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Clutch slipping at low engine rpms on the highway

This is a discussion on Clutch slipping at low engine rpms on the highway within the Manual Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Hey guys, heres the DL on my car... 1998 Pontiac Trans Am - NON-WS6 LS1 346ci V8 pre 1999 ignition ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Carolina

    1998 Pontiac Trans-am

    Clutch slipping at low engine rpms on the highway

    Hey guys,
    heres the DL on my car...
    1998 Pontiac Trans Am - NON-WS6
    LS1 346ci V8 pre 1999 ignition setup
    6 Speed Manual Transmission
    Spec stage 1 clutch
    SLP intake lid
    otherwise its completely bone stock.

    now that you know the details on my car, heres the problem im having...

    I have just recently been having a problem with my clutch slipping in 6th gear when I accelerate hard on the highway (45+ mph) and I looked under the hood to check my clutch fluid and it was really low. i can tell it was slipping because the revs would go up from 1500 to about 4000 and then come back to about 1600 when the clutch started to bite again. i suspect that its clutch fluid on the friction disk thats leaking from the slave cylinder.
    is there a way to tell if the slave cylinder has a leak in it and the fluid is getting onto the clutch disk without dropping the transmission? like will it be visible when i take the inspection covers off...
    Or is that something that is actually possible in these cars given the position of the components?
    If i need to i can clean the disk with some non corrosive degreaser designed specifically for that and hop it along till friday when i can park it.

    I'm finishing up the semester at school so the car can be out of commision for a while after friday is over with, but i need to know how much money im looking at having to spend on this one... money's kinda tight right now and i dont have a place i can do the work or id do it myself to save some cash. I have a transmission guy who will let me go buy my own parts and he'll put them in for me so I can still save some money there. (hes also one of the few spec licensed installers in my area, and he actually races them)

    on a side (yet somewhat related) note:
    I dont want to put a GM slave back in the car when i do this, and I am doing both the master and slave when i replace the setup... I want something thats better for aftermarket clutches and is made better... i figure if im gonna replace it i might as well make it so i dont have to open it up again for a while.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Carolina

    1998 Pontiac Trans-am

    Seriously? Nobody has any suggestions as to whats going on with my car?
    If nothing else i expected to get some funny sarcastic remarks about the fact that its a SPEC clutch... (i actually enjoy reading those posts) Oh well... I managed to figure out what happened and now have a plan of action.

    I called SPEC and it my service rep (who is actually an f-body owner himself) said it sounds like thats what happened, im gonna go ahead and replace the entire clutch system (including the flywheel and the hydraulic system) to head the problem off before it gets any worse.

    My new question is...

    To prevent this from happening again (the clutch disc getting soaked in hydraulic fluid and it being absorbed all down into it) I want a good replacement clutch set that will handle some mods in the future (mild stuff mostly), but in a clutch -- more is better... I would ideally like to get a metallic or ceramic clutch... preferably something thats non-porous to prevent these shenanigans from happening again.

    What I need from you guys are some suggestions for what clutch i should go with. Again, it needs to be metallic or ceramic, and i would prefer it to be a single disc if i can get away with it. Though most importantly I am on a budget, I'd like to keep this under $700.00 including the flywheel.... I still have to pay for labor because i dont have a place i can do it myself or i would.

    alright... bring on the angry villagers

  3. #3
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Wherever life takes me

    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    Didn't read your whole post (lazy today), but if you were low on hydraulic fluid, your slave is probably going out which you would need to drop your transmission anyway to get to.

    I suggest replacing the MC and slave when you do your clutch.

    I have the Spec Stage 3+ and don't have any issues with mine. Spec is hit or miss though.

    I personally like LS7, monster, and RAM for clutches.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wileyCoyote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Centerville OH

    1999 TransAm

    definitely new slave cyl, clutch, flywheel, and replace the rear main seal on the back of the engine.. also probably good idea to replace the master cyl too, that way the whole cluthc system is starting anew.

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