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Old 01-24-2014
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Stupid Clutch Fluid Question

So, I think I'm missing something pretty obvious.

I got this truck about a month ago- manual 5-speed and all that. I'm not the best with the under-the-hood stuff, but I'm constantly learning everything I can (so bear with me, I'm getting better).

My Hanes Repair Manual said what to do to make sure that the clutch fluid stayed in a good condition. However, when I checked, I saw that the container has absolutely no fluid in it. I tried uncapping it to see if I was just misreading it from the outside, but the cap was screwed on there pretty well, almost as if it were sealed shut. I figured that I should ask questions before I potentially break the plastic trying to get the cap off. Using all other methods I could think of, I did not see any fluid in that clutch fluid container (at least, not like the radiator, windshield, and braking fluid, which are readable from the outside of the container). I really don't think there's anything in there.

The thing that I find strange is that the Ranger works great. No problems at all (well, at least, not pertaining to this). Could one of you knowledgeable people tell me what is going on? Don't you need braking fluid in the clutch to drive a manual?
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Old 01-24-2014
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Yes, it is brake fluid in the clutch reservoir, and yes the cap needs to come off, hopefully it doesn't break, but on a positive note, I have never read of one breaking.
It should be a vented cap but if it's dirty you could have some negative pressure inside holding cap tighter.

Could be it is full to the top but more likely it is down to the tube, if clutch is still working fine then just top it up, no need to bleed it.
After filling, tap reservoir with screwdriver handle a few times, that should pop any air that is in the tube out.
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Old 01-25-2014
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The cap should come off. Even if it breaks for some weird reason, which it probably won't, you can get a new one. As for the fluid, it could be leaking out of the slave cylinder which is common on rangers. That requires you to drop the trans and replace the slave and re-bleed the clutch. Or you could have a bad master cyl that is leaking... But it's most likely the slave. The slave problem has happened to many people. I'm only 19 but I've read a lot of stories.. And on my dads 91 the same thing happened (minus the cap). You could try topping it off like said above by RonD but the fluid has got to be going somewhere which implies a leak. Hopefully it all goes smoothly, good luck.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Well the clutch disc could just be getting higher miles on it(getting thinner), and just like the brakes the fluid in the reservoir goes down with the wear on brake pads or shoes.
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Old 01-25-2014
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Originally Posted by 00GreenRanger View Post
The cap should come off. Even if it breaks for some weird reason, which it probably won't, you can get a new one.
Many thanks- I wanted to be absolutely certain that there wasn't a reason why someone would seal that shut for one reason or another; I never know what to expect when buying of Craigslist.
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Old 01-25-2014
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I had a pinhole leak in my slave cylinder. The clutch fluid would go down slowly and cause a pretty strong vaccumed seal on the cap. Hard as hell to get it off but I just put on gloves and cranked on it to fill until I had time to replace the slave. I'd try to get the cap off and monitor the fluid level and check for leaks.
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Old 01-27-2014
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Well the clutch disc could just be getting higher miles on it(getting thinner), and just like the brakes the fluid in the reservoir goes down with the wear on brake pads or shoes.
That's true, but I don't think its enough to completely drain the res. In my experience at least.
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Old 02-01-2014
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Alright, so I got it off- there is fluid in there, but I am still going to check it occasionally to see if it has a leak.
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Old 02-01-2014
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Alright, so I got it off- there is fluid in there, but I am still going to check it occasionally to see if it has a leak.
Good idea to check it for a leak. But it could just be that the clutch disk has worn down causing a drop in the fluid level like RonD said since there is still fluid in the res.
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