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Shifting problems - Mazda 5 speed

Shipwreck

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Oka...here is the story...

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98 Ranger
3.0L Mazda 5-speed

I replaced the friction plate, pressure plate, throw out bearing and master cylinder, all on the clutch system. When I got off the freeway one day, it wouldn't go into gear. After a long day at work and then towing it home, further inspection revelaed that the clutch was not fully engaging (engine still connected to drive train) I ahve the drive shafts pulled and when I start the engine and put it into gear, the rear output shaft recieves power (spins).....this owuld be okay, but the clutch pedal is fully depressed against the firewall......I have decent pressure in the feel of the pedal...but I am at my wits end at what the problem could possibly be now.....any help or guidance from anyone would be greatly appreciated....this one is my daily driver so I do need to get it up and running.....

Thanx
Cody:confused:
 
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RangerX

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Can anyone help out my friend Cody?
 
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Shipwreck

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okay...after reading the Faq's n stuff....I have replaced the entire clutch system...evything except for the reservoir......Campbell and I should be putting it all back together this Sat. - and then comes the work on the X....lol....time to sell the ranger and play mad scientist with the X.......although..if it doesn't work after tomorrow....I will need some expert help....

Thanx for your concern Bill

Cody
 
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Shipwreck

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oka..........I am at my wits end...nothing I have tried has worked...the gears grind no matter what...it does not want to go into gear....the clutch doesn;t fully release I dunno.....

Anyone wanna buy a ranger?
 
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RU MAN

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Maybe you need to blood the slave...
(Which is not easy, and worth geting someone to do)

Or your trans needs a rebuild...
 
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akcrogers

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Yeah, I was just about to say check your slave cylinder. Maybe stupid question, but have you tried pumping the clutch for like 5 minutes and then holding it in and shifting?
 
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Jason_25

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I read somewhere about the synchro bearings going bad in the mazda 5-speeds. I think that would require a rebuild for sure.
 
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akcrogers

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Yeah, but the synchros usually go kinda slowly, and even then from a complete stop with a double clutch you should be able to shift.
 
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Shipwreck

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The pedal feels to have a decent amount of pressure in it.....it throws decently when watching it from the viewport in the bellhousing........I will try bleeding the slave some more...but I do not believe that is the problem...I hope it si not the synchros...(I just spent my repair fund on a new clutch system) But there are not many possibilities left...thanx everyone...keep the suggestions coming
 
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410Fortune

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Bleed bleed bleed.

OKay here is the deal.
YOu see how the hydraulic line leaves the master cylinder, drops down below the fender skirt, then goes up over the frame rail, then back down the other side and over tot he slave hookup?

Well air gets trapped in there.
There is also a sopt in the slave cylinder that traps air.
Jack up the rear of the truck about 18" and then bleed it again and again....

You want to bench bleed the master cylinder first, then connect the line, then bleed to the end o fthe line (Not hooked up to the slave) then bleed then whole thing at the slave.

You can also bleed this system with a power bleeder if you have one to make sure no air is left.

If this doesnt work then look for your slave cylinder to be the culprit, yes you have to drop the tranny. The slave cylinder should be replaced on these every single time you do the clutch. The slave cylinders leak air when they get old. Also make sure the pressure fitting is clean and hooked up correctly.

I had my clutch out 4 times last year, the hydraulic clutch setup on these Mazda's is a joke. I finally converted my truck to an automatic because I got so sick of it, I couldn't be happier. Of course the conversion was no small task in itself.....
 
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410Fortune

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Another thing that happens is the bolts to the engine come loose. Or the locator pins on the tranny get dirty. You need to make sure that the trans. is tight to the engine, no room for error here.

The T/O bearing should move approx 1/2 with the inspection cover open and truck running. If you are careful you can make a mark on there to get an idea of how far it is traveling.

Did youhave your flywheel turned?
Did you put a spacer in behind the flywheel?
Did you replace the slave cylinder?
 
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Shipwreck

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Good points...

I am correctly aligning and bolting the tranny to the engine every time.....torque to specs and all

I have replaced the slave cylinder....it was cheaper than the throwout bearing and it came with a throw out bearing already on it......Ford does some interesting things

While watching the slave cylinder during operation..it seems to throw just fine....it is definitley going that 1/2 you were talking about....

What is this about spacers though....this is the first I ahve heard of it.......But I will jack up the rear of the truck tonight and follow the bleeding instructions you have provided.......although the pedal does not feel soft at all.....this is probably the stiffest it has felt in two years......
 
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410Fortune

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With these you cannot go by pedal feel.

The shape of the line and the design of the slave allow for two places for air to get trapped.

I spent 2 years trying to get mine right, went through 2 masters, 3 slaves, and 4 clutch's. I even replaced the hydraulic line twice. Part of my problem turned out to be the tranny itself, it has a bent input shaft. This is still under warranty even though I now have an automatic...
Another part of my problem was this is a 88 BII that I converted to a 4.0L with a new Mazda 5 speed. Well it was never right since the get go.

There is a way to measure the flywheel spacing, I cant remember the technical terms but is it covered int eh Ford shop manuals.
If the flywheel has been ground down too far then the thing will never work right, unless you put washers behind the slave cylinder. :)

The psacer I mentioned before is what some tranny guys use after a flywheel has been surfaced, a small shim goes behind it to make up for the material removed.

Dont overlook the Mazda as being the problem. These things are weak at best. I was going on my third...Thank god I got a 2 year warranty..now i"m going to have my old 5 speed fixed (swaped for a new rebuild) and sell it. I paid almost $1500 for a rebuild about 14 months ago, and this is the second one they have given me. This one has a bent shaft which was my main problem with my clutch, vibrations, and a bent pressure plate, as well as a torn up T/O bearing....

I;m a stick man at heart but in my truck the new built A4LD is making me smile.....
 
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Shipwreck

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I see.......

I will try the bleeding thing......inspection of the flywheel shows not much material being taken off of it....ie, no cupping or ridge between the area that gets action and the area that does not......

I hope it is the bleeing thing....although 18" will be tough when I am sporting 35's right now....maybye i'll just put some spare tires up front and leave the 35's on the rear and jack from there......I had someone else tell me that you have to get the vehicle at a fairly good angle to get the system bled.......

keep your fingers crossed

thanx again for the help

Cody
 
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RU MAN

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410,

I know you know your stuff, but I have diagree with you on one thing. The Mazda might not be the best tranny in the world, but compared to a A4LD, a A4LD makes a Mazda look like it. Your right, the input shaft caused alot of your problems, another thing you didn't say was what brand of clutch was you using. An Auto Zone, Advanced Auto, Napa etc... brands are crap. Yes most of them have a life time warr., but most don't even last a year of normal driving(if that).

Like i said earily, a clutch is hard to bleed. If you don't have a power bleeder, just take it somewhere....

But to me, it sounds like your synchros are going/are bad and thats alot of $$.

My advice to you Shipwreck is to get a shop to bleed it for you, that should cost $30-50. If that doesn't fix the problem, take the tranny out and take it to a tranny shop and get it rebuild.(cheaper when you take it out yourself)
 
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Shipwreck

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I'll try the bleeding thing......if that does not work, then I guess it is the tranny.......time for a rebuild......or a swap, how hard would it be to put an A4ld in there....
 
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410Fortune

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THATS RIGHT! However the A4LD has gotten a bad wrap.
From Ford they are a good little tranny, after 1994. The earlier ones have some serious problems becuase the internal parts are weak.

Now the problem with the A4ld is usually the rebuild. They last 80K miles on average from the factory. When they are rebuilt the rebuilders usually screw them up or do a half assed job.

Now there are several things that you can do when it's rebuilt to make it as good as or better then the original Ford unit. Part of the reason I went to an A4ld was timing. I happen to have a frined named Joe who is putting a 5.0L in his 93 X. SO I was able to buy his 160K mile, never been touched, A4ld with everthing I needed for the conversion, except the floor shifter for cheap.
Then I have a friend in the business who happens to know another guy, named Lynn that is Ford certified and has built high performance automatics (Ford mostly) for drag racing, 4x4ing, hot rods, towing etc for about 35 years.

Now since Lynn is a freind of a friend I got a hell of a deal on the rebuild. He made several internal modifications to this A4LD for towing and performance for me. There is only one other guy I know of in the country who can rebuild an A4LD like this, Dougs tranny in AZ which starts at $2500 and I would have to ship to and from AZ. Lynn gave me a 2 year warranty, we had a custom torque convertor built, and replaced every worn out part internally, including the entire overdrive. now he was also helpful enough to install the shift linkage from a 84 ranger a4ld, to work with my floor shifter.

the conversion was a big job, using the floor shifter from a 85 bii, the bellcrank from the same truck, kickdown and wiring from a 93 explorer, i ran into a few slight problems, like my jba headers had the 02 sensor pointing directly into the bellcrank linkage, so an exhaust shop had to re-locate it in my y pipe. The computer was swapped out and my truck required some serious modifications to the wiring to get it right (custom built 2.9L to 4.0L harness, was never right) so I just spent the entire weekend re-building mywiring harness. It's going back in tonight.
:)

My 88 BII originally had the Mitsubishi 5 speed and it lasted for 160K miles before it started to show signs of wear. I then converted to the later model Explorer 5 speed, rebuilt by a budget tranny shop (mistake #1). I'm afraid they did not use the later model 5 speed but simply grabbed the nearest rebuilt mazda they had in the shop. It was never right.
The toyo Kogo 5 speed is the best of the 3 if you ask me. The synchro's in all the 5 speeds (they are all built by Mazda) go out early. My biggest gripe however is with the nydraulic clutch system and that stupid internal slave cylinder. somebody should make a kit to convert the 5 speeds to a cable operated clutch with a shift fork similar to a mustang.

I also considered the WC T-5 conversion however since i was un-able to gather enough solid information and i dont want to buy some $800 adapter from A-A to make it work. Apparently you can use a bellhousing from a 2.8L Capri or Mustang and then you dont need the expensive adapter to mount a T-5 to a 2.9L or 4.0L. The clutch pedals can be swapped out or extensive modifications made to mount a 10" mustang clutch and shift fork assembly. I have never seen this setup, and I probably would have gone this route if I had the time and $$$$ to mess with it.

Now I use my truck for towing and as a daily driver, as well as some 4x4ing, so an automatic is just the thing for me, I didnt want to do the C-4 because I wanted to keep my highway gears. I could have used a C-4 and an aftermakret overdrive or gear splitter, but again thats big $$$$$$ and some conversion is necessarry.

Now as for the type of clutch I used, well get this! I tried everything. I forst used a LUK heavy duty. Not impressed, so I tried a Borg Warner HD, again not happy. Finally I was going to purchase a Centerforce dual friction, when I found a guy here in town who makes a custom Keval lined driven disc for Mustang guys. I bought one of those baby's. Nothing more then a LUK HD unit that had the organic lining removed and a new kevlar lining rivited on. the Centerforce dual friction is similar, except it is keval on one side and organic on the other. the custom disc I bought was kevlar on both sides. The centerforce also uses a weighted pressure plate, I did not have this. This was the best gripping clutch I have ever felt!!! I would recommend the kevlar disc to anybody who has access to a shop that can make one. Man that thing gripped right away, no guessing, and no slipping period. After 10K miles it does not show any visible signs of wear either, of course the rest of my clutch is toasted from the bent input shaft.....
 
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410Fortune

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go to the auto parts store and examine a slave cylinder from them. if you look at it you can see where the air gets trapped, there is a pocket that is formed just above the bleeder line where air gets trapped. YUoucan then see what kind of angle we are talking about. Your friend is right, you want the ass of that truck as far up in teh air as possible, the higher the better.

How about let all the air out of your front 35's????
 
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Shipwreck

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I will probably just put some dinky spare tires on the front....it is just sitting in my garage.....that way I can use my 3 ton floor jack and some 4x4's (wood that is) to boost that rear all the way to the roof....I'll post later tonight and let you guys know what happened
 
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410Fortune

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if that doesnt work , then take it to a brake shop and have them power bleed it. if that doesnt work it;s rebuild time most likely....
 
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