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I've noticed lately on my Escort Finesse (year 2000) that when I depress the clutch to change gear, there's a slight grating sound or feel at the end of the clutch travel. Wondering if this were anything to do with clutch free play, I looked in the Haynes manual at the check for this. It says to measure the distance of the pedal from the floor in the at-rest and fully down positions. But does it mean "vertical distance" or "distance from the same point"?

Because the clutch pedal moves in towards the bulkhead, the vertical distance of "the third groove of the pedal rubber" extends to an upwards-sloping part of the bulkhead and will be much smaller as a result. However if taken as measured from the point vertically below the at-rest position, ie a slanting distance, the distance will be closer to the at-rest distance. The specification say 150mm and with a same-point comparison, I get a measurement of about that figure but I haven't done it precisely yet. Is it the third groove counted from the outermost edge (towards the rear of car) of the pedal rubber or the innermost edge (towards the front of the car)?

How much sideways freeplay should the pedal have? I can waggle it sideways by about a centimetre at the pedal rubber. If this is larger than normal, this could be the reason for the grating sound at full pedal depression, namely that the pedal or pedal rod is a bit worn after twelve years.

Or could that grating sound indicate a worn clutch cable?
flying clutchman
I think the grating noise is probably a worn cable. Change it asap as it will end up snapping the quadrant. The pedal is adjusted by the large allen headed (6mm) screw sticking out of the middle of the pedal. Obviously you will need to slacken off the adjustmnet to change the cable, but when you tighten it back up again, tighten it until the brake and clutch pedals are level, press it a couple of times, then tighten until the pedal is just higher than the brake. It should then operate properly.
Thanks, F.C.! Well, I had another look in the sunshine today before I went out and bought myself the clutch cable and I can see what the exact problem is! The grating sound is the sound of the pedal strut rubbing against the frame as it gets pushed near to the floor. It's rubbing on the side facing the other two pedals. Looking at the diagram in the Haynes Manual (Chap 6.2) it looks as if the pedal is rocking on the pedal shaft (though that isn't shown in the diagram). If I press the pedal down by hand and hold it slightly towards the centreline of the car, there's no rubbing.

How different is my manually adjusted pedal from the automatically adjusted one shown in teh Haynes manual? How do I access the part that is worn?
You have to remove the clutch pedal, there is a clip on one end and push the pivot pin out, then change the bushes which are usually colored red, then reassemble. A fiddley job and a bit of a pain to do.
Del McDougall
If you are going to replace the bushes i would remove the drivers seat for easy accsess.
I thought I'd update you on this. It turned out to be the pedal box that had warped. But I've got a new one in now, with new bushes. It took a few hours to do (and yes, the seat had to come out!) but I'm happy again, even if a little poorer!!

Many thanks, I thought my clutch was on its way out and the 6mm allen key trick has sorted it! It's not often that a job can take 30 seconds and actually work!!! I had to raise the pedal hence clockwise to match the brake pedal and get the right feel for the bite point - nothing to it!

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