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New Clutch and Shifting Problem


December 17, 2003
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City, State
G'ville, Fl
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT
Some history

91 XLT 5-speed 2WD 4.0L
127,000 miles

Remanufactured tranny and new clutch at around 60K miles. The transmission went into fouth gear and wouldn't come out.

It now has 127K miles and the new tranny has been serviced regularly.
The clutch had been leaking from the slave cylinder so I've kept it topped off. Later the throw out bearing started to make a lot of noise. Even with this, shifting was never a problem.

So I had my shop put in a new clutch and a new slave cylinder. When I drove it out of the shop, I couldn't believe how easy the clutch pedal would depress. Since the tranny was out, I had it serviced with new fluid and had the metal freeze plugs put in. I found out later that the clutch was from Carquest.

I was out of town for a few weeks and my brother drove it for a week or so. When I returned, I noticed that the clutch had more resistance in it. It actually felt more normal to me, but a lot stiffer than when the clutch was first replaced. I didn't think it should feel differently so soon after being replaced. The next day, I started having a problem shifting into fouth gear, a lot of grinding. Every other gear was fine. I could put it into fourth gear, if I paused in neutral a bit before shifting into fourth and lined it up just right. And I mean exactly right. This problem occurred after it was warmed up, no problem shifting into fourth when it was cold. The clutch fluid reservoir was full.

I took it bad to the shop where they swore the clutch was fine and the shifting problem could only be the transmission. He said if it was the clutch that I'd have problems in other gears also. He replaced the tranny fluid (got it from Ford directly) to see if that would help. I really had no reason to think it would help and it didn't.

So I'm frustrated and wondering if I need a new transmission now. It seems awfully coincidental, but certainly possible.

Any thoughts?

The clutch in our '91 has been stiff since about 50,000 miles, it's not unusual. I don't know how weird it is happening so soon after a new clutch. Sounds like your 4th gear syncronizer is bad.