Project- Adjustable Big Bore Clutch Cylinder S197 - Ford Mustang Forum
View Poll Results: Is this something you'd like for your S197
Yes- I'd Like an Adjustable Clutch Setup if made available. 4 57.14%
No Really, I'm good with what I have. 3 42.86%
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017 Thread Starter
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Any Suggestions? Project- Adjustable Big Bore Clutch Cylinder S197

Hey Guys,
Just thought I'd share what I'm currently working on. This is a project I've had in mind for over a year now and finally had some time this week to make it happen. I'm currently developing a fully adjustable big bore master cylinder that would fit all V8 S197 cars 05-14 GT / GT500 07-14. The first prototype in the photos will be going in my 08' GT500 once it completes stress testing on a custom built CMC testing rig I built last year for testing production master cylinders I produce for another vehicle brand.
If there is enough interest I may start producing more of these for S197 owners.


The prototype is a 7/8" bore and adjustable from 0% to +30% more fluid then oem. I'll be complementing the new MC with adjustable bottom pedal stop and top stop. These could in future be made with a 13/16" bore as well that would give an adjustable 0 to +15% addition fluid flow over stock or even simply OEM bore but with the adjustable features for those who's engagement is too high now.
As shown this setup is a fully custom built CMC body, clutch rod and adjustable steel clevis end with a pressed bronze bushing. The rest of the internals are from a Tilton 76 Series 7/8" master cylinder so rebuild kits are readily available off the shelf at Summit, Jegs, etc should they ever be needed down the road. The unit shown here was manually machined and only a rough prototype to start testing with.

The idea behind this is for years I've wanted an adjustable clutch pedal setup for the various S197 Mustangs I've owned as once an aftermarket clutch was installed there was always room for improvement in the disengagement department. Second I believe having a larger bore to push a higher fluid volume, faster with less pedal travel will greatly help with the hard shifting lock outs and notch shifting, just as the 7/8" Tick master cylinders do for the bowtie boys with the same transmission as our GT500's. I've always felt the oem master cylinders were weak and barely capable of fully disengaging the clutch, especially aftermarket setups where I see a lot of guys having clutch troubles. The 13/14 GT500 got a slightly bigger bore aluminum master cylinder as Ford recognised the regular plastic units flexed too much under heavy load and didn't have enough capacity to disengage their new clutch setup satisfactorily. However those 13/14 cmc's are still a fixed setup with less flow capacity then these, no adjustability and still have the terrible plastic end links that break off.

A little background, I've been manufacturing adjustable clutch products for Nissan/Infiniti vehicles for the past 6 years and manufacturing aftermarket master cylinders solutions for them for the past year. The equipment to manufacture these is already in place should this project move forward beyond this first prototype. Please note at this time I have nothing to sell here, just looking to see if there is any owner interest if I was to begin manufacturing these in small qty's down the road. Should any kind of production move forward I would happily become a Forum supporting vendor just as I currently am at other non Ford sites.

What do you guys think? Is this something you might be interested in seeing made commercially available in the aftermarket?

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017
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Realizing there is no way you would be able to give a fixed or final price at this time. How much would something like this actually run? It's something I may be interested in if not too expensive in the end.


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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blu13gt View Post
Realizing there is no way you would be able to give a fixed or final price at this time. How much would something like this actually run? It's something I may be interested in if not too expensive in the end.

Without being a vendor here I don't want to discuss any sort of target pricing but what I can tell you is I believe I can produce them as a complete setup for around the same ballpark as the Tick 7/8" Tilton master cylinder upgrade units for Camaro/Firebird/Corvette owners. Those guys simply take an off the shelf Tilton MC that costs $65 retail at Summit and slaps an adapter plate on them with some lines/fittings to complete things. I on the other hand don't have that luxury with this project (I sized up every possible option to use something off the shelf and no dice) so I'd be manufacturing the CMC bodies complete from scratch which is a lot more work involved then simply slapping an adapter plate on someone else's mass produced cylinders. So to keep to that ballpark or less for a complete setup is doing pretty good I think given the volume of work/complexity going into making them and on small scale domestic production.
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Originally Posted by RJMP View Post
Without being a vendor here I don't want to discuss any sort of target pricing but what I can tell you is I believe I can produce them as a complete setup for around the same ballpark as the Tick 7/8" Tilton master cylinder upgrade units for Camaro/Firebird/Corvette owners. Those guys simply take an off the shelf Tilton MC that costs $65 retail at Summit and slaps an adapter plate on them with some lines/fittings to complete things. I on the other hand don't have that luxury with this project (I sized up every possible option to use something off the shelf and no dice) so I'd be manufacturing the CMC bodies complete from scratch which is a lot more work involved then simply slapping an adapter plate on someone else's mass produced cylinders. So to keep to that ballpark or less for a complete setup is doing pretty good I think given the volume of work/complexity going into making them and on small scale domestic production.
Very nice. I don't know what ford was thinking when they made that plastic part that hooks up to the clutch pedal. After breaking two of them I made one that won't brake and is ajustable for the stock master cylinder. What size bore would you recommend for a aftermarket clutch ( exedy 500 ) that has a 1000lbs more clamp load then stock. Can the stock slave cylinder handle more pressure from the extra clamp load and bigger master cylinder. 05 GT Project- Adjustable Big Bore Clutch Cylinder S197-imag0418.jpg

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017 Thread Starter
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Very nice. I don't know what ford was thinking when they made that plastic part that hooks up to the clutch pedal. After breaking two of them I made one that won't brake and is ajustable for the stock master cylinder. What size bore would you recommend for a aftermarket clutch ( exedy 500 ) that has a 1000lbs more clamp load then stock. Can the stock slave cylinder handle more pressure from the extra clamp load and bigger master cylinder. 05 GT Attachment 549441

Hi night rider,
Thanks, your work on making a metal end for the OEM CMC nice work as well. What size CMC bore would be best for your application would all boil down to what you want to achieve. If your engagement is already very high with the OEM bore CMC then you wouldn't want to go bigger. The larger bore CMC's are for cars where the OE CMC doesn't put out enough fluid and they're engagement is low in the travel with issues getting into 2nd at high RPM causing lock outs, issues getting into first from a stop or especially from a roll. Issues getting into reverse and having to select another gear before being allowed into reverse, an issue made worse with cold. All of which I've experienced with the multiple S197's I've owned over the past 10 years.
As for the OEM CSC yes it can definitely take it. My testing rig is currently pounding the crap out of an genuine ford CSC, coupled to a Spec Stage 3-Puck Clutch being operated by a 7/8" Bore Prototype cylinder. It's being machine clutch kicked at a rate of 65 strokes/minute with the fluid at near boiling point and its currently done just over 100k strokes without failure or leaks. The CSC as measured at the clutch diaphragm is currently being stroked +25% further than the OEM CMC was able to achieve and the CSC still has room to travel further without issue.


Now the pressure in the CSC actually has nothing to do with the CMC or the volume of fluid it pushes. The line pressure inside the CSC is completely dominated by how stiff the pressure plate is that it needs to work against. For example number only- if the pressure plate took 50lbs to push then the line pressure at the CSC would be very little as the cylinder doesn't need to work very hard at all to move. However if you up the pressure plate to say 200lbs then the line pressure needed to move the CSC piston forward will be 4x as much to push the pressure plate in. As you can see the pressure plate weight controls the system pressure as long as the slave isn't jammed. So no matter what your CMC bore size is, the pressure the CSC experiences will always be the same for any given pressure plate. What does change however with bore size is how much pressure you need to apply as pedal pressure will increase slightly relative to the bore size. So if a large bore CMC moves 30% more fluid per inch of pedal travel then the OE unit, then the pedal pressure will correspondingly increase by 30% since it's doing more "work" while traveling the same distance.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017
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I am trying to understand your thread. I am going to need to read it a few more times for it to sink in. I apologize if I ask some stupid questions. Am I correct to assume that CMC = clutch master cylinder and CSC = clutch slave cylinder?

I also need to look at my original clutch master cylinder and related assemblies to compare to the product you are testing.

I believe the product you are testing would possibly solve the current issue I have with my mustang since I had a centerforce dual friction clutch and pressure plate installed with an OEM flywheel, slave cylinder, and pilot bearing last spring (Also MGW shift arm bushing installed at same time). The instructions from centerforce indicates that we did not need to install any slave cylinder shims and the Ford Technician said he installed the slave cylinder just like the one replaced meaning that he did install the OEM spacer. The clutch preload was not verified before replacement and I am not aware of the ford service manual providing preload specifications.

I believe my issue relates to the new clutch not disengaging 100% especially when the vehicle is cold. I had my car on jack stands diagnosing another issue with my driveshaft and noticed that there were times that the back tires would still be rotating via force from the engine and transmission even with the clutch pedal fully depressed. Maybe that is not abnormal?

But my main problem occurs if I am coming to a stop and I put the vehicle in neutral. When I then proceed to put the car in 1st gear or reverse I am not able to get the car into gear. If I try to force the shifter in gear the car tries to start moving. I then try the 3rd and 4th and still can't get the car in gear. But then if I try 5th gear then sometimes it will go in and then I can go back to 1st and get the car in gear and really not going in smooth as it should in my opinion. Now if I drive my car for an extended period of time like 20 or more minutes then it appears to be shifting properly.

I am not being locked out of gear at high RPM shifting since I have installed numerous modifications such as Barton two post bracket and shifter, steeda transmission bushing, Joe Heck racing clutch line, steeda motor mounts, and I removed the clutch assist spring.

I have been trying to document on paper when I have the lockout and when I don't because I still have time and mileage left for the 12 month and 12000 mile warranty from the dealer for the clutch replacement. As it stands right now it is not right and when the weather breaks I am going to have to take it back to the dealer to get it resolved. I need to contact centerforce in the mean time to find out if anybody else has contacted them with similar issues.

If your product can solve my problem and avoid the dealer pulling my transmission out that would be so much easier and most likely preferred by the technician as it is a pain in his butt because of my headers.

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Quote:
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Hi night rider,
Thanks, your work on making a metal end for the OEM CMC nice work as well. What size CMC bore would be best for your application would all boil down to what you want to achieve. If your engagement is already very high with the OEM bore CMC then you wouldn't want to go bigger. The larger bore CMC's are for cars where the OE CMC doesn't put out enough fluid and they're engagement is low in the travel with issues getting into 2nd at high RPM causing lock outs, issues getting into first from a stop or especially from a roll. Issues getting into reverse and having to select another gear before being allowed into reverse, an issue made worse with cold. All of which I've experienced with the multiple S197's I've owned over the past 10 years.
As for the OEM CSC yes it can definitely take it. My testing rig is currently pounding the crap out of an genuine ford CSC, coupled to a Spec Stage 3-Puck Clutch being operated by a 7/8" Bore Prototype cylinder. It's being machine clutch kicked at a rate of 65 strokes/minute with the fluid at near boiling point and its currently done just over 100k strokes without failure or leaks. The CSC as measured at the clutch diaphragm is currently being stroked +25% further than the OEM CMC was able to achieve and the CSC still has room to travel further without issue.


Now the pressure in the CSC actually has nothing to do with the CMC or the volume of fluid it pushes. The line pressure inside the CSC is completely dominated by how stiff the pressure plate is that it needs to work against. For example number only- if the pressure plate took 50lbs to push then the line pressure at the CSC would be very little as the cylinder doesn't need to work very hard at all to move. However if you up the pressure plate to say 200lbs then the line pressure needed to move the CSC piston forward will be 4x as much to push the pressure plate in. As you can see the pressure plate weight controls the system pressure as long as the slave isn't jammed. So no matter what your CMC bore size is, the pressure the CSC experiences will always be the same for any given pressure plate. What does change however with bore size is how much pressure you need to apply as pedal pressure will increase slightly relative to the bore size. So if a large bore CMC moves 30% more fluid per inch of pedal travel then the OE unit, then the pedal pressure will correspondingly increase by 30% since it's doing more "work" while traveling the same distance.
Very interesting. So a cmc with a bigger bore then stock won't make the clutch pedal easyer to push in, but it will make the csc travel a bit more for a better clutch release.Thanks

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I can see myself as a future buyer. Mark me interested...
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017 Thread Starter
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PMDmustang13,
Sorry for any confusion. Yes, CMC = Clutch Master Cylinder and CSC = Clutch Slave Cylinder OR Concentric Slave Cylinder depending who you ask. As for your clutch issues that is exactly the kind of problems this will eliminate. Reading thru your description of the problem and when it occurs most commonly (when cold) is one of the classic symptoms of a clutch that isn't fully disengaging from lack of travel at the pressure plate. Then once the clutch heats up after driving for a bit it starts working better as the pressure plate/flywheel come up to operating temperature allowing it to release slightly better. I've noted on almost every manual trans vehicle I've ever driven the clutch grabs a little lower when cold first thing in the morning after sitting overnight and grabs just a little higher when hot. A slightly larger clutch master cylinder in your case would offer you additional stroke at the slave cylinder to allow complete disengagement of the clutch 100% of the time. As of right now I think that slight loss of engagement height when cold is enough to completely lock you out of gear and the slight increase you get as it heats up is enough to cure it.
As for the shims they don't in any way increase the amount of travel you get from the slave or how much the pressure plate is pushed. The proper shimming is only used to set the distance the slaves internal piston is pushed back when the clutch is released. Too much shimming will actually cause the pressure plate to be slightly depressed 100% of the time, effectively riding the clutch, this causes the pressure plate to loose clamp load and you end up burning things out in a hurry. Too little shimming means your slave won't be pushed back far enough when at rest and the first time the pedal is fully depressed the slave will blow out from being forced past the end of its travel. So if a lack of shims where the problem you'd already have a failed slave by now and can rule that out.

Hope that helps!
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Very interesting. So a cmc with a bigger bore then stock won't make the clutch pedal easyer to push in, but it will make the csc travel a bit more for a better clutch release.Thanks

You got it, to make the pedal easier to push you'd need to decrease the bore size but you'd also be decreasing the volume of fluid moved for every inch of pedal travel. To go down a size to 11/16" bore you'd need to increase the pedal travel (at the foot pad) by about an extra inch just to get the same output as stock at the slave.
Conversely if you go up a step in bore size from oem to 13/16" you could decrease the amount pedal travel by an inch and still move the same amount at the slave or keep the pedal stroke the same to gain +15% more disengagement stroke at the slave.
Stepping up again you could go 7/8" bore and then you could cut out 2" of pedal stroke to get the same output at the slave, however you wouldn't do that as the whole point for those going to a larger cylinder would be to get extra disengagement stroke down at the slave. So you could still have a modest decrease in overall pedal stroke while still having an increase in disengagement stroke at the slave.
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At that price range I'd buy one.
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^^^ me too
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017 Thread Starter
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Alright! I got the prototype unit install in my 08' yesterday afternoon and figured out the install process which is a very straight forward swap. 6 Bolts hold the pedal assembly in place along with simply twisting the switches 1/4 turns to remove them and one clevis pin to disconnect the brake pedal. 2 bolts hold the AC accumulator in place which when removed allows the accumulator to be moved slightly out of the way on 07'-09' cars giving nice access to the back of the master cylinder to connect/disconnect the fluid line. 2 bolts + 1 e-clip hold the OEM master cylinder in place to swap it out. Then it’s simply reversing the process and bleeding the clutch. Using a -4AN at the outlet port of the master cylinder allows you crack the fitting and pump the pedal to evacuate air just like bleeding brakes which worked fantastically. Clutch bleed on this cylinder without having opened up the lines at the transmission only took 5 pumps to get a firm full pedal. For the -4AN line I had already installed a JHR clutch line years ago and to adapt to the new cylinder I simply unscrewed the Ford quick connect fitting from the line leaving me with a female -4AN line to directly connect. Looking around it appears the vast majority of aftermarket clutch lines use the same setup with a common -4AN line + adapter fitting on the ends so for most nothing needs to be changed. If you have a hard-line or a 1-piece crimped on Ford end then a swap to something like the JHR or any number of others using the same construction would be needed with the cylinder.

This brings me to the next problem I discovered along the way with this project is a great deal of flexing is happening in the plastic factory pedal assembly. When my wife was helping me bleed the new cylinder you could visibly see the whole master cylinder being pushed forwards and flexing towards the firewall under load when just gently depressing. This leads me to believe even the OEM master cylinders are flexing around a great deal anytime one punches the clutch for a fast shift and very likely causing a loss of full master cylinder stroke under hard driving. It's moving around about an 1/8 to 1/4" which is significant as if the master moves away from the pedal box as you push it then you directly loose 1/8 to 1/4" of master cylinder stroke + loss of fluid volume output from the cylinder leading to grinds. I'll be pulling the pedal unit back out this week and adding some custom bracing to the factory pedal unit in key places I've already identified looking at my spare pedal unit which should firm things up immensely.

Otherwise the new large bore master cylinder paired with my RXT feels amazing the little bit I've been able to drive it. The pedal gained a little firmness which was to be expected but its still lighter then the factory clutch setup that came on my 08' by a long shot. It has good clutch feedback with good modulation and before I adjusted it further it was fully disengaging the clutch to where going into 1st and reverse were like butter with only a 3" of total pedal stroke dialed in. I've since adjusted the pedal stroke up to about 4" total stroke and the clutch is now engaging right around mid-stroke, exactly where I wanted it. Now my foot never leaves the floor thru the entire stroke for great clutch control. For me there's nothing worse then a very high engagement point where your trying to modulate the release with your leg dangling in the air, you get far more control with your foot planted. I haven't had a chance to flog the car yet as it's still too cold and what little spirited driving I got in yesterday only resulted in lots of tire spin but I'll keep everyone posted. Right now with the exception of the plastic pedal unit flexing I couldn't be happier with the new cylinder
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Just a thought and a question. Having an adjustable clutch engagement is awesome. However I would have a concern with the slave cyl being able to push the pressure plate fingers far enough to actually bottom out against the crank. This type of situation has been know to cause main thrust bearing failure in other cars. I'm not at all knocking the idea and I'm still interested. However this concerns me. Is this scenario possible with your adjustable MC and the slave cyl design?

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blu13gt View Post
Just a thought and a question. Having an adjustable clutch engagement is awesome. However I would have a concern with the slave cyl being able to push the pressure plate fingers far enough to actually bottom out against the crank. This type of situation has been know to cause main thrust bearing failure in other cars. I'm not at all knocking the idea and I'm still interested. However this concerns me. Is this scenario possible with your adjustable MC and the slave cyl design?
Hi blu13gt, No it's not possible with this setup to drive the pressure plate fingers far enough to shove the crank into the main thrust bearings. The factory 3/4" master+ CSC combo is only capable of stroking the pressure plate 7/16" or 0.437" which is less then the recommended minimum pressure plate stroke spec of most aftermarket clutches which require a minimum of 1/2" or 0.500" to operate correctly. With my 7/8" bore master cylinder installed in the test bench rig working a Spec Stage3 clutch/pressure plate with OEM CSC I was seeing a maximum of 0.540" stroke as measured at the pressure plate fingers which is only a 25% increase in stroke (+0.100" in disengagement travel)
To bottom out the pressure plate you'd need to stroke the CSC something on the order of 0.75" to 1.00" at the pressure plate for it to actually bottom out and to do so you'd need a master cylinder of around 1-1/4" Bore to 1-1/2 Bore to do so which is almost 2X larger bore then I'm proposing here. That and the OEM CSC isn't capable of more then about 5/8" 0.625" of stroke when shimmed out to max and paired with a large cylinder so you'd blow the CSC long before you hurt the main bearings. As well thrust on the main bearings has far more to do the clamp load of the pressure plate then it does slave travel as a very high clamp pressure plate will be exerting far more force against the crank when being disengaged then a stock one would.

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