73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

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73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by vegadan on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:06 am

Hi All,

I don't post much (mainly a lurker), but as the topic title says, I converted my 73 Grand Am from auto to stick. I used the conversion kit from the Parts Place and it went ok for the most part. The problem I have now is that the clutch pedal effort seems high. The motor is a stock 400 with a 4 barrel and dual exhaust. It's no powerhouse, so I just bought a generic clutch kit from the local parts store. But looking at the clutch linkage arrangement, I am wondering if I did something wrong. From pictures that I have seen online of other installations, I think my z-bar is crooked. I believe that I installed it correctly, but I plan to double check that this weekend. I was hoping to find somebody in the Chicagoland area with a 4 speed car that I might be able to "compare notes" with. If anybody is in the area, please post here or shoot me a PM when it would be most convenient for us to meet. It could be at my place or yours, which ever is easiest for you. Thanks for the help.

Dan
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by Pontichev327 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:15 am

Love your car Dan! I have never driven a 4 speed G3 car, but some friends in the Pontiac club i'm in said their 74 GA factory 4 speed used up a lot of clutches. And that was from someone who also has a 66 GTO and a 70 Lemans, both 4 speeds. I'm not sure why. There are several peopl with Chevelle 4 speeds here, maybe they will know more.
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by Joe73 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:07 am

My ss is.a.factory 4 spd. If you post up some.pics Ill take a look to see.if.tbere is anything unusual. No.reason it should.be eating clutches. Do you have at least an inch of.freeplay at the.pedal? Is your pressure plate a tbree finger borg and beck or a standard diaphram? On a side note, what did you use for.the boot coming oug of the.firewall tbat the pusbrod.goes.through?
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by vegadan on Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:04 am

Thanks guys. The clutch is a standard diaphragm spring clutch from Perfection (I think they make Zoom clutches?). I'll try to get some pics today. It's hard to say if I have an inch free play at the pedal cause I don't have a clutch pedal bumper stop just yet. I couldn't find a reproduction one, but I researched online and found that a 59-63 Vette bumper looks close so we'll see how it works when I get it. As far as the clutch rod boot, I used a 2nd gen Camaro/Firebird boot. Somebody over at the A-body forum said that it was a close match and it worked out pretty well.
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by Joe73 on Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:27 pm

Yes, the second gen boot is very close except that its substantially smaller in overall size. It would work fine for a conversion, but since my firewall hole is factory, the camaro boot wont cover.
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by vegadan on Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:29 pm

Does anybody know if the clutch pedal pushrod bushing (not the main pedal bushing) is reproduced? Or will one for a 1972 Lemans/GTO work? And how important is the clutch fork boot? The new one I bought seems pretty stiff and may actually be pressing on the clutch fork forcing the release bearing to remain in constant contact with the clutch friction plate. Thanks, Dan.
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by Joe73 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:03 am

Dont know about the.bushing but Ive run without the boot for.quite awhile. The boot protects from water and some dirt from entering the clutch area.
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by vegadan on Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:14 pm

I have a question-I had my car out this weekend and the clutch effort is higher than I would like. I was thinking of modifying the arms on the z-bar to make them longer to help reduce the clutch effort. Has anybody ever done this? How about increasing the length of the clutch fork or use a fork that is longer than stock? Or I would be interested in any other suggestions.

Thanks,
Dan
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by Joe73 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:17 am

Are you running a diaphram or three finger pressure plate? Brand ? What pound pressure?
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by vegadan on Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:16 pm

Joe,

It's a standard diaphragm spring clutch from Perfection (I think they make Zoom clutches). I've tried to find the pound pressure but have had no luck. This is the clutch that I bought:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/zzz-mu1675-1/overview/year/1973/make/pontiac/model/lemans
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

Post by Joe73 on Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:05 pm

That clutch should be REAL easy on your foot. Can you post some pics from different angles as what your linkage, z bar, clutch fork look like?

Also, any chance your pushrod from your pedal to the Z bar is rubbing on the firewall? Reason I ask is because the first thing that comes to mind is that a factory 4 speed hole in the firewall is quite large. The camaro boot doesnt even come close to covering it. So to use the camaro boot, you have to make a substantially smaller hole in the firewall. So with the geometry of it I think you might rubbing may be an issue. Just an idea since all the rest of the linkage is just a bolt in.

I've done clutches on these G3s more times than I car to count.
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Re: 73 Grand Am Conversion to 4 speed

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