Why would the clutch pedal on a 1988 Ford F-350 stay on the floor so you cannot shift into any gear?

Pre 1997/9 models of Ford Vehicles were self-adjusting via the clutch-foot-pedal. The pedal engages a ratchet system called the QUADRANT & PAWL and is part of the pedal. The mechanism is very similar on older Ford models of: Escort, Fiesta, Sierra, Granada, Transit & others. Newer vehicles may have a Hydraulic Clutch from 1997/9 onwards, and these work differently from the cable & pully mechanism. Clutch-fluid can be bled to improve the ability to operate the clutch, however this is not necessarily a method of adjusting the clutch.

If your reading this article because you have a broken clutch-pedal then please read on.

If when pressing the foot-pedal it feels like cable is broken, or pedal is loose, ...This is symptomatic of failure of the QUADRANT & PAWL 'ratchet' mechanism due to wear of teeth on the ratchet.

In some cases the pedal fails to pull the clutch out far enough to change gear, and may make a 'springing noise'. This is due to slippage on some worn ratchet-teeth, but the mechanism has not reached full failure. There are 2 ways to remedy the fault.

1. Change the Quadrant & Pawl, using only genuine Ford parts. #Beware of inferior mouldings that are not up to standard e.g. too soft, and do not trust 'pattern-parts' on eBay etc.

2. SHORTEN THE CABLE.

  • Disconnect SPRING ON THE FOOT-PEDAL to release ratchet mechanism.
  • Clamp cable slack (engine end).