pull the cluster up and out of the car.

Once the cluster is removed, it is now time to take it apart. Start by removing the rubber pedal covers if you haven't already done that. By now, you should have a new bronze pedal cluster rebuild kit. With the cluster still assembled, carefully examine the springs that compress against both the clutch pedal and the brake pedal. The brake pedal spring is shown in Figure 5. If these springs are broken or damaged, then you will need to get a a new one. Give us a call if you need a replacement spring - Pelican Parts regularly stocks both of these.

The majority of the cluster is held in by a roll pin that is inserted through the end of the clutch pedal. The hardest part of rebuilding the cluster is getting the old pin out. There are a few ways of doing this, and none of them work very well. As an alternative, you can take the cluster to a machine shop and have them remove it on one of their presses.

The first thing to try in removing the roll pin is to place a bolt on one end and smack it carefully with a hammer. Make sure that the base of the clutch pedal is firmly mounted in a vise so that you don't dent, damage, or bend any of the parts on the cluster. Tapping the pin with a hammer might make it move slightly. I my own personal experience, it required quite a bit more to get the pin out. One particular method that I like is to drill the inside of the pin out, as shown in Figure 6. Get a few brand new steel drill bits (and plan on destroying them in this process), and start by drilling inside the roll pin. The pin has a hollow center, so it should be relatively easy to get the drill bit started in the pin. Drill out the pin by increasing the size of the drill bit that you use, until the pin is significantly smaller in diameter, as shown in Figure 7. Now, the pin should be easier to press out. You can now try to smack it out with a hammer, or you can place it in a vise with a screw behind the roll pin, and compress the vise until the pin is pressed out, as shown in Figure 8 and Figure 9. The roll pin is shown removed in Figure 10.

Once you get the pin out, the hardest part of rebuilding the cluster is behind you. Now, disassemble the pedal cluster. Begin by removing the clutch pedal bottom (#30) from the clutch lever shaft (#34). You can do this by prying it off with a screwdriver, as shown in Figure 11. Once you have the clutch bottom removed, then you can slide out the clutch pedal shaft. The clutch pedal bottom and clutch pedal shaft are shown in Figure 12.

Now, you need to remove the brake pedal. Remove the nut (#36), shown in Figure 13, that holds in the flange that is attached to the bearing tube (#38). After the nut has been removed (Figure 14), then you can slide out the bearing tube and remove it. After the tube has been removed, it should be easy to remove the center tube/brake pedal (#40) that surrounds the bearing tube.

You should now have the entire pedal assembly disassembled. Take the bearing tube, and remove the two plastic bushings (#35) from each end. Inspect the tube for any rust or surface debris. In most cases, the tube will require cleaning. Take a sheet of fine sandpaper, and lightly sand off any rust that might have formed on the tube. This is shown in Figure 15. Now, take the two new medium sized bronze bushings and insert them in each end of the tube. Take a small amount of lithium grease and run some around the inside of the bronze bushings. Now set the bearing tube aside.

After you have cleaned the bearing tube, set it aside, and pick up the brake pedal. Remove the two bushings (#42) from either end of the brake pedal, as shown in Figure 16. Take the largest two new bronze bushings and place them inside the brake pedal as shown in Figure 17. Place some grease on the inside of the bushings, and then set it aside.

Now we need to remove the small accelerator guide lever (#25), as shown in Figure 18. Take out the cotter pin (#22) on the inside of the shaft (Figure 19), and then slide the shaft out. Remove the two plastic bushings (#24), and replace them with the two small bronze ones. Spread a little grease on these, and then insert the shaft back into the pedal cluster base, and reinstall the cotter pin.

At this point, you should have two pieces left over from the bronze pedal bushing kit, a small bronze bushing, and a new roll pin. The smallest bronze bushing goes inside the end of the clutch pedal shaft (#34). Insert it in there, and then replace the parts that go on the end of the lever. This is also shown in Figure 18.

Now, you need to assemble the cluster back together. Reassemble it in the opposite manner to which you took it apart, making sure that you put plenty of grease everywhere. It is important to reinstall the springs correctly. Refer to Figure 20 for the proper installation of the brake pedal spring, and Figure 21 for the proper installation of the clutch pedal spring. Prior to reassembling the pedal cluster, you might want to spray the base with a nice coat of Rustoleum.

After you get everything reassembled, it's time to press in the new roll pin. This is not an easy task, but is much simpler than the removal process. I recommend using a press, but if you don't happen to have one, then a vise will do fine (Figure 22). Once you get it started, the vise should press it in pretty easily. Figure 23 shows the roll pin properly pressed in.

Now it's time to put some new rubber pedals on. These are best installed with the help of a screwdriver, as shown in Figure 24. Additionally, at this time, you probably want to adjust and test your brake pedal switch. Using a multi-tester like the one shown in Figure 25, adjust the brake switch so that it turns on just after you press the pedal. Remember that the brake pedal is sprung back towards your foot, so it is unlikely that the switch will accidentally turn on, even if you set the switch clearance real close.

Installation of the cluster back into the car (as described in typical Haynes Manual verbiage) is indeed the 'reverse of removal.' Make sure that your master cylinder is bolted down tight to the pedal clusters, and make sure that your accelerator and clutch cables don't wrap around each other when you're putting everything back together.

Well, that about covers it. If you liked this tech article, and would like to see some more of them in the future, then please be sure to support Pelican Parts with all your business. We work hard to win you over with great customer support, and tech advice like you wouldn't believe. Please email us if you have any questions, or give us a call at 1-888-280-7799 if you need anything for your car. Thanks again for your support.


Norman Smith has the following to add:

I just read the tech article on rebuilding the 911/914 pedal cluster. I found it very informative, and am in the process of using it as a guide to replacing the roll pins.

You might consider a short tech item referring to the pedal cluster rebuild regarding broken roll pins. I've had my 1974 911 since 1988, and am in the process of replacing the roll pin for the clutch for the third time. The first time this was done was in California in San Rafael at Sonnen Porsche. I thought the problem was with the cable or roll pin because I'd heard about problems with both these items. They examined the car and assured me that the problem was a collapsed pressure plate. I was unsure of this, but they insisted and I figured they "might" know a bit more than me about the subject.

Well, after paying $800.00 to have the pressure plate replaced (it was two years old, and installed by Chris Powell in Bellevue WA) I drove back to my hotel in San Francisco where the car was parked in the garage for several days.

On Thursday we headed back home to Kirkland WA. When we got to the Golden Gate Bridge in rush hour traffic, the roll pin for the clutch pedal broke the rest of the way. It's fortunate I'm able to shift without the clutch. When I got back to Sonnen Porsche, they said that "this was coincidental". The roll pin broke because there was a new pressure plate. I said, "Yeah, right" Â' and spent six months trying to get my money back. I never did (need a used F&S ressure plate?)

The tip-off that the roll pin is going bad is that the clutch begins to shift hard, and improves when the cable is adjusted tighter. However, this only works for a few days, and must be done again. After about four times, the clutch pedal begins to feel funny, and then will drop to the floor when you try to depress it.

Shifting while moving after this is not too bad, but if you have to stop, you have to turn the engine off and start it again when the "Â'light" changes while in first gear. It starts right away and the car moves instantly, so be careful.

I think it is important that people be aware that the roll pin at $1.00 is probably a lot less expensive than having the pressure plate replaced. If the car begins to shift "hard" and adjusting the clutch only corrects the problem for a short time, it's probably the roll pin.

Norm Smith
norman.smith@metrokc.gov

Bronze Pedal Bushing Kit
Figure 1

Bronze Pedal Bushing Kit

What You Will Need
Figure 2

What You Will Need

Pedal Cluster
Figure 3

Pedal Cluster

Brake Pedal Spring
Figure 4

Brake Pedal Spring

Brake Pedal Spring
Figure 5

Brake Pedal Spring

Drilling Out Roll Pin
Figure 6

Drilling Out Roll Pin

Roll Pin with Hole Drilled in Center
Figure 7

Roll Pin with Hole Drilled in Center

Pressing Out Roll Pin
Figure 8

Pressing Out Roll Pin

Pressing Out the Roll Pin
Figure 9

Pressing Out the Roll Pin

Roll Pin Removed
Figure 10

Roll Pin Removed

Prying Off Clutch Pedal
Figure 11

Prying Off Clutch Pedal

Center Shaft and Clutch Arm Removed
Figure 12

Center Shaft and Clutch Arm Removed

Securing Nut for Center Shaft
Figure 13

Securing Nut for Center Shaft

Removing Nut that Holds Center Shaft
Figure 14

Removing Nut that Holds Center Shaft

Cleaning Center Shaft
Figure 15

Cleaning Center Shaft

Removing Old Bushing from Center Shaft
Figure 16

Removing Old Bushing from Center Shaft

Center Shaft with New Bronze Bushing
Figure 17

Center Shaft with New Bronze Bushing

Accelerator Arm
Figure 18

Accelerator Arm

Cotter Pin that Holds Accelerator Arm
Figure 19

Cotter Pin that Holds Accelerator Arm

Brake Pedal Spring Installed
Figure 20

Brake Pedal Spring Installed

Clutch Pedal Spring Installed
Figure 21

Clutch Pedal Spring Installed

Pressing In a New Roll Pin
Figure 22

Pressing In a New Roll Pin

Roll Pin Installed
Figure 23

Roll Pin Installed

Installing Rubber Pedals
Figure 24

Installing Rubber Pedals

Checking Brake Pedal Switch
Figure 25

Checking Brake Pedal Switch

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Comments and Suggestions:
Bill Comments: I think you guys need to correct this. It says it is applicable for my 1988 911, but it's not. According to Bentley, my year has the hydraulic clutch actuator; this article is only for the cable-operated clutch used through 1986. For the hydraulic, Bentley says you have to actualy remove the clutch cylinder, making this more complicated. Also, when I followed the link to order the bronze bushing kit referred to, it initially allowed me to order it for a 1988 even though it didn't apply to my year. Your guys caught that and told me that kit wasn't available for my 1988, so I had to order the plastic brake pedal bushings instead. I see you've corrected the link so that it no longer takes one to the order page for that bronze bushing kit for a 1988 model, but you need to correct the heading on this article to make it clear this only applies up to 1986. Thanks.
April 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I will have someone check into it and update the article if necessary. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
1988targa Comments: It seemed difficult to remove the gas pedal on my 1988 911. Niw it diesn't want to cluck back on. Any suggestions as I did grease it.
Thanks
Hesitant about pushing too hard.
February 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Just the pad? Try placing it in warm water first, to soften it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dekay Comments: Hi, can i purchase the complete manual pedal cluster for RHD car?

Thanks.
D
February 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jhhaas Comments: Never again. I'll pay a king's ransom to have someone else tackle this one if I ever have to do it again.
August 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is a tough one. Thanks for the follow up and sharing your experience
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
cluskera Comments: Sets out what needs done except dealing with the two brake posts...I think a more detailed outline needs written on this task as it seems from my own experience so far and googling that it doesn't get people over the line and they end up with questions galore. I'll write one, if I ever get this done...
June 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We would love your addition to the article if you get the chance. Thanks - Nick at Pelican Parts  
YPH Comments: A few notes:
In 101 Projects, and Bentley, no mention is made of the procedure for RHD cars.

The RHD set-up is much more complicated than that for LHD. The main reason being that the actual cables terminate on the the LHD side of the car. Thus the Accelerator pedal and Clutch Pedal in a RHD are linked across and through the transmission tunnel by two rods. If your RHD car has an aircon the evaporator sits in the passenger footwell then it must be removed before you can get access to the support bracket bolted to the footwell where the pedal box would go on a LHD car

The second issue is that the spring refurb kits are different for LHD and RHD. The Pelican Parts products are not marked as such as far as I can see. LHD springs are pretty useless if you have a RHD car, and vice versa.

Third, if you are replacing the OE plastic bushings with Bronze, be sure to order the right set. The set for the earlier cars does not fit the SC 1983 in my case. Of the three sizes of bushes, the smaller bushes for the accelerator pedal and rod are too small. SO MAKE SURE THE BUSH SET IS CORRECT FOR YOUR CAR before you order.

April 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
scott Comments: Hi I am working on my pedal assembly and just wondering how much spring should the brake pedal have when it is not connected to the master cylinder.I am not sure if I need to replace the spring or not. It feels like it might be OK with the pressure from the master cylinder. Thanks any input would help just getting started on project 912.
January 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not a ton. Just enough to help to return the pedal to the top position. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Worn Comments: Maybe this is one of those things that really dont need instructions, but i found the explanation to be not an explanation. Looking at the cluster are two enormous springs crrying a wallop. No explanation about what happens to these. I guess nothing, it sounds like they are never under any tension and will not move astheir shafts are removed. I will assume so tomorrow as i take my cluster apart. No caution indicated, so i have no worries and will expect only a problem in removing the roll pin, which must becdrilled out.
November 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The springs have little tension on them when remove the pedals. Just note the orientation and place them in the same position when reinstalling. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
turbellion Comments: so the inherent design of the clutch pedal leaves the throwout bearing always resting on the pressure plate? this makes no sense.
November 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most of them do, there ins;t pressure on the bearing, it is riding on the clutch release forks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RV Flyer Comments: One further tip: on my car, the old roll pin came out fairly easily, using a 3/16" punch and hammer. Driving the new one in, when the cluster was re-assembled, was not so easy; the pin did not want to get started. The pin is long enough that a bit of excess sticks out on each end, so I ground a slight taper on one end with a bench grinder, and that helped the pin to get started. From there, it was easy to drive in with a hammer, with the pedal backed up solidly against a block of wood. The full diameter of the pin was still preserved where it bears on the pedal and pedal shaft.
July 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
RV Flyer Comments: On my 1978 911SC, Larry Hughes' comments are correct, and I will elaborate on a couple key items which I found later in the process, naturally, after trying it the hard way.... First, the job is easier if you disconnect the actuation rod from the brake pedal at its upper end inside the passenger compartment, where it hooks to the linkage to the master cylinder, and also at the pedal end, and then get that rod out of the way for the pedal cluster R&R. It is easy to re-install when you are done. Second, follow Larry's advice on using ViseGrips to hold the clutch pedal at the correct position just slightly depressed to allow easy access to the 8mm hex head bolt that secures the brace to the pedal cluster. I cut down the short end of a regular 8mm hex wrench to fit. Third, before pulling the cluster, go into the trunk and loosen the brace at that end - it is the 17mm bolt down low on the driver's side of the alloy casting that holds the vacuum booster. No need to remove the bolt; just loosen several turns and the brace will loosen up nicely. This is most critical for when you re-install the cluster and go to re-install the 8mm hex bolt! Use the ViseGrips to position the clutch pedal, and with the brace loosened, the bolt goes in easily - much less sweating and swearing!

As Larry says, it is easy to R&R the clutch assist spring once the cluster is out of the car, and these tips should help make the job easier.

With the new bronze bushing kit, new clutch cable, and new clutch pedal assist spring, my clutch pedal effort has gone way down, and actuation is smooth and easy. Definitely a worthwhile project for older 911s with lots of miles on them.
July 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JerryB Comments: I agree that this is a very accurate article, maybe not as hard as it sounds but better to be safe than sorry. An alternative to the short 8mm allen wrench is a 5/16 ball end allen wrench. It's a few thousandths smaller than 8mm and a long one will get your fingers farther to the left for safety's sake, and gives room to put a small pipe on the short end for leverage. It becomes a 10 second job to remove the brace bolt.
In addition my roll pin was easy to remove. Gotta get lucky sometimes.
Love Pelicans tech advice. With these articles and a Bently manual I'm having a ball working on my first Porsche. and no I'm not a good mechanic.
December 13, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Chrisjake Comments: This site rocks!! Thank you so much for the technical details!
October 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You're welcome! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Larry Hughes Comments: For the 911s with the big clutch pedal spring:

If I may, a tip on Project 40 – rebuilding the 011 pedal cluster.

Dealing with the clutch pedal return spring has likely generated more busted knuckles than your other projects combined.
But there IS a trick.
Simply don’t remove the spring.

Porsche uses an 8mm allen-head bolt to secure the lateral support and the break pedal tube to the cluster bracket.
This bolt MUST be removed in order to remove the cluster.
It appears that the clutch pedal return spring must be removed to access the bolt.

Not so.

Porsche apparently uses the allen-head bolt to facilitate access with the spring in place.The problem is an appropriate tool.

A standard 8mm ‘L’ shaped allen wrench is just a little too big to fit down into the floorpan hollow in which the cluster sits.

Either grind it about ¼” shorter or cut a length off it and use an 8mm wrench to access the bolt.

WARNING – secure the clutch pedal before disconnecting the clutch linkage.

The return spring will slam the pedal to the floor and, if your hand is in the way, it will put a hurting on you!

I use a pair of vice grips clamped to the pedal and wedged against the firewall.

With the allen-head bolt removed, the cluster comes right out.

WARNING – keep a firm hand on the clutch pedal as it will now be unrestrained.

Once out of the car, the clutch pedal can rotate nearly 360 deg, allowing you to easily un-hook and hook that pesky spring!

When reinstalling the cluster, you can help realign the holes in the 3 pieces secured by the allen head bolt by putting an appropriately sized small screwdriver or even an allen wrench from the wrong side of the bracket – where the captured nut is welded.

BTW, the 2 studs through the firewall haven’t been for the master cylinder for many years.

It’s now used solely to secure the pedal cluster.
October 7, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Mothra829 Comments: Very informative article. Really lays out what needs to be done.
September 9, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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