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Old 10-21-2021, 11:30 AM
DailyBeater99 DailyBeater99 is offline
my little money pit
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 22
Default Clutch Adjustment? Bad Parts?

I recently replaced the 4.0L in my 99 Ranger (with a 4.0L from another 99 Ranger coincidentally), and although my clutch had been acting fine, I figured now was the best time to replace it since replacements are cheap enough. I ordered a new clutch friction disk, new pressure plate (non-self adjusting --> didn't know what that even meant when I ordered it and in hindsight would've opted for the self adjusting one), and new slave cylinder from Rock Auto. The brand was (M-PACT). Got everything buttoned up, fired the truck up, and the clutch pedal will not release the clutch when fully depressed.

First thing I did was take the master cylinder out through the firewall and pulled the c-clip and plunger out until fluid came out of the top and then put them back in, to ensure all of the air was bled out of that "high point". Reinstalled it behind the pedal and continued to bleed the slave 50 times with a buddy until that fluid was crystal clear and air free (Reservoir never ran empty). It got better, but on jack stands the tires still spun in the air when in any gear with the clutch fully depressed. When on the ground, you almost didn't realize that the clutch was grabbing, so I figured the heck with it, it'll wear a little and be just fine. Well, after about 35 miles of just cruising down the highway, I get to my exit and it WILL NOT come out of gear. At the stop sign at the end of the offramp and with the clutch fully depressed AND holding the brake, the engine is bogging down considerably and I can smell clutch. Have to turn off the truck and start off in 2nd when I can, and nurse it to the office (luckily it was close). Get out of work and it's the same thing. Not bad when cold, and then undriveable once everything warmed up.

So, in my head, either the slave is a cheap piece of shit and isn't moving enough, the pressure plate isn't releasing with the amount of movement like it should, or the pilot bushing is tweaked and seizing up, or I bent the clutch disc installing it or some other form of part breakage. I rule out the master since the trans worked just fine prior to changing the slave, clutch disc and pressure plate. I pulled the trans back out that night, and take everything apart and it all looks mint. Pilot bearing is perfect, clutch disk aligned well, straight, slave appears to be operating like it's supposed to, etc. SO... My "cheap and easy" solution, which I figured would address either a faulty slave or a faulty pressure plate, without replacing them, was to use washers to "space" the pressure plate off of the flywheel, effectively reducing the "grabbing force" on the friction disc, while simultaneously moving the pressure plate closer to the slave cylinder, so the slave cylinder would be pushing the pressure plate fingers further than before. My guestimate for washers was about 3mm. A measly 3mm!

Well, now there's so little grabbing force that at 30% throttle the clutch is slipping, and the trans has to come back out AGAIN!

My question is this --> Do I, A) buy the OEM Luk Pressure plate, clutch disc and slave cylinder and replace all of that aftermarket crap; B) Just put the half worn old clutch disc and pressure plate back in it (I had to cut off the fitting on the old slave, so it's gone); or C) since my trial and error is basically 1 step away from success, just drop down to 1mm or 0.5mm washers? Or something else altogether?!

Cause if whatever I do this time doesn't get me back on the road, I might just send this truck into a tree somewhere!

Thanks for reading guys, I appreciate all of you!

99 4.0L, 4x4, 5-speed, standard cab, "muffler delete", 33x10.5x15 BFG All-Terrains, Alpine head unit, Rockford Fosgate 10" sub, 1,200 watt Sony Xplod Amp, 200 watt police issue PA/siren, 11000 lumen (anti-tailgater/anti-highbeamer) rear-facing light bar.
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