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Old 05-24-2007, 10:25 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8
Clutch Weirdness

OK, I'm looking for advice regarding my magic, self-healing clutch actuator.

('93 Sahara, 6-cylinder engine, 5-speed tranny, 115,000 miles.)

For the last 3-4 months, I've had this problem occur on irregular occasions. The clutch will fail to disengage when the pedal is pressed to the floor. (Can't pull the lever out of gear, the vehicle moves unless I apply the brake.) Pumping the clutch pedal several times restores function.

The first time this happened, I diagnosed a hydraulic leak, air in the lines, etc., and took it to my mechanic (who has been very good with other work, so I trust them). They went over it and couldn't find anything wrong. Their best guess was an air bubble in the hydraulic line. They recommended driving it until something actually broke so they could find and fix it.

The problem didn't recur for several weeks. There were a few occasions where the engagement point moved down close to the floorboard, but no more total failures to disengage. (And the engagement point moved back to normal.)

Then yesterday it totally failed again - creeping with the pedal on the floor, etc. I pumped it up several times, the problem disappeared and I drove home. It did the same thing in the driveway as I was parking it, but this morning, it's just fine. I drove it all the way (25 miles) to work, and it behaved perfectly.

So...any thoughts?

Rich Nixon

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Old 05-24-2007, 12:20 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Smethport, PA
Posts: 3,074
I don't know much about clutches, but have you tried draining the system, refilling, and bleeding it. If you had an air bubble in there once maybe it's still hangin around in there somewhere.

87 YJ, 5.2/46RH/NP231, Custom 4 link/ Radius Arms, Ballistic Nitrogen Shocks, 35" Cooper STT
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:41 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Arizona's White Mountains
Posts: 227
My 87 Cherokee did the same thing. In my case it is related to altitude and temp. Down in the Valley it never did it, but up at 6600 feet where my cabin is in the White Mtns it did it constantly. If I drained the fluid out of the master cylinder, put in new fluid and and bled it it would go away for a couple of months. Somehow it always built up air in the system.
I finally gave it to my son who lives in the Valley and he never has the problem for going on two years now.
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