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Dodge1939D11

'39 Dodge Luxury Liner clutch problem

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Gents,

I was driving my D-11 into work this morning and when I was about a mile away from my office, I heard a grinding like the car jumped out of gear (I was in 3rd gear coasting down a long hill and had been for about a mile - clutch out, no gas). I immediately tossed in the clutch (which had normal pressure), pulled off the road and tried to put it into gear and had no issues. I drove it the rest of the way to my office using all three gears. When I pulled into my office I tossed in the clutch to take it out of gear and noticed that the clutch was almost fully depressed with little movement. I was able to get it out of gear with no issues and the clutch will pull out easily with the toe of my shoe.

Anyone have any idea what might have happened?

I have about a 35 mile drive back home this afternoon and I would much rather get it home than pay for a tow charge from here back to the house.

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It sounds to me like the clutch pedal return spring has either broken or become dislodged. It is possible that a retaining peg on which it bears under tension has worn or broken away. You should have no trouble in getting home with it.

Ray.

Edited by R.White (see edit history)

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I don't know when they started and your car may be too old. But on some Mopars of a slightly later vintage there is an over-center spring setup that is designed to make it easier to depress the clutch pedal. If it gets out of adjustment the pedal may stay on the floor. If that is all it is then it should be a relatively simple adjustment (except I recall people mentioning an adjusting jig or template). Do you have a factory service manual?

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I just received the service manual this morning so that will help in diagnosing the problems.

I ended up having the car towed home last night. When I started the car the clutch pedal moved back into its correct position on its own and there was some spongy pressure to the pedal. However, there was not enough to get the car into gear with the engine running.

I think it may be an adjustment issue. When coming to a stop at an intersection, with the clutch in, I have always had difficulty shifting into 1st gear. I had to wait for the RPMs to slow way down before it would pop in. It is my understanding, from looking at vintage advertisements for the car, that this was one of their big selling points: the transmission would shift very smoothly into all gears.

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Thats what the advertising said about my car as well but guess what?

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You mean to tell me they don't always tell the truth???? Oh NO! :eek:

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Having to wait for the revs to die down before getting it into gear is normal for those years. 1st gear was not syncro'd only 2nd and 3rd. And if the clutch is out of adjustment and the clutch wear material reaching it's end of life ,it will be worse still. I agree with the guys that you had a catastrophic dislogement or breakage of the clutch plate throwout mechanism.

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I am unfamiliar with this model - it's not a hydraulic clutch is it?

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I agree with the guys that you had a catastrophic dislogement or breakage of the clutch plate throwout mechanism.

Well, that sounds fun. I plan on crawling under it this weekend to see what is going on.

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I went to a car show with my 1939 dodge 4 door. All was great. At the end of the show I started up the car and only had second gear. Drove home hoping I had reverse to get in the garage. Not clutch or trans but the cable that shifts the gears. Weather had cooled from morning to late afternoon and the grease in the cable seized up. Took about three hours of working it to get it to move and reinstalled. Quite a shocker.

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If you want you could remove the cable, hang it up from one end and heat it up gently until grease drips out the other end. I have found this to be the best way to remove old hardened grease from (sheathed type) cables. Trying to force the old grease out under gun pressure is seldom a permanent cure. The cable can now be reinstated and charged with new grease.

A messy job, so wear gloves!

Ray.

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