Clutch master cylinder reservoir is dry!

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  #1  
Old 12-17-15, 08:21 PM
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Clutch master cylinder reservoir is dry!

Ok, so I guess I have never checked the fluid level in the past year or more... but can't say it's ever been low. Tonight I get a few blocks from home, go to downshift as I slow down, and as I release the clutch, I think huh... that felt odd. I get one block from home, push the clutch in again and nothing... right to the floor. I limp into the driveway and have to shut the ignition off before I drive right into the fence. So I open the hood and the little reservoir is empty.



02 F150, 4.2L V6, 5 speed manual

So I guess I'm wondering what the order of things is. Refill it? How do I bleed it? Can't find my darn Chilton repair manual since I moved, or I would look it up myself.

And how do I know it's not the slave? And which side is the slave on? Passenger side? Cuz there is a bit of oil on the driveway on that side where I regularly park. Or could it be the line?

In any case, how do I go about figuring this out?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-17-15, 10:18 PM
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The slave cylinder is on the driver's side. Chances are it's leaking. Look for the highest wet spot. Replace it & bleed it.
 
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Old 12-20-15, 06:51 PM
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Well, problem is you have to drop the transmission to get to the slave... not sure that's something I can do by myself. Problem is I can't find a leak. But I also have no pedal/no pressure from the clutch at this point. I've tried bleeding it but Ford put the bleeder in the worst possible location and you can't even get a wrench and a bleeder tube on it at the same time. Stupid design!
 
  #4  
Old 12-20-15, 08:50 PM
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Is the slave cylinder inside the bell housing ?
 
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Old 12-20-15, 09:16 PM
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Yep, and removing the transmission is probably outside my ability.
 
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Old 12-20-15, 09:50 PM
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Can the transmission be slid back a little without removing it completely?
 
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Old 12-20-15, 10:02 PM
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Not sure, the worst part is I really don't want to do this in my driveway! If we happen to get a snowstorm while I have it torn apart, I'd be screwed!
 
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Old 12-20-15, 10:19 PM
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Being an outdated mechanic, I had never heard of a slave cylinder inside the bell housing. If you have the new part, it should only be a one day job. I don't know what your driveway looks like but can you put other cars that you might own, in the street & back in the car to be repaired? Or repair it right in the street? Since I don't own a house, I do my repairs in Auto Zone's parking lot.
There are also places that rent lifts.
 
  #9  
Old 12-20-15, 10:58 PM
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might look under the dash also a master could be leaking at the back and through the firewall where the clutch pedal rod engages it.
you should be able to bleed it about the same as brakes might just start with gravity by opening the bleeder then filling the reservoir then close bleeder and have someone hold the clutch pedal down while you open the bleeder screw and close it and repeat a few times.
can understand not wanting to do it in the driveway but if it is a slave cylinder pulling the transmission on a 2wd probably would not be that bad but you may want to see a shop would also install a new clutch while your there good chance it needs one.
 
  #10  
Old 12-21-15, 05:20 AM
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Go to autozone.com than repair help. Will tell you how to do the job. Looks like slave cyl. is in bell housing.
 
  #11  
Old 12-21-15, 12:28 PM
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Yes, after looking into it, I was 99% sure that it was the slave cylinder inside the bell housing. I just wanted to try and pressurize the clutch and verify where it was leaking... to make sure, before spending $1000 on it.

So I made a little progress today. Followed some youtube directions to bleed the clutch master cylinder and the line that goes to the slave (by taking it off and doing it on the bench) and knew it was bled when the bubbles quit, and the push rod was rock solid.

So I put it back on the truck and pumped the clutch. Sure enough, that added pressure was pumping brake fluid right out of the slave and into the bell housing. DANG IT!

Now I have to decide if this is something I even want to attempt. It's only a $50 part but they make it darn hard to get to. I don't have the jack stands to put the truck up higher and I don't even know if this is something I can do. What do you guys think, any suggestions?

And if I do try it (and buy some jack stands) do I chock the back tires and jack the front end up? Or chock both passenger tires and jack the drivers side up? Wish I had a pit to work under the truck!
 
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Old 12-21-15, 01:11 PM
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Been years since I have taken a transmission out but I personally would not do it on my back. I think you have a 2 wheel drive and that is easier
 
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Old 12-21-15, 01:47 PM
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Used to do a lot of that, not so much for quite a few years, so would have to look at it, but am inclined to think that I would block the front wheels, and jack and block the rear end. Unless you have a lot of weight in tools or whatever in the bed, the rear is probably 20% lighter than the front, you will be able to turn the drivetrain as needed, which seems like something you may need to do, and you'll probably have more leg room with your feet toward the rear as opposed to under the engine, front suspension, etc. You mentioned having to buy jack stands in regard to raising the vehicle higher. Do yourself a favor, don't count them as part of the cost of this particular job. No matter how high you raise a vehicle on a jack, you should have and use auxiliary stands. Not being critical at all; just something that I would say to anyone I care about.
 
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Old 12-21-15, 02:10 PM
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Xsleeper, I have a crazy idea that no one will like. Here it is anyway. Install a new slave outside the bell housing & just leave the other one there. Is that possible? Or cut a hole in the bell housing, replace the slave & patch it later.
 
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Old 12-22-15, 02:27 AM
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would probably take it to a shop without a transmission jack it would be very difficult to install the transmission by yourself if you had help you can often remove and install it with a floor jack besides jack stands you usually have to support the engine also under the oil pan while the transmission is out as it can tilt on the engine mounts.
 
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Old 12-22-15, 05:28 AM
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I may try it if I can get it up to my dad's garage. I plan on using a furniture dolly, making a box-like cradle (out of 2x12s) for the transmission that I can shim upward with shims (of unknown thickness) until it's tight, using a jack (and a wood block) in front under the engine/transmission to provide the lift.

I'm hoping I will have the room to just roll it backwards far enough to change the slave... and that's all I will be doing. Then roll it right back.

No, I don't think i'll be putting one on the outside or cutting any holes. This is the slave.... so it's nothing like the external mounted style you are probably thinking of.
 
  #17  
Old 12-22-15, 05:50 AM
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Clutch slave cylinders were always on the outside but you're right. I've never seen anything like that before. Good luck.
 
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Old 12-22-15, 07:06 AM
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Some engineer took a lunch break and his 10 year old kid designed that one. Gee, it should have been on the 1966 Chevy Nova to compliment the V8 they designed the car around. Never seen a slave like that. On my Ram, I just buy the master/slave/tube combo, unbolt it and bolt the new one up. No bleeding.
 
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Old 12-22-15, 07:09 AM
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Larry, you are not helping. LOL! I already want to push it off a cliff.
 
  #20  
Old 12-22-15, 01:21 PM
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would really check the clutch while your there unless its been replaced recently, not really hard to do a clutch and pressure plate just unbolt you need the spline tool to line up the clutch with the flywheel while you tighten down the pressure plate the tool may even come with a new clutch kit.
 
  #21  
Old 12-22-15, 01:51 PM
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the tool may even come with a new clutch kit
That's why you never throw anything away, including old broom handles. Seems like we made several that way.
 
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Old 12-22-15, 02:14 PM
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I'd be shocked if the spline tool comes with the kit. A gasket doesn't even come with a new thermostat.
 
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Old 12-22-15, 06:42 PM
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Yes I know it's normally wise to do the clutch when you take the transmission out. If you could see my truck, you would know why I'm not crazy about sticking any more money into it than I have to. (Also why I'm going to try to DIY and not having it done at a shop.)

If I can do this for $50 I will be overjoyed. Truck has 280,000 miles and probably 80,000 on the most recent clutch.
 
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Old 12-23-15, 12:07 AM
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As I suggested before, rent a lift.
 
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Old 12-23-15, 05:46 AM
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I really don't think anyplace around here rents lifts... this is Nebraska, not NY.
 
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Old 12-23-15, 06:09 AM
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Suppose you rented a engine hoist but used it to raise the car as high as you can? That would give you plenty of room. Standard transmissions aren't that heavy.
 
  #27  
Old 01-16-16, 09:42 PM
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Just an update:

I've got the truck safely up on blocks, all wheels are solidly chocked. Drive shaft is down and the cross member is out. All electrical and hydraulics are disconnected. I'm working on getting the transmission pulled back, but it's slow going. All the salt they spray on the roads out here is pretty much slowly dissolving the undercarriage, and making every single bolt a struggle. So far I've busted an adapter and 2 deep well sockets. I'm using penetrating oil and a torch but sooner or later I'm afraid I'm going to encounter that one bolt that beats me.

Right now it's one of the 13mm transmission mount bracket bolts that is fighting me. Tried cursing at it but it didn't help. Hopefully soaking overnight, more heat with the torch, and a couple new sockets will do the trick so I can continue.

Looks like I will also be needing a looooong extension to reach down the top of the transmision. Might also get a bolt extractor set for when I round that one bolt that's fighting me. I'm optomistic at this point, but that might change when I start hugging that bell housing.
 
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Old 01-16-16, 10:10 PM
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I can feel your pain. If it doesn't come apart.... you need a bigger hammer. Name:  hammer-smash.gif
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Old 01-17-16, 02:26 AM
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Tried cursing at it but it didn't help.
It never does but somehow it often seems appropriate at the time

Which penetrating oil are you using? Don't forget sometimes trying to tighten the bolt first helps.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 04:46 AM
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Stack your extensions together. Have done that many times. Do you have a impact gun? The vibration helps going back and forth.
 
  #31  
Old 01-17-16, 07:21 AM
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Trying to picture what you're looking at, but it's been a while. I'm guessing that there are a couple of dowels in there that will keep the transmission from dropping straight down, but they won't keep it from tipping back a bit, which would hold tension on the top bolts. So you might try lifting up on the tail shaft a bit, not enough to raise the entire works, but maybe an 1/8" or so on the back end would be enough to make it easier to get the top bolt(s) out.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 07:37 AM
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You are using an articulating transmission saddle jack, right? I know today's transmissions are lighter, but from the first experience with a '55 Chevy Powerglide, you want a jack.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 12:48 PM
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I'll have to try my impact, that's a good idea. Just doubt a 1/4" impact will have the torque needed. Yeah I'll have to find every extension I own to get where I need to reach. No larry, I don't have the right jack... my cousin says he has one I can borrow once I get to that point. Getting it out should be the easy part... since its a manual transmission its only 112 lbs or so... it's getting it back in that will be the trick. Yeah the power glide weighed more than the engine did...had one on my old '53.

Also going to buy a set of impact sockets, since I doubt I will be able to break them. I think I'm using crc power lube, marksr. Heading out again soon. Not looking forward to it, it's around 0f today.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 04:26 PM
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Alright, well I'm feeling pretty good about myself... I ended up getting that one rusty transmission mount bracket bolt off... and it turns out it's a 1/2" bolt, not a 13mm. Go figure. Why do they mix the two? Must be so that i have to get every single socket that I own out and spread them out all over the garage floor. I went and got a 1/2" impact socket since I broke my deep well socket on it. That helped.

The transmission-engine bolts were a real pain in the wazoo, but I ended up getting all 8 of them out. The top ones were obviously the hardest. So now I just need to borrow the rolling jack from my cousin, get it chained up and see if I can't roll it back.

Thing that confuses me though, is that it looks like it won't roll back very far, because where the shifter goes up through the floor, it looks like it can only come back maybe an inch before the front of the transmission has to drop downward.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 06:21 PM
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Some shifter handles are removable with a pin.... not sure about yours.
Can you see under the boot ?
 
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Old 01-17-16, 06:26 PM
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The shifter handle and boot is off, but there is a round cap and the portion of the shifter that the handle bolts to (the stem) that is still sticking out above the floor... I'm not picturing how the transmission will be able to move back very far with that still in place...I'm wondering if I need to take the cap off and pull the shifter stem out of the transmission. I don't think my Chilton repair manual contains that step...
 
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Old 01-18-16, 03:05 AM
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Is there room to pull the tranny back and turn/twist it to get clearance?

btw - 1/2" and 13 mm are the same size although I have run into times when one fit better than the other. Are you using 6 point sockets?
 
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Old 01-18-16, 04:51 AM
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13 mm and 1/2 are almost the same size but 1/2 is slightly smaller than 13mm. most times they will fit on either one but there are a very few times I have found I had to use the right socket.
Back of engine should drop down a inch or so usually enough to get trany out.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 02:20 AM
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Here's how far I made it yesterday.... only had a couple hours to work on it. Pulled the shifter stem... not possible unless you do... even then, the top of the tranny is tight to the body. Got it pulled back out of the flywheel and dropped the front down far enough for me to get to the slave. $50.99 at o'Reilly auto parts.
 
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Old 01-31-16, 05:05 PM
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Here is the update, y'all. Drove the truck home tonight! Replacing the slave was the easy part once I got the transmission backed away and lowered down. Getting the tranny lined back up took maybe 20 minutes of careful jockeying, but I was pretty happy when the spline on the input shaft slipped into place. After that it was easy street. Got it bled this evening and drove it home!

Besides the satisfaction of doing it myself, saving about $1000 by DIY is pretty awesome! And I have my work truck back! Yeah!
 
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