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Old 11-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
brokendown
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Default clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

First an introduction about myself: i'm mid 30's, currently in Moorhead Minnesota (but regularily travel to Minneapolis and hope to once this is fixed), and currently effectively disabled. I only mention disability because some things that might be easy for others may be extraordinarily difficult for me to do because I was apparently born autistic and with a learning disability. I am still struggling to become functional and work around things but I can have "lapses" which i'll only bring up if I have one later, i'm just giving an early warning that sometimes I frustrate people because I cannot see what is obvious to them. Mostly the disability manifests itself in frustration, inability to identify some things/"see the obvious" at certain times (there was one embarrasing time when I was unable to identify an oven.. yes the type you cook with... yes really, I couldn't "see" it, I was mind blind), and needing an abnormally long period of time to do what others can rush through. However I can usually muddle through if I have plenty of time and can take lots of breaks to go away for awhile and come back when I feel different or more functional.

I currently have a 1999 Saturn SL (no 1 or 2, just basic bottom model) which I am trying to change the clutch on over the last three weeks or so because I cannot afford to pay anybody else to do it for me. It's getting very cold out now (30-40deg F) and i'm trying to finish it as soon as I can. I can't continue to afford to drive my other backup car which has crappy mileage.

I actually worked through the entire chris tomas guide (does he still accept updates? I have a few things I might add as suggestions) and got everything back together, pretty sure I followed every step correctly, went to press the clutch... and had a concrete pedal. Would not depress in the slightest. In emotional frustration I pushed harder and harder until there was a loud POP, a sound of fluid leaking down, and then the sight of clear fluid leaking down from what I think was the clutch slave cylender. When I did the quarter turn and pop out of the part like you do to change the clutch, the rubber seal was blown, the spring was fully extended out, and two other plastic parts were inside the transmission housing which I fished out. (I hope there were only two, but I dont for a fact know)

I deduced I probably blew out the hydraulics, the guide said i'd have to order a new one. I already ordered a new one (though i'm curious has anyone figured out a way to rebuild the old ones despite the intent they are permanently sealed and non serviceable?) and it arrived, which brings me to the current moment and problems.

1. Since the clear fluid leaked inside the transmission, I assume I should change out the transmission fluid again since it's probably bad or added something it shouldnt or whatever? I'm not sure how much leaked inside but i'm sure it was some.

2. Is there any disassembly video or picture series that I can verify that since the slave cylender exploded inside the transmission housing that I got all the parts out without having to completely disassemble everything for the clutch change to look inside the bellhousing? I really dont want to tear it all back apart now in 30 degree weather and very short daylight and tolerable time to even try to do this if I can help it, not without even knowing if it will work once back together anyways. (the concrete pedal problem)

So far for instance I cant seem to find the metal rod that I assume actually depressed... whatever it was inside the housing it depresses. (the clutch fork maybe?) I cannot see how a long thing could have slipped past the small area inside the transmission housing but I haven't so far found it on the floor. (though that was dirty covered in transmission fluid and floor dry still from a problem with the CV joint shafts not sealing and my first added fluid dumping everywhere) Also looking at the new clutch slave cylender I see some plastic 'hat' and two things on the side connecting it to the housing or something... i'm not sure if thats supposed to be on the original (it was definately not when I first did that quarter turn and popped it out) or if it's supposed to be cut off before I install the new one or what exactly.

3. Even if I replace the hydraulics I have the still unanswered problem of why did I have a concrete pedal? I would like to conclusively answer that before I even put in what I bought. What could have caused it, and how can I verify that this is working before I put in the new $120 slave cylender wasting more money on something that maybe is not fixable? As near as I can tell if I push in my finger, the clutch fork(?) or the part I can press (I can feel the grease I added to the little divot/depression thingie as per the clutch instructions) and it SEEMS to press inward a half inch or something... I cannot for the life of me determine why the slave cylender would have been unable to depress it nor have I the slightest clue of how to troubleshoot anything. In particular I dont want to tear apart the transmission again, fish out old clutch cylender parts, put it all back together, put on the new slave cylender... and still have a concrete pedal requiring a THIRD teardown. If possible I dont even want to tear it down a second time if I can verify which parts might have exploded inside the trans housing and might be gettable back out without a complete teardown of removing CV shafts and all the rest of it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

Welcome to the forums and congrats on getting your clutch replaced.

To answer your questions...

When you reinstalled the slave the push rod missed the clutch fork. This is extremely common and also why your new clutch hydros came with the retention strap (the hat you referred to). This keeps the push rod positioned correctly and on your first push of the clutch pedal, you'll break the plastic and the push rod will be positioned correctly. You'll experience a slightly concrete pedal the first time as the retaining strap breaks.


The inside of the tranny where the push rod goes does not have fluid in it, so a tranny fluid exchange is not needed. However, you will want to fish the old push rod out of the tranny case. Go in there with a telescoping magnet or a strong magnet on a string.

The old clutch hyros are garbage.

This is not too much of a set back for you!

shawn
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:02 PM   #3
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Thumbs Up Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokendown View Post
First an introduction about myself: i'm mid 30's, currently in Moorhead Minnesota (but regularily travel to Minneapolis and hope to once this is fixed), and currently effectively disabled. I only mention disability because some things that might be easy for others may be extraordinarily difficult for me to do because I was apparently born autistic and with a learning disability. I am still struggling to become functional and work around things but I can have "lapses" which i'll only bring up if I have one later, i'm just giving an early warning that sometimes I frustrate people because I cannot see what is obvious to them. Mostly the disability manifests itself in frustration, inability to identify some things/"see the obvious" at certain times (there was one embarrasing time when I was unable to identify an oven.. yes the type you cook with... yes really, I couldn't "see" it, I was mind blind), and needing an abnormally long period of time to do what others can rush through. However I can usually muddle through if I have plenty of time and can take lots of breaks to go away for awhile and come back when I feel different or more functional.
Tell me about it dude.. I'm 2/3 in the same boat with you (sans the learning disability, but that was sadly replaced with muscle issues). And yes, I too go through periods of "what?" "what?" "what?" etc till I _FINALLY_ get it rung into my head what someone wants, and then it's all like DERRRP... moreso than not it's happened in person, but a couple times it's happened online.

In any case, just wanted to say welcome aboard and you're totally not alone here
...
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DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnV View Post
Welcome to the forums and congrats on getting your clutch replaced.

To answer your questions...

When you reinstalled the slave the push rod missed the clutch fork. This is

The inside of the tranny where the push rod goes does not have fluid in it, so a tranny fluid exchange is not needed. However, you will want to fish the old push rod out of the tranny case. Go in there with a telescoping magnet or a strong magnet on a string.
Wont the retention strap then break off inside the transmission and get pulled into the clutch or something? I dont remove ANY of the plastic I just put it in as it is?

How much force is reasonable to use to break that strap? (since I dont want to order a third hydraulic system)

Just for the future if I twist and pop out the clutch slave in the future is there some 'trick' to getting it to align properly?

Still hoping someone else could maybe share a picture or vid or detailed description of all the parts that are inside the slave cylender - i'm afraid some piece of plastic (in addition to the push rod) may have become lost in there, reaching in to grab the two I felt i'm afraid I might have pushed something I didn't feel down inside.

I'm pretty sure there was oil that got into the transmission, the slave cylender was wet on the inside I think. >_< And it was pushed again after it blew out as I muddled around with it in despair... if it did leak internally somehow should I change it? I could be mistaken...

I have a picture on my digicam but I cant find the cord to put the picture in the computer and have no idea where it was... there were like six parts that came from my slave cylender that I can identify - the large part of the housing itself, some large plastic ring as big as the housing (1.5 inches in diameter or so) that seems to screw onto it somehow, a small 1 inch rubber thingbob with a hole in the middle which i'm guessing is a seal, the obvious spring, and TWO white plastic pieces which seem to be a plunger from the middle- one maybe an inch long and another which sorta looks like it fits into the first part maybe half an inch or less long, both those pieces are like half an inch in diameter. I CANNOT find the rod (I will search for it with the magnet trick though) and I dont know if there are any additional clips, pins, retainers, or plastic pieces that could have blown off inside the housing but i'm pretty sure they will be Bad News if they did. :(

Are there any less severe alternatives to taking everything apart if I cannot get the rod back out with a magnet? At some point in the past I read someone else described some process involving jacking up the one side of the car way up and undoing some bolts, and that it should fall out without having to undo everything, but it wasnt clear if this means pull cv shafts or whether trans fluid will dump out... more details would help alot.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

The part that the slave cylinder fits into is called the "bell housing" and it doesn't contain any transmission fluid. The bell housing is what houses the clutch, and there is no transmission fluid in the place that the clutch hides in.

Think of it as two parts, the "bell housing" for the clutch, and the "transmission" which is actually a separate piece, that the bell housing bolts onto, that hides the clutch.

You will need to get that lost rod out of the bell housing though, and the other pieces. If not a magnet, then there is a chance you can take off some of the flywheel cover underneath the engine, jack up the driver's side so that they will roll to the passenger side, and use a piece of wire to fish it out. In fact, if you do have pieces in there, that would be the best way to get the plastic pieces out. There are a couple of pieces to take off to get the flywheel cover off, but you don't need to drain the transmission for this.

Also, search youtube for richpin's videos about the Saturn clutch:
http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...6a+clutch&aq=f
Be sure to set up some zip loc baggies with labels that you can put the bolts into.

When you install the new slave cylinder:
Tie the clutch pedal to the steering wheel or put a block of wood under the pedal so you don't accidentally step on the pedal in the middle of the slave cylinder install. You already know what happens with these, but this is part of the process of installation and needs to be on you to do list.

On the slave cylinder, the retention straps on the rod will hold it straight, so just make sure you put it in straight. You probably will not feel it on the pedal the first time you push it.
...
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

Quote:
Originally Posted by macbox View Post
You will need to get that lost rod out of the bell housing though, and the other pieces. If not a magnet, then there is a chance you can take off some of the flywheel cover underneath the engine, jack up the driver's side so that they will roll to the passenger side, and use a piece of wire to fish it out. In fact, if you do have pieces in there, that would be the best way to get the plastic pieces out. There are a couple of pieces to take off to get the flywheel cover off, but you don't need to drain the transmission for this.

On the slave cylinder, the retention straps on the rod will hold it straight, so just make sure you put it in straight. You probably will not feel it on the pedal the first time you push it.
Which parts of the cris thomas saturn clutch guide would I have to follow then or more accurately which parts can I NOT do in the removal? Can I leave the CV shafts in or will this create some kind of problem? Remove trans mounts? Do the trans/engine actually have to be separated again (and if so about how far would you guess, ie half an inch still on the dowels?) or is just removing the flywheel inspection cover and tilting the car over enough? I'm confused about whats necessary.

Does anyone have an exploded diagram of the slave cylender so I can figure whether I got all the parts or if it's only that metal rod that i'll need to look for?

Does the retention strap just stay permanently half-attached to the slave cylender afterwards or ever get in the way in the future?
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

I have not been in your shoes since I have only separated the transmission from the engine outside the car, but I don't believe you should have to take the axles off or separate the trans from the engine. Someone knows more than me about this and they can jump in.

In step 25 of the Cris Thomas process, he mentions a tin shield in the second sentence, that tin shield is the flywheel cover. You probably just need to remove these two things in step 25, and angle a piece of wire up there and sweep around with it and fish it out.

Try this first, if this doesn't work then there will be a plan B, unless someone else has a better idea.

The remains of the retention strap stay attached to the pushrod and do not get in the way.

Take a look at these pictures.
...
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

I don't think removing the inspection cover will give you any room to actually pass anything from the bell housing to the outside world, it might giving you enough room to find the pin then remove it through the slave cylinder opening.

You can see a few pics of this on a how-to guide I made some time ago:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=157297

Start at the exhaust - you'll need to remove the exhaust down pipe, stiffener bracket and then inspection cover.



Any fluid from the slave cylinder won't matter and the plastic clip just breaks and remains in place.

The key to getting the push pin inserted correctly (after the retention clip has been broken) is to aim the pin high as you insert the slave. Then go and test the clutch pedal. If it has any resistance, remove the slave and try again.

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Old 11-16-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnV View Post
I don't think removing the inspection cover will give you any room to actually pass anything from the bell housing to the outside world, it might giving you enough room to find the pin then remove it through the slave cylinder opening.
shawn
Well I am still fumbling on this.. per advice in another thread I removed the front part of the exhaust (not sure how to remove the rear, there are bolts further back but the exhaust hangar holds it where it is mostly, not sure how that is really attached to be honest I just stare at it in confusion) which let me get off the transmission support bracket (the thingbob with six bolts), and then the inspection cover. Support bracket is off, inspection cover is off, and although the exhaust is still admittedly partly in the way I can at least shine light and see behind it... and I cant for the life of me figure out how I can fish out anything behind whats maybe 2mm of clearance with the flywheel and the angle of view makes it so I can't see anything of value either. I'm afraid I might have to separate the engine and transmission some, at least a bit, to even be able to properly fish anything. :-/ There's no way I can stick in an angled mirror to see anything, or even guide some kind of claw grabbing tool stuck down the slave cylinder opening to pick up anything.

I mean I can swipe some metal tool along the edge but I cant feel whether it's contacting some ultra light plastic part or something - I just cant see or feel in there worth a damn.

*confused*
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: clutch repair HELP! :( disabled user...



I didn't have a picture of the spring, but I also pulled that out. Ignore the socket above that wasnt in there. :P

I'm aware that the center metal pin that actually pushes on the clutch fork is not there, thats what i'm looking for inside the bellhousing. I didn't see it inside the clutch slave when I pulled that out of the housing. I'm concerned the force it popped open with could have shot other pieces inside if there were any.

Should there be any OTHER pieces i'm looking for? I have two white plastic pieces there, a black rubber grommet, the housing, the black screw on doohickey that goes on the top, plus the not pictured spring. Plus the metal pin apparently lost in the bellhousing.

Has anyone else taken apart a clutch slave before and are there any other little missing plastic clips or metal clips or something attaching? I couldn't figure out if something was supposed to hold the above pieces together.

------
Meanwhile i'm going to fish around with a magnet, some other physical probes to see if I can make anything move that is visible and obvious. And see if I can get a dental mirror or something maybe shining light or seeing something inside there.
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