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Discussion Starter #1
so i had my clutch replaced a couple months ago and the pressuse on the pedal was good then it would be like on off some times the pressure would be hard then sometimes none. now it is pretty much no pressuse at all but it still shifts fine. everyonce in awhile it gets pressure but only if i have been driving down the free way for a long time i shift once after i get off the freeway then there is no pressure again
 

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When there's no pressure, can you make the clutch slip?

Of course, air in the hydraulics will give you a soft pedal, but then the clutch won't release, either.

I would check your fluid level (same res as the brakes), then try to bleed the system thoroughly just to eliminate that as a possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i dont no how to make it slip. it does shift fine just super soft pedal. so the clutch shares a resivour as the brakes? what should i try?
 

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Check your brake fluid reservoir to make sure that you have the appropriate amount of brake fluid. The clutch on your car is hydraulic and uses brake fluid to work. If you are low or out of clutch fluid that could explain your soft pedal. If you are low on oil, you could have a leak in your slave cylinder or a leak in the line heading to the slave cylinder and that would explain your soft pedal.

If you have the appropriate amount of fluid, you might need to bleed the air out of the clutch.

Finally, their might be a mechanical problem with the actual pedal. I'm leading towards this, since it shifts ok. I can tell you how to check each thing, but would like you to check the brake fluid resevoir first.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
so i just checked my brake fluid and it is acutally a little high it is almost to the top i wonder if there is some air down there that backed up the fluid. also i just chaged my oil a couple days ago and it is full but befor i changed it i checked it alot and i never really lost any oil. how do i bleed the air out of the clutch or what else could it be. Thanks. is it bad to drive it when the pedal is this soft also?
 

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Here is how you bleed out the air in the clutch. If you don't have a bleeder tool, you will need someone to help you.

IT is not necessary, but it is helpful to remove the battery and the tray the battery sits on, if not you can access the bleeder port from underneath the car. Once you find it, see if you can locate it from the top of the car. The bleeder port is covered by a little plastic cap and is located on the top of the transmission. There are two things coming out of the top of the transmission. They are both part of the throwout bearing/slave cylinder. The port closest to the the engine should have a hose leading to it from the brake fluid reservoir. The other side is the bleeder. You take off the plastic cap, and use a 10mm (I think), wrench to unscrew the bleeder a 1/4 - 1/2 turn. at this point, brake fluid should come out. Have your assistant press down on the clutch and keep it on the floor. When the fluid stops running out, tighten the bleeder. The assistant can then let the pedal up. The assistant should then pump the pedal several times to see if the pedal response is improving. If it hasn't,the assistant should push down on the clutch again, leaving it all the way down and you should open the bleeder again. When fluid is out, you should tighten and let the assistant take their foot off of the clutch. The assistant should pump the pedal to check for improvement. After two or three bleedings, the air should be out.

If there is no improvement, check to if brake fluid is leaking from the line going into the slave cylinder. (The line going in next to the bleeder). Since you are overfull on fluid, I think the problem might be with the actual clutch pedal. Those can be adjusted. Try the bleeding, and if that doesn't work, we'll work on your pedal.

!!!! Check the fluid level in between each bleeding. Don't let the fluid go below the "min" mark or you might suck air in to the system while you are bleeding it.!!!!

As for your other questions, the oil change should have nothing to do with the clutch. I wouldn't worry about that.

If the car shifts fine, I wouldn't worry about driving it. If the pedal is out of adjustment, that is pretty easy to fix and not very time consuming. If you have the time and a spare $20, go and get the Chilton manual for your car from an auto part store. It will have pictures showing what I described above and the procedure for adjusting your pedal. I will be happy to help.........but sometimes the picture is really worth 1,000 words.
 

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The seals could've gone out in the clutch master cylinder if you can't seem to bleed it. To figure that out use a 1 man bleeder kit- approx $10- fill partially with fluid as per the directions, and attach it to the bleeder nipple on the slave cylinder (transmission), open the bleeder valve. It's best if you elevate the bleeder kit above the transmission. Now, pump the pedal. If you come back and there is no fluid in the bleeder kit's hose- then there's probably nothing coming from the clutch master cylinder. Even a system with air in it will pump fluid- and air will show up as bubbles in the fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok i will have to wait for someone who can help me bleed it and if that doesnt work i will let you know it should only be somewhere by the end of the day today.
 

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I believe that whynotthinkwhynot is suggesting that the master cylinder might be the issue instead of air trapped in the system or the slave cylinder/throw out bearing.

I am still puzzled as to why you would have a full/overfull fluid resevoir. If you buy the bleeding kit suggested by whynotthinkwhynot, you will not need an assistant. You will be able to bleed the clutch by yourself. The tool will come with instructions. It is very simple.

If you haven't added fluid, and the situation has been this way for several months, I'm still confused as to how there is a leak. The reservoir level should be going down with each depression of the clutch.

Don't worry, if it turns out to be your master cylinder, that is something you can do by yourself. It is not very complicated and no special tools are required.

This is how you should go about it:
1. Buy Brake Bleeding kit
2. Bleed clutch
3. If no improvement, test the master cylinder according to whynotthinkwhynot's instructions.
4. If Master Cylinder checks out, try adjusting the clutch pedal.
 

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I have my doubts about the air idea only because if there was enough air in the system to make the pedel soft, the clutch wouldn't release. So I'm more worried about the pressure plate (although I can't imagine what might have happened to it).

Before you run out and buy anything, I suggest you try to test the clutch itself by testing it for slippage. Here's one way to do it: Get the car up to 30 mph or so, then put it into high gear, then push in the clutch, and floor the gas at the same time you let the clutch out. The engine should bog right down. If it revs faster than it should considering it's in high, the clutch is slipping.
 

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so i had my clutch replaced a couple months ago and the pressuse on the pedal was good then it would be like on off some times the pressure would be hard then sometimes none. now it is pretty much no pressuse at all but it still shifts fine. everyonce in awhile it gets pressure but only if i have been driving down the free way for a long time i shift once after i get off the freeway then there is no pressure again
OH I missed that completely. When you say that the pedal has no pressure all us mechanic types are thinking that the slave cylinder is not working. The slave cylinder IS working because you're able to shift gears. When you talk about pressure, you're (catch me if I'm wrong) referring to the amount of force it takes to press the clutch pedal in. You're thinking that because it's easy to press in that it's not working.

What you're probably experiencing is a new slave cylinder that is a little sticky. The magic of hydraulics is that clutches are easier to use. Those of us who've driven mechanical actuated clutches know the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
so your saying that i have nothing to worrie about? ive just recently started driving a manual trans car and am not use to how it all works and all i knew is that it use to be hard to push and now it is very easy.
 

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If it's shifting, then the clutch, the master and slave cylinder are working. When you have a floppy pedal, and the car won't go into gear- then you have a problem with air or a failed slave or master cylinder somewhere.

It takes a good bit of skill and force to shift a manual trans without engaging the clutch. Now if you want your clutch to last for a long time, keep your shifts at low rpm. That puts less stress on the transmission and the parts of the clutch.

Of course, if you need to go, then go, but when driving around in traffic between lights there's no need in revving to higher rpms if you're not going to get anywhere.

Since this is your first manual, but this is not a brand new car- it is possible that a high performance clutch was installed in that car by the previous owner. It could also be that the slave cylinder was a little tighter than the one in your car now. High performance clutches will have a harder feel on the pedal because the pressure plate has much stronger springs. Slave cylinders- well you get what you get. There's no way to tell if a slave cylinder (if it was replaced) is going to be tighter than another. It could also be that the slave cylinder was in a bind from being pushed around in the install. It takes some time for things to work back into a "groove".
 

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I don't think there's normally any clearence between the release bearing/slave assy and the pressure plate fingers. Surely the pressure plate will push the release bearing home when the pedal is released, considering the setup focus uses.

What about other stuff though- how about pressure plate mounting bolts that are gradually loosening. That would soften the clutch, and push fluid back into the master cylinder as the PPlate assy pushed the slave piston farther back into its bore. And since the whole thing will still be under spring pressure, you wouldn't expect it to be rattling or calling attention to itself.

Are there any clunking or rattling sounds comming from there?

Do run the clutch slippage test though. If it's slipping, it's simply going to have to come out again. You'll want to take it back to the guy who did the work asap.
 

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Normally with the clutch engaged there should be some clearance between the pressure plate fingers/release bearing/release lever/slave actuating rod. The reason is that you do not want the release bearing to be loaded and therefore the release bearing inner race/balls/outer race differentially spinning continuously when the clutch is engaged. That's why there should be clutch pedal "free play".
 

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But the situation is a little different on focii. There's no linkage or fork. The slave cylinder is doughnut shaped and the trans input shaft pokes through the hole. The piston bears directly on the clutch fingers via a radial ball bearing. I'm pretty sure that, like a brake pad/rotor, the slave's piston just touches the forks when it's not in use. There's nothing there that would pull it back any farther.
 

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There should still be "clearance" (even a thou) somewhere there when the clutch pedal is released and the slave piston is "retracted". I find it hard to believe that Ford engineers would have designed the system that normally would allow the release bearing to "spin" when the clutch is engaged. To not have any clearance and have the release bearing loaded/spinning continuously is just asking for noise ("chuckling") issues/premature release bearing failure. I think that if you actually tried that you'd be able to get at least a .002" feeler in there.
 

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What would pull it away? I suppose it could be pulled away hydraulically, but then again, how would you bleed such a system? (if it actually had negative pressure at the bleed point)

And consider that the life of any bearing depends almost entirely on the load it's operating under. With no load on the bearing, it can spin happily forever.

And last- there are noise problems with these!
 
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