How to Tighten a Clutch Cable

by Derek Odom

Tightening the cable on your vehicle's clutch system is relatively easy. The most trying part of the job is actually locating the end of the cable on the transmission itself. Sometimes these can be quite hidden and in hard-to-reach places. Once you locate and have access to the linkage and cable connector, tightening the cable is a simple process that can be done with common household tools.

Locate the end of the clutch cable on the transmission. The clutch cable almost always attaches to the side of the transmission to a lever which disengages or engages the clutch itself. It is from this end that cables become loose because they are adjusted at this spot.

Loosen the cable nut. Depending on which vehicle you are dealing with, the clutch cable nut could be of varying sizes, so be prepared to try a few wrenches before you get the one that fits. If you have the owner's or shop manual to the vehicle, this information can be found there. With the wrench on the nut, turn counter-clockwise slightly until you are able to move the cable in the linkage. Try not to let the cable come out of the linkage completely, because sometimes the ends fray and they are extremely difficult to put back in.

Pull the cable end through the adjuster hole with pliers while keeping the wrench on the adjuster nut on the linkage. When the cable is pulled as tight as you can get it, turn the adjuster nut clockwise until it seats against the cable, then let everything go.

Test your work by engaging and disengaging the clutch with the engine on. With the cable pulled tight and adjusted correctly, full disengagement and engagement of the clutch should be the result. If there is someone with you, have them eye the linkage while the clutch is depressed to ensure that the wire is not walking in the adjuster. If the cable remains tight, and the clutch is doing what it should, the job is complete.

Items you will need

About the Author

Derek Odom has freelanced since 2008 and is also an author of the macabre. He has been published on Ches.com, Planetchess.com and various other websites. Odom has an Associate of Arts in administration of justice.