Clutch Cable Discussion

Please see also our Clutch Cable Replacement Procedure.


There is a wide variety of clutch cable lengths available - it's important that you get the right one. The following table lists the various cables (by length) and gives their applications -


Cable Length



Beetle /Ghia 61


Beetle/Ghia 62 - 71


Beetle 5/74 - 79/Ghia 5/74


Beetle 72 - 4/74/Ghia 4/74


Bus 6/59 - 60


Bus 50 - 5/59


Bus 68 - 71


Bus 72-79


The cables all attach the same, by way of an "eye" on the pedal end.

Rob writes - On my right-hand drive (RHD) model I remove the cover plate from the left side of the tunnel (where the pedals on the left-hand drive (LHD) come out), and the hook is visible at that edge of the tunnel. The clutch cable is fed in from the front to the back on all models as far as I know. It's difficult to start the cable into the tube, as the threaded end doesn't allow much room to bend the cable -- but not too difficult.

And knowing VW it will be the same cover plate which is moved to the left side -- they seem to be very good at designing parts which will work with both models. On the Standard Bugs I believe the tie rods etc. are simply reversed.

The pedal cluster is different, of course, between the RHD and the LHD models. On LHD cars the accelerator pedal axle is the outer of the nested axles and the clutch is the inner one. On RHD cars that's reversed -- the accelerator axle is the inner one, since is comes from the far right on RHD models. If you remove the pedal cluster on LHD models you'll find the front end of the clutch cable just inside the tunnel -- it has a rectangular "eye" on it which hooks over a hook on the pedal cluster. The accelerator and clutch hooks end up in the same position, so the cable runs are the same.

Pedal Assembly - LHD


Pedal Assembly - RHD


The cable is withdrawn through the front and of course if it's broken you'll have to pull the rear section out from the rear end too.

Replacing the clutch cable is not really hard. So long as the tube it runs in is okay, it's a relatively straight-forward job. The clutch tube runs the full length of the tunnel, so once you have the cable started inside the tube it feeds in easily. Getting the new cable started in the tunnel tube it a bit awkward - there is only JUST enough room to get the solid threaded end in first, then the flexible part feeds through easily. It's a good idea to coat the whole cable with grease as you feed it in (making it a very messy job). It doesn't really matter what kind of grease you use, so long as it's not too heavy - otherwise it will get very sticky in snowy weather and might make the clutch operation heavier on your foot. Wheel bearing grease works best.

At the rear end the cable has to go through the clutch operating arm on the side of the gear box and then you install the wing nut (or double lock nut if you have the old style of cable).

Adjusting the slack out of the cable is difficult as there is not much working room over the gearbox, but persevere until you have the clutch working in the first half of pedal travel - not down near the floor. See our Clutch Adjustment procedure.

Dave wrote - I recall having trouble getting the clutch cable through the Bowden tube -- fussed and fussed with it until it dawned on me that the Bowden tube had to be removable (I'd seen replacements in the catalog). Once I had the Bowden tube removed (it took a strong arm) feeding the clutch cable through it was easy.

The cable CAN be replaced without removing the Bowden tube, but if the bend in the tube needs adjusting, it has to be moved/removed anyway.


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