Get more Tips, Specs and Technical Data!

Did you know... this Forum is a service of the Studebaker Drivers Club? For more technical tips, specifications, history and tech data, visit the Tech Tips page at the SDC Homepage:
See more
See less

Stuck Clutch?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Stuck Clutch?

    My 63 Lark sat for about three months before I finished installing the electric fuel pump today. It now runs better than ever. However when my son and I tried to take it for a test ride we could not get the three speed manual into gear. The clutch pedal can be pressed to the floor, the complete linkage moves, but the internals seems stuck. When we shut off the engine and slipped it into gear the car will move using the starter. Any ideas how to unstick this? Is there an adjustment to the linkage that might be causing the problem? This has happened before but pressing the clutch pedal to the floor once or twice has freed the internals.

    This forum has been a great help to me in the past and I hope you can help again.

  • #2
    Place the rear of the car up safely on jack stands. Start the car in 3rd gear. The tires will now be a spinning. Then just step on the brake pedal. That should fix it.

    63 Avanti R2, 4-Speed, 3.73 TT
    Martinez, CA


    • #3
      I have a quicker solution. Put it in first with the clutch on the floor and start it in gear (with a clear path ahead) Once underway, with the clutch still on the floor, goose the engine until you hear a bang as the clutch lets go.

      JDP Maryland


      • #4
        I bought a 1950 Crosley with this condition years ago. I jacked up one rear tire and started it in gear, then stuck my foot out of the door and shoved myself off of the jack and down the driveway I went! By the time I got to the end of the driveway, it was free...but then the clutch began to slip....But anyway, jacking up both and applying the brakes sounds much safer!
        As for this being a continuing issue, might there be rust on the input shaft that the clutch slides back and forth on? Can you take off an inspection cover and shine a light up there for inspection?

        Brent's rootbeer racer.
        MN iron does your body good.
        In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


        • #5
          Put the car in gear, pull the coil wire and turn the starter. If the clutch is stuck the car will try to move. Much safer for initial troubleshooting.


          • #6
            how long has the clutch been in the car??? had aproblem on my 65 galaxie,put the trans in 2nd stood on the brake and turned over engine broke right a way. still in the car when i sold it working great.

            2006,f-150,2x4,v-6,5-speed manual,8ft bed, will post stude info when i get it on the road.


            • #7
              If the pedal "feels" normal, I'd agree the clutch disk may be stuck to the flywheel from a little rust. Had that happen to my old mustang once after sitting a few days in damp weather. I think that time it popped loose with a few gooses of the starter with the brakes applied and trans in gear.

              The last time something like this happened to me, however, the pedal did not feel normal. I ended up pulling the trans. What had happened was the 1 yr old clutch had dropped one of those damper springs that are arrayed around the disk center and it jammed between the disk fingers and the pressure plate. The clutch was pulled crooked when the pedal was pressed and would not completely release. This happened all of a sudden while driving though and not after the car was sitting.

              Jeff in ND

              '53 Champion Hardtop

              Jeff in ND


              • #8
                I had the same problem with a dually truck and big block after installing a new clutch and pressure plate.
                The gooey stuff they put on it to prevent rust is what caused it.
                I just started it in first gear and got a little rough with it accelerating and decelerating and it popped loose then did a double clutch thing while accelerating a couple of times to smoke all that stuff off of it.
                Rust might be a little harder but same theory, GET ROUGH WITH HER.



                • #9
                  I had that problem with a Jeep CJ-5 that I had stored 15+ years ago. The clutch froze to the flywheel but I was able to start it in gear and get it to break free. In the end I pulled it out and found a lot of the disc material on the facing. Installed a new disc and machined the pressure plate and it was good to go.

                  Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful" and real Studebaker horsepower lives

                  See pictures here:

                  Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.
                  Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

                  The official SDC Forum heel nipper ���

                  �Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.� E. Joseph Cossman

                  For every mile of road, there are 2 miles of ditch. ���

                  "All lies matter - fight the kleptocracy"


                  • #10
                    With car in gear, idle turned up, all fours on the ground, start engine low gear, clutch depressed, jam brakes. It will release. Have used this method on cars and tractors. One tractor had been submerged up to distributor. When storing, use a broom stick to keep clutch pedal depressed.


                    • #11
                      My 51 commander clutch is stuck I started it in gear the other day it took of through the woods at the end of the street Would not stop clutch is still stuck! I had to pull it out with a 4X4. Did not hurt it too bad.I live on a died end durt road. I parked it on the street 2 days earler and clutch was fine. I wish I got pictures.


                      • #12
                        I used JDP's technique and it broke free in 25 feet or so. I also appreciate the suggestions from everyone else. I like the idea of using a broomstick or piece of wood to keep the clutch pedal depressed when the car will be sitting for a time so this doesn't happen again.


                        • #13
                          Put it in second--depress the clutch--keep it depressed--start it up--it will take off--don't forget you can shut it off to stop--just drive it around for a while punchin it a little and letting off the gas; with the clutch pedal depressed the whole time. The car jerking forward and backward should pop it loose.


                          • #14
                            My friend was going to sell me an old GMC pickup ('68/'69 model, 3/4 ton) that had a V8 and a 4spd. I had lived out-of-state for more than a yr and he kept selling me over the phone. When I moved back to the area (North Carolina) he told me I coud have the truck cause the clutch was stuck. When I told him I didn't want it, he said he was going to junk it cause he didn't know anyone else that would buy one in that condition (I never have figured out if that is an insult, or not). I got the keys from him, put the truck in granny low, turned the key and let it jump a time or two till it started. Once started, I headed down the driveway, hitting the gas and letting off real quick, then back on the gas, then off real quick again. By the second time, it was free and shifting like a new truck. Two days later, he sold the truck to a guy he worked with and left me with no truck, no money, nothing!!! Oh well, what are friends for..............right?



                            • #15
                              I'd be leery of storing a vehicle with the clutch pedal depressed by a stick or block. If you keep the springs under excessive tension for a long period, they may lose some of their strength, and then the clutch may slip when you put the car back into service.

                              Studebaker bellhousings usually have a 1" hole in the middle of the upper surface. If the car is stored outdoors, rainfall can find its way in there. Mice, too. If I really wanted to be meticulous about preserving a clutch on a stored car, I'd make a plug for that hole, and have some silica gel desiccant packs hung on string from that plug, inside the bellhousing. But the only clutches I've seen that were terminally rusted had been submerged in water, or stored completely exposed to weather.

                              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands