The clutch cable on my '92 Nissan Sentra just broke and while looking here, I saw this question. I replaced it and am not overly experienced with working on cars, so it's not difficult. I'm not sure how applicable this will be to other makes or models, I doubt there's much variation though beyond accessibility and locations of parts. My apologies for any incorrect or nonstandard terms I may use.
1. Find where the cable connects to the clutch, forward and to the driver's side of the engine. The cable ends in a 'fork' (look at the new cable to see what I mean) that hooks over a lever going to the clutch. There's nothing above it to block your view, so it's easy to see. Unhook the cable off the lever.
2. Several inches down from this lever, the cable goes through an bracket connected to the engine. Your view will be blocked by the air hose going to the filter, but you can easily access it with your hands. Reach over and behind (that is, toward the rest of the car) the hose and pull on the cable. Once the rubber stopper on the cable is free from the bracket, the cable can be pulled to the right out of the bracket, as it has a small notch. I didn't realize this and removed the fork after part 1, but that's unnecessary (though not difficult).
3. Remove the lower dash panel, the large plastic piece that goes under the steering wheel. This will give you more room, and is easy; there are four Phillips head screws at the corners.
4. Now unhook the fork at the other end of the cable from the pedal (I 'skipped' this step because my cable had broken). This is tricky to describe, and quite frustrating if you have short or overly thick fingers. With the clutch pedal undepressed, you can access the cable fork with your left hand. I had to recline both seats, and lie on my back with my head down near the pedals. It may be possible to sit outside the car on the driver's side; I was on a busy street, so this wasn't an option. The best (probably only) way to access this is to kind of reach over the pedal bracket on the left (away from the other pedals) side. The corner of a piece of plastic down by the hood release should be touching (maybe digging into) your forearm, and the corner of the pedal bracket should be touching around your wrist. You should be able to reach the fork with your index and middle fingers. It hooks on a notch at the top of the pedal, similar to the notch at the other end on the clutch lever. You won't be able to see anything, so you'll have to go by feel for all this.In older Sentras press the clutch pedal in all the way, and it will slip off easier.
5. Now find where the cable goes through the firewall, from the engine side. It will be obvious, on the far right upper corner of the firewall. It goes into a 'diamond' shaped metal housing, held by 2 12mm nuts, and then to the pedal. The Haynes manual says to remove this metal piece, which I did, but I don't think it's necessary. There's a rubber stopper that goes into this metal housing, and if you pull that out the cable should come right out.
6. The cable routes between some thin metal tubes (I think they're part of the brake system since they're near the reservoir), and is held in place by a little bracket that it will pop out from. Take note of how it routes between these tubes, and carefully pull the cable out. It should now be free of everything.
7. To install the new cable, do everything in reverse. Once again it will be frustrating and tricky to hook the fork onto the pedal. It helps to take a small rubber band and wrap it around several times at the very end of the cable to hold the fork that hooks on to the clutch pedal in place. This keeps it from slipping back down the cable. You should be able to feel, with the tips of your fingers, the notch that the fork hooks on; the hardest part will be manipulating the fork into position using the tips of two fingers. Keep at it and you'll get it.
8. Once the cable's in place, adjust the cable length by turning the large knob on the clutch end of the cable. Tighten it on to shorten the length, and once it's far enough that it's becoming difficult to go further, tighten the nut down. You should be ready to go.
Mine is a 99 Nissan Sentra and to be honest, these cars just are not made for large American hands, in such tiny places. I didn't have the option of a manual of any sorts, so had to dive right in. My situation was the same, cable snapped on the way to work one morning and lucky for me, I was only a few miles from home so was lucky enough not to have to get a rollback, and it was early in the morning, with no cops around seeing me do "Hollywood Stops" at our few stop signs. To remove the cable assembly is a snap really, a star-wheel at the transmission shift lever(or fork if you will) has to come off and this allows the bracket to come right off the transmission lever. This leaves the rest of the cable assembly. There is 2 places where the cable is supported and they are easy to see. One bracket bolts to the tranny itself and there is a grommet on the cable assembly that goes into the bracket. The other bracket is basically on the fenderwell, or that area, and the cable housing just snaps there. I removed the (2) 13mm nuts that hold the cable assembly at the firewall and my old cable just pulled right out. Mine snapped not in the middle of the cable itself, but at the wear point, where the slotted lever of the clutch pedal attaches to the clevis section of the clutch cable assembly, under the dash. It's darn hard to see, but it's up there. Here is a picture of what it looks like: (see Figure 1, "Sources and Related Links", below)
Willing to bet this is where most failures happen as it's a metal to metal contact, during constant clutching.
In my search of the net, and the limited amount I could find...seems some folks are just born with horseshoes in their pockets, or the stars were in perfect alignment during the new cable install. You'll have to put the firewall bracket onto your new cable assembly! Some stated they just slide the cable into the hole in the firewall, wiggled the cable till it attached itself to the little lever that attaches to the clevis device on the cable assembly...and boom, done. I, was NOT that lucky, after trying that method for an hour or so. I had already removed the (2) 13mm nuts that held the old cable assembly bracket to the firewall....and the only thing left was the (1) 12mm bolt that holds the whole clutch bracket assembly, to underneath the dash. Yep, on mine...only (2) 13mm nuts, and (1) 12mm bolt--and the assembly dropped down far enough for me to hook the clutch cable "clevis" to the clutch fork lever shown in the picture mentioned above. KEEPING THE PEDAL in the NON-DEPRESSED position...slide the clutch assembly bracket back into place, being careful not to let the pedal drop to the floor, or the clevis to come off the lever again. Once in position, put back on your (2) 13mm nuts at the firewall, but put them on only hand tight...then place the 12mm bolt back into it's position in the clutch bracket assembly, under the dash. My 12mm bolt came out fine, but during the reinstall...seems the guy who originally installed this, must have had a hangover and buggered up the threads on the self aligning bolt. Took bolt to the local hardware store and picked up another proper sized/threaded metric bolt/flat washer..and fixed that little hangup. Now, tightened up everything, under the dash as well as at the firewall. Thank goodness the threads under the dash were fine!
I had to remove the starwheel from the other end of the cable..and had to remove the bracket that attaches to the transmissions clutch lever(or fork lever). Be careful, as there is a small round hollow tube in that grommet in this bracket! Once this is done, put the cable in the proper brackets, on the fenderwell and transmission, place the bracket on the tranny clutch lever(it has a slot too) and get starwheel back started on the threaded end of the cable assembly. Once this is done, you are almost home. You can hand turn the starwheel, and the tranny lever, will move towards the firewall, with little resistance. It will get to the point where you can't turn it(starwheel) with your fingers anymore. You'll also notice your clutch pedal moving up, inside the car. I stopped there, and tightened up the small 10mm jam nut that you'll see on the cable assembly, at the tranny lever. If everything works out right for you...you can go inside car, depress clutch pedal about, and feel it working like it should. I've heard it said, that normally there is an inch or less of exposed threads(facing the radiator) at the starwheel. My car has over 100,000 miles and know that a new clutch is in the future, at some point. With a new clutch, am sure you would have less exposed threads, as the disc will be new, and thicker, so you won't be able to thread up the starwheel quite so far.
I also have heard folks complain about aftermarket cable assemblies...well, I went to the dealership and purchased one from Nissan, for about 40 bucks..aftermarkets run anywhere from 20-35 bucks, and the factory one snapped right in place, like it's supposed to. Course, they didn't have in stock and had to wait 3 days to get it. Spend the extra 5-10 bucks, it's well worth it and am sure it won't let you down again, quite as soon as the aftermarket. Some folks can't wait the 3 days, and I surely understand that.
I hope from my experience, and the gent who wrote the first part of this article...will help those in need. Good Luck and walk away for a few moments if you get frustrated
# Remove the cover from under the facia panel # Release the nuts at the end of the cable at the release lever and disconnect the cable from the lever # Working from the inside of the car remove the clevis pin and disconnect the cable from the clutch pedal arm # Unscrew the two nuts which retain the cable grommet to the bulkhead and withdraw the cable from the car
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