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Old 01-06-2010, 08:37 AM   #1
acworthpatrick
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1992 SL1
Default I think my clutch has failed

I have never had any problems with my 1992 SL1 since owning it, so you can imagine my suprise this morning when my clutch went out (I think), or maybe my transmission has quit.

I was pulling into the office building, and I went to go from 1st to 2nd gear and the transmission suddenly won't go into gear anymore. Car is half way up the road coming into the office park with the flashers on now, waiting for a friend to get here with this dodge ram to pull it up into the parkinglot.

Is this my clutch - when you move the shifter around I can't feel any of the gears, but the clutch pedal still has normal pressure.

Any ideas? I don't know anything about transmissions.

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Old 01-06-2010, 08:57 AM   #2
hoseppi
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

I think it is your shifter bushing, based on the symptoms. Pull the console off and look at the base of the shifter as you move it around. You can get the new improved version on Ebay for 17$. In the mean time use a small c-clamp to hold the cable to the shifter.

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Old 01-06-2010, 09:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

I second hoseppi's diagnosis. This same thing happened to me last summer, and if I remember correctly, the only tool you need to pull the console is a Phillips-head screwdriver.

If the bushing has failed and the car is currently in neutral, you can hook your index finger through the shifter cable and pull back for 3rd gear and push forward for 4th to limp it home. I was able to drive my car home this way and save myself a big fat towing bill.

...
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:57 AM   #4
acworthpatrick
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

Awesome, you guys are great. I got the car pulled up into the parkinglot by holding the cable on there to get in first.

A friend gave me some zipties which are working great for now. The rubber cap on the end of the ball is all cracked and broken. I found the Delrin one on ebay and ordered it today. So hopefully the zip ties will get me around till it gets here. I snapped a couple of pics of the ziptie fix


...
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

That should do the job. I think this cold weather is rough on them.

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Old 01-06-2010, 11:16 AM   #6
acworthpatrick
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoseppi View Post
That should do the job. I think this cold weather is rough on them.
We are having some unusually cold weather for GA the past few weeks to, must have been the straw that broke the camals back!

Here are some pics of my SL1, I almost never login here, but I need to start.
Everyone is always so helpful.



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Old 01-06-2010, 11:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

I have a similar model, only mine is a 97 with the same eng/trans combo. @ 229k,and with the original clutch it still runs great. The gas mileage has gone down a little though.

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Old 01-06-2010, 01:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

Quote:
Originally Posted by acworthpatrick View Post
I almost never login here, but I need to start.
I check this forum almost daily, mostly to read about other people's problems so I can be prepared if it happens to me

I've learned a ton of stuff (most of which I hope to never have to use! ) but if my car breaks down, I have a pretty good idea on what to do on most things.

...
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #9
acworthpatrick
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I check this forum almost daily, mostly to read about other people's problems so I can be prepared if it happens to me

I've learned a ton of stuff (most of which I hope to never have to use! ) but if my car breaks down, I have a pretty good idea on what to do on most things.
Me to, I am actually pretty decent with engine work, but tranny's scare me.
Automatics even more than manuals - when they go south your wallet can take a massive hit.

I love my Saturn though - I usually get in the high 30's for mpg, and hardly ever have any trouble. What more can you ask for.

...
1992 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC w/5-Speed
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:08 PM   #10
Nels
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1996 SL
Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

Regarding the shifter bushing --
Looking for opinions. Does this bushing fall into the category of normal maintenance? i.e, should I be thinking in terms of replacing it before it breaks and leaves me stranded somewhere? Maybe I should just have one on hand, just in case? I have a 96 SL 5 speed with 112,000 miles on it. Just enough age and mileage that I am trying to stay ahead of these issues before they become a problem.

...
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

Quote:
Originally Posted by acworthpatrick View Post
Me to, I am actually pretty decent with engine work, but tranny's scare me.
Automatics even more than manuals - when they go south your wallet can take a massive hit.
There are some great How To's on here (and links off site, to the richpin videos for example) for both manual and automatic transmissions - for diagnosing and repairing.

i'm contemplating switching to an SL1 transmisson for economy and putting in a new clutch while I'm at it, in a year or two
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nels
Looking for opinions. Does this bushing fall into the category of normal maintenance? i.e, should I be thinking in terms of replacing it before it breaks and leaves me stranded somewhere? Maybe I should just have one on hand, just in case?
IMO, yes the bushing is a good preventative maintenance item.

You should have zip ties for if it breaks, if you don't do the bushing beforehand.

To do a roadside bushing replacement, you'd need a phillips screwdriver, and possibly a sharp knife and pliers to cut away and pull the old bushing out. You may also need a C-clamp to get the new bushing on. You can't do the stainless bushing as a roadside repair as you have to wait a day for the JB Weld to set up, but you could conceivably do the Delrin one.

Once you do the bushing, you probably don't need to worry about it ever again. The stainless one ($33 shipped, iirc) is a permanent fix. I expect the Delrin one ($23 shipped) to last the next 400k miles or so.

...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:57 PM   #12
leejm12
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Default Re: I think my clutch has failed

I had this happen about 30 days ago. Needed a sleeve on the shift cable, otherwise it kept disconnecting. Local trans shop just fabricated a sleeve/bushing to keep it from slipping off. Now works great. -J

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