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Old 07-16-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
jk3006
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Default Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

This is my friend's 2001 SL SOHC with approx 230,000 miles on it. We did an engine swap and figured we'd do the clutch while we were at it. The previous clutch worked fine (he says) but had 80,000 miles on it. The replacement is a LUK. We had the fly wheel resurfaced. The previous clutch job did not involve a fly wheel resurfacing (not that that matters, but I thought I'd include that).

So, we put it all back together. The engine runs great, but the clutch pedal feels too light (spongy maybe) and doesn't engage until it is almost all the way out. Also the short test drive confirmed that the engine rpm's want to rev up (clutch slipping) at anything beyond feathering the throttle.

We tested for clutch pedal (no floor mat to impede) travel = 4.5 inches at most (probably less). The clutch pedal is about even with the brake pedal when fully out.

We tested for slave cylinder (the original as far as I know) and it measures .375" travel.

We took care not to allow the piston (that mounts into the tranny) to go higher than the master cylinder during the work. I am pretty sure I installed the piston correctly back into the tranny with a 1/4 turn and positive "feel" about it.

So, what are our options.

1. A bad LUK clutch from Rock Auto = Doubt it!

2. Flywheel resurfaced (professionally) beyond minimum allowable thickness ending in throw-out bearing having to travel too far to fully engage clutch = Doubt it, but maybe possible.

3. Air in clutch slave hydraulic system = maybe but don't know how it got there, and the previous clutch supposedly worked fine before this swap.

4. Hydraulic piston assembly installed incorrectly = possibly

5. Bad hydraulic system and needs to be replaced = I think so.

6. Something I've missed...?

So, any ideas and/or confirmation to the faulty hydraulic system theory?

Edit: Forgot to mention that the replacement engine came out of a 2000 auto tranny car. We swapped flywheels. Is there any other issue with this (compatability-wise) even though we did swap the fly wheels?

Thanks!

Last edited by jk3006; 07-16-2013 at 09:30 PM..

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Old 07-16-2013, 09:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Is that the gen-3 clutch? What was the rock auto stock number? You hydraulic stroke is inadequate as well. Check clutch hydraulic fluid level. Is the plastic tip on the end of the slave push rod? Is the clutch pedal coming all the way back to the pedal stop?

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Old 07-16-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Is that the gen-3 clutch? What was the rock auto stock number? You hydraulic stroke is inadequate as well. Check clutch hydraulic fluid level. Is the plastic tip on the end of the slave push rod? Is the clutch pedal coming all the way back to the pedal stop?
I will look up the part number. The plastic piece was on the end of the rod. Fluid level is good. I will check for the pedal stop. Not sure what that is, but I will look. Thanks!

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Old 07-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Rock Auto # 04193 (04-193). Definitely different from the LUK clutch for my '96.

Not sure what I did, but I pulled the pedal up from the position it was naturally resting in. I heard and felt a "pop" of sorts. Now the pedal has no or very little reistance to swinging WAY back and up. I must have popped a clip or something, but I don't know what it was since I'm not familiar with the pedal mechanism (never worked on it before). Or did I do something to the slave system?

Forgot to add that when I pulled the pedal back to see if it had "bottomed out" so-to-speak, it did move an inch or two (where I think it should be). Then the "pop" happened when I forced it further.

Last edited by jk3006; 07-16-2013 at 09:53 PM..

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Possible clues:

1. Although the flywheels were swapped, the donor engine cam from a 2000 auto tranny car. Perhaps not compatible?

2. Although the piston/rod went back into the tranny with a positive feel, it took a prybar to create enough force to move it far enough in to turn it and lock it in place. Don't know if this is normal or not?

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by jk3006 View Post
Rock Auto # 04193 (04-193). Definitely different from the LUK clutch for my '96.

Not sure what I did, but I pulled the pedal up from the position it was naturally resting in. I heard and felt a "pop" of sorts. Now the pedal has no or very little reistance to swinging WAY back and up. I must have popped a clip or something, but I don't know what it was since I'm not familiar with the pedal mechanism (never worked on it before). Or did I do something to the slave system?

Forgot to add that when I pulled the pedal back to see if it had "bottomed out" so-to-speak, it did move an inch or two (where I think it should be). Then the "pop" happened when I forced it further.
Hydraulics were not relieving back to reservoir and when you removed the slave and it sucked air. Replace it. Did you wind up the clutch cover before installing it? If not it will not hold.

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:35 PM   #7
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by jk3006 View Post
Possible clues:

1. Although the flywheels were swapped, the donor engine cam from a 2000 auto tranny car. Perhaps not compatible?

2. Although the piston/rod went back into the tranny with a positive feel, it took a prybar to create enough force to move it far enough in to turn it and lock it in place. Don't know if this is normal or not?
That is because the pedal was not all the way back to relieve hydraulic fluid back to the reservoir. All you did was crush the bubble.

To wind up the clutch you will need the instructions and I can not post them due to file size. PM a good email address.

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

OldNuc,

I have no clue what winding up the clutch cover is. PM on the way.

BTW, are you for sure suggesting to replace the hydraulics?

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:57 PM   #9
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Yes, If you can find a functioning set in a pick and pull then that will work. The master cylinder piston must be full back in the cylinder before the slave is removed and the fluid reservoir must have adequate fluid to fill the slave as the slave piston extends.

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Old 07-16-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Sounds good. There is a local parts supplier that has one for $35. We are planning to get it tomorrow afternoon.

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Old 07-16-2013, 11:59 PM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

The gen-3 clutch change for some reason tends to be a bit of a hassle. It is simpler to slide the trans back if you dig up some long 123mm bolts and cut the heads off so you can screw them into the top 2 mounting holes and then slide the trans back on those instead of all the lifting.

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Old 07-17-2013, 08:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

So, we replaced the slave system, and now the clutch engages well, although not until the pedal is almost out, just like OldNuc said.

I appreciate the help!

Now I get to do the clutch and replace tranny (2'nd gear syncro went out this spring) on my '96 SOHC. I hope the subframe comes off easily enough...

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:39 PM   #13
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Just a hint, use the LUK 04-115 clutch and buy a new flywheel. The 96 is probably not cut for the larger friction disk and also need surfacing so the new wheel will be cheaper. You can find the LUK 04-115 + flywheel on ebay at good prices that are lower than the local parts store. Just be absolutely sure you get the LUK clutch and not the Valeo look alike. Fill your clutch master cylinder, tie the pedal all the way up and when you pull the slave keep it below the MC while the slave piston extends.

Most likely that pedal engage point will drop slightly with use. As long as the clutch is not slipping on you all is well.

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Old 07-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

I have the 04-115 that I purchased at the same time from Rock Auto when I got the clutch for the 2001.

What's wrong with resurfacing the flywheel that is already on the car? I guess I'm not quite following you with the following quote:

"The 96 is probably not cut for the larger friction disk and also need surfacing so the new wheel will be cheaper. "

BTW, I think it is the original clutch and now at 261,000. I purchased the car at 142,000.

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Old 07-17-2013, 11:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by jk3006 View Post
"The 96 is probably not cut for the larger friction disk and also need surfacing so the new wheel will be cheaper. "
That OEM clutch is slightly different from all that exist now. I think the springs can barely hit the inner circumference of the flywheel unless there's a 1/4" chamfer at 45 cut on it. Much easier/cheaper/simpler to just replace it.

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Old 07-17-2013, 11:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

A new flywheel is ~$50.00 and resurfacing and machining for clearance will cost more. The diameter of the clutch changed in late 96 and most if not all 96 models are equipped with the smaller diameter friction disk. To get the new clutch to fit machining is required and you usually find out that the flywheel is now out of balance after doing this machining so you get to buy a balance job as well.

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:56 AM   #17
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

Thanks for that info. Another tidbit I'd never heard of.

I once had a '96 SW2 that I did the clutch in. I put a Valeo in it, resurfacing that flywheel, and the project turned out to be a success. But I don't remember what the month of manufacture that car was.

What I'll probably do is pull the clutch off my '96 and then compare the OEM friction disk with the new Luk one that I have here.

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Old 07-19-2013, 10:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

I finished the clutch and tranny swap a few hours ago. The friction disk that I took off was the same size as the new LuK disk that I purchased, so I went ahead and installed the new one with the old flywheel (resurfaced). I wish I had done this a couple years ago. The car is like something totally different (in a good way) than what I was used to.

The tranny is perfect too, best I can tell on the short drive.

Btw, the LuK clutch I took off still had some life left in it (not totally worn down yet), and the flywheel wasn't scored at all, even after 261,000. The flywheel on my friend's '01 that I just did was scored something terrible. Strange.

Glad to have that out of the way!

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Old 07-20-2013, 09:44 AM   #19
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

I think you're the first person on this list I've heard of having issues with the syncos. Usually they outlast the owner's life.
Was a previous owner a fan of shifting without the clutch?

-Robert

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Old 07-20-2013, 06:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Replaced clutch - Now clutch pedal too light and engagement not correct

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Originally Posted by RobertGary1 View Post
I think you're the first person on this list I've heard of having issues with the syncos. Usually they outlast the owner's life.
Was a previous owner a fan of shifting without the clutch?

-Robert

I bought the car at 142,000, and it appeared to have been well taken cared of. I doubt the PO pounded on it. I didn't pound on it either.

If it's indeed that rare for a syncro to go out, then too bad for me that it had to happen. I could have done without the added expense and effort to do the tranny swap.

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