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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The car drove fine this morning. When I went to leave work this evening, I couldn't get it in gear, finally forced it into reverse then second, drove real slow home. Very hard to change gears. After I got home I noticed with the engine not running, it shifts easily all over the place, start it up and it won't go into gear.
What on earth could be causing this???

Thanks for any thoughts,
Michele

94 tracer, 1.9, 5 sp.
 

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Sounds like the clutch may not be releasing completely when you press the pedal. I'd start by checking the clutch master cylinder (located below the battery tray), clutch slave cylinder (on the front of the transmission), and the line between the two cylinders. Also check under the dash, at the clutch pedal. The clutch master cylinder likes to leak into the passenger compartment there.

Casey
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the brake master cylinder is just below the "low" level and something is running down the floorboard from where the clutch pedal goes into the firewall!
I'm going to run get some brake fluid now!
Hope it works!
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, that didn't work.

What I did just notice is: If I start the car in gear (foreward or reverse) with my foot off the brake and the clutch in, it rolls slowy in that direction (ie: started in reverse, it rolls backward and vise versa).

And, I've only had this car a couple months, but when I'm pushing in on the clutch, it doesn't feel like it's doing anything, not much resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, if I pump the heck out of the clutch pedal, it gets firm and then will shift fine while running. At the end of my test drive the clutch pedal got soft again and wouldn't shift, until I pumped the heck out of the clutch again.
 

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The fluid running down the floorboard says that your clutch master cylinder is failing. Pumping the pedal builds up pressure, but it's only temporary.

Casey
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Casey! I do believe that's exactly my problem now. I cleaned all the mess around the clutch pedal, bled the slave, and took it for a good long, lots of shifting test drive. It shifted really well until toward the end. The pedal got a little softer and shifted a little harder. The brake fluid level had dropped a considerable amount, and there was a drippy mess at my feet!
Thanks for your help! I really appreciate it. I don't have money for a mechanic. Gotta figure all this out and repair it myself.

Thanks again!
Michele
 

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It's pretty easy to replace. There's a couple of bolts that hold the master cylinder to the firewall (probably the point where you'll need an extra set of hands to help), a hose with a clamp from the brake reservoir to the master, and a hard line on the bottom. Probably an hour to replace, including bleeding.

Casey
 

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If you swap the master cylinder, you might consider getting a brake line wrench to remove the hydraulic tube on the bottom of the master cylinder. Mine was stuck on there pretty good and my conventional wrench rounded it off. I ended up using a pair of vice grips to break it loose and put it back on. It's all mutilated now but it works.
 

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This is the exact problem I'm having with my car currently. If I hold the clutch pedal in too long, it will slow engage. I'm not losing any fluid though, so maybe I'm lucking out and just having a problem with the slave?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK! I replaced the clutch master cylinder. Everything seems great now. I got one off an escort at the u-pull-it. Out of 8 cars, only 1 still had the master cylinder on it...must be a pretty common problem. Only cost 10 bucks. Yeah, should've opted for the brake line wrench, would've saved a little time and frustration.
But it's all good. Thank you all so much for your help. It was exactly as you described Casey, many thanks. :D

Michele
 

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Glad to hear you got it fixed!

Casey
 
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