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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think I'll probably catch some flak for this mod, namely opinions that this will ruin your clutch or something. Therefore (Mod at your own risk). I was tired of the silly long throw and slop honestly of the clutch pedal in my '14 MZ3. This is what I call the "25 cent mod". I just duct taped 3 nickels and 1 dime (very precise) to the stop wing on the clutch pedal and viola! Try it if you dare and see if it's not amazing. If you look closely you can see that normally the clutch pedal rides higher than the brake pedal. Also if you gently press it in slowly you can feel that the point of actual plate movement is actually about 3/4 of a inch in. I feel like this was a goof on mazda's part. At least that's what my left leg is telling me... :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I did find one caveat to this. It seems that the switch no longer getting fully depressed in the rest position is wigging out the ECM so the car only starts in neutral. Also this makes the start button flash amber. Adding a spacer to the switch should fix this. I'll give that a try next.
 

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I know you won't want to hear it but you really need to reconsider this. Clutch pedals NEED to be disconnected from the pressure plate when at rest. By doing what you did the throw out bearing is constantly riding the pressure plate. Not good. Throw out bearing and pressure plate wear will be much accelerated this way. If it was acceptable to do this the manufacturer would have designed it this way. It may feel better for you but do yourself a huge favor and put the 50 cents back in your pocket

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If this is the case why is there very little resistance in the first three quarters inch of pedal travel? None of my other cars have this. They are also hydraulic actuators
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I do understand what you mean that the throwout bearing should not be riding the clutch but I didn't take up all of the slop just some of it
 

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Since the pedal itself has the stopper, seems like it would be hard to truly know what exactly is moving in the actual bell housing in that first inch of travel that feels like slop. I wouldn't want to risk it myself, Dadillac's point makes sense to me.
 

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Since the pedal itself has the stopper, seems like it would be hard to truly know what exactly is moving in the actual bell housing in that first inch of travel that feels like slop. I wouldn't want to risk it myself, Dadillac's point makes sense to me.


+1.
 

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The clutch pedal is supposed to have free play. This isn't a mod this is only gonna speed up the wear on your clutch. Also I'm pretty sure every manual vehicle has the clutch pedal higher than the brake pedal
 

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not only the clutch, i'm more concerned about the bearing. the throwout bearing needs to be held on to the pressure plate with a bit of force. without that, it can start to chatter on the fingers of the pressure plate. that wears it out prematurely. the clutch may be fine and engage just fine in this scenario, but the bearing may not be happy.

i ran into this with my old hyundai. the previous owner didn't like the pedal height/travel like you so he adjusted it. these cars have a couple bolts for their backstops. by doing that, i think i went through 3 clutch bearings before i figured out why it was doing it. i never imagined that someone would adjust it like that. clutch job isn't a fun time, wish i knew that earlier. would have saved me a couple days worth of work and a lot of money on parts.
 

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not only the clutch, i'm more concerned about the bearing. the throwout bearing needs to be held on to the pressure plate with a bit of force. without that, it can start to chatter on the fingers of the pressure plate. that wears it out prematurely. the clutch may be fine and engage just fine in this scenario, but the bearing may not be happy.

i ran into this with my old hyundai. the previous owner didn't like the pedal height/travel like you so he adjusted it. these cars have a couple bolts for their backstops. by doing that, i think i went through 3 clutch bearings before i figured out why it was doing it. i never imagined that someone would adjust it like that. clutch job isn't a fun time, wish i knew that earlier. would have saved me a couple days worth of work and a lot of money on parts.
You got it backwards but you're on the right track. When properly adjusted the throw out bearing does not touch the pressure plate when the pedal isn't being pressed but what's being described here is taking out the free play so that the bearing will probably be in contact with the spring fingers at all times creating accelerated and unnecessary wear to both the bearing and the spring fingers. Its just in no way necessary or a good idea
 

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You got it backwards but you're on the right track. When properly adjusted the throw out bearing does not touch the pressure plate when the pedal isn't being pressed but what's being described here is taking out the free play so that the bearing will probably be in contact with the spring fingers at all times creating accelerated and unnecessary wear to both the bearing and the spring fingers. Its just in no way necessary or a good idea
i'm thinking of hyundai's old crap design here. the bearings were a little different and rather terrible. with clutch engaged (pedal released) they required a bit of pressure to hold the bearing in place to prevent it from rattling around. it was simple slipped over the transmission shaft and held in place by the fork - nothing else! most cars the bearing will clip into the fingers of the pressure plate somehow. they required a rather precise setup to last and i suspect that is why the clutch bearings were a known weak spot...

but yes to make a long story short, most cars out there it's backwards compared to what i'm thinking of
 

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I notice this excess clutch free play in my 2017 Mazda 3 but didn't have it on my previous manual cars - mainly Hondas. When wearing thin soled shoes, you can feel the clutch pedal slap against your shoe just as you release the clutch pedal as the excess free play is taken up. The issue is not evident if you release the pedal slowly at this point. This issue seems to be a 'feature' of the car and is best left alone judging by the above posts.
 

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I'm gonna do it. It will make a more comfortable driving position for me.
If you don't feel hydraulic pressure on the pedal it's not making any pressure on the throwout bearing. The bearing works by pressure, not pedal movement.
 

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I'm gonna do it. It will make a more comfortable driving position for me.
If you don't feel hydraulic pressure on the pedal it's not making any pressure on the throwout bearing. The bearing works by pressure, not pedal movement.
Are you going to do the mod where you also add a spacer to the switch so the key warning light works properly? If so, please post a brief guide & photos to help us out.
 

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This was one of the reasons why I didn't get the manual over the automatic, I didn't like how much travel there was in the clutch pedal in comparison to Honda's, Acura's, Nissan's and even my old Scion. Is there not a "proper" way to adjust the clutch pedal in our Mazda's without harming the transmission?
 

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I think I'll probably catch some flak for this mod, namely opinions that this will ruin your clutch or something. Therefore (Mod at your own risk). I was tired of the silly long throw and slop honestly of the clutch pedal in my '14 MZ3. This is what I call the "25 cent mod". I just duct taped 3 nickels and 1 dime (very precise) to the stop wing on the clutch pedal and viola! Try it if you dare and see if it's not amazing.
If you look closely you can see that normally the clutch pedal rides higher than the brake pedal. Also if you gently press it in slowly you can feel that the point of actual plate movement is actually about 3/4 of a inch in. I feel like this was a goof on mazda's part.

I don't have 3/4" of free play on mine, but there is definitely about 6-8mm at least. Having a non-adjustable clutch was almost a deal-breaker for me when buying this car, so I'm definitely trying this mod out. I've always adjusted the clutch a little closer to the floor/firewall for a better feel & comfort while driving on all my previous cars. But those cars came with an actual adjustment rod, so this'll be my first attempt adjusting a 'non-adjustable' clutch pedal.

Instead of spending ~$200-300 on a relatively useless aftermarket intake, I'll just risk that $$ on a new throw-out bearing (or clutch if needed) to test if this mod will hold up over time.

No need for extra nickels in this mod, however. I just used 2 oil drain plug washers, with 1 nickel on top.. it's about 6mm thick all stacked together. Not sure how much lower it moved the clutch pedal, but I'll take what I can get. And it removed all the free play from the pedal for me.

Add 1 more nickel to pad the 'switch' area, and now it's a 10-cent mod.
 

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If you really want to reduce clutch pedal travel the right way without risking premature damage to other components...



Wilwood clutch master cylinder with adapted Miata NB (or NC, I forget which) slave cylinder, connected by a custom steel braided clutch line. Stiffer pedal feel (the larger the master cylinder, the shorter the throw, but transfers more direct spring force from the clutch diaphragm so more force is required). It isn't the cheapest mod, and making the parts takes time unless you have access to a mill or CNC, but I do not know anyone else who has done it on this car and I have been running it for some 15k miles plus a track day (more track days to come), and it hasn't failed me yet.
 

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If you really want to reduce clutch pedal travel the right way without risking premature damage to other components...

Wilwood clutch master cylinder with adapted Miata NB (or NC, I forget which) slave cylinder, connected by a custom steel braided clutch line. Stiffer pedal feel (the larger the master cylinder, the shorter the throw, but transfers more direct spring force from the clutch diaphragm so more force is required). It isn't the cheapest mod, and making the parts takes time unless you have access to a mill or CNC, but I do not know anyone else who has done it on this car and I have been running it for some 15k miles plus a track day (more track days to come), and it hasn't failed me yet.
Thanks for sharing, that looks pretty awesome! Is that cylinder on your Miata or 3? Taking out the clutch pedal assembly might be going too far for me (time-wise), but I'd be willing to try a different compatible master/slave cylinder if it increases pedal feel. The 3's clutch is just too light for me, and I'm driving in city traffic all day. I did this on my previous car, using a different model car's cylinder (same manufacturer) to increase pedal effort & feel. If I can't get the shorter throw, at least I'll have a better feeling clutch pedal.

What was the cost for you to do all of that if I may ask (and if you're allowed to post it)?
 

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After re-checking the free play again today, I reduced the spacer to 1 nickel + 1 washer.. So about 4mm total instead of 6mm. That leaves me with BARELY 1mm of free play left, which is just on the edge of "safe" to me. That didn't drop the clutch as much as I wanted, BUT.....

I found an easier and 100% safer way to reduce the clutch pedal height. And it requires no effort at all: Take OFF the rubber pad on the pedal! Can't believe I didn't I think of this earlier... That shaves off 3-4mm at least on the clutch height.

That plus the nickel-washer spacer = about ~10mm? height reduction of the clutch pedal.. I never measured it, just a guestimate. I still prefer it a bit lower but it's better than it was before. Now it's almost even with the brake pedal.. sitting just slightly above it.

I added a couple strips of grip tape to the plastic pedal surface to give it more grip & protection from wear & tear.
 

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