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Old 07-04-2005, 12:58 AM   #1
Bob K
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1995 SL2
Default Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

I have a '95 SL2 with 125,000 miles that, I think, needs a new clutch. However, I've had some funny symptoms with the pedal that make me think I might have a hydraulic problem, too. I'm trying to figure out if I have a hydraulic problem, a clutch wear problem, or a combination of the two. Here are the symptoms:
  • Clutch starts to engage when the pedal is about halfway up.
  • The bulk of the engagement occurs when the pedal is near the top, and this is noticeably higher than before.
  • I usually get a shudder while engaging the clutch in 1st gear.
  • The clutch will regularly slip in 5th gear while climbing steep hills at freeway speed.
  • I can accelerate pretty hard in 1st through 4th as long as I am judicious about how I engage the clutch (i.e. can't dump the clutch).
  • The car will stall--no clutch slipping--if I let the clutch out with the brake on in first gear.
  • Here's the weird kicker: About every 20th time I start the car in the morning, the clutch engages almost completely when the clutch pedal is just off the floor. After driving it for several miles, it returns to the "normal" condition and engages when the pedal is much higher.
The first 6 symptoms seem to clearly indicate that I have a worn clutch or that a fluid has seeped into the clutch and is causing the clutch to slip. The 7th symptom seems to be a common indication of a failing hydraulic system (Yes, the fluid reservior is full.) But when I combine the two, I'm left wondering if the hydraulic system could be causing all my problems by not allowing the clutch to fully engage.

Questions:
  1. Can I tell, without disassembling the clutch, if fluid has leaked into the housing? How often do fluid leaks cause Saturn clutches to slip?
  2. Would the automatic adjust of a hydraulic clutch occasionally cause the low pedal engagement if the clutch is worn? Or, is it the indication of a hydraulic system problem in addition to my worn-clutch problem?
I've already purchased a new LUK clutch package, but would prefer not to replace everything if my hydraulic system is at fault. I consider myself very judicious with a clutch and frankly I'm surprised that it is slipping at the 125,000 mile mark, especially since others go much longer before replacing clutches. How would you diagnose this?

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Old 07-04-2005, 11:42 AM   #2
katarn444
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

That sounds exactly what happened to me. I went to replace the clutch and it had more meat on it then the clutch I bought to replace it. I am still not sure what was wrong with it but the clutch was not worn out. I replaced the clutch the throw out bearing and the hydraulics and everything is back to normal. I do not know what part was worn out. I did not see any leakage into the bell housing.

I have read about several people that did the same thing as I did.
So I know that I did not answer your questions but just telling you some of my experiences. Also I have read of Saturn clutchs lasting 180,000-200,000 miles.
I would say that my original clutch looked like it had another 70,000 miles left on it.

Good luck
Katarn

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Old 07-04-2005, 12:01 PM   #3
wkobe88822
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

looks to me like you are having a hyd problem in th master or slave cylinder


wayne

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Old 07-04-2005, 03:43 PM   #4
Jmmcool
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

not enough fluid

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Old 07-06-2005, 09:48 PM   #5
Bob K
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

The reservior is full. Additionally, I discovered that I have a transmission fluid leak where the shift linkage enters the shifter tower. Any chance this leak has migrated to the clutch disk and is causing my slippage?

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Old 07-07-2005, 07:24 AM   #6
Craig
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

My '95 SW2 has a similar problem with clutch slippage; the OEM one went 170K before I replaced it with a new LUK unit. 20K later it was starting to slip...I though I might have ended up with a bad pressure plate, so I bought another LUK kit and installed that along with a resurfaced flywheel. Well, here it is 20K+ later and it's starting to do the same thing!
Something else I noticed is that my son's '94 SL2 with the exact same kit has a firmer pedal and engages with a lot more authority than my '95...for some reason, the '95 just feels a lot softer. We also have a '93 SL2 and a '94 SW2, and both of those have the same feel as his '94 SL2. I've tried swapping slave cylinders and even shortened the actuation rod slightly to no avail. Don't know what it is about the '95, although I have noticed that some of the later cars I've tried also have a soft clutch feel to them.

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Old 10-04-2005, 10:59 PM   #7
mitchfortier
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

1995 Saturn SL2

The "high" cluth pedal which eventually turned into a "no resistance and cannot disengage cluth to get into gear" issue turned out to be a slave cylindar..according to SAturn of Nashua. Well.they "highly" recomended i replace a clutch that wasn't slipping raising the bill to $1500+ (the friggin car is worth $2000 for gods sake) MUCH higher than just replacing the slave.

So i checked around and talked to my regular mechanic and made the decision to have them replace ONLY the slave (which is all they said had failed) They proceded to make me sign paperwoprk that said the warrenty did not apply because i didn't fololow thier recomendations. I said fine but should have told them to take their paper work and #(*&@&#^*&@^#

Anyway..my question is..waht do you all think about the necessity of replacing Clutch Plates and other such Bull*****le when it was the Slave that failed?

Secondly..how long do YOU think the slave SHOULD last if I drive conservativly?

thanks in advance..can't wait to see what is said.

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Old 10-05-2005, 01:25 AM   #8
tabb
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

Engine racing on hard acceleration shifting from 1st to 2nd??? Your clutch is slipping.

If you go factory.....the factory clutch disc + pressure plate are slightly bigger and stronger from 97-99. You can retrofit by installing a flywheel out of one of these years or you can use your existing flywheel but it must be chamfered/machined to fit the new disc.

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Old 03-06-2006, 10:35 PM   #9
Bob K
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

Thanks for the inputs so far. I'm still a little stumped, though, since I'm getting symptoms that point to a clutch slipping and bad hydraulics.

Even if the clutch was slipping, how does that explain the occasional super-low pedal engagement point and floppy clutch pedal that rectifies itself after 5-10 minutes?

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Old 03-06-2006, 11:22 PM   #10
firevswater5
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

Since it is a hydraulic clutch, you can't judge the amount of wear on it by where it engages. With old mechanical clutches, you could tell if they were wearing out if they started releasing late, but not with these babies.

Since you are having some slippage, I would say the clutch itself probably needs to be done. It could be a hydraulics problem, but not likely if there is slippage. Expect replacing sometime in the near future

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Old 03-08-2006, 09:24 PM   #11
Bob K
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

I'm still inclined to think that I have two problems: failing hydraulics and a slipping clutch. What else besides failing hydraulics would explain why the clutch sometimes engages about 2" off the floor and is very floppy when fully released? It only happens about twice per month and the clutch slipping symptoms kinda come and go.

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Old 03-08-2006, 09:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

you probably need a new hydraulic system, cuz it sounds like its not working right.

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Old 03-09-2006, 02:19 AM   #13
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

Bad hydraulics will NOT cause clutch slip! Think about it.

Your fourth bullet point is the big clue. Clutch slip, esp. if it's predictable, means the clutch friction surfaces are at/near the end of their life. Last time I wore out a clutch, I was able to drive, carefully, on it for several months. But that's just delaying the inevitable.

You may want to have the hydraulic system replaced as well. It's replaced as a complete system. Oh, and the biggie - if you're removing the tranny, it's def. worth thinking about welding the diff pin (search our archives for "diff pin", and you'll know why).

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Old 03-10-2006, 11:04 AM   #14
Bob K
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

I disagree. If a hydraulic system does not permit the plates to fully engage (due to a blockage, worn parts, etc), then it seems quite logical that a hydraulic system could allow the clutch to slip under load. Theoretical, of course, and I would bet that a worn clutch is the cause of my slippage. My clutch slipping is not predictable either. Some days it'll grab and hold just fine under heavy acceleration in all gears. Other days not so much.

However, a slipping clutch still does not address all the problems. In the same way that bad hydraulics will likely not cause a clutch to slip, neither will worn plates cause a clutch pedal to occasionally engage two inches off the floor and then flop around for a few minutes until the car warms up. Theoretical, of course. Even if it was just coincidence, the odd pedal action coincided with the onset of the clutch slipping.

It doesn't sound like my combination of symptoms is common and I'm going to have to roll the dice to find out which one it is. In an odd sort of way, I'm looking forward to finding out what's causing all the trouble.

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Old 11-23-2007, 11:06 PM   #15
Bob K
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1995 SL2
Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

It looks like I have two separate problems afterall.

I replaced the clutch master/slave cylinder with an OEM unit and that has rectified my occasional low pedal engagement. However, I still have some clutch slippage in 5th gear and some chatter when engaging the clutch in first gear.

It looks like I'll be replacing the clutch as well.

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Old 11-23-2007, 11:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

I'm don't want to completely hijack this thread for myself, but it seemed like a logical place to post my problem.

Yesterday I did some pretty fast clutch work to get out on the highway pretty quick (and to test out the car's power), and when I got either into 4th or 5th, the revs got way up there and stayed. I put it back into neutral, let the revs go back down and put it back into 5th. Is this clutch slippage? After reading some things here, I tend to think it is.

I'm asking because I've never experienced it before. I had 165,000 miles on my 98. The differential pin dropped out, but the clutch was top notch all the way. My 02 had 200K and never a clutch problem. If I'm experiencing clutch problems with 76k on my new car, then what the hell? Why is it that people blow through their damn clutches like that? It breaks my heart to see that people don't know how to drive their cars. This one will be much happier with me as the owner.

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Old 11-24-2007, 01:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

A slipping clutch is when you give the car gas, driving in gear, and the RPM's rise but you speed does not go up to match the RPM increase.

Basicly the engine goes but the car does not.

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Old 11-24-2007, 01:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
A slipping clutch is when you give the car gas, driving in gear, and the RPM's rise but you speed does not go up to match the RPM increase.

Basicly the engine goes but the car does not.
Yeah, that's what I was saying. Exactly. I just didn't think much of it at the time, except, I'll never do that again. I've never had a clutch go bad on me. It didn't slip at all today, but from my experience so far, driving the car hard, will make the clutch slip. That kills me that a clutch is wearing with only 76,000 on it.

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Old 11-24-2007, 01:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgordon1100 View Post
Yeah, that's what I was saying. Exactly. I just didn't think much of it at the time, except, I'll never do that again. I've never had a clutch go bad on me. It didn't slip at all today, but from my experience so far, driving the car hard, will make the clutch slip. That kills me that a clutch is wearing with only 76,000 on it.
the fact that its slipping could be a worn out clutch, or a bad finger in the pressure plate. either way, u have to do the same to replace them. Im sure theres a how-to here. i got a new clutch, pressure plate, alighnment tool, and bearing fro 145 at autozone

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Old 11-24-2007, 11:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing a '95 SL2 Clutch Problem

Personally would always replace the master and slave assembly. Whether you do it with stock parts or not. Shift tower gasket p/n is 21001244, good for all S series.

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