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Discussion Starter #1
UPDATE: SOLVED

The problem was the retaining clip that goes onto the joint shaft before the RH drive shaft goes over the joint shaft. After pulling it all apart again, I greased the splines and slipped the retaining clip on. It took some force to get the drive shaft to slide over the clip. Once it did, I lined up the splines and slid the drive shaft all the way onto the joint shaft until the clip seated on the far side inside the drive shaft. I pretty much knew at this point that it was going to work. The geometry was different since the drive shaft was a good 1.5" further in now. Once I buttoned it all up, I started the car, put it in gear and everything was back to working.

Since I had blown out the clutch slave cylinder when I stepped on the pedal with the cylinder disconnected from the transmission, I replaced with new unit and bled before I moved to the drive shaft, joint shaft issue.

I hope this thread can save someone the trouble I went through. That said, I'm not too dissappointed as I have a brand new stage one clutch and a new slave cylinder. I also replaced lower control arms and sway bar end links while I was in there. Plus, I learned a lot and gained some confidence that I can tackle a major mechanical job like this.

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After a very normal downshift into second gear going around a turn, I released the clutch but it felt like I was not in gear. I tried re-shifting, but it was the same result. I pulled over and tried to start from first gear. Nothing. I can hear some noise and feel the clutch a little when I release the pedal, but the car will not move.

I did not hear anything pop or break when this happened, nor did I smell anything burning.

At first I figured the clutch just went out, but before I order parts and start tearing things apart, I'm seeking some knowledgeable opinions on what could be a related issue.

I replaced the rear brake pads and rotors yesterday. I had a hard time compressing the left rear caliper piston, so I opened the bleeder to relieve pressure. Some fluid came out during that process and I believe it is very possible air got in.

After the clutch problem, I topped off the brake fluid, which was not low, but I figured it was worth a shot with the clutch. My theory is that I let air into the system which after a day of driving made it's way to the clutch and is preventing it from engaging.

I will try bleeding the clutch slave cylinder tomorrow, but I wanted to see if anyone out there had any experience or wisdom to offer.
 

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Re: Clutch Won't Engage

Hmmm I am sure somebody more knowledgeable will pipe up with regards to the whole air thing .. but it seems odd to me that the brake fluid would have anything to do with your slave cylinder? Seems to me that the operation of that would use hydraulic fluid, not brake fluid which would be completely separate systems?

When my clutch went out in my old car, the pedal wasn't giving me any resistance at all. I pushed my clutch in to shift (up, actually) and it just flopped to the floor. My clutch looked alot like ground coffee. Hope this isn't the case, and interested to learn what comes of this ...
 

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Re: Clutch Won't Engage

Mazda3's pull both clutch fluid and brake fluid from the same reservoir. It is possible air got in the system and it fucking things up. Fortunately, the slave cylinder is really easy to get to (it's almost dead center in front of the motor), and bleeding the clutch and brakes is a 30 minute job for the both of them. Do that first, then report back. If your clutch was truly gone, I think you would have heard gears grinding by trying to engage them.
 

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Re: Clutch Won't Engage

Cool, I learned something new. So the brake fluid is used to operate the hydraulic clutch components ... wouldn't it be (smarter?) to have it as a separate closed system to avoid this kind of problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Clutch Won't Engage

Gravity bleeding the clutch slave cylinder had no effect. Clutch will not engage. Pedal feels fine. No visible leaks. While under the car, (with the bleeder valve closed), I noticed that the clutch fork was very easy for me to move towards the slave cylinder by hand. Shouldn't the force of the clutch pressure plate keep that fork always pushing toward the cylinder unless the clutch pedal is depressed? If so, I guess I'm looking at a clutch job. :-/

Image attached.
 

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Re: Clutch Won't Engage

Ive never had good luck with gravity bleeding. You should try sucking the fluid out of it or have someone pump the pedal as you crack the bleeder on it. like bleeding the brakes.
 

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Re: Clutch Won't Engage

What exactly do you feel in the clutch pedal? Is there any pressure at all? Can you feel any engagement? If you turn off the car, put it in first, then start the car does it roll? Btw don't do this if your car is parked nose-in to the garage.

Have you tried removing the gasket around the clutch release fork and looking inside? Is the throw out bearing still in one piece? Can you see any broken pieces of the pressure plate inside?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Clutch Won't Engage

I'm going to try pressure bleeding with a helper today.

I had thought that the pedal felt normal, but now I'm no so sure. The travel is normal, but the pressure feels light.

I did get the rubber boot around the clutch fork off, but I couldn't see much inside. I'll try that again too.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Re: Clutch Won't Engage

Another thing to test is have someone operate the clutch with the car running while you check the fluid level in the reservoir and check to see if the clutch slave is moving. What ever you do, if you remove the clutch slave do not press the clutch pedal with the slave cylinder removed. You don't want to overextend the piston / actuator.

Bleeding the clutch is a good place to start. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Clutch Won't Engage

I bleed the clutch slave cylinder a couple more times with a helper applying pressure at the pedal. The pedal feels firm, the slave cylinder appears to move the clutch fork properly. Car still won't move. I also tried putting the car in gear first before starting it. That didn't make a difference. I can hear and sort of feel the clutch starting to engage, but it just doesn't fully engage, or something is broken.

I shot a short video under the car and looking into the clutch fork opening. Maybe one of you can see what the problem is from the clip???

http://youtu.be/wNjal7RGQ0s

Thanks.
 

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Re: Clutch Won't Engage

Thanks for your input, Chris. I kind of figured I was done.

I sent you a PM. I'd like to order a clutch kit.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Clutch Won't Engage

I bought an Exedy stage 1 clutch. The old clutch did not appear to have a catastrophic failure. In fact, it looked pretty good. Flywheel looked very good too. I could still see the machining on its surface.

After completing installation of a new clutch today, I'm irritated to report I have the exact same problem. With the car running, it sounds like the clutch is engaging when I release the pedal, but the car will not move.

I tested things while the car was still on jack stands with no wheels installed. In forward gears, the right rotor spun. In reverse, the left rotor spun.

With wheels installed and sitting on the ground, the car will not move.

I thought maybe something in the hydraulic system was preventing the clutch from fully engaging, so I removed the slave cylinder from the transmission, put the car into reverse, and blipped the starter to see if the car would move. The engine started normally while I sat still. I then realized I blew out the slave cylinder by depressing the pedal. Icing on the cake.

Any ideas out there? It really seems the clutch is engaging. Could it be that the differential has failed? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Re: Car won't drive - Manual Trans - was "Clutch won't engage"

I'm wondering if this link could be a clue?

http://www.mx6.com/forums/2g-mx6-general/210742-transmission-will-shift-but-wont-engage.html

When I pulled the passenger side drive shaft out, I noticed the groove in the splines and noted that there was no C clip where it seemed like there should be one. I did not install one when I put things back together. The driver side drive shaft was never removed.

The manual shows a retainer on both drive shafts.

I don't fully understand how the differential works in this car. Is it possible that the passenger side drive shaft not being connected to the transaxle prevent the car from moving? Wouldn't the driver's side drive shaft still drive the car even if nothing were connected to the passenger side?

Edit:
The attached picture is the joint shaft. When I removed it, I noticed that there was no retaining clip in place. It also looked a bit like the end is worn. I don't remember seeing metal debris. In the process of putting the clutch together, I had forgotten about the condition of the joint shaft. I'm going to remove the passenger side drive shaft and inspect again. I'll be picking up a retainer clip tomorrow as well. I suppose it's possible the drive shaft is not mating properly with the joint shaft.

Edit 2: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=268833

Between the information in these two links and the picture of my joint shaft splines, I'm thinking I'm onto something. Sorry to keep feeding my own thread here, but I want this documented in case someone finds this thread in the future with a similar problem. My plan is to get under the car tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have something to report after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
UPDATE: SOLVED

The problem was the retaining clip that goes onto the joint shaft before the RH drive shaft goes over the joint shaft. After pulling it all apart again, I greased the splines and slipped the retaining clip on. It took some force to get the drive shaft to slide over the clip. Once it did, I lined up the splines and slid the drive shaft all the way onto the joint shaft until the clip seated on the far side inside the drive shaft. I pretty much knew at this point that it was going to work. The geometry was different since the drive shaft was a good 1.5" further in now. Once I buttoned it all up, I started the car, put it in gear and everything was back to working.

Since I had blown out the clutch slave cylinder when I stepped on the pedal with the cylinder disconnected from the transmission, I replaced with new unit and bled before I moved to the drive shaft, joint shaft issue.

I hope this thread can save someone the trouble I went through. That said, I'm not too disappointed as I have a brand new stage one clutch and a new slave cylinder. I also replaced lower control arms and sway bar end links while I was in there. Plus, I learned a lot and gained some confidence that I can tackle a major mechanical job like this.
 

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Thanks for the update. Good to hear you got it figured out. Sometimes it seems to always be something stupid when it comes to something not working and end up replacing parts that were not needed.

But like you said now you know what you can do on your own with your car and that's worth the extra money right there.
 

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so i have a 2013 ms3 and my clutch started slipping, then it stop engaging but it does go into every gear like nothing, i was wondering cause i just got the car and i was talkin to the previous owner and he replaced the clutch not too long about before trading it at the dealer but i was driving and then my clutch was smoking i still havnt gotten the time to look into it but im just bummed how this happens but the clutch feels fine and solid but it wont engage
 
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