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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My transmission is very difficult to shift into gear from neutral and the colder the day, the worse it is. It's been doing this for a long time, but its been getting worse. In the past, if I get it into third first, it would go into first just fine. Not anymore.

It seems like once the clutch is released in neutral, the flywheel and disc do not separate properly.

Status: engine on, vehicle stopped.

1. shifter in neutral, clutch released.

2. Clutch pressed in, shift into third. It goes in with a lot of resistance.

3. Maintain clutch pressed in. Shift from 3rd to 1st. There is a lot of resistance.

4. With clutch still in, slowly pull gear out of 1st. Grinding is heard.

So, here is what I am thinking...

The car is stopped and clutch is pressed in, so the engine is separated and transmission input shaft comes to a halt once the gear goes into 3rd. Since the clutch remains pressed in and not released past step 2, there shouldn't be any resistance going into 1st after having been put into 3rd to stop the shaft. I think the resistance and grinding indicates the input shaft picking up RPMs again due to clutch disc rubbing up against the flywheel.

If the clutch has not been released in neutral after starting, the stiffness does not occur, so it seems that the clutch system has issues disengaging with the clutch disc/pressure plate assembly in rotation (as in the case of shifting into a gear after the clutch has been released in neutral allowing the input shaft to spin up)

Engine off, Gear still in third and clutch to the floor. Start engine. There is no resistance in shifter going into first.
When the engine is shut off between step 2 and 3, there is also zero resistance

The very first shift from spinning input shaft to a gear could be a synchro issues, but I fail to understand why there is a substantial resistance in going into another gear with the clutch pressed in(disengaged) after its already been in one gear; unless the clutch is not fully disengaging and causing the shaft to spin back up as the shifter is moved through neutral.

I found a very similar complaint here:
http://www.justanswer.com/ford/4ahsn-ford-focus-s-2007-ford-focus-w-approx-47-000-miles-just.html

I've also found that shaft bearing squeals when cold. (Start car in neutral, no sound, squealing starts once clutch is released in neutral)

Anyone else have a similar problem? It's not a cheap task to get the transmission dropped, so I'd like to have a better idea before committing to it.
 

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Mine has been like that since I bought it in Feb. I can barely get mine into 5th just to stop the shaft to attempt to get it into first. Sometimes I have to move the car a few feet in 5th gear just so I can get it to go into first gear. Temperature does make a difference but not by much. Whether it is 80 degrees out or 50 there is some resistance, below 50 and I have play around with it, or start it in whichever gear I want to set off it and pray it keeps shifting.
 

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No to mention that when I try and get it to go into first and it wont, clutch is still pressed, that car will move forward at quite a good pace as long as I hold the shifter forward.
 

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Seems similar to the problems I have also lol. Anyways, I suspect it's the slave cylinder/ throw out bearing, not fulling pushing onto the pressure plate. Try bleeding it, it's just like the brakes and the fluid needs to be replaced. Being that you have a an 05 and it' almost 2012. That's almost 7 year old fluid in the clutch system. Try bleeding it, this can help sometimes. Also if you haven't changed the fluid in it then it would be a great time to do it. How many miles are on it by the way?
 

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Dammit, the second time I have to post this for it to show up!!

Anyway, I'd try bleeding the slave before anything else. You don't want to go replacing a Dtec clutch for kicks- it's $450 in parts at the least, and both the flywheel and the slave cylinder must be replaced.

Now this worked on a friend's car that used to leak a tiny amount of fluid from the slave cylinder- not even noticeable on the outside of the car. He'd ask me to do this like once every 6 months or so.

Pump clutch pedal 20x or so, open reservoir cap, fill fluid to max line, leave cap off. Find the bleeder nipple on the slave cylinder which will be near the top of the transmission. Open the bleeder nipple, and let it bleed until you see fluid without bubbles. This literally took only a few seconds, and it should be the same for you. The only other thing you should do is make sure that the car is mostly level, or if un-level, then it is leaning nose down and level side to side. Seriously, when I did this to his car, it had the same symptoms, and it took me longer to find the wrench that it did to bleed it. You might only see one bubble. Wipe up your excess fluid, and try it. If it doesn't work the first time, go through the procedure again. I'd try at least 3x, then I'd go get someone to help, a clear hose to fit over the nipple, and do the 2-man bleed procedure catching the excess fluid in an old fluid container.

Use recommended Dot4 fluid, no getting happy with high tech Dot5. You really don't want to replace all your fluid when all it should take if the slave is working correctly is an ounce at the most.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No to mention that when I try and get it to go into first and it wont, clutch is still pressed, that car will move forward at quite a good pace as long as I hold the shifter forward.
What happens when you put it in gear with both front wheels floating on jack stands? Do they spin even with the clutch in? (I can't try it now, because I don't have a garage) It looks like you have it way worse than I do.

Have you tried bleeding like someone else said and did it work?

Anyway, I'd try bleeding the slave before anything else. You don't want to go replacing a Dtec clutch for kicks- it's $450 in parts at the least, and both the flywheel and the slave cylinder must be replaced.
I'll give it a try, or maybe I'll take it to shop that can do a vacuum bleed.
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=100861
I read this thread here and it says inspect and service slave cylinder as necessary. Doesn't say it must be replaced? The TSB only says that replacement OE clutch disc and production pressure plate are different and that they must be replaced in a set. Does not say the necessity about replacing slave cylinder or flywheel. You sure on this?
 

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Does not say the necessity about replacing slave cylinder or flywheel. You sure on this?
Leave it in there if you want. Slave cylinders by themselves cost $35-50. If you get a good clutch kit, then you'll get a slave cylinder/release bearing with the kit. Who knows it might last forever. Then again, it might last a week after the clutch is replaced. What to do then? You have to remove the transmission to replace the slave cylinder, so back to square 1.

Mityvac vacuum bleeders are available for rent at some parts stores. I bought mine years ago for $25, but I think now they are more like $40. Other companies now make vacuum test/bleeder kits. I'm not sure on the reliability, the Actron appears to be made of metal, but my MV plastic bleeder has lasted many years.

You don't need it for what your problem is. If you had more than one tiny bubble of air in the slave, then you'd have called for a tow truck. Forcing into gear while not moving wouldn't work. Ask anyone on here who's had to do a clutch job. It takes a long time to bleed all the air out of the slave.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright, so its fairly certain its touching when its supposed to be disengaged.

Came up to a stop. I was in a second gear, so I just step on the clutch and stop. Gear doesn't easily come out of 2nd. I had to push it out. I then try to get into first and there was a lot of resistance.

While the shifter is still in first and clutch is in, I blipped the gas. Car rolls back a bit and shifter didn't have a resistance anymore or for that time. If it wasn't touching to begin with I don't know why this would have unhooked it.
 

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From what you're describing your slave cylinder or bleeding of the slave cylinder is the problem. You might even have some contamination or a loose reservoir cap. That would make the brakes a little squishy too. The reason it didn't do it the second time was because you'd just recently pumped the clutch. Try pumping the clutch twice when it's difficult to get into gear. Idle might be affecting it also. My old van was like that, I had to lightly flutter the fuel to make it easier to get into gear. The problem was low idle and cold, old transmission. What is your idle speed?

If pumping in the clutch multiple times seems to make it easier to get into gear, then you might consider replacing your fluid- and replace all of it because the brakes are tied in to the same reservoir. I'd also replace the reservoir cap seal or get a new cap- should come with the seal. You might be getting some condensation in there and that's contaminating the fluid with water. Just a small amount will screw up your hydraulic action.
 

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What happens when you put it in gear with both front wheels floating on jack stands? Do they spin even with the clutch in? (I can't try it now, because I don't have a garage) It looks like you have it way worse than I do.

Have you tried bleeding like someone else said and did it work?
I plan on bleeding it Wednesday as long as it doesn't rain...but that's not looking so good [rolleyes] I haven't tried on jack stands either because I can't get the jack to lift my car high enough for a jack stand because the jack is old and tired.
 

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Guys... the gravity bleeding procedure I wrote on here is very effective even if it sounds too simple to be true. You don't even need a partner. I did this multiple times with good results on friend's vehicles who were in the same situation as you both are. Enough air to equal the volume of a #2 pencil lead is all you need to disrupt hydraulic action. One little bubble might be all you see when you bleed it. I'll go over it again.

1) Pump clutch pedal vigorously until you get a cramp, or 10x
2) Remove reservoir cap, fill to max line if needed, leave cap off.
3) Open bleeder nipple for slave cylinder. Be careful not to damage it- remember the metal bleeder nipple is attached to a plastic slave cylinder. You will need to use a second wrench to securely hold the bottom part that the bleeder screws into. Look for bubbles coming out of the bleeder nipple. It is good if you can first loosen the bleeder nipple, tighten enough not to leak, then attach a clear hose to the nipple so you can see air when it comes out. If you don't have a clear hose, just count to 10 with the nipple open as long as the reservoir level isn't dropping quickly- don't let it go past half full.
4) Refill reservoir to max, and put the cap back on.
5) Test, repeat if needed. If it hasn't worked by the 3rd repeat, then you might have air in the slave cylinder and only a vacuum bleed tool will remove it. It would be nice if it was easier to bleed the clutch and brake master cylinders while in the vehicle. That's a negative IMO, but that's how most manufacturers do it.
 

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Just finished bleeding the system 5 times and it made absolutely no difference on my car at all. Started it up in neutral, let the clutch out, put it back in and the only gear it would go in was 5th still. Tried pumping it and still nothing. So i guess its on to the vacuum bleeding when my buddy gets his from work. I'll have to wait another week to update on that.
 

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Man you guys... I spent 4 years trying to figure out why I couldn't seem to drive my clutch right. Just last Friday I thought I overran a gear and sure enough... it felt like it was shifting off and maybe even slipping. I got a email from my dealer saying they would give me the top dollar for my trade in and they did... they gave me $1000 more than any other dealer int eh past 5 months.. so I took the trade and got an 09 SE Foci with an automatic... that manual 07 Foci I had was just a PITA for me to drive!!
 

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Man you guys... I spent 4 years trying to figure out why I couldn't seem to drive my clutch right. Just last Friday I thought I overran a gear and sure enough... it felt like it was shifting off and maybe even slipping. I got a email from my dealer saying they would give me the top dollar for my trade in and they did... they gave me $1000 more than any other dealer int eh past 5 months.. so I took the trade and got an 09 SE Foci with an automatic... that manual 07 Foci I had was just a PITA for me to drive!!
That will definetly fix a slipping clutch. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I took it into a vocational school shop. They feel that clutch is fine and replaced the fluid. Did not fix the problem at all [facepalm]

Still slight clutch drag that causes it to grind gear coming out.
 
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