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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 12-13-2010, 12:07 PM
luke123 luke123 is offline
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1995 F-150 clutch problems.

I have a 1995 F-150. 4.9 I6 with a hydraulic clutch. Two years ago in the winter when temps dipped below 0 it began leaking brake fluid which dripped from the bottom of the bell housing and the clutch kept going soft. I continued to refill it when the resevoir ran low and if the temperature warmed up it would stop leaking and I wouldn't have to refill it again until it got cold. Eventually ended up replacing the slave cylinder and it worked fine for the next year and through the next winter. Now the second winter after doing this it has begun doing it again this time its leaking much worse. The brake fluid is again dripping out of teh bottome of the bell housing. Both of the times that it has sprung a leak have only been when the temperature dips steadily below 0 degrees. If the weather warms up, I won't have to refill it for awhile until it gets cold again. The Haynes manual calls for Dot 3 brake fluid for the clutch. It never had a problem during the 12 years my grandpa owned it before the first incident. Any ideas as to why it keeps leaking and why it is only when it is below 0 degrees? I don't want to have to keep replacing the slave cylinder every other winter so before I do it again here I was wondering if there is anything preventative measures I can take so I won't have to worry about it again?
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:50 PM
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nstueve nstueve is offline
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I'd check your hydraulic line to and from the master cylinder. Some times the fittings can leak if you don't have them on tight or if the fittings are worn or threads are stripped... etc.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:50 PM
88n94 88n94 is offline
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Where did you get the replacement slave cylinder? The genuine Ford slave cylinders seem to hold up MUCH better than the aftermarket ones. At any rate I would use a Ford replacement slave cylinder next time.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:20 PM
luke123 luke123 is offline
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The replacement slave cylinder is an aftermarket one so maybe it just turned out to be a POS. The slave cylinder is inside the bell housing and the hydraulic line attaches to it inside there so I can't tell if that is where it is leaking exactly until I dig into it but its either that or the slave itself judging by how i can have somebody pump the clutch and watch it start dripping out the bottom. I'm in the middle of final exams right now so I hav't had the time to look but I'll get after it this weekend. Does anybody have any ideas as to why this might have happened again this soon after replacing it the first time? Could cold be a factor or moisture building up in the line? Hell idk I read of a few other people having the same problem when it got cold but they never found out the reason why.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:20 AM
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nstueve nstueve is offline
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It's been a couple years since I was into my 5spd ZF on Thumper... I can't recall exactly what the couplings looked like at the slave but it could be as simple as a bad o-ring seal (if there is one... like i said it's been a few years) where the hydro line connects to the slave. It could be a junk slave too. I haven't had any problems with the aftermarket parts i get from O'Reilly's... I've only got 2 or 3 slaves from them but haven't had a problem with them. You could have crossed your threads, had dirt in the hydro connection... there are a 100 different little things that could have happened to make it leak. I'd take it apart clean everything and make sure you have good solid connections. Then have someone hit the clutch a couple times to see where it's leaking from (whiles it's apart of course).
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Thumper 88 F250 ZF 4x4 4.9L 3G 238K-main work horse
Zeus 89 F250 ZF 4x4 351w 143K- tow rig project
Ol' Girl 83 F150 NP208 300 T18 358K Offy DP 4bbl Holley

Did I say somthing GOOD? Click MY HEART!
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:47 PM
luke123 luke123 is offline
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Talked to a couple friends who are mechanics once I got back to town and they also claimed that in their experience the the ford slave cylinders are the way to go and they never had much luck with aftermarket ones so I replaced that and the clutch while I was at it and hopefully I won't have to worry about that again for awhile. Appreciate the help guys.

While I'm at it any ideas why the oil pan gasket keeps blowing out? Happened 3 times since I got it. Thinkin maybe cracked compression ring or somethin? Oil pressure guage hasn't worked since I got it. Anywho if I get this taken care of I should be set for awhile.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:23 AM
ejway123 ejway123 is offline
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Same issue

I am having the same issue with my 95. Ran in to an old mechanic this morning with a 96 F150, when I asked him about it he told me this was a common problem, “Gaskets shrink when it gets cold”. He installed a block heater as a fix. I’m going to try this first.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:23 AM
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