Hydraulic Clutches Are Just Better, So I Swapped It.

Sometimes vehicles are just not made the way that you want them to be, so you are forced to take matters into your own hands and correct it.  Today’s blog is one of those situations.  See, my truck came with a cable actuated clutch, which works absolutely great for a stock clutch.  Unfortunately, I inserted Frankenstein into the equation and ruined all chances of clutch cable survival.  To be honest, I feel like all clutches should be hydraulically actuated. I know, I know, mustangs are yadda yadda, and they work fine. I know, it’s just my opinion.  Anyway, the firewall of my truck was not up for the challenge of a cable pushing harder than normal on it.  The truck is likely made from recycled beer cans (sometimes the truth hurts), and would have destroyed itself if I had used it that way much longer.  Not to mention, my left leg was getting an unnecessary workout, which made driving in traffic miserable.  I knew that there was a better way – hydraulics.

I started by commandeering a hydraulic clutch system from an early 1980′s Dodge Ram turbo diesel (yes, they really existed).  This pile of parts included a bell housing cutout that would need to be hacked into my non-hydraulic bell housing.  Cool right?

I knew that the only way to keep ambition high all day was to start off with easy stuff.  Naturally installing the clutch pedal and clutch master cylinder was the first step.  The cool thing about this was that the firewall already had a spot for the clutch master cylinder to be mounted because the V6 models came with hydraulic clutches. Sweeeeeet Action!!  Some drilling, grinding, and bending happened, and Poof!  It was done.

Next up was the transmission itself.  I pulled the transmission out, and chased it around with a sawzall and a cut-off wheel.  The TIG welder made a brief appearance on the scene, and then two pieces of aluminum became one.  It was as if it was meant to be.   The next issue was that factory 2.0L KM132 transmission didn’t have a spot for a pivot ball to be mounted.  Uh Oh…. Luckily I had some old 2.6L transmissions hanging around waiting to be stripped of their valuable parts.  Off came the front case that can be seen in this picture, some grinding ensued, and VIOLA!  Pivot ball in place  Hydraulic lines were plumbed, and fluids were topped off.  Time to celebrate? Nah.

Once wrapped up, the clutch felt better than ever before.  The pedal was about 100x easier to push down, it engaged and disengaged perfectly, and sure enough, the firewall no longer flexes at all.  I will officially declare this as the 2nd best upgrade that has been done to the truck.  The only thing that it falls behind is the engine swap itself.

5 comments to Hydraulic Clutches Are Just Better, So I Swapped It.

  • JohnEd

    But gone are the panic attack joys of torque bind…

  • cyrus

    I just bought a 1989 dodge ram 50 standard cab.. any hints or words of wisdom of how i can turn mine into such awesomness? haha.. was it a FWD eclipse motor? and how difficult was it to put it in a RWD truck? email me faint145@aol.com

  • Cyrus

    Okay, thanks a bunch. The mounts dont look like that would be that huge of a hassle. The wiring im pretty nervous about, would be my first. I’m only 22 :). Was also wondering, I dont know if you have another post about it, did you end up getting a different transmission? Or are you still using the D50′s? How hard was it to lengthen the drive train and shifter? Sorry for so many questions if you have posts explaining these direction would be appreciated. Thanks a bunch. Cyrus

    • Hey Cyrus, just join that forum that I sent you to, and all your answers will be solved. There are probably 20+ Dodge Ram 50 / Mitsubishi Mightymax 4G63 swaps on there to learn everything you want from. There are a bunch of different ways to go about it. The wiring is also made far easier with the info on there. I’ll see ya there ;)

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