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Leaking slave cylinder when cold outside

Discussion in 'Ford Ranger - Mazda B-Series Forum' started by MDub, December 18, 2008.

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    1. MDub

      MDub New Member

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      I have had this problem for over 3 years and 50,000 miles now and it is really annoying.
      When it's below freezing outside and I go to start my truck I can feel the clutch pedal is a little stiff. Then when I put it in gear and let out the clutch a little bit, I can hold the pedal at about 1 inch off the floor and it acts like I have let the clutch out all the way. When I depress the pedal again it does not fully disengage the clutch and the stick is stuck in gear, I put my foot on the brake and stall the engine. Now I have leaked about 1/4 of the reservoir of clutch fluid, and the clutch has no resistance until about 1 inch off the floor.
      Then I fill up the reservoir, pump up the pedal, and go. I'll be good for the whole day (unless it's about -10 in which the problem can repeat in a few hours). Next morning - same problem.
      I talked to a guy at a tranny shop when it first happened and he said it's possible the o-ring seals are shrinking when its cold and allowing fluid to pass by. Three times it has drawn air back and I have had to bleed the clutch in the nearest parking lot.
      Sorry for the long post. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? What can I do short of replacing the slave cylinder?
      Thanks for all your ideas!
      Mike
       
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    3. who_krs

      who_krs New Member

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      sounds like the same issue I'm having

      sorry I don't have any info but I'm curious to hear what people have to say

      hope you get it figuered out
       
    4. Damonkr

      Damonkr Member

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      I had this problem a few years back.(aprox 45,000mi at the time) Besides being a pain it can ruin your clutch pretty easy. Mine finally quit working all together (as i recall it was apretty cold day not sure if that was related.)

      The clutch was completely saturated with fluid so i replaced the pressure plate and disc. The slave cylinders are a poor design in my oppinion but that what we are stuck wtih.

      I would look into a new slave cylinder before it gets really tricky to drive. Unfortunately you will have to remove the trans to fix it.:thumbdwn:
       
    5. MDub

      MDub New Member

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      At this point I don't feel that it will ruin my clutch since I have lived with it for over 3 years now. Even on super cold days like -20 (not windchill) it will work with some persuasion. Sometimes I will keep fluid in my apartment so its warm when I put it in and this seems to help a bit. My clutch doesn't slip at all and has 80,000 miles on it. I just find it totally annoying and inconvenient. I'm waiting until I need to change the clutch to replace the slave cylinder and anything else that wears out in there.

      It's really weird that it only leaks under pressure when cold, and the reverse gear is especially bad.
       
    6. Damonkr

      Damonkr Member

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    7. Ranger Al

      Ranger Al Active Member

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      Look like time for new clutch kit.
       
    8. MDub

      MDub New Member

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      Is it your consensus that my slave cylinder will eventually fail completely. Again, I've been living with it for 3 years and 50,000 miles. In the summer there is no problem with it at all. Only when it's below freezing outside. During the winter I probably go through 1 to 1.5 large bottles of brake fluid. The leaked fluid comes out of the front of my transmission bell housing.

      Do you all think I'm on the verge of failure - I don't feel like it is from my personal experience with it.

      Has anyone heard of o-ring shrinkage due to cold causing fluid leakage?

      My personal belief is that once I put pressure on the fluid it gets warmer causing the seals to expand and seat themselves and the leak is closed until it gets cold enough to shrink again.

      What do you think?
       
    9. 99sportxplor3

      99sportxplor3 Active Member

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      i have the same prob recently in my 2000 sport...if its around 10 degrees(as it often is at night) the seals will shrink and i lose fluid and therefore pressure. i start it up in neutral to warm up the seals and then its fine as long as the resevoir is full and i dont pump air into the system. If its warm out i dont even have to worry about it...im just going to wait until either my clutch or slave cylinder completely goes then ill replace both...its gona be a bitch to replace. Im hoping i can ride it out the rest of the winter...i think i can considering the problem just started and youve gone 3 years on yours
       
    10. MDub

      MDub New Member

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      If your problem is the same as mine, and it sounds like it is, then I wouldn't worry about making it through the winter. Mine has not changed over the three years it has been happening.

      It's totally weird and most people think I'm crazy when I describe the problem to them. On the plus side, if someone tries to steal my truck in the winter (9 months of the year where I live) they'll end up stranded close to my apartment. On the down side no one else can drive my truck.

      Edit: I think the key here is that you can warm it up and the cylinder won't leak.
       
      Last edited: January 19, 2009
    11. 99sportxplor3

      99sportxplor3 Active Member

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      haha i know i said the same thing...no one can steal my truck in the winter.
       
    12. 99sportxplor3

      99sportxplor3 Active Member

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      its been 45 degrees and above these last couple weeks and i havnt lost any fluid whatsoever and my clutch is stiff as hell lol. im wondering if something is clogging the leak or if it was just a matter of the seals expanding with the warm weather. Either way im not going to worry about it until next winter...
       
    13. MDub

      MDub New Member

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      Mine doesn't leak when it's warm out either. If your experiencing the same problem as I am then I think it will be back next winter. I've gotten used to mine at this point. When the clutch is worn out I'll change the slave cylinder until then it's just a PITA but not worth the money/ effort to drop the tranny.

      My leak always goes away in the summer and comes back in the winter. Therefore it must be cold related, and rubber seals are the only thing I can think of as being vulnerable to the cold. 3 winters in a row now. However, where I live the winter lasts 9 months. Oh well, I still love my Ranger, and it's paid off. Why do I complain?
       
    14. Shirl

      Shirl New Member

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    15. Animal75

      Animal75 New Member

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      Same Issue

      I'm new to this site as of today and the reason for even finding it is that my truck is in the shop right now getting this very same issue taken care of. My clutch just happened to go out on the coldest day of the year and like one of you, when I asked if the cold had anything to do with it, I was looked at like I was crazy.
      From my understanding, this issue will cause the idle speed to run high, which will in turn cause the clutch to eventually wear out. It can also cause the check engine light to come on. Who knows what other secondary issues it will cause?
      Basically, the transmission was hauled out and the plate and the slave cylinder are being replaced. Not looking forward to the price tag. Nice to know that I am not alone and I hope to learn something as I am a mechanical idiot. I learned a lot so far.
       
    16. theskibum

      theskibum New Member

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      i am also having the same problem.
      i was wondering if anyone tried putting a block heater in to keep it warmer? would that possibly work? let me know what you think
       
    17. riverbum

      riverbum New Member

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      mdub, i think you have been hanging out at the mountain lion cafe too long lol. that was my favorite place to eat when i drove busses at keystone.
       
    18. billbr

      billbr New Member

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      It will FAIL and you wom't go anywhere While you have it apart ,replace the clutch too .
      You can use DOT 4 fluid in an emergency. billbr
       
    19. MDub

      MDub New Member

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      Hey, Riverbum, I love the Mountain lion cafe. Great breakfast!!

      The clutch is still acting the same as every other winter. Sometimes it sucks air back up and I have to bleed it on the side of the road. I keep that wrench in my glove box. Luckily my wife and I just bought a condo across the street from my job so I can let it sit for the most part. Unfortunately my HOA requires it be moved if we get more than 3" of snow so the plow can clear the lot. Also unfortunate that my wife will not give up the garage spot. Oh well. Probably have it replaced before next winter. 90K on the clutch now. That's pretty decent.
       

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