A Right Pain in the Neck

One of the most awkward, nigh-impossible jobs in maintaining the MX-5 must surely be the adjustment of the clutch pedal travel. (Well, OK, there are probably worse tasks, but the stiff muscles and crick in my neck currently make me favour this one.)

Increasing trouble with engaging or changing gear in recent months finally forced to me tackle adjustment of the clutch pedal, as it became clear the clutch was not fully disengaging.

I knew, of course, that the job really needed doing, having noted in routine servicing that the pedal travel was not within spec. But I’d put off doing anything about it because of the inaccessibility of the adjustment mechanism.

The excellent MX-5 Enthusiast’s Workshop Manual, by Rod Grainger, talks about “…standing on your head in the driver’s footwell, and generally adopting a position that would make a contortionist proud…” in order to work on this adjustment — it’s not wrong!!

Had to remove driver’s seat for access, and even then it was a pretty uncomfortable, not to say painful, experience!

Still, there’s no such word as “can’t”, as someone (Napoleon?) allegedly said, so after much wriggling and squirming, and not a little cussing and muttering, I finally managed to fettle it. Happy to say the clutch now disengages at a respectable distance off the floor.

However, there is no further adjustment available, which may mean I’m eventually going to have to service the clutch itself. At which point, I may well have to revise my opinion on the most difficult jobs! — but that’s a story for another day.

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