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Hard Clucth Pedal

1447 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Pzev
I have a 2003 ZTS with a 5 speed. After driving roughly 40 miles nonstop when the temprature is 85 and above, the first time I push the clutch pedal in the pedal is really stiff, like a SUPER DUPER heave duty clutch. By the 2nd or 3d time I press it in it's normal again. Th car shift fine.. just has this really stiff pedal for 1 or two pushes after an 40 mile trip in hot tempratures.

Ford agreed, after a ton of complaining, to replace the clutch master cylinder, but it never helped.

The car has 35,000 and 95% of those miles are on the interstate so there "should be" next to no wear on the clutch itself. This started happening at about 28,000 miles. Now that the temperatues have fallen back to mid 70's for daytime hi's the problem is almost non-existant.

Anyone else experience this or have any idea what could be causing this?
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if the clutch master didnt fix it then the only part of the hydraulic system left is the throw out bearing/slave cylinder.
Not sure exactly how but the pressure plate might be able to cause it also.
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my car does the same but its not crazy hard to push it in... just a little tougher then normal. try bleeding it.

my car has 101k and i had my clutch done about 6-8 k ago. it could be the fluid
FYI, the clutch system uses brake fluid. Brake fluid absorbs moisture. After 2 years, brake fluid really needs to be changed.
FYI, the clutch system uses brake fluid. Brake fluid absorbs moisture. After 2 years, brake fluid really needs to be changed.

a little off topic but if the fluid is old would that cause the brake pedal to be spongy? with like no feeling in it?
Thanks for the feedback. I've heard this said before, but help me undertsand this. How does it absorb moisture if when it's in a sealed system. My last car, a 1990 Escort had 320,000 miles, never had the clutch changed and never ever changed the fluid in the clutch or brake system.

I can't really see this being a fluid problem unless the fluid was somehow contaminated from the factory and even then you would think a problem would have sufaced prior to 28K miles.

In any event the fluid has been flushed and all new fluid put back in. That was the first thing Ford tried.

I have a feeling this car will have this problem for as long as I own it.
No system is 100% sealed. Moisture will eventually get into the brake/clutch master and into the system.

Bleed out the fluid from all four wheels and the transmission (slave cylinder).

Use Super DOT-4 or equivalent.
If I were you I would check your clutch fluid lines to check for kinks or leaks, and check your clutch pedal bushings to make sure that they arent binding. Also check the clutch slave cylinder and release bearing.
my svt does this. i drive 50 miles to work on the highway every day. i go 80-85 for 45 minutes straight, then the first couple of times i push the clutch in when i get off the highway, it's a little tougher to push down. why is this a big deal? i'm just curious why it's of concern...

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so apparently this isn't a big deal?
If it was "just" a "little" tougher it would be no big deal.

Why wouldn't something that is very unnormal be of concern?

I've been driving 80-100 miles a day for over 10 years now and never had a clucth do this until now. Surely you don't think this is normal. There must be a reason for this and I'd like it fixed. # 1 if its the slave cylinder that is just going to get worse til it fails, I wouldnt want to be saddled with a $600 repair bill after warranty expires.

I was hoping maybe someone else ran into the problem that solved it.

Did your clutch only do this when the temp was 85 degrees or warmer or any temperature?
mine does it at various temps, warm or cold. though, i have not driven my car in sub-freezing tempratures yet. it's done it here in outside temps ranging between 55-85. maybe my lack of complete understanding on how a clutch works is why i wasn't too worried about this, and now you're expression of worry is rubbing on off me. i'm concerned now too. how could this be happening, like, what are the possiblities that could be causing it, theoretically? thanks.

If it makes you feel any better, my car does this on occasion. I am not too concerned, as it returns back to normal after a few presses. It has not gotten any worse. As far as what causes it in my case is long trips where the brakes are used often, but not the clutch.

I personally believe it has something to do with pressure building up from the brake usage. This would explain why it does not happen when the clutch is used often, like city driving.

However, my understanding of hydraulic systems is limited at best so I could be way off.
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