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Clutch acting up


PaulZ

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Now it’s my clutch. 1999 Ranger. Couple weeks ago one morning had a loss of travel. Improved after a few miles, but has happened since when cold. Put some brake fluid in the reservoir, was a bit low. Now has over an inch of free play, barely releases or shifts.

Can I try to bleed it? No idea where the screws are.
 


RonD

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Yes, try gravity bleeding first

Remove cap and "cup" from Reservoir

Then you will need to go under the truck on drivers side to access the Slaves Bleeder screw on the side of the bell housing, its just above the hose that comes down from the master/reservoir

Can be a 5/16(8mm) or 3/8(10mm) head
Have a pan on the ground to catch the fluid
Unscrew the Bleeder 1 full turn, any air inside should bubble out first
Count to 10 slowly
Tighten the Bleeder, snug, you don't need to crank on it, lol, its a tapered valve inside, so easily seals when snug

Make sure there is still fluid in the reservoir, not that much should have come out, test clutch, cap can still be off
If pedal feels better then top up reservoir and put cup back in and cap back on

If that didn't help then most likely air in the Master which is very hard to get out
That can happen if reservoir ever runs dry or if a failing seal in the Master pulls in air
 

Northidahotrailblazer

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You can try to bleed it. If you lost some fluid then I would guess slave cylinder is leaking. You can pull the cover/plug off your bell housing of you transmission, and kinda look in there. Not very good though. If your bottom of your bell housing is wet, Id say slave cylinder is leaking.

Where your clutch line is on the side of your transmission bell housing drivers side. The bleeder is right above it.

most of the time its your slave. But it could be your clutch master cylinder but unlikely.
 

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When mine started not operating correctly, it was the slave cylinder that was failing and had developed a leak. I got the total replacement kit that came with a bench bled master cylinder.

Not all the connections between the master hose and the slave connector are the same. Replacing the whole thing eliminated that from being and issue.
 

PaulZ

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Well I bled the slave and it’s now working, however as I said previously it has gotten better as the day goes on. We will see tomorrow.

thanks guys!
 

PaulZ

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Low pedal again last night, Have not tried bleeding again. I understand the master cannot be bled without removing?
 

Northidahotrailblazer

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Was it low on oil again? If not and the petal is low again. Id buy a new master. Your getting air in the system somehow. The master can be bled in the rig, it just takes a while to get all the air out of it.
 

Northidahotrailblazer

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Power bleeders or hand bleeders help a lot to get the air out of them.
 

PaulZ

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I had a friend bleed again yesterday pushing the pedal instead of just gravity. Worked great, high pedal even again today. But still not convinced, good tip on new master, at least no trans removal like slave does I assume.
 

PaulZ

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Good idea Ron. The master slants forward no? Would parking on a steep hill in 4wd be enough to get trapped air out?
 

RonD

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Clutch Master slants up from firewall to pedal push rod
Easier to take off the push rod's keeper on pedal arm
Remove the 2 bolts in engine bay, twist master to unlock it
Then slide back the master a bit and tilt the back up, so any air can go into the Reservoir's line and bubble up and out, reservoir has a vented cap
 

PaulZ

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Thanks Ron. Good news I’ve been driving all week, pedal still high since last bleed, no fluid loss.

I’ve had the Ranger 3-4 years now, never checked the fluid level (didn’t even realize it was juice lol) until about a month ago when pedal dropped to about nothing. When I did find the cap, it was dry. How long was it low? No idea. Still looks dry everywhere.
 

PaulZ

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Argh, still having some trouble. And it took awhile but I’m noticing my fluid level is dropping. Nothing I can see or on the ground, maybe in the bell housing?

This may be a clue: after sitting for a couple days, almost no clutch, have to put it in gear before starting, then clutch engages right off the floor. After 5-10 miles it’s back to normal. Pedal always feels springy just like normal.
 

RonD

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So the reservoir level is dropping

But no signs of fluid on hoses or connections outside the bell hosing
Or inside, at the end of Master, you would probably SMELL this

You can just keep it topped up and wait for the leak to get worse, they always get worse, lol

Wipe down all the parts you can reach, master, hoses, quick connect fitting, bleeder
Then check them as you see fit for signs of a leak
If nothing is seen then Slave inside bell housing is leaking, this will eventually drip fluid out the end of the bell housing
 

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