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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I've had my 1999 MK1 Focus Estate for coming up 2 years, it's done 145k miles now.

Last winter we saw some pretty dire flooding in the UK, safe to say I took a spin in them and did pretty well. Although after this I noticed the clutch felt different, it was still working fine but the biting point was noticeably higher, presumably the resistance of pushing through flood water may have burnt the clutch slightly. It was silly of me to drive through floods, but as a contractor on the run-up to Christmas, if I didn't get to work, I didn't get paid...ya gotta do what ya gotta do and the car only cost me £500 so it's not the end of the world if anything serious went wrong.

A year has passed, the car has been fine for the year, no ongoing issues at all. Until the last couple of weeks or so, I've noticed some changes in the clutch. The biting point is getting gradually higher and higher in this time. No adverse weather yet and no wreckless driving that could have caused it. However the clutch is still working fine and there's no slipping at all that I can feel. The issue now is that it's either all or nothing, when that clutch bites even a slightest bit the wheels are spinning. It's got about half an inch from the biting point to the highest it will go and in that half an inch it just spins the wheels when I let it out - there's no middle ground to pull away in a controlled manner. As you can imagine parallel parking is now a challenge and turns heads of everyone nearby when I start pushing my car backwards and forwards into the space (only when in a safe place to do so of course).

Gear selection is fine and smooth, all gears work well, no grinding juddering or slipping in any gear. From my understanding, if the clutch was badly worn it would presumably produce one or more of those symptoms instead of the "all or nothing" issue I'm currently experiencing? Which leads me to believe maybe something needs adjusting.

Can anyone advise what I can try next, or if something needs replacing, what sort of cost would I be looking at? I would be hoping to do this myself depending on complexity (my recent cambelt change went well).

I've got the 2.0 Zetec "DNW" variant Focus if that makes any difference to the advice given, I'm not sure which gearbox though as I understand there are 2 or 3 models in the range.
 

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Vince your Moderator
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Is there brake fluid up to the full line in the reservoir? The brakes and clutch share it.

outside of that it, your clutch sounds like it's giving up the ghost.
 

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Rusted springs in the clutch disk. Now it wont absorb shock and engages in one sharp jarring motion, that's my guess. Along with the clutch material being worn out too. Either way, clutch has to get done. Who knows though. Once you got it open you could have something else wrong. One way to find out
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies so far, very helpful. Yes there is break fluid up to the line.

Judging by my milage, I'd guess it's good to replace it. I don't know much about clutches, I know what it looks like and the principles how it works but parts-wise I'm pretty clueless. Which parts should be replaced when changing it? I've looked up some kits, some with and some without slave cylinder, is it good/worth replacing that at the same time? Being hydraulic, does anything need bleeding when replacing anything? What is the general opinion on remanufactured parts, should they be avoided? For budget I'd need to keep costs as low as possible hence doing the work myself but if it's worth spending a bit more for reliability I don't mind. I'll likely only have the car for another year or two (up to another 30k miles max)
 

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Always go with the slave, throw out bearing, clutch disk, pressure plate, and have the flywheel resurfaced. That way when you put it all back together you know you wont have to tear it open again lol.
 

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Also, remanufactured parts aren't recommended with this kind of thing. But feel free to buy the cheapest kit as long as you replace what I mentioned above. And you will need to bleed the system via the bleeder valve on the slave cylinder. Be sure not to tighten it too much or you will snap it and will have to pull the trans again to replace (trust me... I know). If you let the level go down to far in the fluid reservoir you might have to bleed the brakes too.
 

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Vince your Moderator
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Exeddy and LuK are the best OEM replacements
 

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Vince your Moderator
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You can find an exeddy for less than $140.00

Plus they pop up in the Buy-Sell-Trade section at times.
 

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Vince your Moderator
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It was on Amazon f couple of years ago. It came with a LuK slave too!
 
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