I should preface this by saying I’m not a mechanic. We have 25+ cars here at MHCC, but it’s rare that we pick up some tools and dig into something that’s not straight forward repairs. That being said when it’s my own vehicle and I have time to work on something, I’m going to give it my best college try. So the clutch cable conveniently snapped right outside the warehouse full of tools, and not driving down the highway, which I was thankful for timing wise. In worse news though, I’m not a certified Porsche mechanic so this wasn’t going to be something I’ve done before. So I grabbed my Clymer Manual and ordered a new clutch cable from 914rubber.com for around $23. That was it. One part, one job, one goal. Fix the 914 clutch cable and get this rectangle hot rod back on the road.
Let us break down the obvious stuff:
Job Time: About 2 hours or less
Tools: Basic hand tools, 10-12mm wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, rags
Skill Level: Minimum skill required
Parts: One clutch cable, grease
So I’m not totally going to break down a step by step (that’s why you should have the manual), but just a general overview. It’s somewhat simple in theory. Remove the snapped cable from the rear of the car, feed the new cable through, and hook it all up. The main thing to focus on is NOT letting the throttle cable and clutch cable wrap around themselves while feeding them through the tunnel.
Now my vehicle had a cheater hack in that it already had a portion of the tunnel cut out so I was able to slide the clevis and cable through with ease. This also allowed me to make sure I didn’t have the cables bound together. That being said you can still sneak behind the pedals and release the clevis and pin quite easily. Once that’s done the cable can be slid out from the rear and then unhooked from the rear.
The other thing to make sure is once you get all the cables removed that you take a minute to get the vacuum out and remove all the acorns the squirrels left for you from the 90s. Ok, back to the work part…
You can see the new cable being fed into the tunnel to be hooked up to the front of the vehicle first. You have to make sure you have some slack for the pedal hookup, then come back to the rear of the vehicle to hook the cable back up. It’s going to make your life easier, and then you can put all the pieces back together in order for the install.
This was a bit of a tricky part, making sure you can feed the cable around the pully (which I didn’t remove) and line up the pieces to all fit back into the converted side shift. Then you tighten, grease, and fire it up to make sure it goes into gear. It appeared to all be working so I put the vehicle back on the ground for the moment of truth. Fired it up and it all felt exactly the same as it did before it snapped! So I hit the road (with my cell phone in my pocket just in case) and made a quick trip around the block. It seemed all good, so I put all the tools away and hit the road home.
There’s a great sense of confidence and pride in being able to get something put back together and seeing it all work again. Vintage cars have a sense of attitude and character that you just don’t find in the new stuff. Sure it’s great to know that if you turn the key the car has a 99.99% chance of starting, but it doesn’t reward you like a classic. That’s what drives us here at MHCC, and keeps us coming back for more. Eat, sleep, work. Insert cars around those three things and we guarantee you’ll have a good time.