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Article: Easy pre-Verto Clutch Adjustment

Posted on 17th May 2011

This article has been previously published by Seven Enterprises, most recently in our Spring 2011 mailer.

Fig 1
Figure 1

Fig 2
Figure 2

Fig 3
Figure 3

Fig 4
Figure 4

Fig 5
Figure 5

In over 30 years of helping Mini owners, the most common question asked is “How do I adjust my clutch?” The procedure is quite simple, but applies only to the early-type clutch commonly referred to as “pre-Verto”.

There are really only two instances in which you should need to adjust the clutch. After a clutch installation, or when your clutch pedal has begun hitting the floor. The two adjustments are made to the overthrow stop nuts and the small bolt under the clutch arm that limits free-play.

There are five short and basic steps:

  1. Back-off the two large nuts at the lower end of the clutch arm to the end of their travel.
  2. Remove the clutch return spring.
  3. Pull the top of the clutch arm away from the engine. Referring to Fig. 1, this is the free-play present.
  4. The first adjustment is to set the free-play to .020”. While still holding the clutch arm to the limit of travel, back-off the small bolt until there is only .020 clearance (see Fig. 2). Do not forget to snug-down the lock-nut. Recheck the gap and adjust as needed.
  5. Now that the free-play is adjusted, you can adjust the overthrow stop nuts. We set that clearance at 1/8”. Referring to Fig. 3, this can be set by running the nuts down and measuring the gap with a 1/8” drill bit. Don’t forget to snug-down the jam nut. Recheck the gap and adjust as needed.

If you find that pedal travel is still excessive, there is probably mechanical wear on one or more items. The likely culprits are the clutch arm itself, the clevis pin it pivots on, the pushrod and its clevis pin, and the clevis pin between the clutch pedal and master cylinder.

In Fig. 4, we show a new clutch arm on top, compared to one that is badly worn. Notice that the ball-end has worn flat, and that the ball-end is also bent so that it is now almost in-line with the arm.

Fig. 5 shows a worn pushrod and clevis pin. This pushrod has even been lengthened to try to make up for worn-out parts. If you find that you have to lengthen the pushrod then there is surely a mechanical problem.

Questions or comments about this article? Please don't hesitate to contact our Classic Mini experts!