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Mud affecting clutch acuation


broncc

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I was doing some offroading yesterday and was driving through some very deep and soft mud. When I was trying to rock the car, the clutch became less and less responsive until it froze in the released position. It was annoying to have to pull dead weight out. On dry ground, I pulled the inspection cover and dug the mud out between the springs and the pressure plate housing enough to limp home.

What I think happened was the mud either splashed through the top holes of the bell housing or maybe came up through the drain holes. Has anyone experienced this problem? Could there be any negative consequences for sealing the bell housing?

IMG_20240622_185030661_HDR.jpg PXL_20240622_2158192862.jpg
 


franklin2

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If you develop a minor oil leak it could get on the clutch if the holes are blocked. It will puddle up inside the housing.
 

SenorNoob

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Maybe nearly sealed would be the way to go? Just leave a weep hole that could be cleaned after a trip through mud.
 

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I've never had the problem but there are a bunch of openings in the bell housing around the clutch aside from the inspection hole where the rubber plug goes. So, mud getting in there and gumming up the works is a problem. That's one spot where the automatic transmission is superior to a manual. I'd still rather have the manual.
 

broncc

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For the foreseeable future I'm going to carry a rod bent into shape to scrape it out if it happens again. There are so many holes for a reason so I don't want to just block them if I can help it. If it gets annoying, I will plug the rest. The holes are likely for cooling and since this car gets driven in traffic, the clutch could probably benefit from it.
 

franklin2

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What if you took the cover off completely? Would that give the mud a place to go when you got out of it? The reason I say this, I had a 57 chevy I drove for years, and I still have a 89 f250 diesel I am still driving. They both had manual transmission swaps, and I never got around to putting a cover back on the bottom side. I don't go mudding, but as far as normal driving and driving in a field off-road, I have never had a problem with the bottom of the flywheel being exposed like that.

If you think about it, the driveshaft is exposed back there twirling around at speed and it never seems to have a problem.
 

superj

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i took the cover off a few too. never had issues though i only mudded one. it never gummed anything up having the cover off but we are talking texas sand/mud, which is more soupy that gooey
 

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I hate mud........

My best friend used to be big into mud racing and the mud out here is really nasty greasy gumbo clay. It dries like concrete. He had literally hours of pressure washing his truck after every race. That crap ruins everything it touches. I have a Dana 44 out of another mud truck in my shop right now that sat outside uncovered for about 5 years and it STILL has mud packed into the brake rotor fins.
 

superj

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thats the truth, it ruins everything it touches. in the long run, its going to get your stuff some way
 

broncc

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Giving my truck more money than it deserves.
What if you took the cover off completely? Would that give the mud a place to go when you got out of it?
I thought this initially too. The problem is in how the pressure plate is designed. The mud gets in the center of it and as it spins it gets packed behind the pressure plate frame and pushes against the springs. There is nowhere for it to ooze out. This was very smooth mud like it had lots of clay.

Nothing is permanent including the bronco. I pay to play. 🤷‍♂️ Whether it be time, parts, paint, or welding gas. Sooner or later it will be time for a new one.
 

901wd#2

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I like kickin up rooster tails and sliding around in mud, but I’ll never drive in a slop hole again. Only took one time pulling the trans to clean the crap out of the clutch to learn my lesson.

Mud just ruins everything, Florida man said “if you’re getting stuck, you’re going too slow” he had a ranger with a big block Chevy + nitrous on smallish tractor tires.
 

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