Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear. - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear.

And I have to slam the clutch pedal to the floor to get the neutral safety switch to allow me to start the truck. When I come up to a stop light and put it in neutral while waiting for the light to turn green, I have a tough time getting it back into gear.

The bushings under the dash all appear to be fine. I installed the rebuilt trans and South Bend DD clutch about 6k miles ago. When I push in the clutch pedal, there is a fair amount of noise from the t.o. bearing, but a buddy told me that is normal for the SB DD clutches. He knows of three other SB DD that make that much noise. The noise is not getting any worse, but the pedal has to go all the way to the floor to start and shift into gear. I checked the fluid level and it seems fine.

Pedal pressure seems normal, and clutch engagement seems normal on the release, but it seems that I can't push the pedal far enough anymore. I was thinking about taking out the rubber bumper stop so I can get a few more days out of it- this weeks budget is a little short.

I haven't had much time to look into it- I have finals in two weeks so I have been busy with that.

Where is the neutral safety switch and how is it activated? That is on the rod under the dash, right? Or is it in the trans?


Thanks in advance for any ideas!

'97 F-350 CC 5-spd, Pyro, fuel and boost gauges, Banks intercooler, H2E turbo, Adrenaline HPOP, huge clutch, custom ADII regulated fuel system. Should be about 500 hp at the rear, don't know about torque. THIS IS MY BATTLE TANK- Project in Process

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 04:33 AM
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Re: Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear.

The clutch start switch (it's not a neutral switch; has nothing to do with the trans) is indeed on the pushrod. If difficulty with it is accompanying difficulty shifting, that suggests that the problem is somewhere in the pedal mechanism. Prime suspect is the craptastic plastic bushing on the "knob" on the lever attached to the pivot shaft, the knob that goes through the pushrod eyelet. One day it'll fail, the knob will slip out of the eyelet, your clutch pedal will go to the floor and you'll get no clutch action at all.

Fancy expensive fix - Heim joint. Requires you to remove the pushrod (or the whole clutch master) and cut the eyelet end off, and attach the joint.

Cheaper less sophisticated fix - 7/16" drill stop collar on the end of the knob, where it protrudes through the eyelet. This keeps it from slipping off. You can either cut off the four "ears" on the existing plastic bushing to do this, or ditch the bushing and put in a wee little piece of 7/16"ID x 1/2"OD brass tubing as a replacement bushing.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear.

Yeah, I have replaced that bushing many times and I think I have an extra one in the center console but when I checked it out earlier today, it didn't seem to look to sloppy there. But your train of thought does point to that little piece-o-$hit. Looks can be deceiving, right? Thanks for reminding me of that dang thing, I'll check it out first thing in the morning. It was a little past dusk when I looked.

Once I purchased the entire bushing kit for the big shaft that all the pedals ride on and was going to fix it. But it really looked like a PITA. Then I found that for almost next to nothing, Ford offers the whole pedal assembly including new rubber on the pedals. So I returned the bushing kit and bought the whole assembly. That was a no brainer.

Some day I will get around to welding the Heim joint on there.

'97 F-350 CC 5-spd, Pyro, fuel and boost gauges, Banks intercooler, H2E turbo, Adrenaline HPOP, huge clutch, custom ADII regulated fuel system. Should be about 500 hp at the rear, don't know about torque. THIS IS MY BATTLE TANK- Project in Process

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 04:08 AM
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Re: Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear.

have you checked your pedal box for cracks?

1997 f250 supercab shortbed
7.3 PSD
4X4 5 speed
stage 2 afe intake
4 inch MBRP exhaust
3 inch MBRP down pipe
full force stage 1 injectors
some gauges
intercooled
terminator modded 17* hpop
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 04:12 AM
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Re: Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear.

Dont know if its a hydraulic or not but if it is check the fluid level for clutch. Same thing was happening to my '95 Ranger, it was just low on fluid.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear.

Yeah, checked the fluid level and it was fine.

What is the pedal box that you are referring to CCarrier?

'97 F-350 CC 5-spd, Pyro, fuel and boost gauges, Banks intercooler, H2E turbo, Adrenaline HPOP, huge clutch, custom ADII regulated fuel system. Should be about 500 hp at the rear, don't know about torque. THIS IS MY BATTLE TANK- Project in Process

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2011, 02:45 PM
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Re: Why is ZF5 is getting tougher and tougher to shift into gear.

The Heim joint is not expensive. $15. No welding needed and there is a youtube video about it. Take the time to do it and be done with it. I was very surprised as to how much pedal I lost when my bushing went bad. If left too long it will wear away at the pin that goes into the eye of the cylinder pushrod, causing more play. It got to a point where I couldnt get the truck in gear at all if it wasnt rolling. Good luck.

97F250, EC LB 4x4 7.3 5sp 3:55,Donaldson Intake, Running W75/12.5/12.5 as of 2/20/12
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