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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 47997
Experience:  16 years experience
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Ford 97 ford Ranger, 4 cyclinder, 5 speed manual transmission Question

Customer Question

97 ford Ranger, 4 cyclinder, 5 speed manual transmission

Question about clutch or transmission

mileage now 114,000. Ever since about 65,000 after long drive, 75 miles minimum more like 125, clutch sometimes slips and spins on attempted acceleration for maybe 1/4-1/2 mile after going into 4th and 5th gears, never 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Also this never happens around town. Maybe more often when weather hot. Both the feel of the clutch and the above suggest a clutch hydraulic system problem. However changing gears appears to be generating some more resistance, so I can't rule out worn sychronizers. No fluid leaks ever. do these sychronizers have plastic teeth and prematurely were out??Had a similarily configured 88 ford Ranger and this didn't happen.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.

Hello, I'm Chris.
I will do my best to answer your question fast and accurate using the info you have provided. Thanks for visiting Just Answer.


The clutch hydraulic sytem is only used to make the clutch freewheel or to press teh pressure plate. The synchronizers are steal and are only used to help going from one gear to the next to make the teeth line up. Your concern here if while in gear and reving the engine it slips. This means a new clutch disc and pressure plate are needed.



  • Thanks for coming to Just Answer and allowing me to help you.
  • If you need any clarification on my answer before or after you press accept just reply on this page and I will respond back to you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I don't think you are the right person to answer the question. electronic expertise and mechanical/hydraulic expertise are two different expertises seldon seen in the same person. Your answer is simplistic and doesn't even attempt to answer why this doesn't occur in the lower gears, why it only appears after long trips, and why the feel of the clutch is different after long trips. It is an answer which could have been supplied by any shade tree mechanic. I know no more than I did before I asked the question.


but I do know you're saying the clutch hydraulic system has nothing to do with the problem, and can be left as is. What would the symptoms be is the hydraulic system

were weak after gettin hot on a long trip?



Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.

Do you choose not to work with myself a Ford Lincoln Mercury master driveline tech. If so I can opt out and let another expert assist you.

Here are some of the other ford techs to choose from shown below .


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You now characterize yourself as a driveline expert, your description of yourself presented when Ask an Expert threw up your name was Electronics Expert. Ask an Expert didn't give me the choice of moving on to an expert who described himself as mechanically focused, which I would have done if given the opportunity. You ask why I would move on and ask someone else. You've had several days to answer the question I asked, namely why there is no slippage/spinning in the lower gears, only after long trips, and why its gotten only marginally worse in 40,000 miles. There's been no attempt to address this issue from you. All you've said is that any slippage is due to wear on the clutch disk, and that by implication such can't be caused by any source other than normal wear. I knew when I asked the question that the clutch was slipping/spinning, that was the sympton. Tell me, if when the system is torn down what recourse do I have if other parts are found to be faulty and I have already paid you? Can I get back into Ask an Espert and post same?
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.

My profile on Just Answer states I am a trans and transfer case specialist first. I do not know where it says I am an electronics expert, see below.


Regardless of the confusion. The gear range span is much shorter in the lower gears unlike the higher gears, that is why slippage is not noticed in lower gears. Even the ford clutch slip test is done in 4th gear, see below.


When the transmission is removed the slave cylinder and pressure plate and clutch disc and pilot bearing need to be replaced and the flywheel turned if hot spots are noticed.


You mentioned you already paid, you have posted a deposit, you have not paid for an answer concerning the clutch issue. If you choose to pay you must press accept to pay.


If you have any more questions on this matter please ask.

Chris (aka- Moose) and other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Okay, I will release the $18 to you and you can claim another satisfied customer, when in fact you could not have a more dissatisfied customer. In spite of a weeks worth of opportunity, you have communicated as little as possible, not a word of explanation of why slippage only occurs at the end of long trips, etc. the only thing I know that I didn't know when you took on the job is that Ford tests clutches in 4th gear. Compared to the questions asked that's next to nothing.You very cleverly covered your statement that hydraulic problems couldn't be at play when you said one must replace the hydraulic slave cylinder. Replacing the Clutch and slave cyclinder simultaneously means one can't tell which caused the problem. But what I did learn is never go on Ask an Expert expecting to get any more than a few slapdash cursory sentences passing for an explanation. Never again!

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.

Most all techs replace the 60$ slave cylinder during a clutch job since it takes labor hours to remove a transmission just to replace the a leaking slave when you can do it all at once. This is why if you purchase a ford clutch kit it comes with all the clutch components including the slave.


I am by no means stating the slave is faulty, this is a preventative measure. Kind of like rebuilding an engine, you always install a new oil pump or rebuilding a transmission, you always install a new filter.


Long trips result in heat. If a clutch is slipping there is more heat. As a engine and transmission are ran they also build up heat. Heat makes metal swell and makes metal become more plyable which is effecting your pressure plate and its pressure applied to the clutch disc.


Dont leave mad, I want to make sure I answer all the questions you have on this concern. Sometimes I answer what I think you need to know but miss what you want to hear. I try not to beat around the bush and just tell you what to do rather than go into detail on what occured since in this occurance I felt the answer needed no explanation since a slipping clutch is a slipping clutch and the fix is to replace it rather than chase other possible causes.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I had taken note of the fact that most clutch kits were sold with slave cylinder, etc., and knew that both were going to be replaced in my vehicle. I just wanted to know what was the source of this system failure.


With respect to heat build up after a hundred miles but not 50 miles, Its clear the when two surfaces in contact with each other expand there is more pressure (friction) at the contact. Less pressure at the contact surfaces can occur from a reduction in pressure by whatever is applying the pressure (hydraulics), OR one of both of the surfaces becoming softer from the heat. I assume slippage occurs when pressure reduction from one of the two potential sources of pressure reduction is greater than the increase in pressure caused by the surfaces expanding. Still just don't see how one can assume that increased softness in the disk(s) is the cause of the friction reduction rather than reduced hydtraulic pressure. Hydraulics are also made weaker by heat, all else being equal.

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.
On all manual transmission vehicle the hydraulic system ,referring to the clutch, is only used to release the clutch. So if your foot is not on the clutch pedal and the clutch is slipping this means the pressure plate is no longer squeezing the clutch disc between itself and the flywheel hard enough. When slippage occurs it occurs from presence of fluid or worn and shrunken clutch disc or a worn out pressure plate whcih just does not have enough spring power to hold the clutch disc tight so it cant spin.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I accepted your answer and you were paid on friday.

I did this in spite of having to re:ask the question a number of times to get you to address the questionI originally posed. The amount of time I had to spend to get a straight answer

was worth much more than the $18.

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for using Just Answer.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I paid for this on last friday. Please send me email address and i will send copy

of receipt from your for payment received.

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 6 years ago.

You alreayd paid, there is no need to a receipt, I have to reply to all my customers with something or it shows I have waiters.

Thanks again