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Clutch travel

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Old 07-21-2014, 10:32 AM
MackGuy MackGuy is offline
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Clutch travel

I'm looking at (planning to buy) a 1996 F250 7.3 5 speed. It's got 400k miles, but runs great, rust free and drives fine, and it's in my price range ($5k)

The only issue with driving is the clutch disengages with the pedal almost at the floor. Big difference from my 1990. It shifts fine, and seems like the clutch itself is opearating fine. I'm guessing it's just air in the line and needs to be bled (clutch was replaced sometime fairly recently), but wanted to see what the other common suggestions would be.

Saw something about pedal bushings. Pedal did not feel sloppy or floppy, but worth checking. Can you do that without removing the pedal box? Any other adjustments?

I'm assuming worst case either the master or slave cyl is shot (or both) but is there potentially a worse (more expensive) alternative?

Is the slave cyl external to the bellhousing, or does the trans have to be pulled to replace that?

with 400k it's reasonable to assume any of these mechanical parts that have not been replaced may need to be, just trying to figure out what the likely culprit is.
90 F250 7.3 ZF5 Custom
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:32 PM
madpogue madpogue is offline
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Congrats on the purchase and welcome to FTE; you're gonna love driving this thing, esp. a manual.

Slave cylinder is external, presses on a conventional fork. If it's the hydraulics, best replacement is a complete hydraulic kit, master-line-slave, pre-assembled, filled and bled. Cost about the same as just the master and slave (and if one is gone, the other is most likely not far behind). No bleeding, installes in minutes.

Test - have someone work the pedal, and get under and measure the fork movement at the very tip. Should be at least 1/2". If it is, then the issue is "downstream" - fork bent, pressure plate fingers weak (unlikely if it's a fairly new clutch kit). If it is, then the issue is "upstream" - hydraulics, linkage/bushings. There's a set of bushings in the shaft of the pedal box, and one bushing where the arm on the pedal shaft connects to the pushrod. That one fails frequently and is a cr@ptastic design.

Pedal box bushing test - lightly touch the brake pedal with your right foot, then work the clutch pedal with your left foot. If you feel any "feedback" through your right foot from the brake pedal, that indicates those bushings are worn. $20-ish at the dealer. Pedal box is a slight PITA to remove, but an easy job otherwise.

Shaft arm / pushrod bushing - If it's just the plastic bushing that's worn, there's a cheap/easy "upgrade" fix. Get some 1/2"OD x 7/16"ID brass tubing and a 7/16" drill stop collar. Cut off a small piece of the tubing, just big enough to go in the pushrod eyelet. Install with the arm, and put the drill stop collar on the "pin" on the arm that sticks out through the eyelet. If the bushing is really shot, you'll eventually get metal-on-metal and that eyelet will be expanded (ovalized). In that case, your better option is to cut off that eyelet and replace it with a Heim joint. Options - eBay complete kit (search "Ford clutch heim joint"), or build your own.

Another thing you might check in with the seller about - when they did the clutch, did they also install a single-mass flywheel (or did it already have one)? From the factory, these trucks came with a dual-mass (aka dumb-mass) flywheel. Ticking time bomb; when the cr@ppy little bits holding the two masses together fail, the bits can go flying and grenade the tranny case.

Also, the odometer resets to 300,000 after 399,999, EVERY time it rolls past 399,999 (they literally didn't put the upper left LCD segment in the display for that left-most digit, so it can't display a "4" there). So if it's got 400,000-some miles, it may actually be more.

Is it sometimes hard to get the starter to engage? Do you have to really mash the pedal, like you're gonna put a hole in the floorboard, to get the starter to kick in?
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:55 PM
MackGuy MackGuy is offline
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I have only test drove the truck, not bought it yet, but most likely will. Thanks for all the feedback on the clutch system, doesn't sound too difficult.
Not sure on the flywheel, current owner hasn't had it too long, it was PO before him that did the work.

It's currently saying 397k miles. That's an interesting tidbit about the miles resetting to 300k... seems like rather a dumb design. Guess I should buy it, clean it up, drive it 3k miles and sell it as a 300k mile truck (wonder how many people have done just that... I'm sure it's happened)! Still better than my 1990 which is currently a 3,000 mile truck.

If that's common knowledge maybe explains the big price premium for the <300k mile trucks.

Had no issue starting it, but that was just one test drive.

Also the e-brake is non functional... don't think that's a big deal to fix up though.
90 F250 7.3 ZF5 Custom
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