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Clutch so hard that I can't get into 1st!

932 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Wufei
Today I drove around town a bit, and the clutch pedal got so hard that I could not put the car in first gear and could barely/rarely put it into 2nd at a stop. It was like 1 in 10 tries that worked. After I got going, I could barely disengage the clutch and flywheel and shift into upper gears.

Would air in clutch lines cause this? The prev. owner had SS clutch lines installed and took out the accumulator. A Mitsu. mechanic said to check for any leaks? Also, a while ago my dad noticed a pile of clear liquid on the garage floor, could that be clutch fluid? Later he noticed a pile of black fluid near there (think that's engine oil though).
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Check over the system for leaks. If no leaks then its time to start goin inside towards the clutch itself. As for the liquids under the car. The clear on could have been clutch fluid.

P.S. you know its a dsm, there will always be some fluid dripping from somewhere un known.
Thanks, is there any tips to checking for leaks or just visual inspection?

Could this be the master cylinder going bad?

Haha on the DSM joke ;)
If you think the master cylinder is going bad, check under the dash with a light to check.
Checked under dash, didn't really find anything leaking.

Flushed & bled the system. At first it was pretty soft, then went hard for a bit then went soft again. I'm suspecting the slave cylinder now.

When I was bleeding/flushing, there would be fluid all over the slave cylinder (bleeder valve was loose but had vacuum hose connected). A symptom?

Gonna check the slave in a few.
I had changed out a slave that had that exact same problem of holding pressure for a minute and then getting soft. But the fluid was coming out of the slave rod boot. Check that and report back.
Rebuilt the slave with the Brakeware kit from AutoZone. Is it supposed to make grinding/screeching noises while pumping?

Took it out for a spin...DAMMIT, it's still doing the same thing. At first (car was cold), the clutch was pretty soft. Then after about 3-5 min, as I was going back home, it got hard again, and after pumping a few times it was a little softer.
A leak wouldn't cause your system to go hard, it would go soft. I believe what you are experiencing is the 2G pump up. I've had some real big problems with this so I know there are threads about it. Read this and adjust accordingly.

Pedal Pump Up
Ah, ok. However, I've been driving the car since spring, and the problem has only recently surfaced. Also, the engagement point is about 2/3 of the way down, and there is a LITTLE bit of free play at the top of the pedal (free play as in loose or as in clutch doesn't disengage?)

Took it to and had them check it out. The mechanic said that I need a new pressure plate and clutch fork, and might as well get a new clutch with the tranny out.

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