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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
85 Esprit, sitting many years. Shes all up and running and I replaced the clutch master and slave cylinder. The old master was in OK shape but the slave was a complete seized ball of metal.

Now its all back together but all the force in the world will not push the clutch release fork enough to engage the clutch. It seems seized. I cant manually push the fork back either.

Any suggestion as to why this is happening other than the fact the car sat idle for so long. Any suggestions as to how to work it loose or am I going to have to add yet another step to the restoration of this car ??

thanks for your help
Jason
 

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A friend had a problem with his S1 at an autocross. The clutch would never fully engage.

Turned out to be an adjustment at the pedal. Are you at the end of the pedal travel, or is it getting totally firm before full pedal travel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A friend had a problem with his S1 at an autocross. The clutch would never fully engage.

Turned out to be an adjustment at the pedal. Are you at the end of the pedal travel, or is it getting totally firm before full pedal travel?
Thank you Travis for your input, I have pedal. Its very very hard to push and is just stopping. Under the car I am not able to move the fork manually over an inch or so..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the forks are really difficult to move against the springs of the clutch housing manually...

Can you try a C-clamp rather than the hydraulics?
Yes, I will try that Saturday morning, so its ok to try to force it? I felt I was going to bend it under so much pressure.
 

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the cast iron fork will break if it's anything like on the later 89+ cars!

so no I wouldn't force it. But if you were only trying hand force before, then I would try a bit more.

But it is possible that it is seized and rusted...
 

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Things can seize up. Rust can be a great way to hold things together. I had to work on a truck that was "sitting", where the clutch plate was completely stuck to the flywheel and even though you could depress the clutch pedal and release the pressure from the pressure plate the clutch just would not let loose. If you cannot get a "clean" release you will have to pull the transaxle and disassemble the clutch. I have heard of people trying to tow the car or pushing it forward and back to break it loose. IMHO you might just as well get it apart. If you are having that much trouble with the clutch you can figure even if you can get it loose you will soon have problems because the lubrication in the pilot and throwout bearings is probably gone. It is very possible the clutch was the initial problem in the first place and why the car was left to sit. Before you force and break things (expensive things!) pull the transaxle and while it's out you can do the notorious circlip.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Jason, when you replaced the master did you confirm the bore sizes were the same and did you use the existing push rod or the one that came on the new master? The reason I ask is that on some replacement masters the rod is a different length and can feel like its bottomed out when it hasn't. There are also two holes in the clutch pedal where the pin passes through, confirm its in the right one. Has the adjustment been confirmed at the threads on the clutch arm?(#13) Does the pedal feel hard right from the top or halfway down ? If it's confirmed to be an identical master and the adjustment is correct then check the slave has movement, I have had a brand new slave that was seized solid giving the same symptoms. If all of these check out then it could well be a seized release bearing which is the worst case as it will likely require the removal of the transmission.
Colin
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Things can seize up. Rust can be a great way to hold things together. I had to work on a truck that was "sitting", where the clutch plate was completely stuck to the flywheel and even though you could depress the clutch pedal and release the pressure from the pressure plate the clutch just would not let loose. If you cannot get a "clean" release you will have to pull the transaxle and disassemble the clutch. I have heard of people trying to tow the car or pushing it forward and back to break it loose. IMHO you might just as well get it apart. If you are having that much trouble with the clutch you can figure even if you can get it loose you will soon have problems because the lubrication in the pilot and throwout bearings is probably gone. It is very possible the clutch was the initial problem in the first place and why the car was left to sit. Before you force and break things (expensive things!) pull the transaxle and while it's out you can do the notorious circlip.
David Teitelbaum
Thank you David, you are correct, I should just bite the bullet
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jason, when you replaced the master did you confirm the bore sizes were the same and did you use the existing push rod or the one that came on the new master? The reason I ask is that on some replacement masters the rod is a different length and can feel like its bottomed out when it hasn't. There are also two holes in the clutch pedal where the pin passes through, confirm its in the right one. Has the adjustment been confirmed at the threads on the clutch arm? Does the pedal feel hard right from the top or halfway down ? If it's confirmed to be an identical master and the adjustment is correct then check the slave has movement, I have had a brand new slave that was seized solid giving the same symptoms. If all of these check out then it could well be a seized release bearing which is the worst case as it will likely require the removal of the transmission.
Colin
Colin, I used the existing push rod as the new one was considerably shorter. I made note as to which hole on the clutch pedal was used and replaced it in the same one.. I did not alter any of the adjustments on the slave or the pedal.

The pedal is hard all the way down, I feel it move about an inch and then it comes to a stop, I can force it down but feel I am going to damage something.

The slave has movement as I moved it in and out while bleeding it.

I will research the release bearing in my manual.

thanks for your input!
 

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Colin, I used the existing push rod as the new one was considerably shorter. I made note as to which hole on the clutch pedal was used and replaced it in the same one.. I did not alter any of the adjustments on the slave or the pedal.

The pedal is hard all the way down, I feel it move about an inch and then it comes to a stop, I can force it down but feel I am going to damage something.

The slave has movement as I moved it in and out while bleeding it.

I will research the release bearing in my manual.

thanks for your input!
Jason,
Sounds like you checked all the right items, one question, when you bled the system was it with the slave installed or just connected to the hydraulics? When you installed the slave the push rod forced the slave plunger all the way into the cylinder? I.e all the way towards the front of the engine, I have also had a friend assume the plunger should be all the way aft in the release position , when it's actually all the way forward, common sense I know but I had to ask.
Colin
 

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You cannot move a clutch fork against a pressure plate by hand under any conditions - it requires way too much force. If you are getting sufficient movement of the slave and it cannot move the fork then I strongly suspect something is seized or jammed. Like David I would recommend pulling the transmission out or if possible sliding it back so you can examine the whole clutch assembly. If you have a boroscope or can borrow one you may be able to get some ideas by looking inside the bell housing. Be cautious, even with using the clutch pedal - If you break the fork it will be difficult to find a replacement. My understanding is new ones are unobtainable and used ones are scarce.
 

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If he opens the bleeder at the slave the pedal should bottom easily and fluid will flow out. If not, then a plugged line is indicated. If the pedal does bottom with the bleeder open, then the fork etc. need to be examined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jason,
Sounds like you checked all the right items, one question, when you bled the system was it with the slave installed or just connected to the hydraulics? When you installed the slave the push rod forced the slave plunger all the way into the cylinder? I.e all the way towards the front of the engine, I have also had a friend assume the plunger should be all the way aft in the release position , when it's actually all the way forward, common sense I know but I had to ask.
Colin
Colin,

thanks and yes the plunger is all the way forward in the slave cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You cannot move a clutch fork against a pressure plate by hand under any conditions - it requires way too much force. If you are getting sufficient movement of the slave and it cannot move the fork then I strongly suspect something is seized or jammed. Like David I would recommend pulling the transmission out or if possible sliding it back so you can examine the whole clutch assembly. If you have a boroscope or can borrow one you may be able to get some ideas by looking inside the bell housing. Be cautious, even with using the clutch pedal - If you break the fork it will be difficult to find a replacement. My understanding is new ones are unobtainable and used ones are scarce.
Thanks, tomorrow I am going to take the panels out of the engine compartment and see if I can see in the bell housing through the small opening. But I am pretty sure it will have to come out at this point :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Are you sure you have fluid moving through the line? It almost sounds like the line is plugged up.
Yes, the line is not plugged as I bled about a gallon of fluid through it :facepalm
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good news! The clutch fork needed a little persuasion, using a c clamp I applied a little pressure and it released. Now the clutch works fine and I even drove the car around the lot today... I am sure the clutch will need some attention from sitting so long, but at least now I can move the car around under its own power!:clap:

Thanks everyone for your help!
J
 

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:up:

Good to hear.... See if you can peek in the bell housing and see if it is rusted up etc. You will want to know why it was stuck.
 
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