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Old 06-25-2010, 10:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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converting a chevy to a hydraulic clutch

i've seen several partial posts here and on other sites on converting chevy trucks/blazers/burbs to hydraulic clutch, but they all seemed to have two problems. first is cost, some cost more than $200-300 for just some of the induvidual components. second some required specific race only or one of a kind components just to work, this is ok untill you need to replace them in which case sometimes the replacement cost is damn near the total new kit cost. i'm cheap and have some fabrication skills so after i got this all dialed in i thought i'd share it with everyone so people might not have to go through all the research and r&d $ just to get something to work. lets just say i experimented with a few different master cylinders to find the right combination to get full disengagement of the clutch.
note: these are the mfg suggested retail prices. i couldn't list the prices that you can get at a discount parts store, and the true prices i paid are about half of this, but i'm in the industry and get a discount.
first the parts:
clutch master: carquest part # m0735 for a mid 60's ford f-100, 7/8" bore
list price around $140.00
slave cylinder: carquest part #s1602 for a 75 toyota fj40 cruiser 3/4" bore
list price around $50.00
clutch hydraulic hose: toyota part # 96950-32755 fits 90's pickup w/3.0L
list price around $40, make sure to also purchase the two
factory horeshoe clips that attach the hose to the brackets
misc brake line tubing 3/16" cost about $15-20.00
about two feet of 1/4"x1" flat barstock
1/2" aluminum spacers available from ace hardware 3/8" hole in center
other misc parts: steel plate 3/16" about 2 square feet, small heim joint, 7/16 or 1/2" rod for pedal pushrod, misc nuts and bolts, and some large feder washers.

first i figured the amount of pedal travel i would need in order to actuate the master cylinder fully, about 1-3/4" to 2". i ended up drilling a 3/8" hole in the upper part of the stock pedal in the part of the pedal (it's 2 piece) that acts as the hinge, this point of the pedal had approximately +2" travel front to back. the hole is drilled just where the bend in the pedal straightens out and above where the second half of the pedal bolts on. the pushrod is attached to the passenger side of the pedal using the heim joint and the 1/2" rod approximately 16"-18" long and blunt pointed at one end to go into the master, an accurate measurement here is critical as there is only about 1/2" of adjustment either way in the heim joint, and make sure to use a jam nut at the heim to lock down the adjustment. the pushrod went through a hole i drilled (3/4" approx) just above a hole the factory put in to pass the speedo cable through.

next i made a bracket out of 3/16" steel plate (first out of cardboard) that attaches to the two bolts that attach the brake master to the booster. then i added a couple of additional support rods/bars (1/4"x1" flat barstock) to the firewall to actually give the support to the clutch master when it is being pushed (the brake master actually does little in this area besides holding everything from twisting or getting out of alignment, be sure to use the fender washers on the opposite side of the firewall to keep the bolts from ripping through. i cut out a large hole for the master cylinder to pass through and drilled for the attaching bolts. you may wonder why i used such a long pushrod, and didnt mount the master straight to the firewall. well for one it was a difficult fit for the master on the firewall as it was competing for space with other wires, the brake booster, and the wiper motor. second is that a longer pushrod meant that the as the pedal swung through the arc the pushrod would be pushing straighter into the master cylinder and i ended up with a good solid predictable pedal.

the fluid from the master travels through a hard line down to just below the steering column, where i made a small bracket to attach the clutch hose to the body at a factory stud for attachment of the speedo cable to to allow for body and frame flex. it clears the headers by more than 4" so i am not worried about the hose getting melted or burned. the other end of the hose attaches to a small bracket welded to my clutch slave bracket, and uses horeshoe clips at both ends to secure it to the brackets.

finally i made a flat plate bracket (3/16 plate again)that used the large bolt hole that the factory clutch pivot ball used in the bell housing (my block did not have the pivot bolt hole in it that some of the readily available clutch slave brackets use). a second small tab was attached to the bracket to take advantage of the bell housing bolt just above the oil filter to provide lateral support and keep the whole thing from pushing/twisting back and forth.

last mount the clutch slave using some 1/2" aluminum spacers on the bracket to line it up with the clutch fork. a hole will have to be drilled in the throwout arm for the adjustable pushrod to pass through, its hardened steel so expect to waste a few drill bits. the toyota slave cylinder is adustable so as to take the freeplay out at the clutch and get the maximum throw possible out of the slave by pushing the piston inside to the very bottom of the bore. i attached a small carburetor return spring to the clutch arm to keep the pushrod located.

this works very well and i havent had to lay a wrench on it since, so i think it's a success. hope this helps others out there. i have some more pics of the clutch slave braket out of the vehicle if need be just they were to high of resolution to post here. just pm me with a e-mail address and i can send some pics.
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Last edited by sjracer; 10-25-2011 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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thats a pretty slick setup, but its not cost effective, and probly more than just swapping it over with chevy parts. you have $250 worth of parts listed, plus hardware, metal, weldin supplies, etc. you can get everything from a u-pull-it junkyard for $100 or buy a whole junk truck for $500, get everything, sell/scrap the rest and make your money back.

im not sayin its wrong, i personally like the bracing and such, but mixing chevy/ford/yota parts when you could do it with all chevy for the same price/cheaper just isnt worth it. but thats my opinion, others may think different.

cheers for thinkin outside the box though
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Whats wrong with just using the factory chevy parts that would come with a hydro stick truck? if your set up works then more power to ya but why all the parts mixing and fabbing?
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used toyota landcruiser master and slave cylinder I bought from kragen auto for under $100.00 and a flexable hydraulic line from a motocycle. Mine works great and it cost about $125.00. Took about 3 hours to put it all together.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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didn't like the quality of the factory parts. most of the ones that were shown to me that fit chevy trucks at the parts store were plastic, and required special lines. i wanted something that would be easy to fix if i had to using off the shelf parts so that if i was in the middle of BFE i might have a chance of getting parts at a local parts store. metal threaded in lines are easy to redneck-rig, plastic lines are not and i had seen them split. all the other ones used the t-bearing/slave combo that fit around the input shaft. i wasn't going to gamble with yanking this heavy biznatch out a bunch of times.
as for the parts: i work for toyota and knew that the fj40 slave had a adjustable pushrod (yes there are others out there) and i knew that the factory linkage i had required this type of adjustment to keep everything working and lined up properly, and get the clearance between the t-bearing and the clutch fingers correct. also to be able to install a spring to insure that the pushrod wouldn't fall out bouncing around on the rocks and such

there was no direct parts for the bellhousing i had (non-hydro bell) the hydro bell housings i found at the time were going for almost as much as the list price for this whole setup. note this is the list price, not what i paid for the parts, and with some shopping around you could probably get the whole setup for around $130.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldy110 View Post
I used toyota landcruiser master and slave cylinder I bought from kragen auto for under $100.00 and a flexable hydraulic line from a motocycle. Mine works great and it cost about $125.00. Took about 3 hours to put it all together.
did you find that you were getting enough throw at the slave cylinder to disengage the clutch without the pedal being on the floor. i originally started off with the fj40 master (3/4") but was having problems disengaging untill i searched through the parts books and found a bolt on master with a 7/8" bore. more fluid displacement equalled a better clutch disengagment, in fact it threw it out so far that if you pushed it to the floor you could hear the clutch fingers hitting the clutch disk, so i backed off the adjustments at both ends slightly and installed a pedal stop on the floor under the carpet (piece of 2x4) it now works perfect
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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for those not wanting to make a bracket for the trans advanced adapters sells one for $35. it is for adapting a small block to a toyota but i think it will also work for other things. it also uses a toyota slave cyl. didn't know about that one untill i just saw it on another post. also on thier website it is a little hard to find, they should get thier web guy to make those things come up more on internet searches.
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