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Shifting/brakes combo probem?


MrChuck2000

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Howdy. Very new here, and though I am pretty handy in most areas, when it comes to auto repair, I'm just barely learning. My 2004 Ranger, 3.0l, 130,000mi., 5-speed is experie3ncing problems. I've had it for about 3 years now.

While driving recently, I noticed after each stop, when I accelerated again, the BRAKES light would come on briefly, then go off again, and that would happen at every stop. I checked my brake fluid and it was VERY low. Refilled it (Dot 3), and problem went away. 2 days later, I was just starting a drive, and suddenly I couldn't get the truck into 1st gear. It was so bad, I turned off the engine, got easily into 1st, then started the engine again with the clutch in, and did ok getting home. I believe there were a couple of other tough shifts into 1st at lights, and maybe also some difficulty getting into Reverse. It was late at night and I was getting home, so I just willed it home, not knwing if I was gonna crap out at some point.

I made it home, parked it and didn't drive it at all while I Googled as much as I could to figure out what the problem might be. I learned a lot (like, that I have a clutch fluid reservoir! That I have clutch fluid! That there is something called a slave cylinder! Etc.) Since then, I have wondered if I have air in the clutch system, learned about how it's a bitch to bleed, etc.
I'm taking it in this afternoon to a mechanic, but I don't know the guy and I trust you guys to know more abut this transmission than the average mechanic, who, these days, might not know that much about manual transmissions. (I talked to one guy who told me he had only had one manual auto in the last year.)

BTW, my brake line must have a leak; it is needing to be added to on a constant basis. The clutch, however, has been reasonably fine, with the exception of a bit of difficulty getting into 1st, but nothing dramatic. Granted, I've only driven about 20 mi. on it since the "incident". Is there any crossover between the brake system and the clutch? What would you guys recommend? What should I look out for today with the mechanic??
PS: I changed the transmission fluid a couple of years ago (I used Mercon ATF, as per FORD), so that should be ok.
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

superj

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none
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have to check
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look inside each back wheel for fluid to see if you have a brake cylinder leaking. just stick your head under the back bumper and look at the insides of the wheels. a brake cylinder leak will look like someone sprayed your rims and tires with cooking oil. from there, if that's your trouble, its a decently easy repair that you could probably do on your own with a youtube video to follow along to.

hopefully its not something like the master break cylinder leaking internally and filling your brake booster. not that those are hard repairs but they cost a good bit more than a brake cylinder.

i would not think your front brakes are leaking since they are disk brakes. those rarely leak
 

RonD

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And a word on the clutch reservoir
There was a Black Air Dam inside it, it needs to be removed and then you add fluid, and put it back in
I have seen people fill the black air dam with fluid, and of course clutch issue was still present

The air dam reduces brake fluid's contact with outside air, brake fluid likes to absorb moisture from the air which causes it to become "not" brake fluid, lol
 

MrChuck2000

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2WD
And a word on the clutch reservoir
There was a Black Air Dam inside it, it needs to be removed and then you add fluid, and put it back in
I have seen people fill the black air dam with fluid, and of course clutch issue was still present

The air dam reduces brake fluid's contact with outside air, brake fluid likes to absorb moisture from the air which causes it to become "not" brake fluid, lol
Thanks for that. Yeah that clutch fluid reservoir was a headscratcher for me. Took some serious Googling to even figure out what was up with that. Then, it was kind of stuck and took some force to get the lid free. Being a novice, I was certain if I gave it too much force, my truck would explode or something, so that added about a day of hesitation to my plight! I like this "car fixin'" stuff, though! Don't knw why I always shied away from leaning about how they work. Thanks for the help. This forum is great.
 

tw205

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I’ve had brake light come on for no apparent reason on a truck I was attempting to make road worthy again. To the point, the brake and clutch pedal are mounted on the same rod and had developed some rust on it. When I pushed the clutch it would try to apply the brake and vice versa. Some penetrating oil and a few miles the oil did its job.
Just a thought as I seen yours is a 5 speed.
 

MrChuck2000

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Update: OK, so this was the diagnosis. Id love to get any feedback you guys got.

Clutch Slave has a leak. He wants to go ahead and replace the whole shebang, clutch master, slave, all but the flywheel. $1400.00 for that job and to fix a leak in the rear "main" --or crankshaft--seal?

There is a leak in one of the rear drum brakes.

Timing cover leaking coolant (I assume the gasket needs replaced).

Power Steering whine ... He wants to replace the rack and pinion on that.

So far, my crappy extended repair warranty is going to cover the brakes and the steering issue. The other components I'm not sure yet. The Clutch is definitely on me, and way above my ability (esp. with a torn rotator cuff, dammit!).

Big question is, can I postpone the clutch replacement for now (seems to mostly be shifting adequately though I had those couple times when I couldn't get into 1st.
Could I just replace the slave to seal it up, or is that just nickel and diming? Maybe it all has to go since the transmission has to be dropped anyway.
I drive this thing usually less than 15-20 miles a day, but I'm contemplating a trip from LA to Phoenix in a month, so....
 

tw205

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4WD
Total Lift
6” skyjacker class II, 2” body
Tire Size
33x12.5
Not being able to shift into 1st and reverse is a sure sign of a worn out clutch and not replacing the slave , especially if it’s leaking, while having the trans out would be throwing away your money.
Bummer about your torn rotator cuff. I’m two and a half years into detaching half of mine. Had surgery to repair but it will never be what it was before. But I get by with what I got. Good luck.
 

superj

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Total Lift
none
Total Drop
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have to check
My credo
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dang. i cannot believe what shops charge people for changing the clutch. that's crazy.

and that's 1400 with you providing the parts or that not even including parts?
 

superj

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corpus christi, texas
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ranger edge
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2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
have to check
My credo
work in aviation repair
so, is the rear man seal leak covered by warranty? than you shouldn't be getting charged the 1400 for the clutch because he has to pull the trans to fix that so the labor from pulling the trans should be covered. ask about that because he might be trying to double charge you and than also the insurance for the same repair. if you ask and he says he made a mistake, you might be able to provide the parts to him and he changes them for waaaaaayyyyy cheaper since the trans is already out and then its only like 8 or 10 bolts to change the clutch, pressure plate, and throw out bearing.
 

MrChuck2000

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2WD
Not being able to shift into 1st and reverse is a sure sign of a worn out clutch and not replacing the slave , especially if it’s leaking, while having the trans out would be throwing away your money.
Bummer about your torn rotator cuff. I’m two and a half years into detaching half of mine. Had surgery to repair but it will never be what it was before. But I get by with what I got. Good luck.
Yeah, this is my second time doing this. Left shoulder 10 years ago. That was annoying enough, but I'm right-handed, and it's the right shoulder this time, FFS! I'll be pretty comical just getting shoes on, much less trying to shift gears on the freeway! NO DRIVING for 6 weeks, then PT for SIX MONTHS. Ugh... My life is oooveeerrrr. :)
 


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