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M50D-R1HD Creeping/Wont go into gear, NOT the slave cylinder


i885744

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Havent posted on this thing in years, but have been having problems with my Tranny.

I’ve got an 04 Ranger, Fx4 Level 2, Manual Tranny, 4 wheel drive, 4.0L SOHC.

Mazda M50D-R1HD, with Borg Warner 1345 TC

At about 40k miles it on the extreme rare occasion would be difficult to get into 1st gear when stopped, if you pushed hard enough on the shifter it would go in. I’m talking maybe once every 100 times you were at a stop light in neutral and went to put it in first it would do this.

I changed the tranny fluid at 70k something, with a little Lucas Stabilizer mixed in. No change.

At about 80k miles it was at the point where it was having a VERY hard time going into 1st from a stop with the engine on. Would go in fine with the engine off. The technique if you pull up to a long stoplight involved shutting the truck off to get back into 1st. My rubber seals at the top of the tranny would leave a drip in my driveway about every other day.

I got mad one day and tore it all apart:
I replaced the clutch with a SPEC unit, which was NOT a cheap one.
I replaced the throwout bearing with the one that came with the clutch kit.
I replaced the pilot bearing with the one that came with the clutch kit (magnet, roller type)
I ripped out the rubber plugs and tapped the shifter holes for metal plugs.

Put it back together, and it was no better. (Although the SPEC clutch does hold way better than the stock unit) I drove it for another 15k miles shutting it off whenever I got stuck out of gear. I learned the proper time to downshift to 1st at about 3mph. I did not pack the pilot with grease, as it appeared to be prelubricated, I just put a little bit on the input shaft to make installation easier.

At this point, at a stoplight, having slipped it into 1st gear at 3mph, clutch to the floor, it would creep forward unless I had my foot on the brake.

Now we’re at 100k miles, and I’m mad it again. Tranny is leaking out of the plug holes at the top again, a few drips every time I park. Slave Cylinder is bad, right? Tranny back out. Replaced the slave cylinder, it was prebled, but I checked it anyway, zero air. There is ZERO free play in the pedal, slave starts moving the instant you put your foot on the clutch, the clutch appears to be fully disengaging. There was actually TOO MUCH fluid in the tranny, as I apparently filled it on unlevel ground after I had it out to put the clutch in. I drained it to the proper level.

NO DIFFERENCE!

104K miles. Almost impossible to shift into 1st unless rolling at 3mph or engine off. 3rd gear is almost impossible to shift into unless going the EXACT right speed and rev matching. Here’s the weird part, the ONLY way to get into 1st from a stop, is to first wiggle the shifter into 4th, then it goes right into 1st.

So.. I replaced the master. No change.

The only things I can think of are my synchros are shot, does 1st gear synchro go out ever? Any why is it creeping when I am stopped? Is it possible that I had 2 bad pilot bearings? Why does it slip into 4th gear (after some jiggling) when I am dead stopped, and that somehow “unlocks” first gear? Also, especially when its cold, i hear a rrrrrrr noise when I am slipping the clutch, I assume this is just the SPEC clutch disk making noise when cold. It seems to go away after about 2 stop signs.

I appreciate any advice you guys can give me.
 


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i885744

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Thought of a couple more tidbits. I had the flywheel surfaced when i replaced the clutch. I have gear noise when i'm in 2nd and 5th sounds like a whisper rather than a whine, changes pitch with road speed. The tranny is still leaking around the metal plugs at the top, havent checked the fluid level in a while, I'd guess its been running maybe half a pint low for a few thousand miles.
 
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4x4junkie

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It creeping forward points to the clutch not fully disengaging.

Make sure you have infact bled all the air out of the clutch hydraulics (it's tougher than you think on these trucks). There's a video with some tips up at the top here.
 

TimR

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Thought of a couple more tidbits. I had the flywheel surfaced when i replaced the clutch. I have gear noise when i'm in 2nd and 5th sounds like a whisper rather than a whine, changes pitch with road speed. The tranny is still leaking around the metal plugs at the top, havent checked the fluid level in a while, I'd guess its been running maybe half a pint low for a few thousand miles.
You just answered your question. Resurfacing the flywheel changed the amount of movement required to completely disengage the clutch. You need to shim the throwout the amount you took off the flywheel.
 

i885744

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This is my 4th ranger, I've bled the clutch in all of them. The clutch is hard as a rock with about 1/8" travel in the pushrod when disconnected from the slave. The slave has no air in it. There is no "free play" in the pedal as you would experience if there were air in the system.

The surfacing of the flywheel is intriguing. In order for that to be true, they would have had to pull the pressure plate alignment pins, and surfaced the entire flywheel, including the pressure plate mounting area, then put the pins back. Is that what they do when they surface flywheels? However it was behaving exactly the same before and after I had the flywheel surfaced.

Can you think of a way that I can measure the pressure plate travel through the inspection cover? Any idea how much travel I should have?
 
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TimR

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This is my 4th ranger, I've bled the clutch in all of them. The clutch is hard as a rock with about 1/8" travel in the pushrod when disconnected from the slave. The slave has no air in it. There is no "free play" in the pedal as you would experience if there were air in the system.

The surfacing of the flywheel is intriguing. In order for that to be true, they would have had to pull the pressure plate alignment pins, and surfaced the entire flywheel, including the pressure plate mounting area, then put the pins back. Is that what they do when they surface flywheels? However it was behaving exactly the same before and after I had the flywheel surfaced.

Can you think of a way that I can measure the pressure plate travel through the inspection cover?
To illuminate, the pressure plate/clutch disc, ride on the flywheel surface, that was resurfaced. when it is resurfaced, it needs to move the fingers further, making it not fully disengage. hence the grinds/lockouts, and creeping.
 

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have you replaced the bushing in the top of the transmission where the shifter goes in?
 

i885744

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I have not replaced any of the shifter bushings. The shifter itself feels as tight as it did when it had 7 miles on the truck.

I watched that clutch bleeding video, he says that I should have .060" lift on the pressure plate. I am going to measure that with a digital caliper tonight and perhaps that will help eliminate or confirm any suspicions. I think that sounds like a good place to start.
 
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TimR

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I have not replaced any of the shifter bushings. The shifter itself feels as tight as it did when it had 7 miles on the truck.

I watched that clutch bleeding video, he says that I should have .060" lift on the pressure plate. I am going to measure that with a digital caliper tonight and perhaps that will help eliminate or confirm any suspicions.
I can't say for sure, but would it work to put flat washers between the back of the slave cylinder/throwout, and the case housing, effectively shimming the cylinder forward?

The bushings in the shifter have no effect on where your clutch grabs.
 

i885744

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It grabs pretty darn high up off the floor. You'd think itt'd grab low if it were a shimming or hydraulic issue.
 

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ok, you win, I give up. Good Luck.
 

i885744

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??? Huh ??? I'm going to measure the travel of the clutch, and if its not far enough, I'll check the hydraulics again and probably shim it like you suggested. Why the sarcastic "you win?" Man people are touchy on forums...
 
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TimR

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the travel of the clutch/flywheel, should be right as far as reference, but cutting the flywheel changed how far it will actually move, or HAS To move, so although it may spec out correct on the dial caliper, the problem is with the at rest position, either fully extended, or fully depressed.
Did you buy the truck new? so that you know the flywheel has only been resurfaced once?
 

i885744

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Yes, it has absolutely only been surfaced once in its lifetime, unless the first 7 miles it spent in the hands of Ford were real rough ones :) I'm not sure how much they took off of it, it wasnt too bad when i brought it in to be surfaced, but who knows if the guy knew how to run the machine correctly.

I was going to try and measure the lift of the friction surface of the pressure plate through one of the small holes on the housing, rather than one of the pressure plate fingers. Shouldnt that measurement be the same regardless of flywheel thickness?
 

swamprat

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the clutch only releases by about .050 - .062 of an inch. I dont know if they shim the flywheel when done. never had a flywheel resurfaced. Put a clutch in my f150 at 120,000 and kept flywheel in it. Shop said it was fine.
 


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