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Customs Hand-operated Clutch/Assist?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rat Rods Rule, Jun 30, 2015.

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  1. Rat Rods Rule
    Joined: Jun 30, 2015
    Posts: 6

    Rat Rods Rule

    Hi All,

    I read, on another forum, that someone HERE, on "H.A.M.B.," had a HAND-OPERATED CLUTCH on a Model A.
    I'd really LOVE to be given a link to the thread for that modification. (So if anyone knows of this link, you all can stop reading right now--I know, I tend to be a wordy *******). :)

    I'm a life-long automotive, truck, boating, snowmobile (at times), dirt-bike enthusiast--basically (almost) ALL forms of mechanized transportation interest me--even bicycles (and antique airplanes--not that I can afford one, or have a license! Just a fan of the "Golden Era of Aviation," a.k.a. the 1920's-1930's).

    But I'm coming here for possible help, because MY CLUTCH LEG IS SERIOUSLY INJURED.

    I injured my left knee 30 years ago, paying for college. Life happens, and I got used to it. I could DRIVE a CLUTCH, NO PROBLEM, FOR THIRTY YEARS, up until about four years ago (when I sold my truck), bicycle in the lower gears, and run (measured in yards), swim, and rollerbladed, casually, for a number of years (okay, that was 10+ years ago, but not because of my knee).

    A few years ago, however, back surgery, multiple shoulder injuries, and more LIFE happened.

    Then, my G.F. (of 30 years) had a serious injury, in late 2013, and I've been her Primary Care Giver, since then. She was one of the lucky ones, and is back at work, and working toward normalcy.

    BUT--I RE-injured--seriously--the same knee, taking care of her.

    And we're in the snow belt, and back injury lead to foot injury, so snow blowing is no longer an option--at present.

    So I'm looking at a Jeep YJ with a Plow--with a 5-speed manual tranny, which I LOVE.

    Again, LIFE happens.

    There ARE commercial alternatives, like the “Duck Clutch” (linked below). But I need to implement something in an old YJ Jeep, for snow plowing, and I believe the “Duck Clutch” costs north of $5,000. (The Jeep isn’t worth that much, even though I’ll have more than that in it, if I buy it).
    Duck Clutch Link:

    Why I'm writing YOU GUYS:
    (I mean, despite the fact that I'm confident we have [at least some] shared automotive interests--I get--and read--all four Hemmings publications, if that helps you). :)

    I am looking for information on how to contact whoever, in the H.A.M.B. forum, designed/built the HAND-OPERATED CLUTCH on a Model A.

    I LOVE to shift, but haven't in four years--and it hurts my knee, when I do shift-but it hurts MY SOUL, when I don’t…. (I haven't had time to get my knee checked out, due to my Primary Care Giver duties).

    But I suspect that clutching the Jeep YJ is going to be too hard on my knee, in it's present condition.

    Someone on H.A.M.B. Has a Hand-Operated Clutch on a Model A?
    I would be MOST grateful if somone could link me to this person's Clutch Mod thread.

    I read, on another forum, about a hand-operated, mechanical clutch lever, made by a UK company, whose product is linked below, and is NOT necessarily compatible with LEFT-HAND DRIVE (LHD) vehicles:

    I wrote this company, yesterday but, unfortunately, they no longer manufacture this product (due to the growing prevalence of automatics), nor can they put me onto any leads to similar products.

    In addition to seeking the contact info/link to thread of the H.A.M.B.-member who allegedly put a hand-operated clutch in his Model A, I'd like to solicit ideas from you guys and gals, about what I might be able to build (or have built) myself.

    I can operate the clutch with my left leg, but it hurts. If I could REDUCE THE CLUTCH PRESSURE SIGNIFICANTLY, by say, assisting with a HAND-OPERATED SYSTEM, I think I would be fine. (My Dad taught me to drive a clutch in his 1964 F-250, when I was eight [8] years old, before I moved onto "Split Shit" [Two shift levers, requiring elbow-through-the wheel-to-steer] B-Model Macks, hydraulic cranes, and R-Model Mack [with Maxidyne Diesel power], etc.... So, again, I LOVE to clutch, and shift.

    Being fairly mechanically-inclined, I'm trying to imagine how such a CABLE SYSETM could be implemented,
    and I would like YOUR HELP with that--i.e., there ARE no "crazy ideas"--I welcome anyone's "brainstorming" output.

    I'll go first:

    So, as I say, I (hope) I'm in the process of buying a Jeep YJ, with a plow--and it's a 5-speed, which I WANT.

    I'm keep thinking about how a SNATCH BLOCK REDUCES THE LOAD BY 50%, right?

    And I'm envisioning a pulley (possibly mounted UNDER the floor--making for a "drafty Jeep"--which I think is redundant, right?--LOL) with, say, a RECOIL STARTER ROPE AND HANDLE, that would PULL DOWN ON THE CLUTCH PEDAL'S LEVER, while I simultaneously PUSHED DOWN on the Clutch Pedal, while pulling UP on the recoil starter handle. (Please imagine a couple of eye bolts, screwed in under the dash, to leave the handle of the recoil starter near my left knee, when clutch is engaged, handy for me to pull it, TO SHARE THE CLUTCH PRESSURE BETWEEN MY LEFT KNEE AND LEFT HAND. (Leaving my right hand free to shift and run the snow plow umbilical).

    Does anyone have any BETTER ideas?

    This YJ is equipped (happily) with a '99 AX-15 tranny, meaning it's an EXTERNAL SLAVE CYLINDER, which is GREAT, as you don't have to drop the tranny (and then do a clutch job "while you're in there"). However, unlike a non-hydraulic system, there's no handy place to put a spring, other than (possibly) pulling down on the clutch pedal linkage (somehow--I haven't spent enough time under the vehicle, since check that out).

    But I NEED YOUR OPINIONS, if you don't mind, on a SPRING ASSIST: specifically, if I WERE able to fit a tension-spring, SOMEWHERE, which reduced clutch pressure, wouldn't that risk having the clutch pedal NOT COME UP, ALL THE WAY, upon release?

    And can I please get your thoughts on my RECOIL STARTER ROPE idea? (Or, perhaps, a sheathed aircraft cable?)

    ANY suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.

    MOST Sincerely,

    Rat Rods Rule
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  2. I've got to give you credit for coming to the HAMB with a screen name such as on the HAMB rat rods suck
  3. jseery
    Joined: Sep 4, 2013
    Posts: 743

    from Wichita KS

    Hydraulic clutch slave cylinders are common and easy to install.
    P.S. Don't think the Rat Rod comment is going to help you much here!
  4. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,951

    from Tampa, FL

    Any chance you'd reconsider just going automatic? Also, do some research on control systems for the handicapped. There are some racers using similar stuff, because they are also limited in some way. Evan Evans comes to mind, son of off road racer Walker Evans. Gary
    patmanta likes this.

  5. keyster
    Joined: Dec 27, 2011
    Posts: 26


    I have seen some over-center springs that act like an assist to lighten the pedal force required.
    They use a large spring about the size of a hood spring.
    I don't know if you could get the amount of assist needed, but it might be worth a shot.
  6. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,685

    from Woburn, MA

  7. I would offer to help but I have been told that what I have done in the past is impossible to do. So that makes you shit outa luck from me and what I did was on a belair anyway not an A bone.

    Hydraulic clutch, maybe multi disc clutch they don't take as much pressure to disengage or don't have to.
  8. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    OK gang, here's a question that popped into my mind: Why couldn't a brake booster be used as a clutch booster?
    volvobrynk likes this.
  9. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,394

    from Nicasio Ca

    Hmm, interesting, don't know.

    Couldn't read OP's post, too many colors, fonts and caps for my old eyes.
    56don likes this.
  10. Not enough travel? That would be my guess but we haven't tried it yet so it is a viable option for sure.
  11. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    Vacuum assist clutches were used from late 1920s to late 40s on some US cars.
  12. There you go. Maybe onto something with the vac booster.
  13. Rat Rods Rule
    Joined: Jun 30, 2015
    Posts: 6

    Rat Rods Rule

    Okay, first of all,

    I freely admit that, uncharacteristically, I did NO reading on this forum
    (I am a veteran of automotive, truck and tractor forums, and I skipped reading because I'm probably going to have to make a purchase decision on the YJ today--so I appreciate the numerous members who are willing to cut me some slack on my [obviously poorly chosen screen name of] "Rat Rods Rule" handle).

    Second, as soon as I created that handle, I realized it was pretentious, and a (potentially?) less offensive screen name might be "Rat Rods Forever."

    But I couldn't figure out how to change my screen name.

    If anyone can tell me how to change my screen name, I have NO problem doing that, and I'll do some reading on this forum, and certainly come up with a handle that doesn't raise the hair on the back of the necks of many of the members of this forum, which it obviously does. (Though not a Corvette guy--in that I don't own one, but kind of like the C-3's, since they're [relatively] cheap and appeal to me, style-wise--I AM into the SURVIVOR MOVEMENT. So the whole "Rat Rod Movement" synched up with my Scottish "frugalness," and my current [physical] inability to work on stuff).

    So, I APPRECIATE the leniency that's obviously been extended, regarding my poorly-chosen handle. (I have multiple injuries, am responsible for four properties (only one of which is half-mine), and they are 8 hours apart. So the LACK OF CAR DETAILING/MONEY, involved in the "Rat Rod Movement," honestly DOES appeal to me. I freely confess this. :(

    So I feel that you all have been most generous in being willing to see past my ill-advised screen-name choice. (But the only NICE, OLD vehicle I have is the 1972 F-100, which I "restified" (from a legal "total," as a teenager, with my Dad. So, right now, in my life, the idea of Hemming's "Drivable Dream"--or a "Rat Rod"--just makes my life easier than the endless waxing/detailing I USED to do on my '72 F-100. In fact, now
    I just leave it in the container, as I've got no time to take proper [active] care of it).


    I REALLY appreciate the credit you give me, when you say this:

    "I've got to give you credit for coming to the HAMB with a screen name such as on the HAMB rat rods suck"

    But, as you can see, since I didn't have time to do my (normal) forum reading/research, I'm afraid I don't deserve you giving me "credit." But the sentiment is much appreciated, under the circumstances.


    I TRULY appreciate your compassion, when you say this:

    "I'm going to give you a pass on the RR stuff since you've got a medical condition ;)"

    And I REALLY appreciate all the links you've just sent me. I'm a third shifter, so I won't be able to get respond right away (gotta sleep, and go buy the Jeep).

    But I am gonna STFU and read the links you've given me, and not come back until I've done so.


    I LIKE the idea of a simple spring, but, as I said, I thought it might screw up the pedal-return process. Your suggestion gives me hope that my fears are unfounded--thank you very much!


    I appreciate BOTH of your comments, below:

    "Hydraulic clutch slave cylinders are common and easy to install.
    P.S. Don't think the Rat Rod comment is going to help you much here!"

    For the reasons stated, you know I wasn't trying to "bait" anyone here, with my screen name (nor have you accused me of such). I just wish I'd had the time to read a bit, and choose a more appropriate handle, so I do appreciate that advice.

    Now--this YJ was upgraded with a later-model, AX-15 (AMC/Chrysler) tranny, with external, hydraulic slave cylinder.


    I just LOVE standards, SO much, that I'm trying to hang onto one of LIFE'S PASSIONS, for me, personally.

    But I DO appreciate your suggestion that I explore "...control systems for the handicapped." The link I posted, about the mechanical leverage system (no longer offered by the UK), is consistent with your suggestion. But I agree--and I will definitely explore that area of expertise, further, going forward--and thank you, for the encouragement.

    In the meantime, if someone can tell me how to change my handle, I'll endeavor to come up with something more in synch with the ethos of this fine website--evidenced by the fact that you guys are willing to both give me a "pass" on my screen name choice AND links to the potential help I need.

    Much appreciated.

    (Handle Omitted).
  14. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    Don't take this personally, but this forum is about traditional hot rods and customs. That specifically includes pre-'65 cars but not Rat Rods or Street Rods. So your chosen name is not OT because of the word "Rule", it's because of the word "Rat".
    So, although you seem like a nice enough guy, your issues aren't really properly before this forum and perhaps you should take the time to read the forum rules.
    1927graham likes this.
  15. Rat Rods Rule
    Joined: Jun 30, 2015
    Posts: 6

    Rat Rods Rule

    porknbeaner, Mike51Merc, blowby and F&J.

    Thank you, one and all, for your ideas on the vacuum assist, spring-system, etc.... Much appreciated. I would MUCH rather have a vacuum-assist than a simple hand-operated assist, but I'm open to ALL suggestions.

    I would appreciate any future thoughts by ANYONE, here, and renew my original request, i.e.:

    "I read, on another forum, that someone HERE, on "H.A.M.B.," had a HAND-OPERATED CLUTCH on a Model A. I'd really LOVE to be given a link to the thread for that modification. (So if anyone knows of this link, you all can stop reading right now--I know, I tend to be a wordy *******). :)"

    And specifically, to blowby:
    THANK YOU, for this feedback:
    "Couldn't read OP's post, too many colors, fonts and caps for my old eyes."

    I truly apologize for that, blowby. In my mind, the differing colors, fonts, etc...., are intended to make it EASIER TO READ. It's funny, because I majored in English, wrote advertising (briefly) before graduating from law school (civil defense--I never sued anyone--JUST DEFENDED THEM, like on their auto policies--HATED law, and quit within a year, to go into the automotive service business).

    But obviously, despite my "schooling," my various fonts/colors/etc... are NOT helpful, in your case.

    I truly do appreciate that feedback--that said, I'm not sure I'll be able to stop it, but I do apologize for making things difficult for you to read. (Having got reading glasses myself, just a few years ago, I can now appreciate, at least to some extent, the frustration of not being able to comfortably read something--switching between distance, computer and reading glasses SUCKS, so I do believe I can relate).

    And you're in good company--my therapist says that too many "colors and fonts" make me look "crazy." And she's a helluva good therapist, so again--you're not alone, in your sentiment. And I WILL take your feedback under consideration.

    Sorry I don't have time to respond to the most recent posters, individually, but I've got to sleep (3rd shifter) and read the links I've already been given.

    Again, thank you all.



    volvobrynk likes this.
  16. Rat Rods Rule
    Joined: Jun 30, 2015
    Posts: 6

    Rat Rods Rule


    I do apologize, but I was so busy responding to all the helpful posters, that I hadn't yet had the chance to see that you seem to have found the "Hand-operated Model A Clutch" thread! I haven't much of it yet, but I will--I just didn't want you to think I didn't appreciate your prompt, accurate research!

    And for the record, I'm a big fan of the Model A--I'd love to have a 1931 Model A Pickkup, one day--and NOT necessarily a "Rat Rod," either! LOL. Thanks again.


    volvobrynk and patmanta like this.
  17. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    So, can you use your clutch foot or not?

    If you can't, you'd need to do the clutch and do the shift with the same hand, to be able to keep one hand on the steering wheel.

    Getting a vacuum can on the clutch fork lever is not a big problem, but coming up with a compact finger trigger on the shift handle is the real problem. It needs to be "variable and precisely controllable" so you can "ride the clutch" on take offs.

    VW aircooled bugs that had the semi-automatc "Autostick" trans, used a vacuum solenoid vacuum valve near the engine. The valve controlled a vacuum activated conventional clutch. The valve was activated by a set of points in the shifter base, that grounded out the solenoid each time the shifter was barely moved. The problem with that system is that that car also had a torque convertor, and the vacuum clutch was either in or out, and no way to "feather" the action of the clutch.

    There is an adjustment on the solenoid valve, but it only can speed up, or slow down, how fast the clutch grabs. I have no idea if a variable resistance grounding switch would let you feather the action. It might not work right.

    This is where mechanical engineers make their education pay off, making stuff work. There might be some sort of electro-mechanical valves in the manufacturing industry to make a vacuum clutch work by finger trigger. Bear in mind that a vacuum clutch needs large ID hoses (like 1/2" or more) to allow rapid movement of clutch linkages. So that is why you would need some sort of very compact remote switch that can fit on the shifter.

  18. it may be easier to do it with air pressure then a vacuum assist. An air valve could be operated by a lever attached to the shift handle either by rod or cable and air could be supplied by an electric pump or mechanical using an old ford air conditioner pump. A lot of industrial equipment is operated by a variable pressure valve so the valve would be something easily sourced with a little research.

    Just a thought.

    @Rat Rods Rule something to keep in mind when using colors for highlights is that some of us are color impaired. Bold and large font is easy enough for about any of us but when you start mixing colors sometimes it becomes very difficult to read. An example I had an instructor in a descriptive geometry class that could not see yellow, we all pretty much used yellow for construction lines and in that class construction lines were important for him to see so that he could see how we got to where we were headed.

    Anyway just a thought. ;)

    I don't know where the thread is, I do know that hydraulics work but that is an entirely different subject.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
  19. Damn, you are "wordy" aren't you? Female?
  20. LOL Me? don't get me started or I'll go all Bruce Genner on you. :D :D :D
    volvobrynk likes this.
  21. No, Caitlyn, I was referring to Rat Rod guy who admitted he was rather wordy. I definitely agree.
  22. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    I would stick with vacuum because it is already available on an engine. I get what you say about air controlled manufacturing machines, but why can't a valve that's made for air pressure, be used for vacuum? I'm not up on air control, but the ones I have seen are small diameter hoses, too small for rapid movement of a clutch booster

    ..and yes, hydraulics on construction equipment are now controlled by micro switches on joysticks. So, if a good excavator operator can pick up a can of soda with the claw without popping it, why can't a clutch be made to work from a shifter switch ... :)
  23. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,659


    That Jeep should already be hydraulic..... put a smaller bore clutch master on it. Don't go too small or you may not have enough slave travel to completely release the clutch. You may also look into a hand brake control that mounts under the dash and a rod goes to the pedal (hand controls for people that don't have use of their legs at all)... if it works on brakes, it should be fine on the clutch.
  24. Ok, so you admit not bothering to read our simple rules here, (Yet are overly wordy and liberal with formatting and colors) should we extend you the same courtesy or take time to weed thru and find your question/s?

    Does all that bandwidth you used up simply state :
    Bad leg, help with clutch assist please?

    I'm not going to read thru and find it because I'm to busy for that much like yourself. Also much like yourself concerning answers, I'd like the question spoon fed to me. I'm also too busy to jump on you for posting a certain other website name for your screen name here either.

    30 years and you won't marry that girl?
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  25. Well, I don't want to start a crapfest by arguing what will work and what won't. Here is what worked, FOR ME. It is a 350 Chevy powered Boss Hoss bike. I'm running a Centerforce diaphragm clutch. I don't know anything else about it, like spring pressure, etc. I have been in contact with a few other V8 bike guys and there are differing opinions and solutions that have lead to the same end result. A comfortable pull with enough stroke to disengage the clutch. One guy went with electro-hydraulic. It worked, but was too busy and noisy for me. Another went with a lighter pressure plate from a Dodge minivan and used a mousetrap only. I probably have more spring pressure than I need, considering that I have one, lightly loaded, rear tire. Anyhoo, maybe a vacuum boosted master cylinder might be the answer since you still have limited use of your leg. If you want a fully hand operated clutch, you will have to experiment and see what works FOR YOU. It isn't a "one size fits all" deal. Don't listen to the guy who tell you to just hook a motorcycle M/C to your slave cylinder. It won't work. Hydraulics are the same as leverage. The lever, load and fulcrum principles are the same, just in a different form. The fluid is the lever, the ratio of the two cylinder bore sizes is the fulcrum.
    Here are some links to my blog. There is more, but you will have to wade through pages of home remodel, woodworking, cancer, paranoid rants and sub standard observations
  26. The problem I see with vacuum is that engine vacuum is variable and maybe it wouldn't work as well sometimes as others. just being the devil's advocate here so bear with me. I guess that could be cured by a canister or a vac pump.

    The problem with air controls is that it takes pressure to make then operate. Modern air controls are very rapid, or they don't have to be. But many of them operate in the 130-150 PSI range.

    I don't doubt that vacuum can be used with an air control it is still air or the lack there of. It would just be on the other side of the valve. ;)

    Maybe we are going about this all wrong, again bear with me. Maybe we could use the long lever to work the clutch and micro switches to shift it like an air shifter on a race car? Just a thought.

    @31Vicky with a hemi I got a simple spoon fed question for ya. I got two bad legs, could you meet me at Joplin this year and carry me around after I get drinkin'? :D :D :D
  27. Zandoz
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 307


    WARNING: The following is something that popped into my clueless mind, after reading the initial post.

    What about the possibility of using an electronic linear actuator controlled by a rheostat mounted on the shifter. There is a very wide variety of 12v linear actuators...different forces, speeds and travel lengths. The rheostat could be configured like the old slot car controllers
    Strombecker Controller.JPG ,
    replacing the shift knob, and squeezed to operate the clutch.


  28. I have done prototypes using a very small a prototype booster, looks like a very very small brake booster system, Small enough to hide under the floor.
    No bigger then an old time lunch box minus, the thermos. lol

    Remember there has to be fail safe controller/and or sensors !

    I can not divulge who, I made this for!

    Also prototype a full electric variable speed unit,
    Remember the clutch diaphragm need to only total movement of 10 to 13mm.

    Search around the web and you will find what you need.
  29. .................................Classic.:D Hilarious.:)
  30. Rat Rods Rule
    Joined: Jun 30, 2015
    Posts: 6

    Rat Rods Rule


    As has been noted, I am wordy, so I'll be try to be more concise--I can use my clutch foot, but the normal clutch pressure is aggravating my 30-year-old knee injury, which I RE-injured in 2014, such that, now, using the clutch, normally, is exacerbating my knee injury.

    That is why I was hoping to SHARE the clutch pressure-load, between my left leg, and some kind of assist, be it, mechanical, vacuum, hydraulic, linear actuator, or ?

    And thank you for your thoughtful analysis of the VW auto-stick system.



    I agree with you--I think an AIR-OPERATED cylinder (or TWO--one to disengage, and one to make sure the pedal comes all the way back up) could be the way to go. Ironically, I originally injured my knee working in a potato chip factory, nights (and never even filed for Worker's Comp.--certainly should have, looking back, but good-paying jobs were hard to find--I'm sure I don't have to tell you guys).

    I say "Ironically" because I first saw these fast, long-stroke, lightweight, air-operated cylinders on the very same potato chip packaging equipment that I was cleaning, third shift, to pay for college, when I got hurt (I also worked, in production, summers, and saw them in action, then).

    These air-operated cylinders were less than double the diameter of modern, gas-charged, hatchback lift-assist cylinders and seemed, as I say, quick, with much longer strokes than might be necessary for a clutch--I'm just not sure how much "oomph" they can apply. I'm hoping someone will chime in on this point.

    And thank you, very much, for raising my awareness about the visually-impaired, and how my "best intentions" to make things stand out (with colors, etc...) may be counterproductive--I'll definitely keep that in mind and try to tone it down--thanks again.


    You're correct--I'm wordy--but I'll try to keep it more under control than I have.

    And I'm not female--I'm just over-educated, and apparently don't know when to STFU (I've been told I'm "overly-inclusive," more than once--LOL). But I'm not offended by your question--it's logical, given my own experience with the opposite sex. In fact, I credit most of my "successes" in that arena with just "out-talking" them--LOL!


    I agree, with vacuum already onboard, in a gasoline engine, vacuum IS attractive. I just know even less about how to harness vacuum than I do about the air-operated cylinders on the potato chip packaging machines I used to clean.

    And I TOTALLY agree with you, when you say this:

    "..and yes, hydraulics on construction equipment are now controlled by micro switches on joysticks. So, if a good excavator operator can pick up a can of soda with the claw without popping it, why can't a clutch be made to work from a shifter switch ... :)"

    In fact, I think this video will serve to emphasize your point:

    Excavator Picks up Quarter Off of Cement Floor



    You are correct, when you say this:

    "That Jeep should already be hydraulic..... put a smaller bore clutch master on it. Don't go too small or you may not have enough slave travel to completely release the clutch. You may also look into a hand brake control that mounts under the dash and a rod goes to the pedal (hand controls for people that don't have use of their legs at all)... if it works on brakes, it should be fine on the clutch."

    It's a 1988, and they were hydraulic, with an INTERNAL slave cylinder, back then. Sometime along about '91 or '94 (can't remember) the Peugot transmission (no, I'm not kidding) was changed to an AMC/Chrysler unit, with an EXTERNAL slave cylinder. (This particular YJ now has a 1999 Cherokee tranny and transfer case, so it's got the external slave cylinder--that's the good news).

    The bad news (at least in my opinion) is that there's no external "clutch fork" protruding into the bell housing, as on a purely mechanical clutch. Rather, this hydraulic slave cylinder is just a plastic, round tube-like affair, maybe 3/4"-1" in diameter, and 4-5" long, with a single hydraulic line coming off of it, leading up to the hydraulic (clutch) master cylinder, on the firewall.

    So it seems like the most elegant solution would be to somehow BOOST the hydraulic pressure, to the existing, external slave cylinder, if that were possible. And I'm hoping that would still allow the pressure plate springs to function semi-normally, for a reasonable amount of "feathering/feedback" to be present.

    I LIKE your "handbrake" lever idea. I'm not confident I'm competent to bring it to fruition, on my own, but I do like it.

    Does anyone think I'm onto something by simply stringing up a pulley (to function like a miniature snatchblock), under the floor of the Jeep, with one end of a recoil starter rope tied just above the clutch pedal, and the other end strung up to an eyebolt, locating the "pull-start end" of the recoil starter rope near the left side of the steering wheel?

    And please keep in mind that this is all so that I can PLOW SNOW (not commercially, just on my own property, and possibly neighbors).

    Happily, being a "Lefty," I'm fairly ambidextrous, so I feel I could get comfortable using the Western plow's "umbilical control," in either hand, if need be.

    Thanks, again, SO much, for all of your excellent ideas--and please keep them coming!

    And if anyone can either shoot down or validate my rope/pulley idea (as I believe a snatchblock-setup reduces effort by 50%, per pulley) I would appreciate it.

    I think a pully-system could work, as I could STILL USE MY LEFT LEG, for PART of the clutch load, and lessen that load by pulling on the recoil starter rope. (I realize this would leave holes in the floorboards, but that's okay because if it worked, as a concept, I believe I could get sheathed cables that I could then get rubber grommets for, to seal up where they pass through the floor boards.

    Thanks again, ALL!


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