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  #1  
Old 12-14-2014, 11:02 PM
1996B4000 1996B4000 is offline
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Angry Hard to Shift

So I've had my B4000 for almost a year and the entire time it's been difficult and sometimes impossible to shift and the clutch pedal is really spongy. It has 194K on it. Since owning it, I replaced the master cylinder and bled the clutch line, which helped at first but hard shifting is back. If I pump the clutch and throw it in gear it goes in without too much resistance but that only lasts maybe 10 seconds so I'm constantly pumping it. So I bled the clutch again which helped but after about a week it's right back to fighting each gear. I was thinking slave cylinder is bad but the fluid level hasn't dropped at all, and I've been watching it closely and with a new master cylinder I'm not sure what it could be.

What do you think it is and why?

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:19 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default

Slave cylinder maybe.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2014, 11:38 PM
1996B4000 1996B4000 is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

I was thinking that but I thought slaves leaked externally? So if that's true then wouldn't the fluid level drop?
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:29 AM
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The slave would leak internally. Has anything been replaced recently? It may not have been bled properly, therefore spongy pedal and hard shifting.
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2014, 07:00 AM
B2300SE B2300SE is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

If air got into the system, including when you replaced the clutch master, you have to fill and bleed the master out of the truck. The reason is the master cylinder in the truck is angled sharply down and the connection to the reservoir and slave is at the bottom. The air rises to the top (near the clutch pedal) and is trapped there. It can't be bled out with it in the truck. See this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgNTDGwcjZc

And yes, if the slave is bad it will leak and the fluid level will drop. You may not see any fluid dripping out for a while as the dust cover on the slave and the transmission housing can hold some leaking fluid. You can pop out the inspection rubber plug and shine a light in there and see if you can see and fluid dripping off the slave.

But you should definitely fix the problem ASAP as it's really hard on your transmission (especially the synchros) to be shifting it when the clutch isn't fully disengaging. You're probably also slipping the clutch when you're stopped with it in gear which will cook the clutch and flywheel.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:27 PM
1996B4000 1996B4000 is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

I'm actually trying to bleed the master right now, I can't get that stupid plastic clip off that is holding the rod to the pedal assembly. Any hints on getting this thing off without breaking it? I'm trying to pull it off with a screwdriver and pulling on the push rod but very gently.

And I've seen this video, easy once it's off the truck but getting the assembly on and off is a pain. I couldn't unhook the connection of the pressure line from the tranny so I'm going to try bleeding the master while it's on the truck.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:46 PM
1996B4000 1996B4000 is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

Update:

So I got the clip off by sneaking a screwdriver behind it and prying against the clutch pedal, didn't break anything either. Got the snap ring off, pulled the plunger out until fluid came out then put it all back together and still spongy! It may have made the issue a little less worse but I'm still pumping the clutch to get it into gear. I also checked the slave through the inspection port and it had a little fluid on it but nothing major. It looked as thought he fluid has been there a long time. So i'm stuck again, any suggestions!?!?
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:20 PM
jabbo88 jabbo88 is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

might seem silly, but have you inspected the pedal itself? The bracket that holds the clutch and brake pedals tends to wear out (known issue). If it ain't that, well...
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1995 Ford Ranger XL 3.0 Long bed
Gold color
matching Leer shell ♠ clear corners ♠ black tail lights ♠ Mustang dome ♠ Bugflector II ♠ throttle mod ♠ sound system:
Pioneer AVH-x5600BHS ✣ Diamond D672S ✣ Infinity Kappa 682.9cf ✣ Precision Power P900.4 ✣ Precision Power P1000.1 ✣ Massive CORE-1 ✣ Sundown SD-2 8" ✣

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  #9  
Old 12-15-2014, 10:24 PM
1996B4000 1996B4000 is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

Good call but I did check it and everything seemed ok. Any other ideas?
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2014, 10:51 AM
B2300SE B2300SE is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

The tubing from the master to the slave has a "U-turn" in it that can trap air. That's the other reason you need to bleed it off the truck. The video I linked in my last post explains all that. Just pulling the plunger out won't let air out of the line that's stuck in that 180 degree bend. The only cure is to pull the entire master assembly and "bench" bleed it as described in that video and others.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:04 PM
1996B4000 1996B4000 is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

I tried to bench bleed it before but i couldn't get the line separated from where it meets the transmission. I know Ford makes the special tool to do it but I don't have it plus pulling the master out is a job and a half for a non mechanic. Do you guys think that is the cure 100%? If so i'll go for it but I really don't want to do all that work and have it not be the problem. is there some sort of pump I could use that can quickly suck out the fluid and air with it?
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:40 AM
B2300SE B2300SE is offline
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Default Re: Hard to Shift

There's no way to use a pump to force the air out. You said you replaced the master already, so you should already know how to release the fitting at the transmission. And the new master should have come with the tool.

For me, the fitting at the slave cylinder should be the easy part of the job. Unless it's broken, there should be a thin white plastic flange on the fitting. Just use two flat blade screw drivers to gently work it in towards the transmission until it's flat against the fitting while pulling out on the hydraulic line. It should pop right out.

The hardest part of the job for me was getting the clip off the clutch pedal and then twisting the master to get it to release. Once it was free of the bracket I just dumped to whole thing out the underside of the truck (after removing the reservoir first). Perfection Clutch has videos on YouTube for both the removal and the bleeding (I linked one above in this thread already).

There's no question you have to bleed your master to get your truck working again. The only issue is if you have some other problem that has let air get into the system (like a leak somewhere--most likely the slave). Regardless, you'll need to bench bleed the master. And once it's bled, as long as you keep fluid in the reservoir, you can replace the slave if needed without having to bleed it again.

If you want to make sure this is the last time you have to pull the master, buy a new pre-filled and pre-bled master and put that in and make sure it never runs dry.
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clutch, cylinder, master, slave, transmission

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