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Getting Hard to Shift

MrEvilPirate

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Manual 2002 4.0 ranger 4x4 with 176k miles.

The truck is getting very hard to shift. I push harder than I should to get it into gear at stops. While driving it is hit or miss. Even into 3rd sometimes I have lots of trouble. Once in gear it doesn't pop out or grind. Here is history:

Bought the truck about a year ago, changed tranny, transfer, and both diff fluids. Truck was always a little tough to get into gear, marginally better after fluid change but that may have been in my head.

I'm not losing any clutch fluid based on watching master cylinder res for a couple months now.

I've been driving an old air cooled beetle a lot lately which may be distorting my memory, but the friction point on the pedal is like 1/8" off the floor. I push it down ALL the way to shift, if I let up just an 1/8" it starts to grab. No sign of clutch slipage though.

EDIT - Clutch fluid looks black. Anyone ever hear of an instance where fluid can leak out in the hydrolic system but for whatever reason the resevoir doesn't refill the system? Stuck check valve or something?

If I lightly hold the shifter against the gear I want to enter, after a while (like 5 seconds) it drops in. Sometimes I have to jiggle it a bit. To get into first I now have to go into 4th first then row backwards. Reverse is tough.

I've read lots of stuff about how bad clutch and/or slave cylinder can make it hard to shift. I would think that I'd be loosing fluid if the slave was bad. Not sure what to think about the clutch. I was afraid it slipped today, but roads were wet. I goosed it in first a few times and no slippage.

Anyone think it could just be bad syncros in the tranny? If tranny is bad no harm in driving it into the ground, right? Any ideas? Thanks guys.
 
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Dangerrangers

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Sounds like you need a shift kit rebuild kit from Dormon ,about 20 bucks and it goes in from the top side in about 30 minutes . Super easy fix.Make sure the shifter is in neutral before you pull it out or you have trouble lining up the shift rails with the forks .it's really easy to fix!!!!!!
 
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MrEvilPirate

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The truck shifts fine with the engine off, so not sure if the shift kit would help.

Here is something else. Starting about 2 weeks ago I had to really push down HARD like hold onto steering wheel and push down with everything to overcome the neutral safety switch and get the car to start. I later found I can reach down and pull up on a piece of plastic that is on a shaft coming from the clutch pedal to simulate the clutch going down...

ALSO, and maybe more importantly, If I put my toe under the clutch or brake and lift up, it feels like the whole pedal assembly moves up 3/4". Is this normal? Maybe something holding the pedal assembly in place is broken, too dark to check now.
 

fr7

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You wouldn't necessarily loose fluid if the cylinders are bad. Did you remove the black rubber thing underneath the cap in the clutch reservoir to check the fluid? Black brake/clutch fluid (same difference) is never good.
 

MrEvilPirate

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So yes... black fluid is no good, I should flush it out... but I think I found my problem.

There is a crack in my pedal assembly bracket that causes me to loose some of my pressing motion. On Youtube search for "Ranger Clutch Issue" The first hit, about 2.5 min long, shows what is going on in my truck.

Hope I can make it through another couple days.
 

fr7

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Be careful when you flush it, sometimes it's hard to bleed the air the air out if you drain all the fluid.. Good luck.
 

MrEvilPirate

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I ordered this part:
BRAKE & CLUTCH PEDAL ASSEMBLY 6L5Z-2455-BB

It seems like the same part is used in LOTS of Rangers. The best deal I could find was at tascaparts dot com (don't want to direct link I know Rockauto is a sponsor but they didn't have this) for $145 plus 10 in shipping.

I also purchased:

6C3Z7A581A

the next morning from dealer for 8 bucks. It is a small clip that holds the [piston that gets pushed into the master cylinder when you press the clutch] to the [back of the clutch pedal]. This retainer clip looks like the kind of piddly specialized piece of plastic that will break during removal and totally jam you up when you can't source one quickly... unless of course you buy ahead of time... in which case you will be able to remove and replace it without incident.

8 bucks seemed like cheap insurance against myself.

I'll put together some pics showing removal/replacement of the pedal assembly and report back...
 

fr7

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Good deal. Hopefully everything goes smooth for you. Keep us posted, it might help someone else in the future.
 

MrEvilPirate

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Sollution

So I apologize but I wasn't able to take pics. The lens on my camera doesn't capture a wide enough angle when you are so close (very cramped space). But I wanted to post some details in case it helps the next guy. This totally fixed my truck. Glad I didn't have to drop the tranny.

1. Make sure you have a universal joint (swivel joint) for your ratchet and a bunch of extensions. There are 6 bolts that hold the pedal assembly in place. The lower 4 also hold the brake booster and master cylinder assembly. The top two are a PITA to get to and I don't think I would have been able to do it without a universal.

2. Take the seat out. Only 4 bolts, I think they were T-40. Takes 10 minutes and makes life WAY easier.

3. The part numbers I posted above worked. The 2nd piece I bought... you need to buy it. The adapter for the clutch cylinder push rod to the clutch pedal. Put this piece on the the push rod BEFORE attaching to the pedal. Otherwise it won't go on.

4. I didn't need to disconnect any brake lines to slide the booster/master cylinder towards the front of the car to get the pedal assembly out. I did remove the clutch resevoir as it was preventing the booster/MC from coming out. I carefully bent the metal brake lines going into the MC a bit and that allowed me to slide everything forward. You only need to move the Booster/MC forward a 3-4 inches to get the pedal assembly out.

5. Getting the pedal assembly out past the clutch push rod took some persuading. I had to push the clutch push rod a bit harder than I wanted to. Maybe there was something I could disconnect from under the car, but I got it to clear the pedal assembly without taking anything else apart.

6. After you remove the seat do yourself a favor and vacuum out the floor of the truck, and have a piece of cardboard to line the floor. Having a cleanish place to lie on when you are doing this makes it way less terrible.

7. Whole job took me about 5 hours. Good luck. I'd rather do ball joints any day than this again.
 

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