1967 Shelby GT350 Terlingua Racing Team Mustang Clutch

Published on 4 March 2023 at 16:18
Terlingua Racing Team Shelby GT350 Mustang
Terlingua Racing Team Shelby GT350 Mustang Interior

Work on the replica Ferrari Dino is just about finished now - just the passenger door release mechanism to finally sort - it's been a proper pig but we are just about there now. With one of the lifts now free for the first time in months it's time to bring in the 1967 Shelby GT350 Mustang to see why the clutch is slipping. Malcolm had taken it to a show and on the way back he thought he could smell burning clutch and then he lost drive. It was working fine on the way over so I don't know what we will find, it seemed to fail rather suddenly. Fortunately things are reasonably easy to get to on these cars, getting the box out doesn't take too long. Not sure how the exhaust runs yet though as it's a custom system which may or may not be in the way of things. Even if that all has to come off it's not a big deal, the prop cones off, there's an easily accessible cross member that comes off, the gear lever can stay on the box and comes through the hole in the floor, then it's just half a dozen bolts and the clutch cable to come off. 

I am glad to say that Malc had two brand new lifts fitted last year as a result of one of the original lifts giving up the ghost when this very car was on it. Fortunately nobody was hurt but the car was pretty badly damaged and a new door had to be found along with a few other bits. Hopefully things are much safer now and despite it being a hefty old Hector the new lifts should be well up to the job. 

This will be the first Mustang I have worked on since 1984/5 when my mate had a 71 Mach1 that he found languishing in a garage in Farnham, Surrey. He only paid 500 quid for it, it had been crashed back in the 70's the guy had started to repair it, had run out of time and talent and had left it half stripped ever since. We got it running and driving, it had only done 27,000 miles and everything was in excellent condition, apart from the areas where paint had been stripped and left bare. Fortunately another of his mates was an apprentice at a bodywork place. He used the car as a practice piece and sprayed it in Porsche Guards red and Ford Diamond white. It looked amazing. the exhaust was pretty much straight through apart from a couple of cherry bombs - it sounded as good as it looked.

Anyway we got this one up in the air and  had a look at things in general, first thing that became obvious is that there was no slack at all in the clutch linkage. On these cars you have a very simple arrangement of the clutch pedal with a pivot about half way down and then a simple adjustable link that acts on the release lever. there was a bit of adjustment there so we wound it all the way and managed to get a bit of grip from the clutch but it was right at the top of it's travel. We are going to need to put a new one in there.

The challenge is we have no idea if the clutch is standard or not - I suspect not as it's a full race heavily modified version. We will take it to bits in the week and see what we can see. This is one of very few Terlingua Racing Team cars - a google search returns some fascinating information about how Carroll Shelby himself was involved, I can't imagine there are more than half a dozen of these still in existence. 

The linkage from the clutch lever to the release arm is a proper bodge, we need something much better than what is there, I will work that out later. 

I am quite looking forward to playing a bit more with this one - they are now hard to find and eye wateringly expensive, there are also a lot of replicas around so you have to be very careful. I hope it needs a road test....

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