All of a sudden my clutch went from totally normal to very hard to press down. It’s now been this way for quite a long time. It’s a hydraulic clutch (clutch was replaced by a shop a few months prior to the issue, but me and the shop…did not get along.) in an 06 tribute with a 4 cylinder motor.

Looking for what I’ll need done in order to not have to break my leg to shift the thing. Thanks.

I figure it’s something the shop didn’t do correctly, as it was supposed to have new flywheel, pressure plate, clutch disc, pilot bearing and throw-out bearing but there’s no way to verify they replaced it all or did it correctly and the problem started suddenly about 3 months later.

  • dual_sport_dork@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    Sounds like a collapsed line between the clutch master cylinder (at the pedal) and the slave cylinder (on the transmission). Especially if the thing still works, but just requires herculean effort to disengage. The line is rubber, and a common failure mode if it disintegrates it for little flaps of material to block the line, typically when pressure is going only in one direction – i.e., when you’re pressing the pedal, or releasing it.

    You could have a shredded seal or piece of crud partially blocking one of the passages in either the master or slave cylinder. My money is on the master (on the clutch pedal end, poking through the firewall). That’s typically what I see fail first out of the two on any car. Although anything’s possible depending on if/how your mechanic fucked up.

    Replacing the master cylinder as a DIY job is not too tough. Doing the slave cylinder or line is a little more involved, with working in cramped spaces (usually – I don’t know what it looks like on a Tribute/Escape offhand). Most modern vehicles have the slave cylinder on the outside of the transmission, at least.

    • ColeSlothOP
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      9 months ago

      Thanks for the info. Is there any good way of diagnosing which, if either, it is without just firing the parts cannon at it?

      • dual_sport_dork@lemmy.world
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        9 months ago

        Not in any way that I can think of that doesn’t involve dismantling it anyway. If you had the master and slave cylinders out and on a workbench and connected together via the line, you could probably play with it and figure out which one was the culprit.

        • ColeSlothOP
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          9 months ago

          Well I just took it out for a drive after changing all the fluids (it’s been sitting and only getting started up every few months for the past two years) and discovered that it’s also slipping if I gas it very hard. I think it was before and I simply forgot.

          So I’m assuming it would no longer be the cylinders or lines, and more likely be something like the throw out bearing or one of the other parts that were supposed to be replaced. Would you think the same?

          This was the only time in the past 15 years I’ve had a shop work on my vehicle. I’ve never tried any tranny stuff before because it seems like it would be really hard to pull off on a little set of ramps out in my driveway, and tried looking for a youtube video to show the exact process for a tribute/escape from my year and couldn’t find one. I feel like I’d need my hand held at least that much while doing a clutch job for the first time if I were to try it.

          • dual_sport_dork@lemmy.world
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            9 months ago

            It is theoretically possible for a collapsed or restricted line to also cause the clutch not to fully engage (or at least not as quickly as you’d like) due to not being able to release the hydraulic backpressure through the blocked line.

            You typically see this sort of thing with brakes, which work via the same/similar types of lines. A collapsed brake line can cause the brake caliper to appear “stuck on,” causing drag and pad wear, etc., and people may drive themselves nuts replacing the pads and calipers over and over again without suspecting the line. In brakes this is reversed, since applying pressure causes the clamping force to engage rather than disengage.

            A worn or otherwise janky throwout bearing is unlikely to cause clutch slip. Worn, broken, or incorrectly installed clutch springs might. Worn clutch friction plates, definitely. Contamination from leaked brake fluid, also sure to cause slippage. There’s something else to check.

            • ColeSlothOP
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              9 months ago

              Well I don’t figure it would be contamination on the plates, since it was working for a couple months or so after the job, and I remember the issue going straight from not existing, to immediately existing.

              If it were a line or cylinder partly plugged up, the constant tension pushing the bearing back to the plates would eventually cause whatever great it was in to stop slipping as the clutch fluid would slowly move back past, wouldn’t it? The ease of slipping didn’t seem to change based on how long it was in the gear for.

  • Everythingispenguins@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    It is possible that you have a broken clutch finger. If the shop did a poor job installing the clutch. They could have done some damage to the pressure plate. That could lead to premature failure of the fingers. The only solution though is a new clutch.

  • Wrench Wizard@lemmy.worldM
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    9 months ago

    Could be a few things, clutch fork bent but let’s pray not.

    Have you adjusted it? My mentor’s rule of thumb is to adjust new clutches after they’re broken in, he hits them a week or so later if possible. I’d recommend it and have seen it happen quite a few times.

    Could be clogged or pinched hydraulic lines. Bleeding the slave cylinder would be a start with that.

    Check your clutch pedal, anything bent, broken etc?

    Will get back with more. Am not an expert on clutches btw have just replaced quite a few. Not pretending to be an expert

    Really hope it’s not the fork though, that will do this but you’d have to drop the trans to replace it.