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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 12-22-2007, 12:04 PM
tweaked250r tweaked250r is offline
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Clutch pedal free play?

I have a 92 F150 with a hydrolic clutch. The clutch pedal had about 1 inch of free travel before "catching" but all of a sudden last night I got in my truck and it goes down about half way and starts to catch. It barely disengages the cltuch enough to shift. Why would it all of a sudden do this. Also, is there some kind of adjustment on these hydrolic clutches? thanks

Last edited by tweaked250r; 12-22-2007 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:20 PM
jade79 jade79 is offline
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I'm thinking the clutch slave cylinder or master cylinder may be bad, or may even be the springs or levers (fingers) on the pressure plate are broken. Give the system a visual check first before buying any parts.

Check clutch fluid level.
Inspect the pedal linkage under the dash for bent, broken or missings parts.
Check the hose for leaks.

I've seen some systems with the slave cylinder mounted by the side of the bellhousing and some use a hydraulic throwout bearing inplace of the slave cylinder which is on the input shaft of the trans.
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:01 PM
Old_Paint Old_Paint is offline
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Sounds like one of two problems:

A: Most probable -- Master cylinder bypassing. You can check the slave too, with a quick visual. Look and see if the bottom of the bell housing is wet with brake fluid. If it is, you're pulling the tranny if it's the M5R2. I have the same setup, 5.0, M5R2, and the job really isn't bad. It'll help a lot if you have a buddy helping, because someone needs to be at the bell housing/engine to pry, and someone needs to be at the tail shaft to wiggle the tranny. There's a load of photos in my gallery from where I did the rear main seal. No difference in procedure for the clutch/slave cylinder, other than actually removing the slave from the bell. The clutch is coming off for the rear main. There's only 6 more bolts to yank the flywheel once you get the clutch out. I strongly recommend replacing the rear main seal while you're in there, if there's no record of it having been done before. If you can get your hands on a tranny jack, it shouldn't cost you more than about $250 - $300 for all the parts to completely replace everything inside that bell housing except the flywheel. You'll want to consider getting the flywheel resurfaced, but I fully recommend having it ground, and not cut on a lathe. It can be done on a lathe, but only by an experienced machinist, because it will leave a spiral groove in the surface which will just eat the disc up a lot faster than leaving it as is. Resurfacing will assure no chatter or grabbing with the new disc. Grinding leaves a much smoother surface and guarantees better disc wear.

B. Least probable, and probably harder to fix. Apparently, or so I read, the mounts on the firewall tend to break and allow flex in the assembly. Gonna have to do some pretty close inspection for that to make sure the fire wall itself isn't buggered. I think I've read about a reinforcing kit available for this problem. Never needed it, so can't say for sure.

X2 on checking fluid levels first. But, if you're in excess of 130K on the odo, chances are the clutch system is failing. Hard to complain about something that has done it's job for 15 years. If it's leaving spots under the bell, more than likely the slave is gone. Decide what you're willing to pull that tranny out again for, because I assure you, if the clutch is gone, and the tranny's never been out, the rear main on the engine isn't far behind. Been there, done that, and learned a very expensive lesson about using a dealer for a clutch job. I had to put the rear main in less than a year after the clutch replacment.
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:08 PM
Dakota Woman Dakota Woman is offline
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I had a spring go bad on the clutch pedal linkage & had this problem. Lucky me, it broke while I was driving (but not while using the clutch). I heard it break, so when I got home (having figured out right then that the clutch was still working - phew!) I did a bit of hunting & found where it had been & replaced it. I'm driving a 1987 F250 diesel with "heavy-duty everything" so I figure if it's your spring, it's in some other place than mine.. but you might take a look.
NOW - I have a question about clutches. I was sick last fall when my clutch went out, so I hired the job done at a local used-vehicle dealership that has a reputation for doing reliable work. Which is more than the local dealers can claim, sad to say. Regardless - I had replaced the slave cylinder maybe 2 months before the clutch went & had still got some air in it. When they replaced the clutch pack, they bench bled the slave cylinder, they said. Two months later when we had a run of -20F to -40F for a week, something went haywire in the clutch system again, because it went back to not wanting to take reverse unless I shut off the engine & then shifted. This is really rugged when parallel parking on a busy street, so I didn't like this.. Experimenting with various ways to get around this problem, I found that if I depress the clutch pedal to the floor 2-3 times, the truck will then shift into reverse, although sometimes the gears are still moving slowly, as I can hear it when I ease the shifter into the reverse position. Anyone have any ideas as to what I'm up against here? This has me & every local transmission fixer stumped. The dealers just said 'bring it in & let us try to figure it out' (at $70/hour. NOT likely.) I find no leaks.. No binds..
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:26 PM
jade79 jade79 is offline
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Dakota Woman,
If you have to pump the clutch pedal a few times for the clutch to release, I'm thinking you either have air in the system again, low fluid, or the slave or master cylinder could be going bad again. Unfortunately it's not uncommon for replacement parts to be nowhere near the quality of the original parts.
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:51 PM
Dakota Woman Dakota Woman is offline
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Hanh Jade79. I wonder about air or the master, since this is the 4th "lifetime warranteed" slave in less than 4 years & the reservoir always has plenty in it when I check. Air would do this.. the question is, where is the leak, since there's never any on the fresh cardboard I put under the truck to check, even when I pump it a lot in checking? If it's the master, it will have to wait until I'm working again.. This is layoff season in Dakota Territory.. I had unemployment, so am searching for a job, but until I have one, I live close to the bone & I don't spend money on much that isn't pushing an emergency. Just did the starter, bcs this truck eats one every 2 years almost like clockwork.... I'm not doing much past gathering perspectives now.. I've had this maddening problem for just over a year.. It will have to hold on a little bit longer. But thanks so much for your answer. If nothin' else, your list reinforces my suspicions.
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:57 PM
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wizzard351 wizzard351 is offline
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sounds strange but ive seen the bushing go out at the top of the pedal,rite there where it goes on the same rod as the brake pedal. if this bushing is gone itll make the clutch act like its not working rite cuzz it cant push the master far enuff
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:57 PM
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