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Old 02-09-2017, 08:51 AM   #1
awfulbeans
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2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Clutch issues - pedal?

2006 Ion 3 coupe, 2.2, 162k, second owner (owned since 60k). The clutch has been feeling weirder and weirder. The pedal goes down a little over halfway with zero resistance, and the bite point is basically a few cm off of the firewall now.

I finally stuck my head up under the dash while messing with the pedal. The pushrod between the pedal and the clutch master isn't moving at all until the clutch pedal is halfway down.

From what Google has turned up, GM used a plastic clutch pedal, and the pushrod can eventually dig a deeper hole into the pedal assembly.

Before I drop $150-200 on a new pedal assembly, anything else to check? The car is pretty much 100% original aside from typical maintenance items (nothing in the clutch system has ever been touched AFAIK), but it doesn't feel like air (dealt with that before on 2 other cars), and I would think the pushrod would be moving if it was air.

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Old 02-10-2017, 09:27 PM   #2
nickroa95
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2001 SL1
2003 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Clutch issues - pedal?

Don't know if they started using new clutch pedals for your year ION but for my 03, the clutch pedal definitely matches your description. It goes down up to where the brake pedal NORMALLY sits at and won't bite until a few cm off the firewall. If you end up purchasing a new pedal, please let us know! I'd love to know if theres something we can do about this issue

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Old 02-15-2017, 01:17 PM   #3
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1999 SC2
Default Re: Clutch issues - pedal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by awfulbeans View Post
From what Google has turned up, GM used a plastic clutch pedal, and the pushrod can eventually dig a deeper hole into the pedal assembly.

Before I drop $150-200 on a new pedal assembly, anything else to check? The car is pretty much 100% original aside from typical maintenance items (nothing in the clutch system has ever been touched AFAIK), but it doesn't feel like air (dealt with that before on 2 other cars), and I would think the pushrod would be moving if it was air.
You are most probably correct. I had the same thing happen to my car, and had to replace the clutch pedal assembly.

Now I'm getting back out of here before someone tells me I'm WRONG, WRONG, WRONG again.

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Old 02-15-2017, 06:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Clutch issues - pedal?

Same issue I had. It was caused by...

1.) Clutch pedal wearing out in the hole that the pushrod ball sits inside, causing too much play before even pushing against the clutch cylinder. I bought the plastic round bushing and limited the pedal travel with zip ties.

2.) A bad master clutch cylinder that was thrashed when I took it off, had cracks, holes and no fluid left. I got a new one (OEM) for $42 shipped on ebay.

3.) Air in the clutch hydraulics which I fixed by bleeding using a vacuum pump at the Master Brake Cylinder.

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Old 02-15-2017, 11:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Clutch issues - pedal?

Jarvis,

Would you mind explaining how you did that? What bushings exactly should I look for and where exactly would you attach the zip ties? This is an issue that's also been driving me crazy so I'd like to know how you fixed it if possible.

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Old 02-26-2017, 11:52 PM   #6
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2006 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Clutch issues - pedal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarvis1906 View Post
1.) Clutch pedal wearing out in the hole that the pushrod ball sits inside, causing too much play before even pushing against the clutch cylinder
I'm 99% sure this is what's going on with mine. Still haven't fixed it, but it's gotten to where the car will jump if I start it in 1st or reverse.

Once I pay rent, I'll be able to tackle this.

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Old 03-14-2017, 12:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Clutch issues - pedal?

Have you looked at this thread?
ht tp:// www saturnfans com/forums/show thread.php?t=152427

...
Tobie Arfstrom
Hudson WI
2004 Saturn ION3
Manual transmission

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Old 03-31-2017, 01:03 AM   #8
awfulbeans
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Default Re: Clutch issues - pedal?

I did look at that thread.

So I finally tackled this today. Pick n Pull had 2 manual Ions. The first one, the pedal felt fine when I first depressed it, but as soon as I got one bolt undone, I heard a crack and some pieces of plastic fell down. Pressed the pedal again and it suddenly felt exactly like the one I already had.

Moved on to another one. This pedal had some play in it, but it was the only other choice. And someone had already yanked the steering column on it, so I had plenty of room to work. Just had to remove the drivers seat (which is easy mode - 2 bolts and 1 plug).

Turns out the ball socket on it is cracked slightly. Whereas the socket was pretty much just gone on my old pedal - the pushrod was actually poking through a little and hitting that white plastic cap. The ball end on the pushrod on mine is pretty much trashed too; it's rednecked a bit with some electrical tape wrapped around the ball. There's no real way to fix it properly without replacing the rod.

Reinforced the crack on the new one with some superglue, and also layered some small bits of plastic between the white plastic cap and the part that was cracked.

This is not a job I ever want to do again though. Anyone who tries to do this without removing the steering column entirely is wasting a lot of time - I started at 8pm and finished at 11pm, most of that time was trying to wrangle the old pedal out. I finally said "screw it" and yanked the steering column out of the car entirely. Pulling the column took maybe 5 minutes. Removing the old pedal once the column was out took another couple of minutes. Installing the new pedal took about 5 minutes. The hardest part about reinstalling the column was a mix of getting the pivot bolt to line up, and getting the wheel centered again.

Now I'm having to re-learn how to drive a manual. The slip point on the clutch has been "through the firewall" for so long that it feels like a completely differently car, and I'm having to get used to a "normal" clutch again. And unfortunately, now I can tell just how worn out my clutch is - the slip point isn't nearly as far down as it was when I first got the car. But I'm at about 170k, and AFAIK, it's the original clutch (got the car with 60k).

If I ever have to do that job again, the first thing that will be done will be removing the steering column. The second thing will be a bonfire.

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