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Discussion Starter #1
Bought myself a 97 F350 7.3 cc/lb for myself after ending 8 years in the Marines. Waited years for my dream truck now I’m having some problems with her. Gears starting grinding a bit in 1,2, and R. Slipped one time in 5th going down the road. Did a new master clutch cylinder and slave cylinder with a heim joint mod. My buddy cut the push rod a little too short. Ordered another master clutch cylinder and slave cylinder. Put those in but without the heim joint. Now the truck won’t go into gear unless it’s off. A mechanic told me it’s my clutch. Like I mentioned before it went into gear before I did the mcc and sc so just curious on what anyone thinks it could be. Any help would be appreciated.
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Sounds to me the clutch also, the slave cylinder is hydraulic actuated correct? Are you sure it is bled an not air bound!
 

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I'm with Doc on this one. The not going into gear makes me think air locked. Slipping in 5th is wore out clutch.

Nice truck!!

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Jb,

Before you do anything... There are a set of plastic (yes I know what dip**** designed that!?) bushings that support the clutch petal shaft (Your brakes also ride on this shaft). If these bushings are worn, they can be a source of significant play in the shaft. which in turn will not give you the expected amount of "push" on the master cylinder. Ford didn't leave a lot of room for error or wear in the clutch system. Here is a link to some pictures of my setup: Project Jumbo... Mod? Build? Just plain crazy? . I opted to replace mine with oil impregnated brass bushings. As for the slipping in 5th gear... I'll second what Blue and Heavy have said - indication of a worn out clutch friction plate.

Cj
 

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While you're clutch is obviously on the way out. (The slipping) You have air in the hydraulic system. You didn't say if it was a prebled system or not.
These clutch systems can be a bear to bleed. Also some have a bleeder, some don't.
What has worked for many is to remove the slave, and actuate it by hand.

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the input! I bought a pre bled system and then bled it even more. It is hydraulic and I didn’t see a bleeder knob on this one. I’m almost positive I bled it properly. I’m aware of the plastic bushings. Besides obviously wearing on them, is there a way to tell if there’s too much play with the clutch pedal assembly? I’m a novice with this, first truck so I’m opened to all help so I can learn a thing or two.
 

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I'm trying to remember just how much play I had.. Before I fixed things and switched to bronze I think I had around 1.5 inches of petal play before the system even started moving the master cylinder push rod. Figure another inch of takeup to cover the bleeder hole in the master cylinder, which equates to 2.5 inches of petal push before I even started to move the clutch throwout. With all the new parts I don't have any slop just the 1 inch or so of push to cover the bleeder hole. The medium duty clutch I'm running now is really touchy as to how much throw out it has. It doesn't help that I'm running tight on the amount of movement I currently have in the system. But that's what I got trying to reuse the petal/clutch system available in the truck.

Cj
 

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Im having someone help me with it and I’ll have him double check that there’s no air. At least everyone said it’s probably a clutch so I’m going in the right direction. I’ll post back in the next week or two when it’s done. Thanks again for your input.
 

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Im having someone help me with it and I’ll have him double check that there’s no air. At least everyone said it’s probably a clutch so I’m going in the right direction. I’ll post back in the next week or two when it’s done. Thanks again for your input.
Failed to mention, one other possibility, the throw out bearing could be sticking on the input shaft retainer. It could cause your symptoms, but is usually accompanied by a stiff pedal, or stiff spots in the pedal travel. Usually a little lube on the retainer solves that.

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Failed to mention, one other possibility, the throw out bearing could be sticking on the input shaft retainer. It could cause your symptoms, but is usually accompanied by a stiff pedal, or stiff spots in the pedal travel. Usually a little lube on the retainer solves that.

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Don’t have a stiff pedal at all. It’s still pretty smooth. I’ll have to check it though. Is there a way to check the throw out bearing to see if it’s a problem?
 

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Don’t have a stiff pedal at all. It’s still pretty smooth. I’ll have to check it though. Is there a way to check the throw out bearing to see if it’s a problem?
One, is pull the little rubber plug on the clutch fork out, and see if you can get a look, and oil the slide and see if it gets better.

Other way is pull the slave cylinder and work the fork by hand and see if it's sticking. ( You won't be able to compress the diaphragm by hand, but you can move it through the free travel area).

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Discussion Starter #12
Again, thank you for all the input. Putting in a whole new clutch assembly, fly wheel, and throw out bearing this weekend. Someone’s doing it for me and letting me help to learn as it’s my first time doing a clutch. If I run into any problems I know where to turn to.
 

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The fact that you can almost stand under the truck helps too.

Not knocking it, I love the truck.

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Again, thank you for all the input. Putting in a whole new clutch assembly, fly wheel, and throw out bearing this weekend. Someone’s doing it for me and letting me help to learn as it’s my first time doing a clutch. If I run into any problems I know where to turn to.
Thank you for your service.
I’d recommend a single mass flywheel and performance clutch good for 450 hp if the intent is to keep the truck, as you’ll be putting upgrades (injectors, tuners etc), in the stock assembly is a weak design. Also while you have the tranny off take the time to make some vertical cuts along the cab floor pan and firewall pinch weld. Makes it easier to bend in sections. You want to bend this pinch weld back and flatten it against the floor pan. Do this the entire way along this seam. Why? Well when you have to take off the up pipes one day you’ll be happy you did this.... just sayin. Hack saw or sawzall, some vice grips and a hammer will have it done in 5 minutes. In addition great time to install a round down pipe for exhaust. Lastly dump the tranny fluid and pour in 4 quarts of Redline manual transmission fluid. Pour it though the shift tower and it will then take all 4.
Nice looking rig.
Cheers,
jrc
 

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Also don't forget to replace the clutch fork and pivot ball. Cheap insurance so you don't have to pull the trans again just to fix a $25 part.
 

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It must be an early 97, I have a 97 with an internal slave cylinder and throughout bearing. Another thing that can happen is the dual mass flywheel fails, loses springs, gets lose, and can cause issues with the pressure plate/diaphragm fingers.
Pull the inspection plate and see what the flywheel looks like.

I put a Luk single mass clutch in at 93k, truck has 254k today.
Also rebuilt the pedal box, Do this while you are working on it.
 

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The diagram spring in these pressure plates can crack with no warning. You will have lighter pedal pressure causing slip and the spring also will not lift the pressure ring evenly all the way around thus the clutch won't release and grinds into gear.
 
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