Elite/Eclat Clutch Cable Upgrade

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Mike C Sailor
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Elite/Eclat Clutch Cable Upgrade

Post by Mike C Sailor »

The clutch cable is known to fail, the inner cable fails by fatigue at the pulley as it is an unsuitable type of cable (1 x 19). There is an excellent thread on thelotusforums about this, but the solution requires the pedal box removal, not easy.
Pete Beale did a great job by replacing the inner cable with 3mm 7x19 type cable, very flexible and suitable for running around a pulley. From data, I estimate its fatigue resistance at about 4 to 6 times better than 1x19 so it should have a very long life.

I have used Pete's method with a few variations.

3mm dia stainless 7x19 wire, 3 metres suggested, ebay.
8mm mild steel rod or bolt
Special taper drill tool:
Carbide burr 1/4 inch 14 degree SL-1 rotary tool, or smaller size; this is about 3mm at the tip, works OK.
Good quality expoxy, JB Weld Steel suggested.
Some 1.5mm thick mild steel, or 2mm thick (see later).
Several 1/4 unf nuts.

My method works but has a problem (see later). I would do it differently again.

It relies on being able to fit terminals to the wire in situ. I have tested the following way to 400lbf and it was OK. I estimate the load on the cable as about 90lbf so it gives a good factor of safety.

From 8mm rod (the shank of a bolt is fine) I made what I call a taper fitting as here; start with a 3.2mm hole and use the taper tool.

The fitting is assembled to the wire by leaving about 5mm projecting from the tapered end, spreading the wires; use a fine sharp knife, chisel, whatever, but do a thorough job of separating the strands, spreading them, and bending them outwards.
Then ram epoxy in, into the wire as far as possible inside the fitting, work it in well. Then pull the fitting off slightly, it should bind with about 2mm projecting. Under load the taper puts the epoxy under compression, it does not rely on adhesion.

After cutting and removing the existing inner cable, thread the new cable in from the gearbox end, find it in the cabin and feed it into the pulley housing. Bend a few inches of the wire downwards and fit it by feel, easier if you use an endoscope (cheap on ebay); in fact, with an endoscope it might be easier to thread the cable in from the cabin end as Pete did.
Then thread the cable through the fitting on the clutch pedal shaft and pull a length through for access.
Thread a taper fitting on, ball end first, move it past the bend in the wire, cut the wire, and fit the fitting as above.

Now the hardest part, underneath.
I did it this way, I would rather do it Pete's way, using a swageless fitting with threaded rod attached. But I could not find a suitable fitting. Perhaps a 6mm swageless fitting with 6mm thread could be used, but ensure the threaded length is long enough! Those I found looked too short. And a new fitting to engage with the clutch lever would be needed for 6mm, not hard to make.

I made the following of 1.5mm mild steel:

Then a 4mm hole was drilled in the middle. The ends were bent just inside of the indents. The strip was bent around a taper fitting (a ball in my case as I had one) but not closed up.

The threaded rod was cut above the swaged bit with just a bit of a flange left below the thread. A nut had opposite points filed down a bit and rounded off, put onto the rod with rounded bits away from the end, tightened to the flange.

Under the car, the wire was threaded through the hole in this fitting and a taper fitting was put on, ball end first, taper end outwards. Note: the wire as supplied held together well when the tape was removed and could easily be put into the fittings; but when cut by me (hacksaw or angle grinder) it unravelled somewhat and would have been hard to fit. The threaded rod was put through this fitting.
Now the hard part, finding where on the wire to fit the taper fitting.
First way is to wedge the clutch pedal down and move the taper fitting so that it almost binds. Note that I found the wire moves about 45mm for full movement of the pedal. Fix things in this place with insulating tape or whatever, release the pedal and see how well the threaded rod fits. Try to judge if the thread is in such a position that the lever could move to its rearward limit, and also that with the pedal depressed the lever could move to its forward limit. A bit of adjustment may be needed.
When you get this right, keep the taper fitting in the right position on the wire while moving it out of the fitting, cut the wire with 3mm projecting, and fit the taper fitting as above.
When set, put the threaded rod in, close the jaws of the fitting round the rod (mole wrench does it), put another nut on the rod and tighten it to hold the jaws in position. Job done.Image
OK, not pretty - understatement; but it works.

The problem?
The cable can't be removed so will have to be cut if the gearbox needs removing.
Using a threaded swageless fitting fixes this, it can be unbolted.

My method can be changed as here.
If the hole in the lug on the gearbox (holding the cable outer) is 8mm dia, then all that is needed is to reverse the bent fitting.
The centre hole can be drilled to take the threaded rod, the indents can be the width of the wire and the ends bent round the taper fitting. As this way the ends do not get bolted up, I would suggest using 2mm steel for this fitting.
Then bending or cutting the fitting will allow the cable to be disengaged.
If the hole in the lug is less than 8mm, I would suggest making a taper fitting of the right diameter and testing it on a spare piece of wire, holding the wire in vice and using a long lever with a hole drilled in it.

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Re: Elite/Eclat Clutch Cable Upgrade

Post by MetBlue »

Great write up. been following this with interests as I want to improve the clutch cable before my car hits the road.
An interesting alternative to running a short chain over a sprocket in the pedal box.
You've got me thinking now .

What goes together.... Must come apart.

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