'93 2.3 5sp Not shifting - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 07-29-2014
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'93 2.3 5sp Not shifting

So, last year I had a bad bearing in clutch go out and sliced up the crankshaft.

Had the crankshaft replaced, new clutch, new master/slave cylinder, and the tranny checked out fine. (this was June of 2013)

Fast forward to now, I am getting back from a long trip, and had been driving constant at 65-70 all the way home in 5th gear. When I exited the freeway close to my home, I could not downshift at all.

I rolled up offramp and pulled to the side, trying to get it into 2nd or 3rd as I got around 25mph, nothing. Let truck sit running in neutral as I had to sit and think for a minute about maybe calling a tow.

I was able to get it into 1st gear after a couple of minutes, but while holding clutch in I can hear a squeaking/light grinding sound as well as the truck pulling a little bit as if I had my foot off the clutch. I turned off truck, and checked the fluid level in master cylinder, and it was full. The clutch pedal still has pressure in it, so that was good.

I was able to drive home just using 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (only 2.8 miles home from where I exited freeway). At home unloaded camping stuff, and started engine again and still squeaks very loud in 1st or 2nd gear.

Could this just be bad slave cylinder? Any ideas before I get it towed into shop tomorrow?
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Old 07-30-2014
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Can you shift it into all the gears, including Reverse, with engine off?
If so then trans is most likely fine.

And does shifting feel "normal" or is it sloppy, when in gear does the shifter have a lot of side to side play?
If no play then shifter bushing is probably fine.
There are two plastic bushings at the bottom of the shifter that can wear out, this makes for a lot of play and so makes it harder to "find" the right gear.


I assume the Pilot Bearing is what failed last time, that is the only thing that could damage the crank shaft.

But it is an odd failure, not common.
So wondering if that is happening again??
Maybe the root cause was repaired just the symptom was.

The clutch/trans/engine connection is fairly simple and straight forward.

The transmission's Input shaft needs to be supported at both ends, on one end is the transmission of course and at the other end is the crank shaft, if Input shaft was bolted to crank shaft then trans would start turning when you activated the starter motor, lol, so the Input shaft has a Pilot bearing that sits inside the end of the crank shaft, this separates it from the crank shaft, so Crank and Input shaft can spin at different speeds, this bearing allows the crank to support that end of the Input shaft without a direct connection to the crank shaft.

There is now the flywheel and the pressure plate, the flywheel is bolted to the crank shaft and the pressure plate is bolted to the flywheel, so these both spin at crank shaft RPM.
These have no direct connection to Input shaft of the transmission.

In between the Flywheel and pressure plate is the Clutch disc, it is only connected to the Input shaft of the transmission so it spins at Input shaft RPM.

The pressure plate clamps the clutch disc between itself and the flywheel to cause clutch disc to spin at the same speed as the Crank shaft RPM, so crank shaft rpm and Input shaft rpm become the same.

Slave cylinder, of course, can not spin it is held in place by transmission.
Since the pressure plate is always spinning at engine RPM another bearing must be used so slave cylinder can contact the pressure plate without being damaged, this is the Throwout Bearing.
When slave cylinder expands it pushes the throwout bearing against the "fingers"(springs) of the pressure plate, this releases the pressure holding the clutch disc against the flywheel, so Input shaft RPM is no longer directly connected to crank shaft RPM.


The sole and main purpose of all this is to separate engine RPM and transmission input shaft RPM, allowing you to stop while engine is running, lol, and to change gears.

There are two failure points here, most common is the slave cylinder failing to expand, or expand enough, to release the pressure plate and then clutch disc, so engine RPMs are still being transferred to Input shaft.
A small leak will allow some fluid to go out when clutch pedal is depressed, but whats worse is that air is sucked back in when clutch pedal is released, air is easier to "move" than fluid, so air comes in as fluid goes out, and reservoir level doesn't change much.
Air compresses more than fluid so you slowly lose full travel of the slave expansion.
This leak can happen at slave, hose or master.

Second issue is what you had before, the Pilot Bearing starts to seize up, crank shaft RPM is transferred to Input shaft directly, so even with clutch pedal down Input shaft is still connected to crank shaft.

If you have a noise only when clutch pedal is depressed then that is usually the throwout bearing, that is the only time it is used.

Last edited by RonD; 07-30-2014 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 07-30-2014
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The stick does wobble from side to side in 1st gear, but didnt notice it doing that until earlier last week. (I could feel it pull to the right as I was accelerating in 1st)

I started it today before flat tow got here, and starts fine, idles fine, but when I depress the clutch and put it in first, the squeaking and grinding starts up, soon as I release the clutch, everything sounds normal.

I am facing downhill, so nudged it into 2nd and started driving all normal, drove around the block in 2nd, then pulled back in front of house and put E Brake on. Shut it off and just waited for tow.

Got truck towed to Clutch repair shop today, as mechanic that worked on it before (too far away to get it fixed), said its likely either the throwout bearing or slave cylinder. He told me not to worry too much as these were not the catastrophic symtpoms I had last year with the crankshaft being torn apart.

Your post is VERY informative, and a good primer that should be on here for everyone to read. Amazing work there Ron.
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Old 07-30-2014
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Thanks...

Yes, I would agree throwout bearing, but slave should always be replaced on these when trans is open
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Old 08-01-2014
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So Clutch shop repaired everything, runs perfect.

They informed me the shop I took it to last year, used an anti-friction grease on the clutch and parts, rather than the normal grease that is supposed to be use. (which caused ALL the parts in the clutch to wear 1000% faster than normal).

The throwout bearing is warped and cracked, and pilot bearing was cracked in half. (made sense, since my last trip I had driven the longest stint I have done since it was repaired last year, at 112 miles without stopping, and basically overheated everything)

Question now is, I got the old clutch back, whats a way to deal with other shop on either getting some type of refund for their screwup, or get them to RMA the clutch back to NAPA for some kind of merchandise card?
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Old 08-01-2014
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Glad it is fixed.

You can always ask about warranty refund, just don't get your hopes up.

If you had taken truck back to the original shop they "may have" replaced things with little or no labor charge.

But right now you have one shop saying "other shop messed up" other shop may say, "Napa parts were bad" or "those were not the parts we installed", lol, Napa may say " parts were installed wrong".

Too many "outs" for the one's that should stand behind their work or their parts.

But other shop, or NAPA, may say "sorry, here is some money back", and "OH, look at those flying pigs, you really don't see that too often"

Sorry, I am a cynic, when it comes to refunds

Last edited by RonD; 08-01-2014 at 04:08 PM.
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