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Clutch hydraulics failed

This is a discussion on Clutch hydraulics failed within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Here's the story: Coming home from work, pulling out of a parking lot.. in 1st gear, I get on to ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member dannyo210's Avatar
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    Exclamation Clutch hydraulics failed

    Here's the story:

    Coming home from work, pulling out of a parking lot.. in 1st gear, I get on to the road and go to shift in to second and all gears are locked out. Got the car towed home and now it's in the garage. I tried again when it was parked in the garage, started it in neutral and the gears were locked out, I started it in 1st after that and was able to move through the gears but it almost sounded like the flywheel slightly was rubbing against the clutch plate even with the pedal pushed in, and the car obviously didn't move.

    The clutch fluid reservoir is empty, so obviously there is a leak somewhere, a line failed, or something. I thoroughly inspected around the master cylinder, firewall, slave cylinder adapter, inside the car by the clutch pedal mechanism, and I stuffed a rag up in to the bell housing hole.

    I can't find a hydraulic leak and I wasn't looking forward to dropping the tranny again but I have a bad feeling that the slave cylinder failed, or something like that.

    Can someone please throw some suggestions and/or insight at me?
    I'm familiar with all the terms involved. I did a clutch swap over the summer, and have put several thousand miles on it since without any problems.. This was totally out of the blue

    Thank you! Please respond asap
    Last edited by dannyo210; 04-23-2009 at 03:28 PM.
    Black '00 Z28
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    Same Problem

    I had the exact same problem. I replaced the clutch, flywheel, and slave cylinder about a year and a half ago. But I began having very similar problems to the ones you described. I had to nearly call for a tow truck several times and the car would nearly stall out when the clutch was engaged because it felt like the clutch wasn't fully disengaging from the flywheel; even though the clutch pedal was to the floor.

    One thing I learned with driving with the problem: when the problem occurs, either pop it into neutral or shut the car off. Then pump the clutch pedal about 15-20 times and it almost always temporarily solved the problem.

    In my opinion, it's either a slave cylinder problem or a master cylinder problem and I took a gamble and replaced the master since I want no part in dropping the tranny again. I just replaced the master cylinder tonight and I hope that fixed it. I've taken it around the block once tonight and all the symptoms are gone and I have no problems in any gear, including reverse (Which was VERY difficult before). I won't know more until I take it out on an extended drive, but so far so good.

  3. #3
    Junior Member dannyo210's Avatar
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    Thank you for replying man.

    I think that I may try replacing the master cylinder before I go and buy a whole new clutch.

    I ended up replacing the slave (because it was original), and throwout bearing (because it was shot when I dropped the trans). I put the trans back on the car and started it up. I had pedal pressure and the clutch engaged and disengaged, but I still have the bad sound/vibration coming from the bell housing area.

    I hope that's the problem, I hear ya when it comes to dropping the transmission I'd rather stay off the garage floor as well. Let me know how it works out for you after a long drive.

  4. #4
    Member raysz28's Avatar
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    I just started having that lockout problem too. i had the clutch, slave cylinder and throughout bearing replaced about 2 years ago.
    did the master cylinder replacement fix your problem? if so, do you have some good instructions on how to replace it?

    Thanks, Ray

    98 Ticket Red Z28
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  5. #5
    Junior Member dannyo210's Avatar
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    Replacing the master & slave cylinder fixed the lockout problem I was having. Yes.

    Unfortunately the clutch is junk now, I'm waiting on a Monster 3 to arrive in the mail.

    http://www.installuniversity.com/ins...r_cylinder.htm

    That's a guide to install an adjustable master cylinder, I didn't go with an adjustable one yet. It gives instructions on how to remove/install the master cylinder though, which is what you are looking for I'm assuming.

    Took me around 2 hours to do, including the bleeding

  6. #6
    Member raysz28's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyo210 View Post
    Replacing the master & slave cylinder fixed the lockout problem I was having. Yes.

    Unfortunately the clutch is junk now, I'm waiting on a Monster 3 to arrive in the mail.

    http://www.installuniversity.com/ins...r_cylinder.htm

    That's a guide to install an adjustable master cylinder, I didn't go with an adjustable one yet. It gives instructions on how to remove/install the master cylinder though, which is what you are looking for I'm assuming.

    Took me around 2 hours to do, including the bleeding

    Thanks for that site! i had forgotten about install university lol.

    -so it seems like the tricky part is actually getting the assembly out without spilling anything!
    -im also trying to find how to bleed/replace the fluid in the system... i dont see any bleeder screws where the braided line goes into the trany... am i blind?!? lol
    -how loose should the slave cylinder be? i can move the braided line at the trans about 1/4" in all directions...is that normal?

    thanks for the help.

  7. #7
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    Bleeder Screw

    The bleeder screw is located about 1 to 2 inches above where the hydraulic line connects to the bell-housing. You won't be able to see it; you'll have to feel for it.

    I finally got to test drive today. The car ran perfect for about 20 minutes, then went back to the same problem. I believe my slave cylinder is bad again (was just replaced 2 years ago, or about 7 thousand miles), or it may have to do with a half inch long crack I discovered in the bell housing. The crack is located where the hydraulic line is, and when the clutch is depressed, the crack will flex a bit. I don't think this is the problem, but I'm out of ideas......

  8. #8
    Member raysz28's Avatar
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    thanks, i'll hopefully be replacing the master cylinder tomorrow.

  9. #9
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERICV82GO View Post
    or it may have to do with a half inch long crack I discovered in the bell housing. The crack is located where the hydraulic line is, and when the clutch is depressed, the crack will flex a bit. I don't think this is the problem, but I'm out of ideas......
    If its flexing then there could be some clutch alignment problems. I've seen a few cracked bellhousings (auto and manuals) cause some weird problems. Those were all cracked at the dowel pin areas though.

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    That's not what I wanted to hear!!!

    I'm debating taking it to a local transmission shop that handles a lot of classic cars and street rods to diagnose. I'm moving in 3 weeks and I don't have the time to be dropping the trannie out of it. Does anybody have any rough estimates at what kind of $$$ I'll be looking at if the shop has to drop the trannie and replace the slave or any potential clutch allignment issues?

  11. #11
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    The clutch slave cylinder labor time is 4.2 hours x the shop labor rate ($100 per hour) could cost you $420 labor plus parts. Parts would be slave cylinder, fluid, new bellhousing???

  12. #12
    Member raysz28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    The clutch slave cylinder labor time is 4.2 hours
    Just to make sure, the slave cylinder should have a little give after its installed right? i can giggle the braided line going into the trans about 1/4" in all directions.
    i'm pretty sure that's normal, but just making sure.

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    Shifting Problems

    Hey guys, I posted a problem I was having here about 2 months ago and figured I'd update you on what the fix was just in case you have similiar problems.

    To bring you back up to speed, I was having problems shifting after the engine got warm; it'd eventually get very hard to shift and then if not impossible to shift, particularly first and reverse. The problem eventually started occuring all the time. I also found a small crack in the bellhousing where the hydraulic line connects to the slave.

    I first tried flushing the hydraulic fluid, then I replaced the master cylinder, and neither fixed the problem. I took it to a local transmission shop who replaced the bellhousing (the bellhousing crack turns out to be an unrelated problem, some of the transmission bolts had loosened up causing the bellhousing to flex. My mechanic added some locktite this time around) and slave cylinder. This fixed the problem for about 30 miles, but the problem reoccured.

    After 6 weeks in the shop; we discovered that the boiling point of the hydraulic fluid (Prestone DOT 3 brake fluid) only had a boiling point of about 284. My mechanic believed that the SLP headers and LS-6 clutch may be boiling the hydraulic fluid. We changed to a brake fluid with a higher boiling point (above 500 degrees) and added some heat protection to the hyrdaulic line. Problem solved!! I have about 180 miles on it since the fix and haven't had any problems.
    Last edited by Cutlass; 06-28-2009 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Merged 2 threads together

  14. #14
    Senior Member Rhinohuey's Avatar
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    pretty common problem, headers boiling the hydraulic fluid

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