It's been so long that I can't remember, but is there a clip that holds the ratchet mechanism together/compressed that you must not release until both ends of the cable are fitted? I might have removed this unwittingly years ago. The cable seems to be maximally extended and I can't get the clutch fork end in - there's no way it has enough slack. I can't make the adjuster 'spring back' by pulling on the inner cable, which is something I can do on the old one which is out of the car now.
Do I need a new, new cable?