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Ranger clutch question

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by begreen, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well actually I think the issue is more with the throwout bearing. The truck is great except on very hot days. Once the truck is fully warmed up, sometimes the throwout bearing will stick and not disengage the clutch or it wil hold the clutch open and not engage the gears. If I let the truck cool down for 30 minutes, all is fine until it heats up again With summer coming up I need to see about fixing this. The truck has 56K miles on it and the clutch. There is no slippage and I suspect the clutch is fine.

    Reading up it sounds like there is a special grease on the pilot shaft that has dried up. I'm wondering if it is possible to carefully apply the proper lubricant to the pilot shaft (via inspection port?) without pulling the whole tranny out. Has anyone run into this issue and dealt with it?

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  2. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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  3. Morgan

    Morgan Member

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    ranger-forums.com (my favorite) and rangerpowersports.com (2nd favorite) is where I go for my ranger information, both are excellent sites!! Hopefully you can find a quick/cheap fix...my slave cylinder just recently went on my '06 w/160,000+kms on it......whole transmission had to be dropped to replace it, ended up costing near $500......easy job to do but I have no garage and Atlantic Canadian winters are not the time to be dropping the transmission in the driveway =(
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    For the past couple years I thought this was the slave cylinder, but after having this happen to me last summer in rush hour traffic and still having 25 miles to go, I got pretty careful about isolating it. The fix then was to pull off the road and go have a beer. 45 min later the traffic had died down (no need to shift), air had cooled down, and the truck shifted fine, still does.

    Thanks for the Ranger forum tips. I'll check them out.
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    What year truck is this? Don't have much experience beyond the 3rd and 4th gens (93-2000). Dropping the trans isn't too bad, even easier if it's a 2wd. An day at the very most to drop, put in a new slave and throw it back in.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    1994 2WD. The slave is fine. I'm not tooled up to drop a tranny, so this would be expensive. And at my age I'm not about to bench press one on my chest. So that would mean shoptime and of course I'll get the "while were in here syndrome." Add a new clutch, pressure plate, slave and throwout bearing and this is not a cheap fix. And even then if the pilot shaft is not correctly lubricated with the proper grease this problem will be back.
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Yup, though the parts are cheap. Clutch kit. pressure plate, etc will run you $250ish.

    Wow a 94 with 56k! I was figuring it was a 2010 or newer! My Dad had a 96 be bought new, sent it to the crushers 3-4 years ago. Had well over 300k on it.
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    BG, is there ay sort of access port on the bell housing? It sounds like the throwout bearing might be binding up on the transmission nose. If you could gain some access to I thinking you might could spray some heavy lube on the nose when the clutch pedal is depressed. You might be able to get access where the clutch arm enters the bell housing also. There is likely a rubber boot there that would need to be removed first.
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    I hear ya BG that if I were to drop that tranny I'd be replacing the entire clutch as a matter of courseunless it looked absolutely factory new. Like doing the water pump when you change a timing belt.....
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Oh, and add a resurfaced flywheel to the costs. Seems like overkill if the clutch is only at 50% wear.

    The problem seems to be the tolerances are so tight that it binds when high heat causes the pilot shaft to warm up. Note that there is no clutch fork. Instead there is a slave cylinder attached inline to the throwout bearing that actuates the clutch. I am thinking if I could get in there and spread some of the special lube grease on the pilot shaft with a long Q-Tip swab that it might be fine, but gaining that access seems to be the issue.

    I put a post on the ranger-forum. Let's see if anyone has some ideas.
  11. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    yup, shotgun theory on clutch work. Change EVERYTHING that way you only go through the labor once and you know the problem was taken care of. The extra parts costs less than a second labor cost.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ironically I had the same kind of issue with the brakes on this truck. The front pistons would start to seize when they got hot. Let it cool down and they were fine.This only happened on hot days when I had to brake a lot, like in heavy stop and go freeway traffic. Mechanic said it was because they use phenolic pistons that swell when hot. He replaced them with metal ones and that was the end of the problem. I swear this truck must have been made for Alaska.
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I'd drop it and just replace what it needs if you can get to it. I don't remember if there is an inspection cover or not on those.

    Dropping a small gas engine 2wd trans is cake compared to doing a timing belt on most engines. Though I do my own work 99.99% of the time.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I used to fix and rebuild old Volvo 122s. But that was a long time ago. Since 1981 I pretty much only do oil and filter changes and like it that way. I'll change hte plugs if they are easy to reach, but that's not too common.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Yup, 2wd (assuming Rear Wheel Drive) trans drop is pretty straight forward. Can be accomplished with a floor jack pretty easily, two is even better.

    BeGreen - if there is an inspection port, you should be able to see the slave cylinder, throwout bearing, and the pressure plate fingers. I'd be looking for bent fingers, or a bearing that has obvious signs of overheating, or a leaky slave cylinder. Has it used any fluid in the clutch master cyl? Also the problems you describe could be pressure plate related, especially the failure to engage the clutch.

    Dunno about the Ranger but my brothers F150 (2003, V6) has a slave cylinder/throwout bearing combined to be one unit. Makes access to the shaft difficult. Lubing the shaft is going to be very difficult to do without risking getting it on the clutch if your truck has the same kind of slave cylinder my brother's does.
  16. drifter1170

    drifter1170 New Member

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    You mite try removing the starter you will still half to get past the fly will with the grease but it can be done
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Exactly. Clutch Kits are available that should include the pressure plate, friction disc, pilot bearing (do not overlook that little bearing!) and a clutch alignment tool. Then pick up a slave cylinder which should include the throwout bearing as well. Have the flywheel resurfaced whether you think it needs it or not. Should be pretty cheap to have done.

    Clutch work is just one of those jobs that it never pays to cheap out on. Even in a 2WD pickup, it's too much labor to risk having to pull it back apart in 5K,10K, or even 20K miles. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, do it all. The slave cylinder failed on my brothers truck less than a year after we did the whole clutch. Wasn't a fun night taking that apart again to replace a relatively new and inexpensive part.
  18. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I had a 95 2wd manual ranger. The slave leaked on it, but the factory clutch had well over 200K on it. The leak was very slow, slow enough I felt it much easier to add a few glugs of fluid to the master every 6 months than drop the transmission.

    There is a small cover on the bell housing (or at least there was on the 95) you can pull and look in. It isn't very big. I wouldn't hold out hope for greasing the shaft through it.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Slave is fine, clutch is fine. I just have a sticking throwout bearing when the transmission gets hot. The slave and throwout bearing come as one unit, pre-lubricated from the factory. After 19 yrs it appear like most of the lube is gone. I suspect the designers never expected a clutch to last 19 yrs. But the truck only has 56K on it. The clutch is still young.
  20. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    The slave & throw out may be fine, TODAY. Next month it may be a totally different situation. After 19 years it's time. If it's got to come apart it's just too easy to change them now.
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    There's not really supposed to be lube on the input shaft is the thing. Perhaps a VERY lite coating of anti-sieze, but it's more to keep the shaft from rusting than to lube anything. I think there is something in the hydraulic system that isn't working right, or something in the clutch system is worn or damaged.

    That is why I keep saying for how easy it is to drop the trans, that is probably the best bet. But hey what do I know, I only went to school for it and have worked in shops many years...

    If the clutch is in good shape, no reason to replace it. Dropping the trans isn't that big of a job. Even on heavy duty transmissions (9,13,18speeds) it's not "horrible" Actually the worst one I've done was a G56 on a Dodge truck. Was really tight in the truck and a huge PITA to get the input shaft to line up afterwards.
  22. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    In your 2wd truck Dropping the trans should be easy as everyone says.. it should be something like disconnect prop shaft.. Disconnect clutch line and shift linkages (maybe not if the shifter comes out with it)... Unbolt bell housing and any mounts then drop. Probably an afternoons labor.

    Be glad its not a fwd compact car. I've done a couple of those and it can take an entire weekend with help.
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Don't forget the exhaust. Sometimes, that's the worst part.
  24. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I just did this on my 96 2wd f-150 this weekend (same setup as the ranger). I've done a few but start to finish it was a 2 hour job just to change the slave since I had to drop the transmission. Add a bit more time if the flywheel needs to come off,etc.

    Make sure they take the time to change the pilot bearing as well.

    Also, I've had bad luck with aftermarket slave cylinders for these. I'd highly suggest buying the new parts from ford.

    In all, if you plan to keep the truck, might as well buy the new clutch master and do the whole thing in one shot.

    If you want to try greasing the input shaft, if you open the inspection plug on the side it is possible to use a pry bar and push the throwout bearing / slave cylinder back. I can't remember if you'll be able to see much of the shaft to do this, but I have done that when trying to bleed these before (they can be a pain to bleed).

    At this point, I spose it couldn't hurt to try other than if it doesn't work, you'll get stuck somewhere again and need to go into yet another bar :p But, I really doubt this is the issue.


    pen
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Different system than most including the Dodge. The throwout bearing has a lubricant to avoid this situation.

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