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CLUTCH SLAVE ISSUES


MarkDonovan

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Seven, that's right, Seven clutches on 11 rangers. That's how many times the crappy slave cylinder has caused me to replace a clutch. I have a 2003 Ranger edge 4X4 and this two year old slave is now acting up and the bleeder screw is frozen and I can't even attempt to bleed it. Does anyone know of a better manual trans that will swap into this truck? Preferably one with a granny gear. I pull heavy trailers all the time. I love my Rangers, but hate this horrible design on the clutch slave cylinder.
 


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Bird76Mojo

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I've owned nothing but Rangers my entire life (30+ years of ownership) and have never had those kinds of problems. I've replaced slaves and masters a few times but only because I was already replacing the clutch. When you install new parts it's best to coat the bleeder screws with a liberal amount of anti-seize so you don't have these problems.. Also, use the little rubber caps for bleeder screws..

I'm wondering if you're bleeding them correctly or not. Also, if you can, buy Motorcraft parts. The parts store brands will not last as long.
 

MarkDonovan

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We must be close in age, I have owned 11 rangers first one bought new in 1990. I have had this issue with every one that has had the manual trans. I have always paid a shop to do the clutches, I haven't done any myself. I work on machines all day and don't want to work on them when I am off. I recently thought I would attempt to backwards bleed this one with a tool I use every day as a motorcycle technician. However the bleed screw is frozen and I don't want to damage the slave. Perhaps the folks that did the work in the past didn't do the best job, that's possible. I have read several post where others have had similar issues. The fact that you haven't doesn't mean it's not an issue with these machines. I have close to 1 million accumulated miles on 4.0 Engines without one of them ever having the cam chain issues I read about. But I don't think it's not an issue. I love the manual trans, I love Rangers. I despise this component that seems to be a weakness in my opinion. The question was "Does anyone know of a better manual trans that will swap into this truck?" Thanks for the response.
 

Bird76Mojo

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The facts are that the slave cylinder is a wear item. Even the aftermarket versions made from billet aluminum and stainless steel still leak or fail regularly. My Tilton 6000 in my V8 swap truck chucked a throwout bearing in the first few thousand miles. It's always weeped the tiniest bit as well, and they're what Nascar teams are currently using.



Switching to another version of manual trans won't save you from slave cylinder failures. It sounds like you'd be better off going to an automatic transmission. Either that, or design a better slave cylinder and bring it to market.

The only other options I could see working for you would be a transmission that used a clutch fork and cable to the pedal, like the Foxbody Mustangs used, but to my knowledge, you'd be stuck with a 2 wheel drive trans. Unless you went to a huge ZF trans.
 
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MarkDonovan

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"I've owned nothing but Rangers my entire life (30+ years of ownership) and have never had those kinds of problems."

"Even the aftermarket versions made from billet aluminum and stainless steel still leak or fail regularly."


Ahh so we agree, not the best design. I don't know that any of my clutches ever actually went bad because none of them ever slipped. I had to deal with the bad slave cylinders. It's just that when they were in there it just seemed prudent to listen to the advice of the experts and replace them. I would seriously love to have a granny gear, because of the way I use this particuar Ranger. Maybe I'm just dreaming. Just if there was something out there that was a direct bolt up I would hate to miss it. I suppose I will do this one myself this time. I think I will use a high performance Brake fluid like Motul RFB 600. I bought the best clutch I could find. I suppose the heat I produce slipping the clutch taking off pulling a trailer on an incline may be causing the fluid to break down. Any suggestions on an aftermarket or OEM slave and master combo I might get the best service out of? This is the clutch I bought.
 

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MikeG

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Question is, what brand of replacement slave cylinder keeps failing? That might answer the question of whether it is a defect in design, or workmanship.
 

MarkDonovan

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That's a good point. The original OEM ones always lasted the longest. I will go that rout on this one. Unless I get solid advise otherwise.
 

Mike Tonon

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Mine has a small internal leak, only when cold outside. Should I try Barr’s Leaks clutch stop leak? I have no problems, otherwise and don’t want to pull the transmission. Thanks
 


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