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Old 10-03-2005, 09:27 PM   #1
MillenniumFalcon
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Question about my clutch

Hello, I lurk around here quite a bit, Im just posting now because Ive got a problem. My 00 Automatic Focus SE sedan was totaled in July, so I bought a Standard 2002 ZX3 with 39400 miles on it in August. I had never driven Standard before and I pretty much had to teach myself how to drive it through lots of trial and error and some help from online. Well anyways, Ive gotten pretty good at it and I really enjoy driving it back and forth to college and work every day. My main focus with it is to make my ride as smooth as possible, I dont pop my clutch, I dont ride my clutch, I dont use the clutch to brake, and when I downshift I rev match.

Here is the problem, starting a few days ago the engagement point on my clutch pedal has shifted, it used to be near the middle of the range of the pedal, now it doesnt engage until its only like 2 or 3 inches in. In other words the engagement point has shifted and is much closer to me now. It happened pretty suddenly and I dont know of anything that could have happened to shift it like that. So now Ive been having to completely readjust the way I drive to accomodate for the new engagement point. Also when I shift and release the clutch I am able to release it a bit faster without the car jerking, if I release it very fast though it will still jerk, but it used to be that I had to release it fairly slowly into 1st and 2nd or else it would jerk quite a bit.

Im just worried that these may be signs the clutch is getting ready to die, however it still accellerates fine and I can still go uphill fine. Ive only put 1200 miles on the car since I got it, could I really have killed it that quick since I got it? When I first bought it I let my friend who knows how to drive standard well drive it and he said the clutch was in good shape, and I dont drive in a fashion that would wear it out quickly, at least I dont think so, and the dealer said the previous owner was an old couple, so I doubt they were whipping it around too much. Anyone know what might have happened? I hope its not the clutch, because I just finished paying for this car and I am just now starting to save money up again, but I dont have nearly enough to pay for a new clutch. Thanks.


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Old 10-03-2005, 10:11 PM   #2
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Are you low on clutch/brake fluid? That's all I could think of or some really premature clutch wear. If you are in 5th gear crusing at 50mph and you floor it, do your rpms jump right up?
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:49 PM   #3
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I checked my clutch/brake fluid yesterday, there was enough in there, it was a dirty brown color. And no the clutch doesnt seem to be slipping like that.
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:00 AM   #4
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your cluch might be on its way out. New cluch's usually grab faster while worn ones you have to let the clutch paddle out more.
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:08 AM   #5
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i would think that it is a sign that your clutch may be on the way out as the later it catches usually the more wear you have on it
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:30 AM   #6
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mine has 9000 miles and grabs near the top...dealer said normal.
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Old 10-04-2005, 10:06 AM   #7
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I had my clutch replaced a week or two ago and before i did that i listened to one of the guy's advice on here with a way to test your clutch.

get your car in second gear and get it up to about 3500 rpm, once you hit 3500 in second gear ---> floor the gas. if the engine revs up for a second and then car starts to accellerate, you need new clutch. if car starts accelerating right away you have other problem


hope this helps
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Old 10-04-2005, 12:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips. I just tried out what you said brooklynzx5 and it didnt rev up it accellerated normally, so I guess its good for now, time will tell. hopefully its just a freak thing, I can deal with having to redjust where my clutch engages, I cant deal with paying to get it replaced right now. Would be neat if you could adjust manually where you want it to engage, theres probably some exotics out there that have it.
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:23 PM   #9
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hey, no prob.

I have put in EXEDY clutch and it picks up near the middle of the range so it also might have something to do with the quality of the clutch and the way focus system is structured
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:53 AM   #10
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As your clutch wears the engagement point will change. They do not self adjust like brakes do. While I haven't checked out our focus, most cars have an adjusting rod between the pedal linkage and the clutch master cylinder. You release the lock nut on the rod and turn the rod to increase or decrease the clutch engagement point. You don't turn it much (quater to half turn). If you turn it too much you can actually increase wear on the clutch by causing it to not fully engage. I would call this adjustment a last alternative to get the most from a very worn clutch. Its usually necessary to do this adjustment after installing a new clutch as well.
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