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      07-26-2011, 09:38 AM   #1
jms_w
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Is it me or does the clutch pedal sit way too high?

This is my first manual car and I have had alot of good advice from some of my friends. But the one that gets me is that they say to use my heel to pivot the clutch in and out. Now, I'm pretty short and wear size 9 so I end up using my thigh and knee to put clutch in and out. Now I'm having sciatica problems and I'm sure part of it is due to shifting this thing. I remember when we picked up a Mazda5 for my wife and I sat in the Mazdaspeed3. Man, that clutch pedal was pretty low and very little travel. I felt like that's the way clutch pedals should be. Is this normal or is there something wrong with my car (see pics)? Is there anything I can do to get the clutch pedal's home position to match horizontal and vertical level of the brake pedal? Any pics of what a normal M3 clutch pedal relative to brake pedal would be appreciated.
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      07-26-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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The catch is definitely high on this car, but not overly high (see: Jetta).

It's funny because the M Roadster has a low catch, my WRX had a really low (and stiff) catch, but my mom's Audi had a catch that was quite similar to a Jetta.

Try rearranging your seat positioning height/ distance from steering wheel. Sorry to hear you're having trouble. I am 5'10" and wear a 10.5, and it's no problem for me.
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      07-26-2011, 09:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Tanglewood View Post
The catch is definitely high on this car, but not overly high (see: Jetta).

It's funny because the M Roadster has a low catch, my WRX had a really low (and stiff) catch, but my mom's Audi had a catch that was quite similar to a Jetta.

Try rearranging your seat positioning height/ distance from steering wheel. Sorry to hear you're having trouble. I am 5'10" and wear a 10.5, and it's no problem for me.
Thanks. If I sit any further, I couldn't push the clutch pedal all the way in. Does the clutch stop mod work on this car? Also, do you pivot your foot on your heel for engaging/disengaging clutch?
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      07-26-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
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      07-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for your input.

So I have a couple of new questions.

One is, is there any way to adjust this? My guess is no.

So second one is, is there dead travel before the clutch really engages? I ask this b/c I was always under the impression that even if you have the clutch depressed ever so slightly, I would be essentially riding the clutch. The only way I can pivot my foot on my heel to engage/disengage the clutch is if I have the pedal depressed a little bit at the top of travel.
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      07-26-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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solution.

if you cant get a "clutch stop" cut a rectangular slit into a tennis ball and affix it to the back of your clutch pedal by using electrical tape

It works great and minimizes clutch travel by 1 inch which feels much better.

Not a professional upgrade but is a quick solution...
good luck.
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      07-26-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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This car definitely has quite a bit of clutch travel, but you don't have to go all the way to disengage it, just try to learn the point at which it engages/disengages

Last edited by motortrend; 07-26-2011 at 02:21 PM.
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      07-26-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
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Get that one eBay clutch stop that everyone loves.
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      07-26-2011, 01:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jms_w View Post
Does the clutch stop mod work on this car? Also, do you pivot your foot on your heel for engaging/disengaging clutch?
Yup! Clutch stop works!
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      07-26-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
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How do you press the clutch with your knee and thigh?
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      07-26-2011, 05:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 808@702 View Post
How do you press the clutch with your knee and thigh?
He means that his heel is off the ground and he straightens his knee to press the pedal rather than fixing his heel and straightening his ankle.

OP, have you tried starting with your heel on the floor, then picking it up for the remaining distance? That's what I do when I drive a car with clutch pedal travel longer than my foot. As you begin to lift off, you can then put your foot back down and use your ankle.
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      07-27-2011, 01:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snig View Post
You haven't seen high until you've driven an 03/04 Mustang Cobra.
I bought a new 03 Mustang SVT Cobra and I didn't think the clutch pedal was unusually high. The clutch pedal is always supposed to be higher than the brake pedal.
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      07-27-2011, 02:56 AM   #13
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its just you...
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      09-01-2011, 06:52 PM   #14
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try to play more seating position...i spend nearlly half year to find out the good driving position on M3, try to adjust higher seat position,it might be can help you out!!
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      09-01-2011, 07:22 PM   #15
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I was wondering the same thing...

Haven't missed any shifts (yet), but have stalled a couple of times and bunny hopped the shit out of it a few times as well.
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Use the stick like u would a manual. If that doesn't work, put it in D mode and put both hands at 10 and 2. If that doesn't work, just sit on your right hand.
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      09-02-2011, 01:53 PM   #16
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Being one of the oldest geezers on here and having driven hundreds of manuals I can say that there is nothing unusual in the M3 clutch play / take up whatsoever. Feels completely standard to me. Makes a lot of odd noises though. I am intrigued by the clutch stop debate though. I wonder how you improve something that feels absolutely fine.
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      09-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #17
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I sure empathize/sympathize with your situation, I hope things work better for you soon. Try adjusting seat height/positions; also try driving with shoes off, this work well for some people.
Use the clutch to engage gears and avoid riding it as this wears it off or so the old wise saying goes..
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      09-02-2011, 02:56 PM   #18
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OP, the M3 is my first manual car as well, and while I don't really have anything to compare it to, it does indeed seem that there's a lot of unnecessary pedal travel.

However, I've found as others have mentioned that seating position can have a HUGE impact on your shifting ability/smoothness. Try playing with your seating position, remembering that you can slide the steering wheel back and forward as well in case that becomes an issue. I tried about 4 different seating positions each for at least a couple weeks before I settled on the one I have, and I sit noticeably closer and LOWER in this car than I probably would if it didn't have a clutch (or than I do in my wife's AT car). The lower is so that I can push the clutch in with more of a forward motion rather than a "down and forward" motion.

You can indeed burn out your clutch by riding it even slightly. The reason is that there's little to no dead travel at the BEGINNING of the clutch, but there's a lot toward the END. That means that you could theoretically shift cleanly without pressing the clutch pedal all the way down (hence the clutch stop), but I wouldn't recommend trying this unless you actually had a clutch stop because if you don't have that marker of how far you need to go, you risk not going far enough and causing at best excess wear and at worst some real damage.

Good luck and enjoy the M3 and learning stick, I've found both very fun and rewarding!
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