I bought a 2000 F150 XL V6 5 speed last fall and shifting into first and sometimes second has always felt a little tight. The clutch pedal has 3-4 inches of play and when I took it to a mechanic 6 months ago, he said it was fine and didn't need anything. I also think he was in a hurry and couldn't work me in to look thoroughly. This shifting problem comes and goes, but has recently become very difficult. Today, I have driven it 3 times in 3 hours and the 1st time it was fine, the second almost impossible to get into gear, and the 3rd time was fine again. Any idea what is going on? There is plenty of clutch fluid. I looked for a bleeder valve but don't see one, so if I can bleed this, I don't know how to go about it. This truck has 51K miles and I believe has never had any repairs done.
Usually a clutch that is failing to fully release will make it's presence known by grinding when attempting to engage into a non-syncro gear (usually reverse). I does sound to me that you have too much play, but I haven't driven it.
If the clutch is dragging, you will wear out the synchros in the tranny very quickly - this I know from experience.
Not much help I know, keep us advised of your findings.
3-4" of pedal free play is too much.
The bleeder screw for the clutch is on the side of the bellhousing, just above where the clutch fluid line goes in. Usually you can gravity bleed it. Just open the bleeder and let it run while keeping an eye on the master cylinder to make sure there is lots of fluid in it.
Make sure when you fill the master cylinder that you remove the rubber cup/gasket from inside. Lots of people fill that up and wonder why their clutch doesnt work.