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Assist spring removal/installation details?

I'll try to keep this long story somewhat short:

Many of us are less than thrilled with the clutch pedal feel in the M6 cars. I live with it, and have gotten somewhat used to it, but I think there is room for improvement. The main issue, I believe, is the the pedal force is not consistent (linear) throughout it's entire travel path. This is due to the clutch pedal spring "assisting" during the lower 1/2 or 1/3 of the pedal travel toward the floor. When engaging the clutch (releasing from the floor) the force of the pedal changes right about at the point of clutch engagement. That is the point at which the pedal spring stops "assisting". Many of us here on the forum have speculated that if we could get a much lighter spring, it would improve the overall linearity of the pedal because it would be assisting that last 1/2 or 1/3 of the pedal much less. It would still have enough force to return the pedal all the way to the top, and it would take some more force to hold the pedal all the way to the floor.

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Also, I started this information on page 9 of the thread below, but have since migrated it to this new thread. There is additional information on some things others have tried in the previous thread if you want to read thru.

https://www.ssforums.com/forum/how-forum/133522-how-remove-clutch-over-center-spring-9.html
Dear All,
I read through this thread and the one per the above link to learn about the removal and installation of the spring.
What I did not find (sorry if I missed it) is mention of how easy or difficult it is to unhook and re-hook the ends of the spring.
In other words, under how much preload/windup the spring is with the pedal fully released, and does it require for instance vice grips and special precautions to get the ends unhooked and re-hooked.
Whoever can share these details it would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Dear All,
I read through this thread and the one per the above link to learn about the removal and installation of the spring.
What I did not find (sorry if I missed it) is mention of how easy or difficult it is to unhook and re-hook the ends of the spring.
In other words, under how much preload/windup the spring is with the pedal fully released, and does it require for instance vice grips and special precautions to get the ends unhooked and re-hooked.
Whoever can share these details it would be appreciated.
The spring is under a bit of pre-load with the pedal fully released. However, I was able to remove, and re-install the spring using basic hand tools (pliers, vice-grip, and long flat blade screwdriver). The spring does not come flying out like a missile, but I would recommend safety glasses since you are working above your eyes. Unhook one end, which removes some of the pre-load but still keeps the spring contained, and then unhook the other end. The worst part about it is that you have to be on your back, crammed up on the floor below the steering wheel. One recommendation I have is to first wipe all of the grease off of the spring to avoid getting it all over your hands and tools. Once you replace the spring, you can apply some grease back onto the coils then. My guess is that the grease is just to keep the spring quiet.

The new "lighter" spring should be quite a bit easier to install than the original.
 

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The spring is under a bit of pre-load with the pedal fully released. However, I was able to remove, and re-install the spring using basic hand tools (pliers, vice-grip, and long flat blade screwdriver). The spring does not come flying out like a missile, but I would recommend safety glasses since you are working above your eyes. Unhook one end, which removes some of the pre-load but still keeps the spring contained, and then unhook the other end. The worst part about it is that you have to be on your back, crammed up on the floor below the steering wheel. One recommendation I have is to first wipe all of the grease off of the spring to avoid getting it all over your hands and tools. Once you replace the spring, you can apply some grease back onto the coils then. My guess is that the grease is just to keep the spring quiet.

The new "lighter" spring should be quite a bit easier to install than the original.

Zach, thanks a bunch! The highlighted is what I was hoping to hear... :smile
 
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Discussion Starter #44
I received a call from the company that is making the new springs. They received the original spring that I sent in, and are starting work on the new springs. To accomplish the lighter spring rate, they will be making the springs out of 0.125" wire (the original was 0.156-0.157") and adding additional coil on each side of the spring. Those changes will put the new spring right around 30% of the original spring rate.
 

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Without adding the extra coils, the "30%" spring wire would want to be 0.116 inch diameter. Since it would seem that 0.125 wire is what is available, adding the additional length of the additional coils will lower the combined spring rate to the 30% target. Glad to see the spring maker is this technically qualified.
 

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The spring is under a bit of pre-load with the pedal fully released. However, I was able to remove, and re-install the spring using basic hand tools (pliers, vice-grip, and long flat blade screwdriver). The spring does not come flying out like a missile, but I would recommend safety glasses since you are working above your eyes. Unhook one end, which removes some of the pre-load but still keeps the spring contained, and then unhook the other end. The worst part about it is that you have to be on your back, crammed up on the floor below the steering wheel. One recommendation I have is to first wipe all of the grease off of the spring to avoid getting it all over your hands and tools. Once you replace the spring, you can apply some grease back onto the coils then. My guess is that the grease is just to keep the spring quiet.

The new "lighter" spring should be quite a bit easier to install than the original.
Second recommendation, take it to a shop and let them lay on their backs under the steering wheel! I got under the dash to look at the spring and could barely get back out! Old backs don't tolerate that type of abuse!
 
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Dang! I don't get online for a couple of days (the better half had surgery) and the one thing about my SS that is irksome (the clutch feel) gets addressed and I missed out on it! If you have a second batch made, I'm in! Or if anyone backs out!
 

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I received a call from the company that is making the new springs. They received the original spring that I sent in, and are starting work on the new springs. To accomplish the lighter spring rate, they will be making the springs out of 0.125" wire (the original was 0.156-0.157") and adding additional coil on each side of the spring. Those changes will put the new spring right around 30% of the original spring rate.

Hey redwolf, since there are now already people (beyond the original 20) asking for a spring, you may want to consider asking for a run of 25-30 (or more) springs if it's not too late. (sounds like it may not be if they just received the original spring and sent you that message)
Anyway, I have no doubt more folks will come along here and want one after the fact. Obviously, the more they make the better the amortization of the special order costs are for everyone. It seems possible that the cost per spring could go down even more than the $30 on a larger production run. Just sayin . . . :wink
 

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I received a call from the company that is making the new springs. They received the original spring that I sent in, and are starting work on the new springs. To accomplish the lighter spring rate, they will be making the springs out of 0.125" wire (the original was 0.156-0.157") and adding additional coil on each side of the spring. Those changes will put the new spring right around 30% of the original spring rate.



How will they set the preload - orientation of the end coils? I assume the same as the OEM spring? If so the preload will be nominally 30% of the OEM preload. Do we think this is enough to keep the pedal firmly released all the way with no rattling?
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Hey redwolf, since there are now already people (beyond the original 20) asking for a spring, you may want to consider asking for a run of 25-30 (or more) springs if it's not too late. (sounds like it may not be if they just received the original spring and sent you that message)
Anyway, I have no doubt more folks will come along here and want one after the fact. Obviously, the more they make the better the amortization of the special order costs are for everyone. It seems possible that the cost per spring could go down even more than the $30 on a larger production run. Just sayin . . . :wink

Not a bad idea, but I'd like to just stick with the run of 20 for the first batch. This is really an experimental trial and I don't want to get a ton of people on the hook until I know if it is going to work effectively. If it proves to work well, I have no problem getting some more springs, as the company has so far been really good to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
How will they set the preload - orientation of the end coils? I assume the same as the OEM spring? If so the preload will be nominally 30% of the OEM preload. Do we think this is enough to keep the pedal firmly released all the way with no rattling?

Right, the pre-load is essentially determined by the relationship between the end legs, and the center section between the coils. This will be kept the same as the original spring.



After removing the spring on my car, handling the spring, and seeing how the pedal functions with and without the spring, I think the new springs will still have plenty of strength to hold the pedal all the way at the top of the stroke. I don't know this for certain, but that's why this is an experiment. I had originally been thinking of making a spring with 50% of the original spring rate, but several members suggested going less than that, so we settled on 30% for the first trial. If we find out that the new spring is still too strong, or now too weak, we can always try again. In my mind, $30 is relatively cheap to improve the feel and function of the clutch pedal on this otherwise fantastic machine of a car!
 

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Right, the pre-load is essentially determined by the relationship between the end legs, and the center section between the coils. This will be kept the same as the original spring.



After removing the spring on my car, handling the spring, and seeing how the pedal functions with and without the spring, I think the new springs will still have plenty of strength to hold the pedal all the way at the top of the stroke. I don't know this for certain, but that's why this is an experiment. I had originally been thinking of making a spring with 50% of the original spring rate, but several members suggested going less than that, so we settled on 30% for the first trial. If we find out that the new spring is still too strong, or now too weak, we can always try again. In my mind, $30 is relatively cheap to improve the feel and function of the clutch pedal on this otherwise fantastic machine of a car!

Agreed. I'm just mentioning this so we keep in mind that if needed we can get a higher initial preload (not higher than stock) while keeping the "assist" effect further down the stroke low by increasing the initial windup of the spring while keeping the spring rate low. Sounds like we want a near "minimum rate" spring to not "mask" the clutch spring but sufficient initial preload to hold the free pedal up firmly.
I truly hope the first try works well enough; otherwise, something to consider.
 
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Discussion Starter #53
The springs are in progress, and I should have them by the end of this week or early next. Once they arrive, I will get them shipped out (to all who have paid) promptly!

Thank you to all who have sent payment. So far, I have received payment from all but 2.
 

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Awesome. I can’t wait to get this in. I really hope it makes a big difference. The clutch feel and notchiest transmission I’ve ever driven have really let me down in this car that is so great otherwise.
 

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Awesome. I can’t wait to get this in. I really hope it makes a big difference. The clutch feel and notchiest transmission I’ve ever driven have really let me down in this car that is so great otherwise.

I am 100% with you on the clutch feel topic, but I am very surprised you mention "notchiest transmission". In my mind (and car) it is one of the slickest shifting manuals I have driven, a real joy to shift. It does have the occasional very light 2nd gear "crunch" well reported around here, but that's minor and overall shift quality is much better (less notchy, more precise/less rubbery, smoother, lower effort) than for instance in our previous BMW E46 M3 and E85 Z4 manuals.
Have you driven several different manual VF's and confirmed that yours is typical? I have driven a couple before buying mine and did not find any of them notchy. Have you replaced the MT oil? Could it be that your clutch is dragging a bit (not fully disengaging) or you are not pressing it all the way down?
 

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Mine is the only VF manual I’ve ever driven but I’ve owned other cars with the TR6060 and I used to work on Corvettes so I’ve driven many more than the average person. Mine is probably one of the worst I’ve ever driven. 2nd gear is dang near a grind when it’s below 45* outside but 1st gear also resists coming out so that adds to the annoyance. Both conditions get better once the fluid warms up but they’re still there. I’ve changed the fluid with GM fluid at 2200 miles and again with Amsoil Torque Drive as recommended here around 20k miles. The Amsoil did help a little bit. I’ve been planning on gear and synchro replacement but I also wanted to do a Monster clutch at the same time but I have a hard time spending $1500 on a clutch I’ve never been able to drive before and also replacing a clutch that isn’t really broken.
 

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Mine is the only VF manual I’ve ever driven but I’ve owned other cars with the TR6060 and I used to work on Corvettes so I’ve driven many more than the average person. Mine is probably one of the worst I’ve ever driven. 2nd gear is dang near a grind when it’s below 45* outside but 1st gear also resists coming out so that adds to the annoyance. Both conditions get better once the fluid warms up but they’re still there. I’ve changed the fluid with GM fluid at 2200 miles and again with Amsoil Torque Drive as recommended here around 20k miles. The Amsoil did help a little bit. I’ve been planning on gear and synchro replacement but I also wanted to do a Monster clutch at the same time but I have a hard time spending $1500 on a clutch I’ve never been able to drive before and also replacing a clutch that isn’t really broken.
The issue, particularly 1st gear resistance coming out, may indicate your clutch is dragging... or not completely released when your petal is depressed. You could have a master or slave cylinder issue.
 

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It’s been this way since I’ve owned the car with 7 miles on it, hasn’t gotten any better or worse. If the clutch was dragging it would be difficult to get it into any gear and it isn’t.
 

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It’s been this way since I’ve owned the car with 7 miles on it, hasn’t gotten any better or worse. If the clutch was dragging it would be difficult to get it into any gear and it isn’t.
1st and 2nd are large gears with the most rotational inertia, hardest items for the synchros to mate. Slight clutch drag would effect them the most.

Any diagnosis at the dealership? Tried another fluid?...Redline D4 ATF helped my second gear a lot. If you just have a bad transmission, why continue to live with it?
 

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I have had the issue with getting into some gears when the car is cold, but after everything warms up it's smooth as silk. I also loved the effort and feel of the shifter in my car, but I only had it until around 17k or 18k miles.
 
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