November 9, 2005

The appeal of a vintage Ford or classic Mustang can't be measured. These automobiles were styled years ago to be appealing to generations of car enthusiasts. The downside to these old, stylish buckets of bolts is engineering shortcomings. We're not talking just one or two shortcomings, we're talking a warehouse full of them: leaking cowl vents, door hinges that fell apart, front suspension issues, rattles and squeaks, and poorly engineered clutch linkages.

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Ford clutch linkages did a fair job with the stock clutch when these cars were new. However, these cars are anything but new now. Those old bellcrank clutch linkages with pushrods and equalizer bars (also called Z-bars) took a man-size left leg to operate with a stock three-finger Borg & Beck clutch. Pump up the squeeze with an aftermarket 3,000-pound pressure clutch plate, and the equalizer bar folds over like wheat in high winds.

You can replace the entire linkage, and it will work for a short time. However, the new equalizer bar and rods will deteriorate quickly and fold over at a moment when you need them most. That is why Danny Banh of D.B. Performance Engineering set out to come up with a better clutch-release system for classic Mustangs, Falcons, and Comets. Danny didn't invent this concept. Ford did for late-model Mustangs, Capris, Thunderbirds, and Cougars. It's called a cable-clutch-release system, and it has worked well in late-model Fords since the '70s.

We're going to show you how to install a cable-clutch system in your classic compact Ford or Mercury fun car. Each application is going to vary some, however, the basics are the same. Our victim is a '66 Mustang.

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