[2001 Ford Focus ZX3 DOHC 2.0L] Transmission / Clutch suddenly dead? - Focus Fanatics
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
Oblivion
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Exclamation [2001 Ford Focus ZX3 DOHC 2.0L] Transmission / Clutch suddenly dead?

Hello.

Since I've bought the vehicle: I have noticed the clutch (more than likely) was slowly failing.
Today, on my way to college, at a stop light: I shifted from 3rd gear, to neutral, and came to a stop, and put it in 1st gear, and a violent "bop!" Came from the engine / transmission.
After that: I was unable to put the vehicle back into gear. Ever.

I finally shut the vehicle off, put it in 1st gear, and tried starting it. It kind of growled at me, and that's when I realized:
The clutch pedal has no resistance to it at all. The brakes, the gas: They all function normal.

I am under the impression the clutch is shot.
I am able to granny-shift gears without a problem. If I come to a stop and put it in neutral (naturally): I cannot put it BACK in gear with the engine running.
I am still capable of "driving it." But I will more than likely drain the battery constantly restarting the engine.

This is a front-wheel drive vehicle, I believe.

Any suggestions on what to do next? You are forced to drop the engine engine to disconnect the transmission, yes?
Once the transmission: Is it possible for a shady-tree-mechanic such as myself to fix it (preferably cheap)?

My income is much less than what it was 2 months ago, especially with the $0.50/gal rise in fuel.

Thanks in advance..


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Old 02-27-2013, 01:47 AM   #2
tmittelstaedt
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Yes it is possible to shade tree fix it. You don't have to drop the engine, you just lower the back end of the engine about 9 inches but you don't have to disconnect any of the hoses or wires to the engine.

But you will be manipulating really heavy parts. if you do not have a good floor jack, a transmission jack, and a cherry picker or engine support bar, it will make the job very very difficult and you could also damage things re-mating the transmission to the engine.

You will need the factory service manual. There are many copies of the factory CD on Ebay. Get one of those and load it on your PC then print out the section of the manual you need. Note that some of these are "old subscription" CDs that are time-restricted, they only work during a specific year. There are programs out there (runasdate) that can convince these CDs that they are running during the right year. Or you can get the printed Helm manual.

The Haynes/Clymers manuals are great if you have a bird. Since you can use them to line the bottom of the cage.

I created a pictorial and writeup - it is sparse but it's intended to be used in conjunction with the factory service manual instructions. It is here:

http://www.mittelstaedt.us/

Don't let the engine hang on the passenger mount without supporting the oil pan unless you want to replace that mount.

there's also a youtube video out there of the procedure. But I don't like it because the guy does not drop the subframe any. As a result he has to twist and turn the trans in a very tight confined space and he drops his trans on the floor rather suddenly. So much extra work for avoiding just removing 4 bolts and letting the subframe drop down 6-9 inches. He also does the hard way to remove the axles.

Lastly, how long has your clutch been slipping? You may have to face the possibility that this grooved the flywheel. I've had several cars with manual trans that I have done clutches on and it is never a good idea to try to keep a slipping clutch in service. If you keep it going too long the material will wear past the rivet heads and they will groove the flywheel. And the flywheels need special machining to resurface and some shops won't do it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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No offense to you, but if you aren't sure if your car is front wheel drive or not, I would not attempt this job yourself. It is a lot of labor even for someone with decent experience. I would not do this if you aren't confident in your abilities.

That being said, it is doable with the right tools and time. I did not unbolt my subframe, but I did hoist my engine and swing it over a bit for clearance. Getting the driver cv shaft out, and getting the transmission to fall out after I unbolted it were the hardest parts of the job. Everything else is pretty straightforward yet fairly time consuming. If the flywheel is grooved my advice would be to just get one from a junkyard, and you will need new flywheel bolts, which are dealer only.

I think the video referred to above is the eric the car guy video that I used. It was extremely helpful albeit very long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eoUL347ce0
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:19 PM   #4
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The page by the member above was really useful to me too. It has some info a lot of the walkthroughs dont go into detail on.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoMoCus View Post
I think the video referred to above is the eric the car guy video that I used. It was extremely helpful albeit very long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eoUL347ce0
Okay, thanks for both replies.

That is a long 4 segment video. Pretty amusing. Doesn't seem overly complex.
I will attempt this soon. After college tomorrow is when I will begin, more than likely.

I only need to find a couple blocks of wood for my floor jack to use, to hold up the transmission.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:47 AM   #6
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I tried using wood blocks and the jack, and couldn't get the right angles to work it out so I had to bench press the transmission out like in the video.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oblivion View Post
I am under the impression the clutch is shot.
I am able to granny-shift gears without a problem. If I come to a stop and put it in neutral (naturally): I cannot put it BACK in gear with the engine running.
I am still capable of "driving it." But I will more than likely drain the battery constantly restarting the engine.
So if I understand this correctly:
- He can start the car in gear and then "speed shift" without using the clutch with no issues.
- When he comes to a stop he has to "speed shift" into neutral, turn the engine off, shift into gear and then start the engine with the transmission in gear and proceed on his "speed shifting' way to the next stop light.

I do not see anything that points to a diagnosis requiring a clutch replacement. I do see a diagnosis of being unable actuate the clutch. On an old Karmann Ghia I had the same thing happen, the clutch cable snapped causing the violent bop sound as the clutch was suddenly released. I drove home like he described, replaced the cable and all was well.

Is this not a hydraulic clutch, meaning it could be a sudden catastrophic failure of the master cylinder, the slave cylinder, the hydraulic lines or the mechanics used to connect the slave cylinder to the throw-out bearing? Out of these items I would hope for a hydraulic line, being the cheapest.

I think additional investigation is in order before buying parts and pulling the transmission.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton View Post
So if I understand this correctly:
- He can start the car in gear and then "speed shift" without using the clutch with no issues.
- When he comes to a stop he has to "speed shift" into neutral, turn the engine off, shift into gear and then start the engine with the transmission in gear and proceed on his "speed shifting' way to the next stop light.

I do not see anything that points to a diagnosis requiring a clutch replacement. I do see a diagnosis of being unable actuate the clutch. On an old Karmann Ghia I had the same thing happen, the clutch cable snapped causing the violent bop sound as the clutch was suddenly released. I drove home like he described, replaced the cable and all was well.

Is this not a hydraulic clutch, meaning it could be a sudden catastrophic failure of the master cylinder, the slave cylinder, the hydraulic lines or the mechanics used to connect the slave cylinder to the throw-out bearing? Out of these items I would hope for a hydraulic line, being the cheapest.

I think additional investigation is in order before buying parts and pulling the transmission.
Yes. I agree now. I was thinking it was the clutch initially, because it felt as if it was hit-missing (thud, thud, thud) the first day or two that it occurred.
Nothing up until last night has changed. I've been "speed-shifting" as you say. No clutch is being actuated. It's based on the RPMs, which is fairly straight forward.
The gear shifter falls right in without any issue or resistance.

In short, last night on the way home from work: I hit a bump in the road while shifting gears (and I habitually use the clutch pedal whether it works or not).
Upon releasing the clutch after "shifting" while going over the bump: I felt resistance on the clutch pedal.
I tested it (pushing it in and giving it some gas to see the RPMs rise): It worked fine. Then, 15 seconds later, when I tried "shifting" gears again: I noticed the resistance went away.

I tried hitting the brakes while simultaneously pushing down on the clutch pedal (while in neutral): It made the clutch pedal work for a few shifts. I don't understand what's causing it internally.
I'm leaning towards the idea that there is simply air inside the side, and the force of the brakes stopping the car, along with the pressure of the clutch being pushed down, is forcing the air to move around.

There's no DOT fluid leaking anywhere. As far as I know: Both cylinders (master and slave) are both in good work condition.
The safety switches for the clutch pedal and the shifter are both functional (tested them earlier this morning).

I have yet to drop the transmission, and would rather not if I don't have to. I'm biding my time right now doing as much research as possible.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oblivion View Post
In short, last night on the way home from work: I hit a bump in the road while shifting gears (and I habitually use the clutch pedal whether it works or not).
Upon releasing the clutch after "shifting" while going over the bump: I felt resistance on the clutch pedal.
I tested it (pushing it in and giving it some gas to see the RPMs rise): It worked fine. Then, 15 seconds later, when I tried "shifting" gears again: I noticed the resistance went away.

I tried hitting the brakes while simultaneously pushing down on the clutch pedal (while in neutral): It made the clutch pedal work for a few shifts. I don't understand what's causing it internally.
I'm leaning towards the idea that there is simply air inside the side, and the force of the brakes stopping the car, along with the pressure of the clutch being pushed down, is forcing the air to move around.

There's no DOT fluid leaking anywhere. As far as I know: Both cylinders (master and slave) are both in good work condition.
The safety switches for the clutch pedal and the shifter are both functional (tested them earlier this morning).
Well bleeding the hydraulics is your quickest and cheapest way to attempt a fix. So give it a shot, in fact do this first to eliminate it as an issue.

Do not know why pushing on the brakes and clutch at the same time would change things unless they share a reservoir.

Have you lost any hydraulic fluid, has the reservoir level dropped?

Unfortunately the only thing you can tell by looking at a master or slave cylinder is whether or not it's leaking.

Is this an external slave cylinder meaning it's located outside the bell housing? If so then then observe the slave as someone steps on the clutch. Does the slave extend to actuate the throw out bearing. If so then the issue is in the the bell housing, if not then it's outside the bell housing.

If it's an internal slave there should be an inspection port where you can observe the clutch while you step on the clutch peddle.

Is there a portion of the hydraulic line that is flexible? Clamp the flexible portion with a clamp. Step on the clutch peddle, if it is hard then the master should be good and you can suspect the slave. If it is soft then you need to replace the master.

Does this sound reasonable?
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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For further info to a very helpful post:

These have an internal slave cyl., around the tranny input shaft.
The bleed screw & hose attachment is found at the top of the bellhousing, right by the engine.
The reservoir for the brake & the clutch IS shared, but brake application shouldn't affect clutch operation.
That said, the clutch looses fluid from the reservoir BEFORE the brakes do in the case of very low fluid, with the clutch master outlet above the brake outlet in the reservoir.
It's a SLIGHT possibility that with very low fluid, some could slop into the clutch outlet as the car moves, causing the occasional partial function of that system.

hope this helps....

Luck!
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