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Discussion Starter #1
Drove absolutely problem free for several months, only to wake up one morning to find the clutch pedal had very little tension when pressed to the ground. The car shifted into first with some difficulty, but got there after more clutch pumping. It acted fine sporattically throughout the next few days, while again some times it would feel like there's no tension on the pedal and it'd be difficult to shift.

Of course, as most unfortunately do, we ignore anything that doesn't mean immenent danger (if it ain't broke, don't fix it), now today it straight won't shift into first. It did twice when taking it around the block, but not without a gut-wrenching smash noise (clutch not being fully disengaged, my guess?) Ouch. I've been watching the fluid throughout this, and have not noticed any leaks.

Any guesses? I understand that with cars it's very difficult to troubleshoot it down to a single part, but I know there are far more people on here who are much more educated in this than I, therefore your guess is better than mine. If you have a guess, is there a writeup or thread discussing the job? I've used the search function several times without any success.

Thanks in advance,
Geoff
 

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And from what I've read, the slave cylinder should be done at the same time.. I'm having a hard time identifying either part, this is the first manual tranny car I've driven. The Haynes manual doesn't show any pictures either, just the description on removal and installation.
 

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Finally found some more threads on the subject.. I should check for air in the system before buying any parts. Where should I look around for the slave cylinder? (The haynes manual says to bleed it from a screw, located on the SC.) May as well do this just in case, I don't exactly have money to spare..

If it does end up coming to buying a slave and master cylinder, is it acceptable to buy from Napa or any other Mcparts store? They won't last as long, but I'm guessing the oem parts will be almost double.
 

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The slave cylinder is located on the mounted to the transaxle towards the front top of the tranny, not far off from the rad fan.

If the fluid hasn't been changed recently, I'd pull all the old fluid out of the master cylinder (For the brakes since the cluch M/C feeds of that) with a turkey baster or some thing similar and put fresh DOT3 brake fluid in and bleed the system at the slave in the same manner you would the brakes, have someone in the car to pupm up the pedal and then crack the bleeder, and repeat as necessary.

Good luck!

Pat
 

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good possibility that the rubber line from the M/C to the slave is expanding(swelling) and not allowing pressure to build as it should to release the clutch properly - the rubber line runs from 1 hard line to another and is there to allow for motor/tranny movement - corksport sells these in SS braided - it is mounted on top of the tranny.
 

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This is a situation that calls for a professional. Take it to one (or two) and get an estimate. You may actually need the clutch and pressure plate, as someone else has already pointed out.
 

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try bleeding your slave cylinder first
the bleeder screw for the slave cylinder is right beside the exhaust header and it points right at the rad
it will probably be a lil russty so soak it with wd-40 or some liquidwrench
make sure you can open and close the bleeder screw before trying to bleed it which may require some excessive force to get it to turn right away

if bleeding it doesnt work, take lobewiper's advice and take it to 1 or 2 different shops and have them do an estimate on it...it could be something simple like the hydraulic line being replaced
 

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I had a similar on-going problem that seems identical...and I just recently got it resolved.

I bled the slave cylinder on several occasions, only to have the lack of resistance come back (and difficulty getting in and out of gear) eventually. I also changed fluid completely. On my next attempt, I replaced the master cylinder. Better for a while, then back again. Replaced the slave cylinder - this finally seemed to resolve the clutch pedal resistance issue, but shifting again became difficult to the point where I could rarely shift in and out of gear. At this point, driving the car was getting dangerous (I was having to turn the engine off and re-start it just to change gears because I needed the engine revs stopped).

The flexible rubber line looked to be in good shape so I didn't replace it.

I tried to change the throw-out bearing fork without dropping the tranny, but this wasn't going to happen (even though it appears it should be possible).

I concluded that the problem was with the pressure plate. I normally do all work myself, but didn't have time to go internal by removing the tranny.

I paid a shop (I know, it's blasphemy and all the old timers out there can flame the snot out of me) to replace the clutch. They resisted after quoting my $700 Cdn, stating that they didn't not believe this would solve the problem. They believed the tranny was the problem (I don't drive it hard and had no reason to suspect synchros were bad or other problems with the tranny). Even though the slave seemed to be actuating the throwout beating fork properly, the only thing that made sense to me was a problem with the pressure plate. I told them to go ahead.

They replaced the clutch and changed tranny fluid. They said the clutch disk was fine (knew it would be, these clutches will outlive you if you drive reasonably), the throwout bearing was fine, fork was fine and pressure plate was fine. The only problem they found was that the pilot bearing cage (little wee, innocent looking part) was mashed. They kept the old one and I saw it. I had the pilot bearing go on my first LX and the symptoms were very different (mind you, it was completely disintegrated on my first LX).

Anyway, all is well and has been for six weeks. I suggest you do a complete tranny fluid swap first and see if that solves it, but I suspect you need to go inside the tranny housing.

I cannot explain how a misshapen pilot bearing cage would cause the clutch disk not to be releasable. I could see how is caused the signs and symptoms I had in my first LX, but this one is an automotive mystery.
 

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Pilot Bearing

If your pilot bearing is that bad and is causing a 'drag ' it could be just like a clutch not fully releasing. It could be keeping the input shaft spinning when it needs to stop, like when you are stopped and trying to put the trans in first. The first gear synchro is trying to make the input shaft totally stop in order for it to go into gear. Think about it.
 
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