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Discussion Starter #1
Even though I don't have as much trouble starting/shifting as I used to since I got the reflash, I still don't love the clutch. On yet another recent clutch thread where somebody drove an '07 with a smooth clutch it was mentioned that the pedal can be adjusted. I had to search google to find the thread on this forum, but I found where the adjustment was mentioned and even diagrammed. I going to give it a try and want to know if anybody who hasn't posted on that thread has done this and has any tales of happiness or woe.

Here's the thread: http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?show...=50907&st=0 ; and here's the diagram: http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?act=...st&id=12034
 

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i did it and it seemed to help with some of the smoothness. at first i had it right where i wanted it after 1 adjustment and test, but it was revelaed that there was not enough play in the pedal travel, so it was rubbing just a little.

first thing to do is mark the original equipment and go from there.
 

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I'm also interested in hearing if this adjustment is a "fix". Regardless of those who find this clutch to be just peachy, I think it could be improved (by that I mean a bit more user friendly). I hope this doesn't turn into another "I love / hate this clutch" thread
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Done. Much better. The engagement point was just too high before. Years of muscle memory based on lower engagement points meant I had to concentrate real hard or feather the throttle to avoid giving it the gas too early or too late. After marking the original position, I did three full turns in to shorten the plunger rod, then adjusted the pedal stop so that there was a little play before the plunger rod engaged the plunger. This puts the pedal just a little higher than the brake. Much better.
 

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Even though I don't have as much trouble starting/shifting as I used to since I got the reflash, I still don't love the clutch. On yet another recent clutch thread where somebody drove an '07 with a smooth clutch it was mentioned that the pedal can be adjusted. I had to search google to find the thread on this forum, but I found where the adjustment was mentioned and even diagrammed. I going to give it a try and want to know if anybody who hasn't posted on that thread has done this and has any tales of happiness or woe.

Here's the thread: http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?show...=50907&st=0 ; and here's the diagram: http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?act=...st&id=12034
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I'm going to give this a try too. I wanted to check the diagram again but I keep getting an error message when I click on the thumbnail. This is also happening when I click on any other thumbnails in other postings. Are all the pics down or something screwy with my config?
 

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I'm going to give this a try too. I wanted to check the diagram again but I keep getting an error message when I click on the thumbnail. This is also happening when I click on any other thumbnails in other postings. Are all the pics down or something screwy with my config?
[/b]

I am having the same problem. Everytime I try to open a link, I get an error. Please repost the link or advise if it is a setting... Thanks, Speed6Turbo
 

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i'm getting the dealer to make this adjustment for me when i get my reflash on Monday. i think this will solve alot of our shifting problems as i experience the same disorientation from the engagement point being so high off the floor. more than any car i've ever driven. I too have years of muscle memory on various cars to compensate for and tend to give it too much gas before the clutch has even started to engage. And with our on/off engagement you need your smaller ankle twitch muscles working the pedal instead of your larger thigh muscles getting into the mix. Add to it that i hit my knee on the steering column and it makes this a must-have adjustment. BTW moving my chair back prevents me from depressing the clutch all the way, and tilting my steering column up reduces gauge cluster visibility not to mention it feels like driving a bus at that angle. I think this will help with drag launches as well since timing clutch slip and throttle input is crucial to a holeshot launch.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i'm getting the dealer to make this adjustment for me when i get my reflash on Monday. i think this will solve alot of our shifting problems as i experience the same disorientation from the engagement point being so high off the floor. more than any car i've ever driven. .... I think this will help with drag launches as well since timing clutch slip and throttle input is crucial to a holeshot launch.
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Yup, had to do a test launch. It's definitely easier to get it right. I think I need to adjust it back out half a turn, though. Then it'll be ju-u-u-ust right.
 

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I'm going to give this a try too. I wanted to check the diagram again but I keep getting an error message when I click on the thumbnail. This is also happening when I click on any other thumbnails in other postings. Are all the pics down or something screwy with my config?
[/b]
I also wouldn't mind seeing that diagram again - I PM'ed the auther but haven't heard back. Did anyone else happen to keep a copy of it?
 

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I did the clutch adjustment this morning, and it's huge improvement. I'm writing up detailed how-to instructions with my theory of what may be part of the issue, but I don't have time to complete it right now as I'm heading out for a mtn bike ride. I'll finish the how-to and post it later today.
 

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I went ahead with the adjustment - I now have a normal clutch. I adjusted mine by trial and error until it felt right. What i did notice is that rather than turn the plunger rod in as described earlier, I adjustd mine out about 3 turns. What that did was open up a lot of play in the rod before it actually began to plunge (or engage the clutch). I then adjusted the pedal stop nut in until I took most of the slack out of the plunger. By doing it this way, I lowered the clutch pedal a lot and made the clutch pedal travel a lot shorter.
Here's my theory and your welcome to jump all over it..
This clutch feels very on/off due to the long pedal travel - in other words, you are releasing for an extended period making the engagement feel abrupt. By shortening the travel, you reach engagement much quicker will less travel (but still late) - and this took away that on/off feel in my case.
I tried to adjust the way it is described in the diagram - I turned the plunger in a few turns. What this did was make the egagement even more abrupt. If the engagement is high (or late in the plunder travel), by turning into it, you are actually making it worse.
Regardless, my clutch MS6 now feels like my Mazda3 - nice quick engagement without too much pedal travel. Both brake and clutch pedal height is now similar.
Anyone else try this lately???
 

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I went ahead with the adjustment - I now have a normal clutch. I adjusted mine by trial and error until it felt right. What i did notice is that rather than turn the plunger rod in as described earlier, I adjustd mine out about 3 turns. What that did was open up a lot of play in the rod before it actually began to plunge (or engage the clutch). I then adjusted the pedal stop nut in until I took most of the slack out of the plunger. By doing it this way, I lowered the clutch pedal a lot and made the clutch pedal travel a lot shorter.
Here's my theory and your welcome to jump all over it..
This clutch feels very on/off due to the long pedal travel - in other words, you are releasing for an extended period making the engagement feel abrupt. By shortening the travel, you reach engagement much quicker will less travel (but still late) - and this took away that on/off feel in my case.
I tried to adjust the way it is described in the diagram - I turned the plunger in a few turns. What this did was make the egagement even more abrupt. If the engagement is high (or late in the plunder travel), by turning into it, you are actually making it worse.
Regardless, my clutch MS6 now feels like my Mazda3 - nice quick engagement without too much pedal travel. Both brake and clutch pedal height is now similar.
Anyone else try this lately???
[/b]
I saw this thread a week ago (I think) but then left for the week to Chicago for business. I'll be doing this mod in October most likely, as I will be going back to Chicago for the next two weeks. I can't wait to see how this feels while driving it. Right now the engagement is just too late and I tend to give too much gas.
 

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i have to correct an earlier statement i made. it's the stronger thigh muscle that will make it easier to manage the spring of the clutch pedal vs. the weaker ankle muscle that gets overpowered by the clutch. This is the opposite of what i posted earlier. sorry if i confused anyone.

keeping the clutch from coming off the floor so much will prevent the ankle from coming into play when your knee hits the steering column.

I think this is a must do mod for every MPS owner to reclaim a normal clutch feeling.
 

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Okay, took me a while but I got it together. As mentioned earlier I did the clutch adjustment today. It’s a huge improvement, and I made sure there wouldn’t be any issues with insufficient disengagement or re-engagement of the clutch. Also, I formulated a theory as to what’s causing the problems.

Make sure you fully read the instructions and study the pictures and diagrams to ensure you fully understand the process before starting.

Please note: I put these directions together based on my personal experiences. I am not a mechanic and do not have any professional certification. If you try this, you do so at your own risk and release me from any liability, damage, injury, etc. You assume all responsibility!

Here’s the How To, with some explanations and diagrams to avoid mis-adjusting the clutch:

Tools needed:
12mm crescent (open ended) wrench
Light source (I used a head mounted light to put light where I was looking and keep both hands free)
10mm crescent wrench for clutch cylinder actuator rod (not really needed and actually very difficult to use, but just in case you want to try)
Permanent marker such as Sharpie or Staedtler

Steps:
1. Turn off the engine!! Don’t do this while the car is running!! Obvious but you never know.

2. Move the driver’s seat all the way back to give you room to work.

3. Slide in head first on your back and get under the dashboard. Identify the clutch pedal arm stop bolt. It will look like this:


4. Mark the bolt with a dot or line at one side with the Sharpie. This will give you a reference point. When turning the bolt keep track of how many turns you did and you can easily reverse it back to original.

5. Identify the clutch cylinder piston actuator rod. It’s further up the clutch arm from the stop bolt and looks like this:


6. Mark one of the flats on the actuator rod as well. It’s tight in there so do what you can. As long as you can clearly identify your mark you’ll be able to keep track of it’s position. However, it’s not really critical to keep track of it as you’ll see later on.

7. While you’re down there, press the clutch pedal slightly while watching the actuator rod and piston (see diagram above). You should be able to feel and see some free play before the actuator rod actually starts to engage the piston. This is normal and necessary, as this means the clutch cylinder piston is fully released, ensuring the clutch is fully engaged.

8. If you want to keep the amount of free play the same, pay attention to how much it is now, so that you can duplicate it later after making the adjustments.

9. Use the 12mm wrench to loosen off both lock nuts (they’re both 12mm)

10. Push on the clutch pedal to take tension off the stop bolt and you should be able to turn it in. Turn it in (CW) about 2 full turns to start. My final adjustment was about 2.5 turns in. Refer back to the pic of the upper stop bolt.

11. Tighten up the lock nut to set the position of the bolt.

12. Now, check the position of the clutch cylinder actuation rod. You should find that it’s depressing the clutch cylinder piston in partly now. Back off the actuation rod by turning it (screw in towards the pedal). It’s still CW rotation if you’re looking at it from the firewall, but you’ll be upside down looking up from the floor, so experiment.


13. Adjust the rod until it’s clear off the piston, and there is a slight bit of freeplay (I set mine up with just a pubic hair of play).

14. Tighten up the locknut with the 12mm wrench. The rod will rotate a bit CW due to friction of the threads but this just increases the free play so it’s okay. Compensate for it by not rotating the actuator rod quite as far as you actually wanted to, so that when you tighten the lock nut it will rotate into the desired position.

15. Eyeball your handiwork, make sure the locknuts are tight, then take it for a drive. This is important – test and adjust, test and adjust. I went through 4 adjustment cycles until I was satisfied the clutch was disengaging and engaging properly while giving the best action. I was learning as I was going so it may only take you 2 or 3 cycles.

16. To test the adjustment. Stop on level ground and fully depress the clutch while in gear. Release the brake and see if there is any sense of the car creeping forward. If so, you’ve adjusted the pedal too far in, so that it’s not pushing the cylinder piston in far enough to fully disengage the clutch. This is not good, and you’ll know because when you change gears you’ll grind the syncros. I’m not sure this is actually possible with the amount of adjustment available, and I didn’t experience it myself because I advanced it cautiously, but you’ve been warned! If this happens, back out that stop bolt a bit!!

17. You shouldn’t have any problems with making sure the clutch is fully engaged if you make sure there is some free play between the actuator rod and the piston. Unfortunately there is no easy test for this, except for maybe clutch slippage under hard acceleration or going uphill. More probably the mis-adjustment will be minor and result in premature failure of the throw out bearing, but you don't want to find out! Again take this as a big warning!

18. Repeat the above steps until you’re satisfied with the feel of the clutch, while ensuring that it fully engages and disengages.

One more time: Make sure you adjust the actuator rod so that there is a bit of free play before engaging the piston to ensure the clutch fully engages!!

Here’s a diagram of the parts in rough relation to each other:

Note that the actuator rod is above the stop bolt and only connected to the pedal arm (not below and connected to the piston, as shown in a previous diagram – note: it was a valuable diagram and inspired me to do this, so even if it wasn’t quite correct it was still appreciated). BTW, I noticed that I put the fixing point for the spring to the car frame in the wrong spot to try to illustrate the possible spring action. Move it to the left of the pedal arm instead of to the right. Now, try visualizing what the body of the spring will do when the top of the pedal arm moves to the left. The body of the spring will "shift", introducing non-linearities.

Now, to my theory and possible clues to identify differences in clutches. Look at this following picture.

I’ve identified the big coil spring that is used to return the clutch pedal. It’s mounted to the top of the arm. The arm pivots below where the spring mounts (see diagram above). Note my spring has white paint on it. Painting springs is a standard way of identifying springs of different strengths.
I believe, from looking at the system, that the big coil spring plays a major role in the spring rate we feel at the clutch pedal. It’s an easy part to change during assembly and it’s possible Mazda did a running production change due to negative feedback.

It would be interesting to get everybody to take a look up at their spring to see what color it is. If there are different colors, then it means that different rates are being used, accounting for the differing experiences. After this has been posted for a while maybe I’ll start a survey to see what color spring everybody has.

Now, here’s my analysis and hypothesis of why the clutch feels the way it did (but not anymore on my car):
After looking at the spring/pedal arm/pivot and pushing on the pedal with my hand while watching the coil spring, I came to the conclusion that due to the way the whole system of spring, spring fixing points on frame and pedal arm interacts, part of the motion is non-linear. This is due to the fact that the body of the spring will actually shift as the clutch arm moves and tries to wind it up. If there was a rod through the body of the spring this would not happen and the spring would be linear and act purely as a torsion spring, but the shifting of the body introduces a hump in the spring tension, making it non-linear in a portion of the clutch pedal’s travel.

I put together three diagrams plotting spring tension vs clutch travel. This is just my guess and is based solely on conjecture. The spring rate curve is pure fabricaton based on my guess at what the spring rate might look like, but I hope it serves to convey what I’m talking about.

The first diagram shows what the stock settings look like. Note that the clutch engagement range is smack dab in the non-linear region of the curve, just where it ramps up quickly and then tapers off just as quickly.


The second diagrams show what it looks like after doing the adjustments described in the steps above. Note that by moving the pedal arm closer to the firewall it’s pushed the spring into the more linear region of it’s curve, and then readjusting the actuator rod to compensate moves the whole engagement range into the more linear part of the curve.


The third diagram is the one you must AVOID doing, where the stop bolt is moved in but the actuator rod has not been backed off to compensate. You’ve effectively and permanently set the clutch up as if you were “riding” it, or in other words, resting your foot on the pedal so that it’s partially depressing the pedal resulting in reduced clamping force on the clutch disc. DO NOT DO THIS!!


Whew, I hope this helps. This took me a while to put together, so apologies for any typos, etc, etc. Again, I’m posting this for informational purposes only, and do not make any claims as to how this may work for you. You accept all responsibility for whatever happens if you try this out.
 

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what's all this about clutch adjustments?

what about all these posts saying the fresh-from-the-factory clutch setting is 100% perfect and everyone who cant handle the stock on-off clutch just needs to learn how to drive a stick?

or do those now get filed under the same "told you so" as the powerloss threads?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Okay, took me a while but I got it together. As mentioned earlier I did the clutch adjustment today. It’s a huge improvement, and I made sure there wouldn’t be any issues with insufficient disengagement or re-engagement of the clutch. Also, I formulated a theory as to what’s causing the problems.

Make sure you fully read the instructions and study the pictures and diagrams to ensure you fully understand the process before starting.

Please note: I put these directions together based on my personal experiences. I am not a mechanic and do not have any professional certification. If you try this, you do so at your own risk and release me from any liability, damage, injury, etc. You assume all responsibility!

Here’s the How To, with some explanations and diagrams to avoid mis-adjusting the clutch:

....

Whew, I hope this helps. This took me a while to put together, so apologies for any typos, etc, etc. Again, I’m posting this for informational purposes only, and do not make any claims as to how this may work for you. You accept all responsibility for whatever happens if you try this out.
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What he said. Seriously, excellent work. Almost like he does it for a living or something. You just gotta wonder what the hell Mazda was thinking when they sent them out like this. Didn't they want to sell the cars? Also, interesting that we both are settling on shortening the actuator rod by 2.5 turns. Personally I would adjust the rod first and THEN adjust the pedal stop bolt for play, but it all comes out the same.
 

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or do those now get filed under the same "told you so" as the powerloss threads?
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You can also add the speed6 is barely faster than a 6s threads.

I've gotten used to the speed6 clutch. It's pretty brutal though. Everyone who's ever driven my car had a hell of time with the clutch.
 
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