Those of us with mechanically-actuated clutches on our aging four-cylinders have probably had their share of linkage problems, generally involving the two connecting rods failing or popping out of the holes where they are supposed to be. A new rod, fitted with the proper little white plastic bushing, and washered and cotterpinned so it can't pop out, generally solves all problems. Here's a new one.

The connecting coupling which connects the rod from the clutch pedal base to the rod which actuates the clutch has two legs or ears on it. After extended use, in excess of 100,000 miles, the welds holding the legs to the center section can break. Symptoms are difficult clutch action, suddenly discovering the clutch engaging very near the floor in spite of adjustments, and gear clashing at various times. Check yours now, since obtaining one of the replacement parts is rather difficult and you aren't driving anywhere after one of the legs breaks.

Author: Joseph Chamberlain