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2002 Ford Ranger: inspected..I parked it..next morning..clutch pedal

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My 2002 Ford Ranger pick up was working just fine, just recently inspected. The only thing I noticed was a slight "shuddering" when I downshifted. I parked it overnight, and the next morning it wouldn't go into gear and the clutch pedal went to the floor. The repair shop said it had a "leaking slave cylinder and a cost to fix of about $700. How could something like this have happened overnight, with no grinding of the clutch or any other noticeable warning signs? I want to make sure that this couldn't have been caused by vandalism of some kind, as my truck has been vandalized in this neighborhood before. Can they put the truck on a lift and show me where it was leaking? Can they show me this after the repair is made? Why replace the clutch as well? Could a cable or hose or resevoir have been punctured in order for this to happen? If the slave cylinder had been leaking for a while, wouldn't I have noticed some sort of weirdness with the clutch the day before?

Hi,my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd like to help you sort this out.The picture to the left is the inside of your transmission bellhousing,between the engine block and the transmission.



The #2 mark is the slave cylinder. If they pick this up and show you,you will see the outside of the transmission.Now if the unit is leaking externally,you will get brake fluid on the inside of the bell housing that will seep out of the housing.(Brake fluid is used as the systems hydraulic fluid.) If the slave cylinder is leaking internally, or bypassing fluid, you will not have an external leak.To answer your question,yes the cylinder could fail like that overnight. As far as vandalism,the slave cylinder would be almost impossible to get to without removing the transmission but the lines running to it could be cut.If the slave cylinder was only seeping before it failed you might not have noticed any odd behavior.

As for the clutch,you want it to be inspected while the transmission is out. Usually a slave will last for the life of the clutch,so it maybe due for service.The slight shuddering on deceleration may be the indicator that it was coming due.Another part to have inspected is the clutch master cylinder.This unit is connected to the pedal via a plunger that has a piston /cylinder that forces fluid down to the slave through a tube. You need to check it for fluid seeping past the piston and back into the cab.

If you are available for the shop to call,they can show you the slave cylinder and the leak after they pull the transmission before they clean it up.The problem is most shops work on a flat rate system,so you can't keep them waiting.I think I answered all your questions, if you think of anything else,don't hesitate to ask.Good Luck,Chuck


PS: As far as price,I'd have to ask tomorrow at work and let you know.If you want the information,send me back a note and I'll check it in the morning.Thanks again

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Chuck, that was an amazingly wonderful answer, thank you soooo much!
Unfortunately, I couldn't open or access the picture that you sent. Can you think of a
website that I might be able to access in order to get a picture of this in my mind?

Guess they will have to get in there and look at it before I know the full damages.
I'd love to have your opinion on the price as well. Good karma to you, it is hard for
a female to know what's up and I truly do appreciate your response! Thank you!
I accepted the answer from another guy on this site and he never answered my follow
up questions, so I will pay you tomorrow with a bonus, 'cause you were great!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Chuck,

I was up until 4am looking for pictures, and actually found step by step pictures of
these guys removing the transmission and re-installing a clutch. Ain't the internet somethin? So I'm set with the pictures, if you could just get back to me about the price
that would be awesome. Thanks again!


I had my service department work you up a price. For the slave cylinder only the labor is at 5.0 hours. If you need the complete clutch it is 1.0 hour more or 6.0 hours total.The retail price for the slave cylinder is $100. Our shop labor rate is $94/HR. so 5.0 @ $94 is $470 plus the part.You would be looking at $570 plus tax on the part for the slave cylinder.Hope this helps,if you need anything else let me know,Chuck

PS: Sorry about the picture,it seems to happen about every third one I send?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks, Chuck! I was at the shop today, and I still have one more question, if it's not
too much trouble. The mechanic showed me the slave cylinder, and there is a plastic
access hole on the outside of the transmission for easy access to the slave cylinder.
It would seem that it would be quite easy to "get at " the slave cylinder from underneath
the truck by simply removing the plastic access cap. Wouldn't you think so?
There was no leakage on the outside of the transmission housing, so it would seem that "seepage" was not the issue. If it was seeping over time, it would have leaked outside the transmission, don't you think? Please hang on with me for this final question, I will post your payment tomorrow. Thanks. Donna

Hi Donna,

I new no one's parents would have named their daughterCustomer LOL

Anyway,you are right,the small hole in the transmission bellhousing is supposed to be an inspection hole to check for gear oil leaking from the input shaft seal and/or a leak from your slave cylinder or the line. The slave cylinder is part of the throw out bearing and it is mounted on the sleeve around the input shaft and is bolted to the bellhousing. Because of the way it mounts, you have to remove the transmission to slide the slave cylinder off the shaft.In the past the slave was mounted on the outside of the bellhousing and it pushed an arm that moved the bearing. The design you have was to replace the older style to give the bearing an even push into the pressure plate release forks making the clutch operation smoother and last longer? We are seeing less throw out bearing failure,but the clutch seems to last the same amount of miles.

As we discussed earlier,even though the slave cylinder isn't leaking,it still could have failed.I would look at the operation of the other components. He should check the clutch master cylinder for bypassing fluid internally. If this unit isn't functioning correctly,it can cause the slave to fail prematurely.Also,did he check the condition of the clutch and pressure plate? This truck has the type of pressure plate that has to be adjusted before it is installed.If not,the clutch will act like it has air in it and grind the gears. So if the pressure plate failed it could act like a bad slave cylinder. If you need the procedure for setting it up for your mechanic,I can try to put it in a file and send it. We get calls on it all the time so it must be hard to find the information.

Have I totally confused you or just put you to sleep? Let me know if it makes any sense,I'll check tomorrow at lunch for your post.Good Luck,Chuck

FMT2282, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
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Experience: Ford Senior Master Technician,ASE Master Technician, State Smog License and 23 years in the field
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You have been fabuuulous, I will check with you again if ever I need advice.
Thanks so much, I am posting your payment now.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Chuck,
I think I sent you a $20 bonus, at least I tried to, so please let me know if you didn't
receive it. The process was a bit confusing, but I think I sent it when I filled out
the survey there at the end. Naw, my parents didn't name meCustomer but
really, "Donna" isn't that a dead "born in the fifties" give-away, like "Debbie" , "Suzie",
like, who ever names their kid "Donna" anymore?

Hi Donna,

Thank you very much for the kind words and the bonus. Don't be so hard on your name,

at least you're not an ,"Ashley",or a,"Lauren". Buddy Holly seemed to like it!Please,if you ever need another vehicle question answered,don't hesitate to drop me a line. You have been one of those rare customers that is a pleasure to help.Again,thank you and good luck with your Ranger,Chuck

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Experience:  Ford Senior Master Technician,ASE Master Technician, State Smog License and 23 years in the field
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