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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

Slave Cylinder Install Issue. Please Help!

 
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:14 AM
policiaca
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Question Slave Cylinder Install Issue. Please Help!

Hi there, after reading through a few other Slave Cylinder posts on this forum I haven't found anything that matches my problem, hoping someone can help! My mechanical level of knowledge is on the beginner spectrum, so sorry if i'm not too accurate.

I recently purchased an '86 F150 with a manual transmission and the 302 engine. The previous owner said the clutch needed to be bled, so after getting it home I set about pulling the slave cylinder off the truck for a bench bleed. After bleeding as best as I could I went to put it back on the truck starting at the Pedal, through the Firewall, and then down to the Clutch Housing. Everything was going smooth until the last step when i'm trying to get the Push Rod on the Slave Cylinder to clear the Clutch Release Lever.

For some reason the Push Rod wont compress enough to clear the Release Lever. So, i tried moving the Shifter to the Neutral Position. No Dice. Trying a few different approaches of disassembling things I gave up and decided to open the Bleed valve to see if the Push Rod would compress more. Now, even with the Bleed Valve open, the most the Push Rod will compress is just a few inches, which isn't enough to get the Push Rod into place. I'm tempted to give the Release Lever a couple good whacks but don't want to bend it.

What am I missing here? I can post some actual pictures from my truck tonight for context, but something tells me i'm just missing something.

Thanks in advance!!!!



this is pretty close to the setup i'm dealing with..
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:44 PM
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My dorman slave cylinder can be compressed with one hand.... Maybe yours is toast. The dormant is working well for me over the last two years or so I'd recommend it. With the dorman follow the instructions and leave the plastic nub on the end of the rod.

Once you get it back together be prepared to have a bit of air in the line, drive it for a while once you can and of will work the air out in its own usually.
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:43 PM
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I had the same problem. When the slave's are new they are compressed and tied with a special wire tie that is cut once you get it installed. Even making up my own tie back system I could not get it installed. What I ended up doing was buying one of these called a coupler nut



And then buying a regular bolt to thread into the nut. I can't remember if I had to cut the coupler nut off a little bit or not, but I made it so the combination of the coupler nut and the bolt screwed in all the way just was able to fit between the arm and the flat casting that holds the slave.

I then took two wrenches, held the coupler nut still while I turned out the bolt. This was like a mini screw jack and as I made it longer, it pushed the arm of the clutch back, actually releasing the clutch while I was doing it. I spread the arm back just enough so I could get the slave installed.
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:58 PM
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ah. so i'm not alone! Franklin, if I understand you right I need a mechanical way to keep the clutch release lever open enough to slide the push rod in right? I'll have a go at it tonight... Also Jason, thanks for the tip with the air in the line.

thanks again fellas
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:59 PM
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OP, when the owner said you needed to bleed the clutch what was wrong with it in the first place? You could see bubbles in the red clutch line if yours is see through (wipe the crud off you should be able to see)? He let air in cause it ran low? Just wasn't going into gear and assumed?

Have a friend use the clutch pedal and if the master or firewall start to move that's your problem. Get a firewall reinforcement from bronco graveyard (I just got one comes with hardware). This is a very common problem on the trucks even Ford made their own reinforcement plates and sold them.

I find it quite odd people are having trouble compressing it. I've done trans swaps with the factory slave and never had a problem. Just had my trans out 3 times in the last two weeks and my dorman one works flawless, I can compress it with my hands easy.
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:11 PM
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Hey Jason, you were right! I just needed to put a little more effort into compressing the Slave Cylinder. It felt like it bottomed out last time I was wrestling with it, but I just wasn't pushing hard enough.

Just to close the loop on your question, the slave is a replacement and felt like it needed to be bled. Unfortunately the line is opaque, but the symptom of the truck was very difficult shifting.. i would have to compress the clutch as hard as possible to get it to change gears.

Now that the slave is back on an in place, i'm going to try to bleed it again using a gravity bleed method.. unless you guys have other suggestions?
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:27 PM
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Off the top of my head gravity bleed is a bad idea for this system. Have a buddy work the pedal while you work the bleed valve. You won't get it all out. Once you think you have it the best you can pump the pedal for a long time until driveable and it will get better as you drive it.

Verify your master cylinder and firewall don't move when the pedal is operated. A large portion of these trucks have the firewall flex problem so you don't get full clutch pedal. Reinforcement plate is the only way to fix this.

Another common problem is the bushing where the pedal attaches to the rod wears through and the the pedal digs into the rod, check these parts.
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:53 PM
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If the clutch sort of works, I would not mess with it, I would drive it on a bumpy hilly road, it should get better and better as you drive it. The bubbles will migrate backwards up the line and the vibration from driving it will help this.
 
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:35 AM
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Man, you guys are super helpful! The firewall call out is a good bet as the previous owner just put self tapping metal screws to keep the master cylinder snug.
thanks again!
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:10 PM
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Alright... looks like i'm in for a bit more of a project on this one, if you guys are still available. After getting everything back together, the Clutch Release Lever (also called the Clutch Fork I just learned?) is actually sliding out of the bell housing when i turn the truck on! It feels snug on the bearing.. i even tried bending the retention tines on the inside of the Clutch Fork so they would be more secure around the bearing, but the thing just slides off no matter what I do.

When the dimple of the fork is seated on the bearing, and the slave cylinder is all together it feels like there wouldn't be any room for it to slide out but that's what happens.. after 7 times so far.

any thoughts? I see new clutch forks on Rockauto but am not sure that's the issue. I can try to get some pics if you need 'em!

thanks!!!
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:16 PM
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On the back of the fork half way or so is a clip. Is it clipped onto the mushroom inside the bell housing?

Is the fork in the bearing "slot" or behind the bearing?

Use a flashlight with the boot off, slide the fork into the spot in the throwout bearing, make sure the clip on the back of the fork is clipped onto the bell housing, slide the boot on, slave on, double check, secure the boot.
 
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:31 PM
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Thanks again for jumping in, Jason... The fork is engaged with the bearing, and clips loosly onto the mushroom, but not too snug. If I jiggle it and pull at the right angle, it will come right out of the Bell Housing. I tried bending the tongs on the clip you mentioned to a few different profiles to see if I could get a more firm retention, but they all seem to not hold the Fork on if I wiggle and pull on it.

Should the clip provide 100% of the retention into the Bell Housing? Or does the boot also factor in? I'm wondering if I should order a new boot and Fork to start with?

See the Fork below on my very distracting kitchen countertop:

 
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:53 PM
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The clip should be what holds it in place, it doesn't hold it terribly tight but "clips" it in place. Are you sure your putting the fork in the throwout bearing sleeve and not after the bearing?
 
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:45 PM
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Is this a new clutch setup? What started this whole thing? The clip just holds it in place as in keeping it from "jiggling out" while you are driving down the road. It doesn't hold it in place against the pressure of the slave and the throwout bearing.

The forked end is going into the groove on the throwout bearing correct?'

The tube that the throwout bearing slides on is in good shape and has a little bit of lube on it?
 
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:24 AM
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The thing that started all of this is when I tried to do a bench bleed on the slave as it has been spongy since I have bought it. This was a nice sounding idea as I wouldn't have to call the wife out to the garage... but whew did I get myself into it!

When looking into the Bell housing cavity I can clearly see the Mushroom for the Fork Clip, but am having a hard time seeing the Throw out bearing.. maybe i am not quite getting the end of the fork on the Throwout Bearing properly like you are both getting at. I'll check the tube as well, Dave... Hopefully tonight I'll get some time to get back out there if the kids go down easily

thanks again for the advice!

-Derek
 

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