Bellcrank to hydro conversion

Bellcrank to hydro conversion

Dlowe

Jeeper
Posts
63
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0
Location
Washington
Vehicle(s)
1972 CJ5 - 258, T18, D20
I don't like the Bellcrank (mechanical) clutch mechanism. Does anyone have the parts list/details on converting to the hydraulic system?
 
These are new parts. I hope they are up to date #'s.


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  • p/n J5359822 - master cylinder (4-Wheelers Supply, cheaper elsewhere)(a)
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[SIZE=-1]
  • p/n 716331 - slave cylinder kit (Advance Adapter, to save $30, just buy the slave and get your own bolts & spring. Verify p/n J3241867 with AA, same slave as in their kit.)(b)
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  • p/n 716130H - braided steel hose (AA, includes one fitting)(d)
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  • 1 additional male/male fitting (AA)
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[SIZE=-1]
  • p/n 615-1187 - Napa clutch adjustment rod (duh, Napa)(c)
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[SIZE=-1]$[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • clutch rod adjuster (from the original mechanical clutch linkage)
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  • misc. bolts and washers

I used Advance Adapters kit on my Jeep, about 5 Years ago. Best thing I did.
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Here is the whole article I found with instructions.

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Why I did the conversion:
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[SIZE=-1]The mechanical clutch linkage on my '74 CJ6 was notorious for requiring user intervention. When the Jeep was twisting on a trail, either the pushrod would disconnect from the clutch fork or it wouldn't push enough to disengage the clutch. Attaching a spring fixed the first problem but not the second. This hydraulic conversion replaced the spring and resolved the second problem too. Now, the Jeep can twist all it wants while leaving me a full functioning, intervention free clutch. I'd seen Advance Adapters' chain linkage upgrade but it was still mechanical and I wasn't sure it would resolve the issue of the clutch fork not being pushed far enough to disengage. After having to crawl under the Jeep over a dozen times on one short trail to make the pushrod shorter or longer (depending on which way the Jeep was twisting), I vowed to resolve the clutch issue permanently. That's when I saw Advance Adapters' hydraulic upgrade for early Jeeps equipped with mechanical clutch linkage. It sounded like the perfect solution.
That was where I should have remembered the "if it sounds too good..." bit because it took a lot longer, and quite a few more parts than AA happened to mention for me to make this come out all right. Let me start by saying the people I spoke to at AA were very helpful and I was impressed with the effort they gave my cause. But, it seemed obvious to me this conversion was something written in their catalog but not done (or tested?) with a real life application.
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[SIZE=-1]If you just want to know what I did, skip to the pictures and read along. If you want to know "why" I did what I did, keep reading. It's a little long but I'm trying to be informative. I would have loved to have had this information before attempting the conversion. Not because it wasn't worth it, but because it would have been nice to be more prepared with parts and expectations. Like I said, this conversion is a must do. I was just surprised not to see it documented better in the AA catalog, or even in any 4x4 magazines. [/SIZE]
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What went right, and wrong:
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[SIZE=-1]According to AA, all you need is a master cylinder, a slave cylinder and firewall modifications for mounting the master cylinder. It was up to me to ask them what I needed to connect the two, and how the master cylinder connects to the clutch pedal. I was given a part number for the hose and was told I just remove the mechanical linkage from the pedal and replace it with the pushrod from the m/c. Issue One: The hose specified(l) is what AA says is supposed to work, but it didn't with my '74 with a AMC 304 V8. It had about 18" of bent tubing where it was supposed to connect to the slave cylinder which put the end 16" away from where I needed it to be. I only needed a 2" 'L'. (I'm speculating but AA says some linkages pivot from the transfer case and this hose may have worked for that setup, but not mine) Rather than hassle with finding an EOM hose for an application that never existed in production, I opted to purchase AA's steel braided hydraulic hose(d).
Issue Two: The braided hose needs two male/male fittings (which I specifically asked for twice when I placed the order) to attach to the cylinders. When the hose arrived I only received one of the fittings. So, another call to AA. This time, after I thoroughly confused the guy who answered, I finally spoke to someone higher up (he might have been the owner), he knew what I was trying to explain and said he'd mail the second fitting to me.
Issue Three: You don't just remove the mechanical linkage and attach the pushrod from the master cylinder. The m/c pushrod was two inches short of connecting to my clutch pedal(a). One guy at AA said a pedal assembly from an '80 CJ should bolt in. First, there were a few different assemblies used from '72 to '86 and none of them just bolt in, except for what I already had. Second, like the hose, I didn't want to spend time or money trying to find or alter an OEM hydraulic pedal assembly to fit my Jeep when one was never intended to. So, a little more thinking and I decided to alter the m/c pushrod instead of the complete pedal assembly. I picked up a master cylinder core at a junk yard thinking I'd cut the two pushrods and connect them into one that was long enough to reach my pedal. On the way home I stopped at a NAPA (looking for the second male/male hose fitting I needed) and I saw something called a Clutch Adjustment Rod (Ford). It's a pushrod that comes in two pieces so the length can be adjusted(c). That was perfect so I bought it. Of course nothing is perfect. The m/c end of the adjustable pushrod is smaller than the end of the pushrod with my new m/c. To keep the new pushrod from just pulling out of the m/c I had to go buy a small flat washer to put at the base of the new pushrod(k). That made it stop against the washer that holds it in the m/c. I also had to shorten each piece of the pushrod by about a 3/8" so it wouldn't push too far into the m/c with the pedal on the floor. Basically, the shortest length of the adjustable pushrod was just a tad too long for me. So, to be safe, I thought it would be better to have a shorter minimum length.
Issue Four: I still had to address how the pushrod was going to connect to my pedal. I finally found a bolt that had enough thread to bolt through my pedal with a nut on each side of it(k). It's a 'socket cap screw' bolt or something like that (it's got an allen wrench hole at the top).
Issue Five: AA instructions said to drill a hole through the clutch fork, put the threaded shaft from the slave through and hold it in place with one bolt on each side of the arm. I wasn't comfortable making such a permanent change and didn't think a nut digging inside the indent was good in the long run. So, I opted to use the clutch rod adjuster from the original linkage(o). To make this fit, I measured the threaded shaft, then cut off enough of it so it was a little shorter (end to end) after screwing the rod adjuster onto it (since it can be extended).
Issue Six: The hose connection to the slave cylinder wound up being only an inch from my exhaust pipe(f). I checked with 4-Wheelers Supply and they said that's the minimum distance but it might be ok if I added some insulation. Since I don't like the phrase "might be", I took that opportunity to install a set of fenderwell headers which moved the exhaust further from the slave cylinder hose(p).
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[SIZE=-1]Issue Seven: Because of Murphy's Law, Issue Seven took on a life of its own, with its own set of issues. But, everything worked out great. Besides, why wouldn't a hydraulic clutch require headers?(t)[/SIZE]
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The parts Advance Adapters' (AA) said I needed:
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[SIZE=-1]
  • p/n J5359822 - master cylinder (4-Wheelers Supply)(a)
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]$99[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • p/n 716331 - slave cylinder kit (AA)(b)
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[SIZE=-1]$99[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • p/n J53004162 - hose to connect the cylinders (4-Wheelers Supply)(l)
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[SIZE=-1]$20[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
The parts I really needed:
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]
  • p/n J5359822 - master cylinder (4-Wheelers Supply, cheaper elsewhere)(a)
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]$99[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • p/n 716331 - slave cylinder kit (AA, to save $30, just buy the slave and get your own bolts & spring. Verify p/n J3241867 with AA, same slave as in their kit.)(b)
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]$99[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • p/n 716130H - braided steel hose (AA, includes one fitting)(d)
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]$44[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • 1 additional male/male fitting (AA)
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]$8[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • p/n 615-1187 - Napa clutch adjustment rod (duh, Napa)(c)
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[SIZE=-1]$12[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • clutch rod adjuster (from the original mechanical clutch linkage)
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[SIZE=-1]$0[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • misc. bolts and washers
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[SIZE=-1]$3[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • fenderwell headers, and mufflers
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[SIZE=-1]$0[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]

Step One: new parts and items to consider[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]a)
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[SIZE=-1]b)
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[SIZE=-1]c)
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[SIZE=-1]d)
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[SIZE=-1]a) Master cylinder from 4-Wheelers[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]b) Slave cylinder kit from Advance Adapters (kit includes the slave plus misc. parts)[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]c) From left to right, the new m/c's pushrod, the core's pushrod and Napa's adjustable pushrod[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]d) Stainless steel braided hydraulic line and 1 fitting from Advance Adapters (need 2 fittings)[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]Items you will need:[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=-1][/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=-1]a master cylinder with hardware to mount it to the firewall(a)[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=-1]finding the correct position on the firewall to mount the master cylinder (I had to relocate my wiring a little to the right of where it was)(i)[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=-1]a slave cylinder with hardware to mount it to the bellhousing and to the clutch fork(b)[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=-1]a hydraulic hose to connect the two cylinders (plus fittings, depending on the hose)(d)[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=-1]routing the hose between the cylinders was easy using the braided line, it would be more difficult using pre-bent tube though[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=-1]a way to connect the pushrod from the master cylinder to the clutch pedal (which may include modifying the pushrod and/or the clutch pedal)(k)[/SIZE]
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Step Two: planning everything out[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]e)
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[SIZE=-1]f)
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[SIZE=-1]g)
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[SIZE=-1]h)
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[SIZE=-1]e) firewall prior to the conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]f) original mechanical linkage[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]g) close-up of the original mechanical linkage[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]h) pedal assembly prior to the conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]
  • The good thing about not getting the correct parts from Advance Adapters the first time was I had lots of time to plan for each component.
  • I measured the throw of the clutch pedal and the in/out lengths for the pushrod and of the slave cylinder.
  • I also determined what hardware was needed, and how the pushrod was going to connect to the clutch pedal.
  • After test mounting the slave cylinder, it became obvious where the braided line connected to it was too close to the exhaust pipe(f).
  • So, while waiting for the second male/male hose fitting to arrive from AA I installed a set of fenderwell headers(t).
  • By the time the last fitting arrived, I knew exactly what, and how everything was going to connect together.
  • If you attempt this conversion, make sure you look for every potential problem.
  • This also allowed me to just have the Jeep down during the final installation, and not while running to the hardware store or waiting for a part to arrive.
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Step Three: doing the work[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]i)
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[SIZE=-1]k)
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[SIZE=-1]l)
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[SIZE=-1]i) firewall after cutting out enough to relocate the original wiring[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]j) firewall after mounting the new master cylinder[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]k) Napa pushrod with an extra flat washer at the bottom and hardware at the top for the pedal[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]l) hose p/n J53004162 did NOT fit my application[/SIZE]
  1. [SIZE=-1][/SIZE]
  2. [SIZE=-1]First, you have to determine where to drill the firewall to mount the master cylinder(i). According to Advance Adapters, Jeeps made before 1980 will require this firewall modification.[/SIZE]
  3. [SIZE=-1]Remove the clutch rod from the pedal and replace it with a bolt to attach the m/c pushrod.[/SIZE]
  4. [SIZE=-1]Mount the master cylinder and check where the pushrod ends. In my case it was way short.[/SIZE]
  5. [SIZE=-1]If necessary, remove the m/c and replace its pushrod with Napa's clutch adjustment rod(c). (I had to shorten both ends of the Napa rod because its shortest length was too long)[/SIZE]
  6. [SIZE=-1]Remount the m/c and verify the pushrod can attach to the pedal. Also verify the movement of the pushrod so it doesn't push too far into the m/c with the pedal on the floor (or not enough)(q).[/SIZE]
  7. [SIZE=-1]I measured how far the clutch fork moved when the mechanical linkage was used (about 11/16") to verify the new setup would have the same result.[/SIZE]
  8. [SIZE=-1]Remove the clutch rod from the floor board and the mechanical assembly from the frame and bellhousing.[/SIZE]
  9. [SIZE=-1]Determine how you are going to have the slave cylinder push into the clutch fork. In my case I used the existing clutch rod adjuster and that required shortening the threaded shaft from the slave(o).[/SIZE]
  10. [SIZE=-1]Mount the slave cylinder with the rod in place to verify the fit of everything. You may need to add a washer or two to get the slave to line up pretty straight into the clutch fork.[/SIZE]
  11. [SIZE=-1]Put the hose in place to check it against obstructions. I used a steel braided line because the Jeep part didn't attach to the slave correctly. It had an 18" section of bent tubing by the slave and that was wrong for my application(l). The steel braided line fit everything ok except that where it attached to the slave cylinder was too close (maybe 1" or less) to the exhaust pipe. Since I couldn't change the location of the slave, I changed the location of the exhaust by installing fenderwell headers(p).[/SIZE]
  12. [SIZE=-1]After verifying everything fits correctly, unmount both cylinders and the hose. I was able to install the hose without weaving it through any wires so taking out the whole assembly in one, connected piece was possible.[/SIZE]
  13. [SIZE=-1]Rig up the slave cylinder so it doesn't push the inner cap out while bleeding the system. I had it pushed in 11/16" plus about half an inch as a cushion so when it gets pushed out, it still stays inside the cylinder.[/SIZE]
  14. [SIZE=-1]Add fluid to the system and bleed it out.[/SIZE]
  15. [SIZE=-1]With that done, mount everything back into place.[/SIZE]
  16. [SIZE=-1]And that's that. My pedal seems a lot stiffer than with the mechanical linkage but it may just be a new feeling for my foot.[/SIZE]
  17. [SIZE=-1]I bled the system again after it was installed for a couple days to make sure all the air was out of it.[/SIZE]
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Step Four: the reults[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=-1]m) firewall after the conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]n) master cylinder after the conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]o) slave cylinder after the conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]p) another view of the slave cylinder after the conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]q)
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[SIZE=-1]r)
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[SIZE=-1]s)
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[SIZE=-1]t)
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[SIZE=-1]q) pedal assembly after conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]r) another view of the pedal assembly after conversion[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]s) view of the step before installing the headers and mufflers[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]t) view of the header/muffler after being installed[/SIZE]
 
Great photos and description purple77cj7! I did my CJ over 10 years ago and have forgotten some of the details.

I would add that I also made a bracket to attach a return spring for the clutch arm. I wanted to keep a bit of play for the throwout bearing and I thought the spring would pull the arm back a bit farther into the slave cylinder.
 
Sorry to bring this back from the dead.

Got a question for you Purple.

So I've got my kit installed; I didn't use AA or any other "kit" exactly, I just used Summit and pieced it together using the part numbers you posted.

I'm curious if you gave your MC the full throw that your clutch pedal is able to give.

Here's what Ive got going on. Bled everything out, adjusted rod at slave to give myself a little freeplay. Attached return spring. Once I pump the clutch a couple times I will lose any freeplay and there is actually positive pressure against the fork which of course is causing my TO bearing to get hot. No good. The slave is not bottomed out. I can open the bleeder and easily push the rod/piston in a little to get the pressure off the clutch fork.

At first I thought that maybe I ordered the wrong master/slave combo. But they both go on numerous AMC vehicles, including jeeps, from 80-86 or so. So basically I'm getting TOO much fluid down in the slave and it keeps moving the piston a little further out. When I let off the clutch pedal, the MC allows enough fluid to return to engage the clutch but leaves just a light pressure on the TO bearing. If the damn MC would allow fluid to bypass the MC bore and backfill into the plastic res I would be fine.

I'm kindof out of ideas but I just thought that maybe shortening the stroke I'm giving the MC might work.

Thanks in advance
 
Well I figured it out. Manufacturing problem. As I'm sure you remember when changing your MC to clutch pedal rod, there is a snapring with a plate behind it that retains the rod in the MC/piston. Well, the way this was manufactured, when the snapring was in place it was depressing the piston slightly. I disassembled the unit and ground down the end of the rod, reassembled and BOOM....now I keep the freeplay. Before doing this, the slave couldn't return all the way. Bad news is I think it cooked my throwout bearing. Not sure though, I was switching belts today and noticed a squeal from the alternator bearing so hopefully thats it. Keeping my fingers crossed. I was able to do the hydro setup for like 115 bucks though.
 

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