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Need help with clutch (pick-up)

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  • Need help with clutch (pick-up)

    As I have noticed by others postings/interests, there seems to be some fairly knowledgeble individuals when it comes to vehicles. I ask of their help. I have a 1988 Ranger pick-up, it has sat since summer of 2000. I have started occasionanly, but has not been driven. I started the truck yesterday (after sitting all winter without starting, started right up),but I cannot get the clutch to release. I had to force (by shifting lever) out of gear, when I depressed the clutch to put it into gear (reverse), GRRRRTTTT. I could not get it to go into any gear with the engine running. Difficult to push/pull into/out of gear with the engine off.Hydraulic clutch, checked, topped off fluid, worked clutch about 50 times same results. I think the clutch plates are stuck together. I am no auto expert and do not have financial resources to put a significant amount into repairs. Asking for help, anybody?
    Paying Attention Is Not That Expensive.

  • #2
    With the engine not running, put it into one of the upper gears, say third or fourth, push the clutch in and rock the vehicle. I have to do this for my nieghbors truck every spring.


    • #3
      Yup it's probably rusted a bit. When I used to run standard trannies in the mud pits this was a constant problem. If it's not too bad it'll work as topct mentioned. I've had a couple that where so bad I had to get under it and slide a long slim chisel through the throwout arm boot and break it free with it. Other times I'd warm up the engine in neutral, shut it off, put in low then restart motor in gear. Once it gets moving put your clutch pedal to the floor and stab the gas a couple shots. This will usually break it loose. Be aware that your motor will rev through the roof when it lets go if you have too much go pedal... so easy on the gas!
      I have tools I don't even know I own...


      • #4
        Hi, find somewhere you can drive round in a circle- then start up in gear with the clutch pressed down and keep going round and round this will free it off.


        • #5
          Check the clutch master/slave for air. The newer ones with the internal slave cylinder are hard to bleed. There may be a rubber plug on the side of the bellhousing that you can pop of to see if the pressure plate is moving.


          • #6
            I like the rusted or sticky disk plate theory. You can manually check to see if the fork tube is extending and retracting at the bell housing to confirm the clutch hydraulics are functioning. You need someone to work the clutch pedal unless you are Plastic Man and stretch your leg into the cab while you are under the truck.

            If you have tried all of the advice listed above, it might be the pilot bearing has gone stiff.

            Usually, there is a bearing (pressed into the end of the crankshaft) where the transmission's input shaft nestles into. If the bearing gets stiff, the shaft will rotate regardless of whether the clutch is engaged or not.

            If the transmission shaft continues to rotate, shifting becomes hard to impossible since the synchros can not compensate.


            • #7
              I don't think it is rust. You have the clutch friction disc between the flywheel and the pressure plate. The disc material will not rust.


              • #8
                The disk won't rust, but the flywheel will and the ensuing gunk does seem to make a nice automotive paste. :-)


                • #9
                  Put it in gear, have someone jack up the rear so the wheels are off the ground. Start it (in gear, 3rd is good), press the clutch pedal to the floor, give ir some gas (3000 rpms should be good) and have your friend drop the jack. Works much better than driving in circles, etc. If it has a hydraulic cluch, check that the mechanism has fluid and is functioning.


                  • #10
                    Take a clutch apart after it's been wet...dried and sat for awhile. If the orangey,reddish brown stuff on the flywheel and pressure plate isn't rust then whatever else could it be? Disk brakes will do the same thing. The pads don't rust but the area around them does and this will stop them from turning. The rotors on my racer rust all the time(they don't get hot enough to evapourate the moisture) and it can be a real pain to bust them loose sometimes. Be careful dropping that off the could find out about a new problem...broken spider gears!
                    I have tools I don't even know I own...


                    • #11
                      I have dealt with this kind of stuck clutch problem for years. Living in the Pacific NW, with its high humidity in winter make it a common occurance. To "unstick" the clutch disk:
                      1) Start the motor and warm it up to operating temperature.
                      2) Shut off the motor and put the transmition in 1st gear. Step on the clutch. Start the car in gear, giving it little or no gas. It will pull away a bit jerkily, but don't worry about it.
                      3) Once you are moving, (with the clutch still depressed), alternately stab the gas and then let off. On, off, on, off, on, off. Continue doing this until the clutch breaks free. You will be able to get a good bit of "driveline snatch" going, and the shock from this will always eventually free things up. Sometimes it will take a while, but usually under a minute. Don't lose heart. Your only other option is to pull the tranny and disassemble the clutch. In 35 years I have never had to resort to getting under the car to fix a stuck clutch. Good Luck


                      • #12

                        I don't mean to offend but what you propose is tricky and well a little riskأ©. 3rd gear at 3000rpms would put the rear axle at about 35mph/80kms. OUCH! The whole drivetrain, which hasn't operated much over several year, is about to receive a major shock. I would be worried about the universal joints or drive shaft comming out to say hello.

                        Also why ruin a perfectly good Jack doing something like that. I would not suggest it. Another option is to gain access to the clutch and spray penetrating oil over it. I know this will be hard, but you can take the starter off or make a little hole in the clutch fork boot on the side. If your year has one.

                        I would really check the clutch cylinder as well. Those things are a pain...Don't just check the oil. Look for travel when someone pressed the clutch pedal. It also could be the master cylinder at the pedal itself.

                        Also check your brakes. They work somewhat on the same princpal. Pads rubbing against metal.

                        Good luck and be safe



                        • #13
                          I drive two Rangers a 90 and a 86,both have hydraulic clutches,it could be the disc is glued itself to the flywheel or it could be a bad release bearing or it could be broken pressure plate fingers or even a blown slave cylinder or something real simple like a rat chewing the plastic fluid line into.

                          The last two would be my geuss,if this is the case you should see fluid leaking somewhere.

                          I have never had any problems with either truck except for the normal wear and the abnormal tear that I inflict on them
                          I just need one more tool,just one!


                          • #14
                            DON"T spray oil (of any kind)on your clutch.

                            BTW...I assumed you'd already checked to see if the throwout was working properly. Could be a siezed throwout but then you can't depress the pedal. If everything worked when you parked it...then nothing should have broken while it was sitting still. If the hydraulics are leaking there is no way you can pump the pedal 50 times and still have fluid remaining in the master cylinder.

                            [This message has been edited by torker (edited 03-27-2004).]
                            I have tools I don't even know I own...


                            • #15
                              Your problem sounds like it might be a throw out bearing. I had a similar problem with my truck last year although not as bad. I would suggest that you pick up a repair manual at a parts store. A Haynes manual is under $20 at advance or auto zone. Take a good look under your truck especially at the bellhousing bolts. If you can get at everything without too much trouble you can do it yourself. A clutch set for a ranger starts at about $125. I did my IH pickup twice. It just took me longer than a pro.