Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Synchros shot? Weird noises while shifting? Not sure what needs to be replaced?
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby Rope-Pusher » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:06 am

InlinePaul wrote:You got me there. I obviously can't be the engineer. Ok, the drunkard, but former drunkard now. The experience caused me to talk to the priest and reform my life. :D
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Me, I can't leave something alone until I have either solved the problem or made it worse!

Hey, does your engine have 8 spark plugs?
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:20 pm

Rope-Pusher wrote:Me, I can't leave something alone until I have either solved the problem or made it worse!

Hey, does your engine have 8 spark plugs?


My dad always said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Problem is, it seems to always be broke and never fixed.

My engine is later 2001, the new modular style DOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder, and only 1 spark plug per cylinder. They phased out the old rubber band driven OHC 2.3 and phased in my chain driven DOHC about mid 2001 as I understand it.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:42 pm

Shop checked everything and there was nothing amis in the pedal assembly and did not see any leakage, so they re-bled it. Now has good pedal reserve of at least one inch and about half an inch of free play. Hoping there was just some bubbles left that they now got out. Next few. weeks will tell.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby Rope-Pusher » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:55 pm

InlinePaul wrote:Shop checked everything and there was nothing amis in the pedal assembly and did not see any leakage, so they re-bled it. Now has good pedal reserve of at least one inch and about half an inch of free play. Hoping there was just some bubbles left that they now got out. Next few. weeks will tell.

One mower thang....make sure nothing is stopping the pedal from coming up, like some wiring under the instrument panel or a pad of sound insulation.

It is when the pedal comes up fully that the master cylinder piston comes back far enough to unblock the port leading to the reservoir hose.

Also, another thing to be aware of is underhood heat. Ya wooden spect it this thyme of the year, but summer is coming and it wooden hurt to put some insulating/reflecting material over the line and the master cylinder so they don't soak up so much heat. Heat can swell the Master Cylinder piston so that it doesn't unblock the reservoir line port anymore....and then when you park the vehicle and the fluid cools, the fluid can contract and maybe suck the master cylinder piston so that the pedal drops down and the port remains closed even after the piston returns to ambient temperature. This results in the end of the world as we know it.
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:07 pm

Well it's going back in to the shop next week (next time I have off) as Friday when I picked it up I had a good 1"+ of reserve. Now it is an eighth inch reserve. What is going to happen is the syncros are going to get so abused it will turn in to a crash box.

I will have them check for pedal restriction that might not unblock the port.

I will soon start shopping a new used truck but looks like I am stuck with hydraulic clutches. Prefer smaller with good mileage to large gas hogs. But there is just something wrong with this truck and it may be a death trap anyway, considering the rusty state of the frame.

Odd thing is disengaging the clutch comes free with a good inch or more reserve, but to engage it is nearly at the floor. What is that all about? Shouldn't the engage / disengage point be about the same place on the pedal?
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby Rope-Pusher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:21 pm

InlinePaul wrote:Odd thing is disengaging the clutch comes free with a good inch or more reserve, but to engage it is nearly at the floor. What is that all about? Shouldn't the engage / disengage point be about the same place on the pedal?

Usually, the release point as you push the pedal down is a little closer to the floor than the engagement point as you let the pedal up....maybe up to 1/2 " difference in position between them. Blame it on hysteresis.

Yanno, there must be some of them Amish Chevy/GMC mid-sized pick-m-ups starting to hit the "Experienced" marketplace now. Unless they have ridiculous deals on the new ones, buying one after it is already depreciated a bit might be the way-2-go.
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:56 am

Well my pedal is the opposite. Disengage point is much higher than the engage point. I would suspect a warped clutch disk if it weren't for that it works fine initially after a bleed. I once had a warped clutch disk and it made it very hard to get in gear at a stop because the warped disk kept parts turning some.

Amish pickups hitting the market now from leases are about 10-15 years too new for me. I need something old and nasty. Nasty because I never give my truck a bath. Treat is like a pig. No wonder my trucks rot eh?
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby Rope-Pusher » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:05 am

InlinePaul wrote:Amish pickups hitting the market now from leases are about 10-15 years too new for me. I need something old and nasty. Nasty because I never give my truck a bath. Treat is like a pig. No wonder my trucks rot eh?

Well, going with more experience does tend to open up the Amish options. Mebbe sumpin from down South / out West, where they don't salt the roads?

Yanno, I've been down in a salt mine or two....stuff down there doesn't rust at a very high rate. It's really not very humid and the temperature never gets very high.
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:59 pm

So I had it in today for a re-bleed. They did not get much pedal reserve though. Barely more than when I took it in. I think a different guy did it. The owner said we could try other things like shim the flywheel. We have never turned it (they did sand lightly when clutch was installed 40,000 miles ago), but that with about 120,000 miles it probably has enough wear to make a difference.

I don't buy that. If the flywheel has not been turned, the pressure plate still mounts the same surface as from the factory, and that is not affected by wear either. So the pressure plate should still be in the same location relative to the slave. And the fact that the installation of the hydraulics and the first re-bleed both gave great pedal (close to 1.5 inches). Also the 40,000 mile on the clutch disk should make it slightly thinner to release sooner.

I did mention whether the pedal maybe is not coming all the way up to uncover the opening from the reservour, but he said the pedal is fine. I do see it sits a tad higher than the brake pedal which has always been the case as I remember it.

So, what to do? Talk to someone at another shop? I know a mechanic at a nearby shop who is competent and perhaps could make it work. Might be worth paying him to bleed it? My shop has not charged for the two re-bleeds, but I can't keep making them bleed it over and over.

Too bad there are no hydraulic to mechanical clutch conversion kits.
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby Rope-Pusher » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:41 pm



Doesn't sound right to me that it would be OK and then lose reserve and then get better when bled again, but only sometimes. It jest haint natchrul.

Shimming the flywheel? Do they mean shimming the clutch cover away from the flywheel?


Sounds hokey tummy.

Do you know if when the clutch was replaced that the trans input shaft was checked for rust on the splines? If it was rusty, they should have taken a wire brush to clean it up. Also, they splines need to have a thin coating of lubricant (grease) to protect them from rusting, which will definately lead to the clutch disk sticking in position and not moving away from the flywheel when the release bearing pushes on the clutch cover spring and the pressure plate moves back away from the flywheel. This would tend to act like a clutch that drags all the time - it shifts nice when the engine is off, but with the engine running you might not be able to get it into Reverse and all the other gears require high effort to shift into as well.
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:10 am

Rope-Pusher wrote:
Doesn't sound right to me that it would be OK and then lose reserve and then get better when bled again, but only sometimes. It jest haint natchrul.

Shimming the flywheel? Do they mean shimming the clutch cover away from the flywheel?

Sounds hokey tummy.

Do you know if when the clutch was replaced that the trans input shaft was checked for rust on the splines? If it was rusty, they should have taken a wire brush to clean it up. Also, they splines need to have a thin coating of lubricant (grease) to protect them from rusting, which will definately lead to the clutch disk sticking in position and not moving away from the flywheel when the release bearing pushes on the clutch cover spring and the pressure plate moves back away from the flywheel. This would tend to act like a clutch that drags all the time - it shifts nice when the engine is off, but with the engine running you might not be able to get it into Reverse and all the other gears require high effort to shift into as well.


I think shimming the flywheel makes sense if it is turned thereby changing the surface the clutch cover attaches to, so as to maintain the same distance between the slave and the clutch fingers. Shimming the clutch cover would be simpler and is an interesting idea--not sure it would work. Also thought of shimming the slave.

But your thought on the rusty splines makes the most sense. Rusty splines would explain why under load it releases much higher up the pedal than when trying to get into gear at idle, because under load the high load with rpms breaking it free would tend to separate the disk from the flywheel or at least over come any resistance. At idle that would not happen. But then why was there good pedal after the hydraulics were installed and on the first bleed?

Now it is 1/4 or so of reserve but when I take off (and this was true after I lost pedal before) it feels like it is grabbing weakly but enough to hinder getting into gear from a stop. The real grab still seems to be an inch or more up the pedal. I had been thinking warped clutch disk as that would keep spinning when released, but your idea makes much more sense. Whelp, maybe we pull the tranny. I have to ask him when he had it out for the slave install if he looked at the splines or put any lube. I wonder if there is a lube spray with a very long plastic tube I could get up in there through the inspection hole and give it a little squirt, maybe silicon, then see if it works better.

One other thing there seems to be a slight roughness when I work the clutch with it running such as if the release bearing or clutch disk were not sliding freely, but that is very subjective to feel and may be just some other part of the system.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:35 pm

Shop says the clutch disk is sliding freely on the splines. No problem there. It is working for now but with a small pedal reserve. All I can do now is drive it and hope it does not get worse. I know of another mechanic who I will try to talk to in the next couple of weeks to see if he has any thoughts.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:27 pm

So I took it to MacGyver. He bled it and it is now just like it was the day I got it from the shop after initially installing the slave and master. It has about 1.5 inch reserve and 1/2 inch free play and works great. Problem is, if there is a leak it is just going to go bad again. But this guy is good, said it was easy to bleed, but the shop that did the work only got about 1/2 inch of reserve the last time (they did have a different mechanic do the bleed though). Cost me $42.50 which is very reasonable.

MacGyver said they have see brand new Fords that lost pedal reserve and had to have a hydraulic component replaced. Who is this MacGyver? It is a mechanic at my local tire shop I have been going to for 20 years. MacGyver did the radiator and thermostat housing on our 99 Voyager and I checked his work and found it to be top rate. They nicknamed him MacGyver because he is a very good mechanic.

Anyway, we'll see if the pedal holds. I am hoping that it just never got bled well in the first place, yet it was this good at first which suggests leak. MacGyver said the problem they have seen is that a bad seal will continually introduce air into the system. I think maybe this can happen and now lose enough fluid to show a leak.

Anyway, all I can say about the state of automobile parts these days is,


I hope Trump will fix it.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby Rope-Pusher » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:03 pm

InlinePaul wrote:Anyway, all I can say about the state of automobile parts these days is,


I hope Trump will fix it.


Me too - he's got to be good at something, right?
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Re: Tired of Junk Clutch Hydraulics

Postby InlinePaul » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:14 am

Rope-Pusher wrote:
InlinePaul wrote:Anyway, all I can say about the state of automobile parts these days is,


I hope Trump will fix it.


Me too - he's got to be good at something, right?


Well, so far he hasn't gotten much done. Oh, but then he wasn't planning on doing much anyway. He has been busy undoing stuff.

But even if he gets our auto parts to be made in the USA, then we still have all kinds of foreigners here to build them, so will it do any good? Why can't they manage quality control with overseas production?
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...


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