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Old 03-24-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
jocko
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got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lowering)

Well, I love the way the General made em, but some things can be improved upon occasionally. One thing that has always particularly bugged me for some reason is how high off the floor my clutch and brake pedals are - I always seem to need to be a bit of a contortionist to comfortably get my left foot on top of the pedal without hitting my knee on the steering wheel. Might just be me, but anyway, I decided to do something about it, or at least try. I'm pretty happy with the results - but the final plan took a major twist from the original plan.

Plan A was to buy a spare set of pedals and back-cut them just below the pivot point, heat and bend them down a bit and weld them closed. Good plan, retains the stock bump stops, so I bought a set of pedals cheap out of another 66.

Once I got around to monkeying with it and looking around underneath... I changed the plan - I figured that as long as I had the adjustability available in the clutch linkage and the brake push rod, I'd install some homemade adjustable bump stops and then just adjust the linkage. The nice thing about Plan A was that there would be no changes to the bump stops or the linkage. But the odds of me getting BOTH pedals exactly matched with my "superior" welding skills... slim to none. So, Plan B it is! And this plan only requires adjustments to the linkage and no pedals were harmed in the filming of this mod

So, I'll post a string of pics that will hopefully be self explanatory - they are in order showing how high the pedals were originally - and they were not both the same height off the floor. The clutch pedal was 7+3/4" off the floorboard and the brake pedal was 6+7/8" off the floorboard. Now, both are 5.5" off the floorboard. I am just about out of adjustability on the brake pedal pushrod, but once it's set (i.e. if you have enough available, it's all good) it won't need adjusting again. The clutch linkage has tons of adjustability built in. And yes, I burned the scar on my wrist that just healed up from the last time I worked on the truck when it was hot (on the exhaust down-tube)... Ouch!

This was a simple mod that some of you tall folks may appreciate - only took about 30 minutes total once I gathered the parts.
- remove the rubber bump stops
- get some 3/8" bolts 1" long and some washers and lock nuts - and Home Depot's "finest" replacement door stop rubber bumpers!

And voila.

Anyhoo, a few warnings:
- on your test drive and probably for a few trips afterward - go to a NON-BUSY area - your muscle memory in your legs will still want to raise your leg a lot and you won't find the pedals where you THINK they are... will cause a delayed reaction in braking until you get used to it. And you will get used to it very quickly (will feel much more like a modern vehicle where the brake and gas are much closer to the same height off the floorboard - and you'll like it).
- DON'T forget to adjust your brake light switch... I did, and luckily noticed about 4 hours later that my brake lights were on!! I disc'ed the battery, will adjust it today - hope there is enough adjustment left on the brake light switch or I'm gonna be bummed... Anyway, don't overlook this little item or you'll trash your battery overnight.

I've been driving it a bit now and I really like it. Much more comfortable driving position while shifting and braking. Takes a little getitng used to and getting over the fact where it "feels" like my pedals are about to hit the floorboards when I brake - and the associated fear of running out of brake pedal travel - but in fact there is plenty of room left below the pedal - it just "seems" that way because of muscle memory.

The nicest thing of all about this mod - 100% reversible if I do decide I would prefer the way GM did it at some point in the future. Would only take about 20 minutes to go 100% back to stock setup (save those rubber bumpers!)

Will take a few posts to get all the pics in (the 3rd & 4th pics really illustrate the difference after just adjusting the clutch pedal - before the brake pedal is adjusted). 5th pic is just the original bump stop for reference.
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Last edited by jocko; 03-24-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

some more - the new parts..

EDIT: Note - on the brake pedal side, you really don't need to adjust it very much - so I used no washer and a ground down 3/8" bolt on the pedal side of the bump stop vice a full nut and washer. That worked just about right.
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Last edited by jocko; 03-24-2012 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

and the results -
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Great Job!! Funny I ended up jacking with my brake pedal today too. I just may very well use your method to get my brake pedal closer to the floor. I like it!
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

I think I will be doing this real soon.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Very nice work, Jocko! I love to see the ingenuity of members, especially when it is successful at a fraction of the cost that aftermarket parts cost.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

thanks guys - one note I forgot to mention, it really doesn't take much to move the pedals quite a bit. By adding in the adjustable stuff, I really only approximately quadrupled the thin rubber that protrudes onto the pedal side of the original bump stop. The change up high close to the pivot point is multiplied down at the end of the arc for the swing of the pedals. Works out pretty nice.

Also, you may notice the "extra" brake light switch that seems to be floating around under the column - it's a former project I posted quite a while ago - for those interested in very low buck neat upgrades (some of you have probably seen this already).
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=419932

Last edited by jocko; 03-24-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #8
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Smile Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

jocko,
Thanks for sharing the link to your Parking Brake light again. I missed that when you first posted it. I'm definately going to do that for my 64 too. I can't tell you how many times I've left my parking brake partially on and driven around like that. Future plans do include adding a foot parking brake assembly from a Caddy that will release itself as soon as drop my truck into gear. I already have the parking brake assy from a 66 Caddy now I need to locate a neutral safety switch from a 70,s Caddy to activate the release for the parking brake assy and some time to sit down and figure it all out. This will be quite a while down the road though. I work very SLOW!
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

What a great idea. I'm 5'19" and am going to do the same thing to my 60 Apache.. That is when I get around to putting the brake and clutch pedal assembly back into the truck.
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

WoW, 5'19"!! That's HUGE! Yeah, 60-66 cabs don't leave ya a lot of room to play with!
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Nice work, Jocko. Do you think that there would be room to use the typical GM adjustable hood bumper bolts and flat caps there? Kinda keeps all automotive and some of us might have some in the nuts-and-bolts drawer.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:59 AM   #12
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Deuceman, that would work, you'd need two nuts to lock it at the correct depth - but the drawback is that the hood bumper bolts are usually much smaller than a 3/8" bolt, so you'd need some pretty big washers to keep it from flopping around. Could work - but I chose 3/8" bolts just so that it would fill the vertical dimension of the normal rectangular slot where the rubber bumper goes normally. That leaves you with just side to side adjustment to align it with the clutch or brake pedal perfectly.

So, yes, those would work, and it's a great idea, but if you can find some that have a pretty big diameter bolt, it will make for a more secure mounting just because it will fill the hole you're placing it through (not because you need a "strong" bolt - it's just the size of the rectangular hole you have to work with). Hope that helps. Good idea! I think it'll work fine if you have a large enough dia bolt - 3/8" is ideal, but most are probably a bit smaller.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:29 PM   #13
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

I have been considering this exact same mod, so your post has come at a perfect time! I love the fact that it's cheap and reversible. My biggest peeve when driving a 60-66 is the fact that you have to lift your leg off of the seat to apply the brake. Scary in a panic stop, and just plain uncomfortable.

Great Job! The pictures were excellent.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:23 AM   #14
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

First off I want to say

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I stand at 6'2" and driving my truck a lot more lately I had to pretty much bring my leg up to my chest just to shift into the next gear
lol....I have been rattling my head on how to lower the clutch at least to make shifting easier....NOW I CAN LOWER THE BRAKE TOO!!!!
On my next weekend off I will be visiting Home Depot collecting all those parts and get started on it....

Thanks again!
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:15 AM   #15
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruizin64 View Post
First off I want to say

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I stand at 6'2" and driving my truck a lot more lately I had to pretty much bring my leg up to my chest just to shift into the next gear
lol....I have been rattling my head on how to lower the clutch at least to make shifting easier....NOW I CAN LOWER THE BRAKE TOO!!!!
On my next weekend off I will be visiting Home Depot collecting all those parts and get started on it....

Thanks again!

Well. You're WELCOME!!!
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:43 PM   #16
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

This doesn't affect pedal travel while braking? I've been talking with cpp about the pedal height since I just installed their power disc brake kit and they are telling me I have to keep the pedal at the original height that it was when it was manual. I can't stand the height of the pedal! Is cpp giving me the wrong information? They said that if I have the pedal lower than originally, that my braking won't be effective.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:53 PM   #17
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

What cpp said, "It still starts up at the stop under the dash! This will not “lower” the arm at all. By lowering it as mentioned you will run out of stroke."
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:41 PM   #18
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Think about it ...how far from the floor is the pedal at FULL braking? lets say 4" for this conversation if you lower the pedal by 1" (by shortening the rod and the longer stop as above) you should now have 3" from the floor ... down side you will have to adjust the rear brakes more often to maintain pedal from hitting the floor and having NO brakes
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:45 PM   #19
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

I was just about top post a question on this , thanks Jocko... much appreciated.. now I will start a thread on turn signal switches..lol
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:45 AM   #20
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Another question, by moving the pedal lower, won't that keep pressure on the brakes? Kinda like holding your foot down on the pedal?
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:36 AM   #21
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyC10 View Post
Another question, by moving the pedal lower, won't that keep pressure on the brakes? Kinda like holding your foot down on the pedal?
You adjust the brake pedal pushrod for the new pedal height.

Quote:
I am just about out of adjustability on the brake pedal pushrod
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #22
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

Oh yeah. Lol.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:02 PM   #23
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

This trick is the hot ticket. I did my clutch today and made it even with the brake pedal. Wow! It did seem unfamiliar at first but once I got around the block I loved it. You da man Jocko!
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:54 PM   #24
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

I learned something. After doing this so successfully on one Chevy with a diaphragm pressure plate, I tried it on another with a "heavy duty" 3 lever pressure plate. It didn't work because that old 3 lever plate needs darn near the full stroke of the factory height pedal to fully disengage. I never liked that h.d. style plate anyhow. Way too stiff for old knees. Now I got another reason to quit procrastinating a change.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:56 AM   #25
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Re: got tired of kneeing my steering wheel when I shift (clutch and brake pedal lower

I might play with this after I lower my seat. I just don't like how high the bench sits.
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