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Wobbly Clutch and Brake Pedals?

Early CJ clutch and brake pedals often develop an annoying side to side wobble. The condition will progress to the point where the pedal shafts contact the holes in the floorboard. Wobbly pedals are usually due to a combination of several worn parts. This wear is quite possibly caused by lack of regular lubrication. Typically the worn parts are the Brake Pedal Shaft, Pedal Shaft Retainer Bracket, Master Cylinder Tie Bar, and Brake Pedal (arm). During normal use the Brake Pedal Shaft rotates inside the other 3 components each time the clutch is depressed. A complete repair involves replacing all the worn parts. This can be difficult and time consuming since the Pedal Shaft Retainer Bracket is riveted and welded to the vehicle frame. Removal of the Brake Pedal Shaft often requires dropping the exhaust header pipe for clearance.

Parts Information:
Part Number
Shaft, Brake Pedal, Assembly 24-08
Pedal, Brake, Assembly
Bracket, Retainer, Pedal Shaft, Assembly
Bar, Tie, Master Cylinder

It is interesting to note that the CJ-3A's military sibling, the M-38, utilized a Pedal Shaft Retainer Bracket that is bolted to the frame for easier servicing.

In about 1958 Willys finally developed a kit to solve the pedal wobble problem. The solution was to pull the entire assembly together with a long bolt that passed through the center. None of the worn parts are replaced with the installation of this kit but it seems to solve the problem, even if just temporarily. The illustration below shows the stock parts that wear, and in red the Slack Adjuster Kit components.


Here is the official Willys sales pitch sent out to the dealers convincing them to stock the kit:

'Jeep' vehicles which have been subjected to hard off the road use, or those which are aging provide an excellent opportunity to make quick sales of Pedal Slack Adjuster Kits and installation labor.

When a 'Jeep' vehicle comes into your service department for any reason, take a few seconds to check the clutch and brake pedals for side movement (wobble). If side movement is detected, bring the condition to the owner's attention and tell him that it can be remedied quickly and inexpensively with the installation of a Pedal Slack Adjuster Kit. The slack adjuster is so designed that it will provide further adjustment as additional wear occurs.

The pedal slack adjusters are easily installed as explained in the installation instructions furnished with each kit. The ease of installation, plus the saving in parts cost of new pedals and shaft, will provide you with the opportunity of building customer good will.

Part No. 921936 Pedal Slack Adjuster Kit is designed for use on 'Jeep' Universals--The list price is $2.00.

Part No. 921937 Pedal Slack Adjuster Kit is designed for use on 'Jeep' Utility Vehicles (except Forward Control models); the list price is $1.80.

If you are not presently merchandising this desirable item, place your order for several of each of the kits now and place your Parts and Service Departments in a position to make a quick an easy profit from parts and labor.

Keith Layton recently purchased an NOS Slack Adjuster Kit at a swap meet and the following instructions were included in the kit.

KIT NO. 921936

1. Remove the cotter pin at the end of the pedal shaft inboard of the brake pedal.

2. Insert a screw driver inside the pedal shaft from the outboard end and spread the brake pedal inner cotter pin to clear the adjusting bolt.

3. Slide the flat washer and cup washer on the bolt, furnished in the kit. Insert the bolt through the shaft from the outboard end. See illustration.

4. Clean the inner and outer surfaces of the inboard end of the shaft.

5. Lubricate the pedal shaft.

6. If necessary, pry the exhaust pipe away from the pedal shaft for clearance.

7. Thread the adjusting nut, furnished in the kit, on to the bolt. Tighten the adjusting nut snugly, then back off until the pedals operate freely without slack.

8. Lock the adjusting nut in position with the lock nut furnished in the kit.

NOS 921936 Pedal Slack Adjuster Kit
Keith Layton photo

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