Will not go into gear. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Will not go into gear.


New Member
October 31, 2010
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 sport 3.0
I just put a new clutch in my 94 sport 3.0, and put it all back together last week. However now it will not go into gear while running. I replaced the clutch, pressure plate, pilot bearing and throwout bearing. Bleed the system according to threads on here, had to remove and bench bleed the master. The pedal has plenty of pressure but still cannot seem to disengage the clutch. If the truck is off it goes into gear fine, if started in gear it will try to move, but the clutch just doesnt function. The transmission was rebuilt about 5 years ago by the previous owner and he claims the slave was replaced then. It was working fine before, and ive not seen any evidence of leaking brake fluid. any ideas or suggestions would be great. This is my first time doing manual tranny work and i really dont want to have to drop it again.

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nobody has any ideas? I am at my wits end and about to call a tow company and take it to a transmission shop. I just really don't have the money to do so and was hoping somebody could at least point me in a direction, as I don't mind turning wrenches.

I'm assuming you hear the gears clash (the griding sound) when you try and shift, right?

Open the bleeder on the slave cylinder and make sure you're getting fluid out. If you are then the hydraulic line should be OK. Most (if not all) slave cylinders come with a little retaining strap that keeps the cylinder compressed during shipping / storage. You made sure that you removed that strap, right? The only other thing I can think of is that you didn't install something correctly, like you didn't remember to bolt the slave cylinder in place or you may have kinked the hydraulic hose somehow.

If you have more time than money, it might be a good idea to take it back down and go over everything and make 100% sure that everything is where it's supposed to be. Replacing stuff on a manual is usually pretty easy and generally pretty fool proof as long as you pay attention to what's going on.

Yes, I can hear the gears clash, and I can push fluid through it all day with the bleeder. I didn't replace the slave, as it is relatively new and was functioning properly. Looking under the truck through the inspection hole, you can see the clutch moving about a 1/4 of an inch, just not enough to disengage completely. I removed the master to bench bleed it, and made sure the line was good. Either way, I decided to bite the bullet and send it to a shop today, as it is beginning to get cold and rainy here and the old 10-speed is not really going to be a viable option for much longer. Thanks for the suggestions, and I'm sure I'll be back again, this site has helped in the past.

How did the pedal feel when you pushed it down? It sounds like your slave cylinder is bad. It might also be a few other things. It is a good rule of thumb to ALWAYS replace the slave cylinder with a new clutch (I speak from experience). Five years doesn't seem relatively new, I've had slave cylinders go bad after 50-60K miles. If the shop takes the transmission out again, I would be sure to replace the slave cylinder regardless. Good luck and hopefully its an easy fix!

Sounds like it is a slave cylinder issue to me as well.