So I broke down and ordered this clutch shaft upgrade on Monday from Classicbugparts.com because I can hear something clicking in the tunnel when I step on the clutch (plus, the cable hook was worn out maybe 20 years ago and been limping along, since).
It arrived yesterday, USPS. That's pretty quick service from California to Massachusetts!
Ron Motren is great to do business with and quickly replied when I emailed him off of his contact info on the Samba to find out if they were in stock. Looks like it was mailed out within hours of placing the order.
The shaft is very well made, welds are excellent, it comes with a new pedal locking pin for the shaft and lube for the cable pivot and it looks like a quality product. I can't wait to get it installed.
That's the good news.
The bad news has nothing to do with Classic Bug Parts and all to do with trying to get the clutch pedal arm off of a pedal cluster that has never been apart since it was made, way back in early 1969, and lived in snowy, salty, yucky winters all of its' life (even the summers were snowy, salty and yucky....)
The pedal/shaft lock pin is a 1/4" solid dowel (close to 1/4", but metric, so a shade smaller) and it wouldn't budge even with a 12-ton shop press. Next I center-drilled both ends of the pin and, miraculously, it loosened up enough to pound it out of the shaft with a 3 lb. hammer and punch. It's a good thing they include a new pin with the upgrade. YAY! ( Or so I thought. )
Still, the pedal is frozen to the shaft and will...not...budge. I got the pedal arm to rotate 15º or so by heating it with a MAPP torch, but that's all she wrote. By then it was 8:30 at night and I celebrated all that went well by heading to the house.
Tomorrow, I'll get out the Big Gun - The Oxy-Acetylene torch - and really heat that puppy up. That'll loosen it! I had forgotten how much fun it is working on old northern cars with the usual corrosion and frozen parts. 🤬
Looks like I'll be doing a full rebuild on this pedal cluster after all, and what I thought was an afternoon job is turning into a few days, but it's winter and I'm not driving and need something more to do, right?!?!?!? 🤪