Clutch Problems | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Clutch Problems

Discussion in 'Escort Wagons' started by Jaden Petrucci, May 25, 2018.

  1. Jaden Petrucci

    Jaden Petrucci FEOA Member

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    Ive posted a lot about my 93 wagon. I bought it for $100 and it needed a clutch and struts as well as a really good cleaning and love. When I was done with it after I bought it the clutch had went out and I had it pristine and switched 94 seats into it and everything looked brand new.

    When we did the clutch we decided not to do the flywheel. When the clutch went out this little rod thing with a rubber cover or something of the sort on it fell out. We did the clutch on the lift and had the new clutch in and done in 2 days. When we finished we pushed the car outside and went to test it. No matter how much we bled it and pumped there was no pressure. Eventually after tons of pumping it started building pressure. Dad had put the piece back in during the clutch job for anyone wondering.

    The problem was when we went to test drive it. The entire time it felt like the clutch was slipping. The engine revs really high and forces you to pretty much change gears early and on hills it loses so much speed. The other issue could be normal because I haven’t owned another 5 speed wagon like this but the clutch barely has to be pushed down to change gears and it’s nearly impossible to drop the clutch. This is fine but I would think normally in other cars if you drop the clutch you would know. I don’t know if there is a master cylinder that could have gone bad or if it is the flywheel we should have replaced
  2. Jaden Petrucci

    Jaden Petrucci FEOA Member

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    This is the piece that fell out. I should also note my gear shifter is so loose that if you didn’t know the car you’d be screwed trying to find what gear your in because you can move it around in any gear. Like it flops around. I want to get this fixed and get the car on the road because it’s starting to fall apart from sitting.

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  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are referring to the little rubber bellows, it is just a dust cover, to keep dirt and water out of the clutch slave cylinder. It should not have any other effect on clutch operation.
    For bleeding a clutch, I find it can squeeze the rubber hose that runs from the side of the brake master cylinder reservoir, and see bubbles appear in the m. c.reservoir. I would have thought the clutch master cylinder would fill with fluid all by itself; but it seems to work better by squeezing the ruber hose shut and letting it open; and repeating this until no more bubbles show up in the brake m. c reservoir.
    Then to bleed the slave cylinder, I only open the bleed screw 1/4 turn, and push a length of clear vinyl tubing over the end of the bleed screw. This vinyl tubing has to be the right size to be a tight fit on that bleeder screw of course. Since the tube is about 6' long, I can support it to where I can see it from the driver's seat. I begin pumping, not in any hurry, just slow pumping. Eventually fluid shows up in the clear tubing, and when I see only fluid - and no air bubble rising in it, I shut the bleed screw.
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  4. gen2steve

    gen2steve FEOA Member

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    There is a point in the upward travel of the clutch pedal where the engine starts to engage with the transmission. This point is sometimes referred to as the "friction point". Ideally, this friction point should be about midway in the pedal travel. Too low/close to the floor, and you risk not being able to shift easily (or idle in gear at a traffic light), since the engine may still be slightly engaged with the transmission, even with the pedal on the floor. Too high/close to the top of travel, and you risk not being fully engaged, even though the pedal is all the way up.

    From your description, it sounds to me that the latter is the case, and your friction point is too high. You can adjust the friction point (to make it be lower in the pedal's travel) by shortening the effective length of a linkage rod. If memory serves, the adjustment on a 2nd gen Escort is on the upper rod, between the pedal and the MC. (In some cars, the adjustment is down on the rod between the slave cylinder and the clutch fork.)
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  5. Jaden Petrucci

    Jaden Petrucci FEOA Member

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    So by your theory it just needs bled?
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Not necessarily that it only needs being bled. Its just one thing that I would do, to have that one variable out of the way. That wouldnt explain the slipping when driving in gear and your foot is down on the gas.

    The shifter being floppy is probably a normal symptom of the shitting rods and mechanism getting old and needing work. And with those, replacement parts may not be available.
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  7. 97TracerMD

    97TracerMD FEOA Member

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    So I had an 01 Hyundai Elantra with a slipping clutch. It was my first clutch replacement, ever, and it took me a good long time to complete. After I finished, the NEW clutch slipped just as bad as the old one! I was furious.

    Turns out I had only needed to adjust the linkage at the slave cylinder :mad: So I don't know at which point your linkage is, but I'd put money on that being your issue.
  8. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The way it is supposed to work, the slave cylinder on the Escort will position itself to the right place - with no adjustment needed. There is or should be an internal spring inside the slave cylinder that takes care of this.
    Thats not to say you cant have a failure between the slave cylinder and the clutch plate; like a bad clitch pivot, a bad pressure plate, etc.

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