I have a Gen I Nova. The clutch is a 11" Ram 88762 HDX clutch kit, their 11" steel flywheel and their 488 throwout bearing which is a short bearing. I replaced the old linkage (frame side mounting bracket, Z-bar, block side pivot ball bracket, pivot ball, adjustable clutch rod and clutch pivot fork) with all new componets from Chevy 2 only. I use a Lakewood scatter shield (7:00 o'clock) with block protector. The Z-bar pivots freely without any interference. The tranny is a M-21.
Funny but for many years I had the wrong set up a 68-72 fork and adjusting rod and it worked very well with a Schaefer clutch and fixed pivot ball. Everythng went south with the new Ram clutch. I did remove the whole RAM clutch assembly and tested it with an arbor press. It releases as it should at the appropriate amount of travel.
To be sure that I have hit on the correct clutch pivot geometry, I use a spent Muncie housing installed with the input shaft and bearing retainer. The motor is supported at the correct angle. I cut out a section of the tranny housing so I can infinately adjust the pivot ball. I have someone depress the the clutch pedal while I reach into the tranny and try to rotate the input shaft to see if the clutch is released. I make 1/2 turn adjustments of the pivot ball adjust the clutch rod accordingly and try it again and again. I have tryed the Lakewood adjustable pivot ball and the longer McCloud pivot ball.
I have tryed a short, medium and long throwout bearings and only 488 fits as the others are too long.
I borrowed a bore scope and will scope the inside of the scattershield just to see how things look inside.
I have had it with the mechanial clutch linkage which has been a night mare ever since I upgraded to a Ram Clutch with 30% more holding pressure therefore more pedal force. I would like to install a hydraulic clutch but have no idea what brand to buy and how to mount the components. I have looked at one offered by Chevy 2 only but the don't have Gen I brackets. I read that a Chevy S-10 setup works but again don't know how to mount it. I have standard brakes with a split master cylinder and proportioning valve. The engine bay is the original front clip. Any help would be apprciated especially photographs or bracket fabrication information. If you thing I have done somthing wrong with the mechanical linkage let me know, othersise I want to try the hydraulic system. Slycorona.
The stock type Z bars will flex when you put a stout pressure plate in there. I have always added triangle bracing where the arms meet the tube on the Z bar. Not saying this is your issue but worth pointing out.
I feel for ya. After I did my swap the linkage wasn't quite right. The clutch would release but not all the way. I fugured I would try a hydraulic setup and that it would fix things. WRONG! It was worse. I got fed up with it and reluctantly am putting an automatic in. Clutch relese issue suck.
aftermarket flywheel & scattershield... off the top of my head that's probably where the issue arises... a slightly thinner flywheel combined with the scattershield and the clutch fingers are now located closer to the engine... the scattershield moves the trans backwards, the flywheel moves clutch forwards. the McLeod 16908 adjustable pivot is taller than the other available pivots
i had the exact same thing happen with my '64... Hays flywheel, Center Force clutch, Lakewood scattershield, factory linkage... kept bending the Zbar. i ended up using the G1625C T/O bearing and the 16908 stud and my issues are resolved...
here's an image of the T/O bearings & pivots, std short, flat bearing for GM cars, the taller round faced bearing for flat sixer style clutches and the obscure GM truck T/O bearing... pivots, std GM, the taller factory GM pivot and the Mcleod unit...