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  #1  
Old 06-24-2009, 10:36 AM
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Clutch won't disengage completely...is it done for?

I've got a problem...the wagon was all ready to be sold - I had a couple of interested prospects - one from NY who saw it a couple of weeks ago and wants it but when I drove it yesterday I noticed I could not get it into reverse. It would grind like the clutch wasn't completely disengaged. I worked around it by shutting it down and putting it in reverse with the engine stopped, then pushed the clutch in and started it and it was OK. Then, I could not shift from 1st to 2nd - it was also grinding. I could go from 1st to 3rd OK and then into 4th though getting into any of the gears seems a little harder than it used to be. So, reverse and 2nd seem to be the most sensitive. It doesn't matter how long I hold the pedal down for either, it will just grind if I try and put it into them. I figured I'd try bleeding the system, but it releases normally, an inch or two from the top of the pedal's travel just like it always did. I suppose there is an outside chance the slave cylinder isn't extending to its limit for some reason and I will get under it and look at it when the weather here clears but I really suspect the clutch. I read there was a failure mode like this - where full disengagement wasn't possible because a finger or two on the pressure plate could be broken...is that what this sounds like?

Obviously the sale is on hold pending resolution - I don't want the new owner to have a problem with it.
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2009, 10:53 AM
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My experience has always been the simple low fluid - bleed situation, caused by a leak. Have you checked the brake reservoir to make sure it is topped up?

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  #3  
Old 06-24-2009, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhdoc View Post
I've got a problem...the wagon was all ready to be sold - I had a couple of interested prospects - one from NY who saw it a couple of weeks ago and wants it but when I drove it yesterday I noticed I could not get it into reverse. It would grind like the clutch wasn't completely disengaged. I worked around it by shutting it down and putting it in reverse with the engine stopped, then pushed the clutch in and started it and it was OK. Then, I could not shift from 1st to 2nd - it was also grinding. I could go from 1st to 3rd OK and then into 4th though getting into any of the gears seems a little harder than it used to be. So, reverse and 2nd seem to be the most sensitive. It doesn't matter how long I hold the pedal down for either, it will just grind if I try and put it into them. I figured I'd try bleeding the system, but it releases normally, an inch or two from the top of the pedal's travel just like it always did. I suppose there is an outside chance the slave cylinder isn't extending to its limit for some reason and I will get under it and look at it when the weather here clears but I really suspect the clutch. I read there was a failure mode like this - where full disengagement wasn't possible because a finger or two on the pressure plate could be broken...is that what this sounds like?

Obviously the sale is on hold pending resolution - I don't want the new owner to have a problem with it.
Sorry to hear your problem. I had the same thing happen an a 1960 Ford Falcon clunker I used to go to work in. Went to shift from neutral to any gear, and all it did was grind. I worked off hours, so traffic was not an issue. Started the car in first gear, and just jammed the tranny into second and third. Drove non-stop the 30 miles to my house. Once I pulled the tranny, and got to the pressure plate, the fingers were actually wrapped around the clutch in a "death grip". Replaced clutch, throwout bearing, and pressure plate, and all was well. Other causes could be the slave cylinder as you mentioned, or worn synchronizers in the tranny. Good luck!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken300D View Post
My experience has always been the simple low fluid - bleed situation, caused by a leak. Have you checked the brake reservoir to make sure it is topped up?

Ken300D
The reservoir is full and the PO had the master and slave cylinders replaced shortly before I bought it. Getting it into second gear was always a little tricky, you had to depress the clutch all the way and wait a second or it would grind a little, but I had others that were just like that. Now it won't go at all.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pimpernell View Post
Sorry to hear your problem. I had the same thing happen an a 1960 Ford Falcon clunker I used to go to work in. Went to shift from neutral to any gear, and all it did was grind. I worked off hours, so traffic was not an issue. Started the car in first gear, and just jammed the tranny into second and third. Drove non-stop the 30 miles to my house. Once I pulled the tranny, and got to the pressure plate, the fingers were actually wrapped around the clutch in a "death grip". Replaced clutch, throwout bearing, and pressure plate, and all was well. Other causes could be the slave cylinder as you mentioned, or worn synchronizers in the tranny. Good luck!!
I don't see how it could be the synchonizers in the tranny when the grinding has to be caused by the input shaft turning when it should not be turning at all. Also, IIRC reverse doesn't have any synchronizers - it counts on the car being at a stop and no turning of the input shaft to engage reverse.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:12 AM
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Try pumping it a number of times rather than just holding it down. If it works that way, you'll know the problem lies in the hydraulic system.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2009, 11:15 AM
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I have a similar problem in my Stealth, replaced the clutch, bled it a bunch of times, and it still grinds if you shift too fast. Conclusion: syncros in the transmission were bad. For a while, changing to a thinner transmission fluid (gear oil) helped a bit but it jsut keeps getting worse...to be fair I've put 30k miles on it with the problem and it still grinds with no catastrophic failure (knock on wood...). You might want to change out the fluid and see if it helps. Hopefully it isn't the syncros because they practically require a rebuild in my experience. For my stealth they don't even sell the things, just full rebuilt units. Good luck on your sale, I hope all goes well and you can sell the wagon to a happy new owner.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by nhdoc View Post
I don't see how it could be the synchonizers in the tranny when the grinding has to be caused by the input shaft turning when it should not be turning at all. Also, IIRC reverse doesn't have any synchronizers - it counts on the car being at a stop and no turning of the input shaft to engage reverse.
You beat me by 5 min while I was typing ...seems very odd that it would be hesitant to go into JUST second without a synchro problem. Seems kind of out there, but have you taken a look under the boot of your shifter? Perhaps some of the rods/linkage (don't know what's down there, drive an auto MB) are outta whack.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2009, 11:20 AM
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if the car rolls a little bit as you try to engage R, it may find its way in easier.

Are there any weak points in the shifter linkage that wear?
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Try pumping it a number of times rather than just holding it down. If it works that way, you'll know the problem lies in the hydraulic system.

Tried that already but no joy. My only hope is something binding and not allowing the slave cylinder to extend fully, or maybe the PO's tech didn't bleed it all the way out - otherwise the tranny will be coming out I fear

I won't get under it until the weather is nicer, maybe tomorrow.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2009, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
I have a similar problem in my Stealth, replaced the clutch, bled it a bunch of times, and it still grinds if you shift too fast. Conclusion: syncros in the transmission were bad. For a while, changing to a thinner transmission fluid (gear oil) helped a bit but it jsut keeps getting worse...to be fair I've put 30k miles on it with the problem and it still grinds with no catastrophic failure (knock on wood...). You might want to change out the fluid and see if it helps. Hopefully it isn't the syncros because they practically require a rebuild in my experience. For my stealth they don't even sell the things, just full rebuilt units. Good luck on your sale, I hope all goes well and you can sell the wagon to a happy new owner.
I was actually planning on draining and refilling it anyway because of the slight problem going into second gear it had before...I'll give that a shot as I bought a couple of bottles of the redline MT-90 that is supposed to help it shift smoothly.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2009, 02:09 PM
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If the car can afford to be on the blocks for a day or two, you should probably take out the trans and clutch to see if anything is amiss. The rough second gear sounds like a worn synchro in addition to the othe problem.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2009, 09:51 AM
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Well, I used my handy-dandy power bleeder today but no joy...it looks like the tranny will have to come out

Any of you clutch wizards want to buy it as-is? I am open to reasonable offers.
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