• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Clutch Slave Cylinder Only Lasting A Couple Years

Carguy3J

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 21, 2008
Messages
1,527
Reaction score
1
City, State
North East New Jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
'93 Ranger, 4.0L-OHV, 5spd, 4X4

Well, pretty much what the title says. I bought the truck, about 4 years ago, with a bad slave cylinder, amongst other things. It had sat at a shop for a couple of years, due to the prior owner not paying the repair bills.

So, anyway, I had a "professional" install a new slave cylinder and clutch. Cost me big money. It lasted about 2 years or so. About 1-1/2 to 2 years ago, I did the job again, this time myself. This time I did the complete kit (master, lines, slave,etc..) as well as a new clutch and flywheel. The clutch disc wasn't really worn, but given the amount of effort to get to it, and the relatively low cost, I did it anyway. The first slave cylinder/throwout bearing was from Autozone. The current master/slave/etc.. is from Advance, as well as the flywheel.

So, lately, as in the last couple of days, I'm starting to notice some of the same symptoms I had prior to the last slave going bad:
1.) "rough" or notchy shifting.
2.) pedal feels a little soft, with perhaps a barely noticeable shorter travel
3.) Engine running, vehicle stopped. If I push the clutch in and immediately try to put it in gear, it grinds. If I wait a second, its ok, but still feels like there is slight resistance to going into gear.
4.) If I push the clutch in while at higher RPM, put the trans in neutral a quickly let the clutch back out, I hear a whine/whirring noise form the trans tunnel/bellhousing area (throwout bearing?)
5.) Checked the master last night. The fluid level is SLIGHTLY, I mean just barely, below the marker hash I put on it to indicate FULL. Does the volume of DOT3 brake fluid contract ever so slightly in cold weather?
6.) Fluid is clear now. However, it was getting black maybe 3-4 months ago, and I sucked out as much as I could from the master and put in fresh fluid. When the last slave went, the fluid turned very black, with tiny little bits of rubber or plastic floating in it.


So, given how much of PITA :mad:this job is, if in fact I do need to do it again, I would like for it to be the last time (at least for 4-5 years).

Has anybody else experienced relatively rapid failure (1-2 years) of these slave cylinder/throwout bearings?

Are there any "performance" or high quality options available, or am I just doomed to frequent major tear downs to replace these things?
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




RangerX

Elite Ranger
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
July 14, 1999
Messages
10,192
Reaction score
422
City, State
Omao, Kauai
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT 4X4
Everything I've ever read here about replacement slaves says that parts store slaves will do what yours did, and the best one to get is from the dealer parts dept.
 




Carguy3J

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 21, 2008
Messages
1,527
Reaction score
1
City, State
North East New Jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
Everything I've ever read here about replacement slaves says that parts store slaves will do what yours did, and the best one to get is from the dealer parts dept.

Oh. Well that sucks! I REALLY am dreading having to do this again, now; especially in the middle of winter. My biggest concern is having to remove the y-pipe to drop the trans. I have a very bad feeling that it will lead to needing new manifolds, which in turn will lead to a need to replace the heads (snapped exhaust bolts. Left head is already "missing" a chunk off the middle exhaust port.)

Can anyone tell me they managed to do this without taking out the exhaust or completely dropping the trans? Maybe just sliding it back a little? I think the t-case shifter, as well as the trans shifter might prevent that?

Would it be stupid to not replace the clutch again, just because? My gut says to just do it, but the wallet says that's crazy, to throw away a perfectly good clutch. Thoughts?

Anybody see a problem with keeping the "parts store" master/lines, and just replacing the salve/bearing with a new Ford part? Is the replacement Ford slave compatible with the "improved" aftermarket quick release fitting found on the "parts" store lines/slaves? Will just replacing the slave, and not disturbing/draining the lines/master make the bleeding less of a nightmare? Any tips there?
 




Carguy3J

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 21, 2008
Messages
1,527
Reaction score
1
City, State
North East New Jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
This post mentions "improvements" to the slave design, by Ford, in 1998:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2757022&postcount=14
The slave cylinder is a common part of a hydraulic clutch system.

The evil part isn't that it has a slave cylinder, plenty of vehicles have hydraulic clutch systems and a slave cylinder. The slave in the Mazda tranny is just mostly plastic and wasn't made very heavy duty at all. The part has been revised several times, and the design was improved somewhat for the '93 model year, and then again in '98. But they're still made of plastic and still aren't very durable. It probably comes down to cost.

So, is a '98up slave compatible with my '93 transmission? Compatible with the '93 master/lines? What is "improved" about the '98 up part? Anybody know?
 




Jason94sport

Explorer Addict
Joined
April 30, 2001
Messages
4,161
Reaction score
64
City, State
FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
02 Sport 2WD 5 speed
Go Ford or go home.....In my experience.
They changed something...I don't remember what...
For the Y pipe...might be easier to cut it near the top & then reweld it back. That is what someone did on mine(previous owner).
 




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
110
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
Maybe change the master cylinder first?

Just a little easier, may save time & money if it's the master and not the slave.

Any fluid leaking around the push rod?
 




Carguy3J

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 21, 2008
Messages
1,527
Reaction score
1
City, State
North East New Jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 4dr. XLT SOHC A4WD
Maybe change the master cylinder first?

Just a little easier, may save time & money if it's the master and not the slave.

Any fluid leaking around the push rod?

The symptoms are identical to how it started last time, when the slave was definitely bad. I am also inclined to think that the slave would go long before the master. The slave see much more "abuse", and is a more complex part. Also, replacing the master, and the lines is its own special kind of hell; particularly the bleeding process.
 




Anime

EF YEAH!!
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 6, 2000
Messages
5,441
Reaction score
38
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 EX Sport Concept
So, is a '98up slave compatible with my '93 transmission? Compatible with the '93 master/lines? What is "improved" about the '98 up part? Anybody know?

Yes, a slave cylinder for a 1998 fits right into the M5OD of a 1993.

Last time I bought one, the dealer gave me one for a 98-01. It's identical (visually and in fit, at least) to the unit for a 93-97. My guess would be that unless you find a dealer that has old stock, when you order a slave cylinder for a 1993-1995 Explorer, all you can get now is the "improved" backward-compatible one for a 1998-2001.

The improvements are internal and in construction, probably slightly better seals, maybe thicker plastic where needed. I haven't had two different units apart yet to compare, but when the newer slave goes out I'll take it apart to see.




I had a NAPA slave that lasted for a few years, but the next one was bad from the start and shifting was never good. The best part of those was a lifetime warranty, but such a warranty is about worthless when the parts are such a hassle to replace.

It's worth the price to buy the Motorcraft slave from Ford, they last a long time. Same with the master. Anything else and you are asking to have to redo the job sooner than you would with the Ford parts.

It's a PITA, but if you're changing the slave, you need to pop off the manifold to Y-pipe bolts to drop the trans. Best I can tell you is get a can of spray penetrant and use it on the four bolts holding the Y-pipe flanges to the manifolds. If the bolts are in rough shape, get four new ones from Ford. They are available and inexpensive, especially compared to the hassle of removing and tapping out a snapped or rounded one. You don't need to change the clutch if it's in good shape, but sometimes a bad slave causes irregular wear on the clutch disc, and it's better to get a new one rather than have clutch issues.
 




RangerX

Elite Ranger
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
July 14, 1999
Messages
10,192
Reaction score
422
City, State
Omao, Kauai
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT 4X4
What I would double check on, is if the connection is the same on a new slave vs your old one. Maybe take the old part with you to compare with the new one, just in case.

I agree with Anime about keeping the clutch, but how many miles are on it, btw? Maybe get it resurfaced.
 




Top