Home > Jeep > Willys Jeep: Porkchop’s Clutch Arm Problem

Willys Jeep: Porkchop’s Clutch Arm Problem

Problem area

Problem area

This is a quick and dirty post to describe a particular problem that I’m having.

Part of what I have to do when replacing the master cylinder (that is, converting it to a dual master cylinder (MC) from the original single reservoir, making it safer) on the M38A1 (affectionately named Porkchop) is disassemble the pedal assembly bracket and modify it a bit so that the new MC can fit onto the frame.

I’ll likely revise this post in the future to describe what that process has been like, but I need to ask a question right now and see if anyone knows the answer to it.

I managed to work through the process of drilling through the pedal shaft assembly (as circled in red above), and – if I say so myself, cleaned it up so that it looked pretty nice.

Mostly installed

Mostly installed


However, when I attempted to replace the clutch pedal arm back onto the assembly, catastrophe stuck. In the image above, you’ll see a ‘notch’ located at about the “12 o’clock” position on the shaft. That fits into a notch on the clutch pedal arm, best seen here:

Right in the palm of my hand

Right in the palm of my hand

Even with considerable lubricant, I was having difficulty attaching the clutch pedal arm to the assembly, when I heard a very disturbing popping noise. Sure enough, the notch on the assembly – which I had thought was all one piece – came off.

Notch no more

Notch no more

Fortunately, I still have the piece of metal, but as you can see it’s not “broken” or jagged in any way. In fact, it almost looks like it was designed this way:

Half-moon horror?

Half-moon horror?

My question is simple: Have I screwed up the pedal assembly? This one is the second one that I’ve gotten (because of another problem I had to go out and buy one) and I’d rather not if I don’t have to.

Any ideas?

Categories: Jeep Tags: , , ,
  1. April 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    It’s called a ‘Woodruff key’, and it used to keep the parts of the assembly from rotating. It is designed to be removable, so you didn’t break anything, it separates deliberately. Sometimes made of brass for a ‘shearing action’, instead of the assembly being damaged. Just put it back in and assemble.


    capescw on willysmjeeps

    • April 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks for the information. I’ve tried to place it back into the slot in which it fits (the “woodruff keyhole?”) but it just falls out. Should I do something special to keep it in, or perhaps I’m just not pressing hard enough (or need some sort of clamp or something)?

      Thanks again!

  2. April 26, 2014 at 7:00 am

    None of the above! Just reassemble the entire unit, then tighten the clamp. Again, it’s only there to keep the two parts from rotating relative TO EACH OTHER!

    • April 28, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Great! Thank you so much. Looks like I know what I’ll be doing this weekend… ;)

  3. April 28, 2014 at 11:39 am

    What Bill said. :) Did you get this figured out?

    • April 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      I haven’t had a chance to try to re-insert it yet, no. Not with any real effort. Been fighting with a very bad bolt problem elsewhere. :(

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