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98 Ranger unusual clutch problem please help!!


EvilTheCat

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December 6, 2011
Messages
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City, State
Lincoln NE
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Explorer
Are you doing the repair yourself?
I'm going to try.
Anything I need to worry about before tearing into this?
From what I've read on this forum it's not an easy job.
I'll start stretching tonight for the contortions I'll be doing tomorrow working under that dash.
 




EvilTheCat

Member
Joined
December 6, 2011
Messages
88
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2
City, State
Lincoln NE
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Explorer
Well I did it and a write with lots of pictures here. It was a lot easier than I originally thought it would be.
 




Jason Stockman

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April 22, 2018
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City, State
AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Ford ranger
Hopefully this will be read by someone who has experienced something similar or has enough insight to offer some assistance. I'll put the sequence of events in point form for easy reference:

1. I bought this truck (98 Mazda B3000/Ranger 3.0L 4WD 5Spd) 2 years ago
2. This truck had just received a new clutch from Autozone
3. For two years, the clutch seemed unusually stiff, but I chalked it up to being a truck....my left leg is twice as stiff as the right now...LOL
4. Earlier this year, I started having a hard time engaging low gears and it would often grind
5. Things got horrible worse and last weekend, I would have to shut the engine down to be able to shift the truck in 1st and take off, beyond that I would shift without the clutch
6. I took it in for a clutch master replacement, thinking that if my slave had gone bad, it would have leaked
7. The mechanic replaced the clutch master and called me to tell me that the new master had blown the slave because it was weak
8. Not wanting to pay them to pull the tranny, I did it at a friend's shop
9. At that time, I noticed that the release bearing was shot as well
10. I bought an aftermarket slave, which didn't have a release bearing, but it had a plastic spacer with bellows over the return spring. The whole setup was very unusual, so I only used the slave cylinder portion and the old return spring with the new release bearing
11. After hours of bleeding, there was no clutch actuation to speak of and the pedal continues to be soft.
12. Not knowing what to do, we decided to put yet another new clutch master in
13. The new clutch master still did nothing and hours of different bleeding techniques, starting with gravity bleeding and finishing with conventional slow or fast pumping until the fluid coming out was beyond perfect
14. At this point, the theory is that the pressure plate took a set and the slave is at its end of the stroke. This is where we're stumped. What the heck is going on? The pressure plate fingers stick out significantly and everything appears normal. If you wedge a screwdriver between the release bearing and the pressure plate, the clutch pedal seems to get some pressure.

Has anyone encountered a situation where the slave appears to be at the end of its stroke? What the heck was up with that slave that I got from the parts place which appeared to have a plastic spacer in place of the release bearing? The auto parts supplier up here in Canada is quite reputable and the product appeared identical to what came off the truck, except for the plastic spacer. The part number and other numbers on it matched the old one to a tee. I really need help on this one, as I'm at wit's end. I have sunk so much money into this problem and I'm having a hard time understanding why this is such an issue. I've done countless clutches, including all kinds of hydraulic clutch system service and have never encountered this....any thoughts?
Was the clutch itself installed backwards if memory serves me correctly when I replaced my clutch I could see that if it was installed backwards I had thought would be the problem with you not being the one that installed it I the first place & sounds like you have done everything else. maybe can't hurt to check
 




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