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I-CTDI clutch or transmission issue, difficulty shifting

mlkehunt

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Hey there, first time poster and long time unregistered occasional lurker here.

I'm currently away from my car so I won't be able to wrench or troubleshoot further until the 25th of August but I figured I'd seek guidance here to plan my next course of action.

Pre-wall of text symptoms:
Vibration when easing the clutch. out(somewhat remedied by bleeding the clutch slave cylinder. When bleeding I found a 10mm nut between the piston and the clutch fork used as a spacer. No idea why).
At least one bolt on the housing is cross-threaded and has about an inch of room until the bolt is seated properly like the others
Difficulty shifting into gear when car is idle, especially into 1st and reverse, but all gears are difficult.
Occasional grinding when upshifting or downshifting.
Shifting is smooth although it sounds harsh from outside the car when clutch pedal is pressed in and the motor isn't running. Harsher when running.
Shifting is smooth when driving, aside from the aforementioned occasional grinding
Sometimes I feel like I have to double clutch for good measure. Moreso after bleeding the slave cylinder.

I've recently bought a 123k mile 08 i-ctdi tourer, it's been my dream car since I first spotted the facelifted model from the passenger seat of our 96 aerodeck wagon years ago.

I may have been partially blinded by that dream, as the car has some issues that should have been plainly obvious to me during my first test drive. The seller claims he has replaced the clutch plate and flywheel but I'm still waiting on the receipts in the post. He has had this done outside of a dealership so the flywheel compression tool was not used. I also don't know if the parts were OEM. Yet
Once I get the receipts I'm taking the car to a sort of local dealership to try and squeeze a statement out of them about how the shifter and clutch do not work like they should.

The car is extremely difficult to shift into gear when the car is idle and standing still. Reverse and 1st are the biggest offenders. As for the clutch vibrations, I figured at first I just wasn't used to the clutch biting point as the full extent of pedal travel feels half as long as what I'm used to with our 4th gen Mondeo, but I was still shocked by the amount of grinding vibration when easing the clutch pedal back out, even on a poorly rev matched downshift it would vibrate and almost shudder up to the correct rpm.
So I shrugged off the vibrations and decided to roll with it. After all, shifting when driving felt normal to me and I'd just have to get better at rev matching. Just like in my brother's 2.0i 6th gen.

Eventually I was fed up with it and decided to try and bleed the clutch, put the car on stands and bled the slave cylinder by taking it off the gearbox and pointing the valve up into a hose, pushing the piston home and closing the valve. When doing this I found a nut between the piston and fork, perhaps used to aid in bleeding and forgotten or put there with malicious intent, which is concerning, as is the fact that I found a 5 o'clock bolt cross threaded into the housing with about an inch of the bolt still showing. I wasn't satisfied with the result and later we attempted the 2 man method as it was a little easier to perform(I'm 6.3 and I have no business being underneath a car on jack stands, no elbow room :p)
This improved the clutch feel but it's still no less difficult to shift into gear when idle.

I have taken pictures of the bolt in question but was unable to photograph the nut in the clutch fork as it fell out when I moved the slave cylinder piston.


Other than that the car feels and drives excellently, it has the usual diesel flat spots but I'm used to a more gutless 1.8 Mondeo so anything that cruises more smoothly is fantastic in my book.
Left rear caliper is also hanging right now but that's a lesser concern in the grand scheme of things.

I'm running out of diy ideas at this point, and I have scoured the forums for similar posts but they're all missing(to my knowledge) the one differentiating factor: mine shifts fine when driving. Otherwise I would(with my limited mechanical knowledge) have simply blamed the clutch not disengaging properly. And I suppose the nut in the fork would have caused that, but the problem persists post bleed after removing it.

Regards,
Øyvind from Norway
 

trolleyjack

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Can't comment on your dubious nut ~ bolt problems as I would not know what these unorthodox modifications were meant to achieve, needless to say if they don’t look right ,they probably wont be.

On a more simplistic theme in relation to your symptoms, It may be prudent to check your gearbox oil level and condition (change every 80k mls), top up ~ replace as required.

T.J.
 

mlkehunt

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Thank you for your reply. The oil was nice and clear and also within min/max ranges last I checked, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to do a full flush as it may well be dirty further down in the system.

-Øyvind
 

mlkehunt

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I apologise in advance if there are rules against double posting, but I am unable to edit my previous post.

Out of curiosity, is there a pilot bearing or bushing on these engines? I've been reading on a Jeep forum about someone with almost the exact problems I'm having although just as mentioned in that thread, leaky hydraulics would cause clutch grabbing, but it would exhibit these problems also while driving which is not the case.

My current battle plan is to pump the socks off the clutch pedal while idle to see if the problem is related to hydraulics, inspect master and slave for leaks(again), then do a full bleed and replace all the fluid.
My car is part of the airbag recall so once I take it to the dealership, I'll ask the mechanic to have a look at it as well.

Will post back with my findings in hopes that it'll help someone else.


Regards,
Øyvind
 

mlkehunt

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So, while I had my airbag inflator replaced at my local dealership I had a bit of a Q&A session with the mechanics trying to confirm or deconfirm any suspicion I might have about the nature of my problem, I left with more questions than answers, and they simply recommended to bleed the system. Which I had already done, two-man, gravity and vacuum bleed on separate occasions.
So I bled it again.. Verified there's no leaks in the m/s cylinders or the hardlines, I also replaced all of the brake fluid and made sure to not introduce new air to the system, and it would still shift rough from a standstill.

My saving grace was to simply adjust the amount of free play in the clutch pedal, to the point where the only wiggle room left was in the master cylinder piston rather than the pedal linkage itself, this has pushed the biting point away from the floor and I can now shift without struggling.
I made sure to check slave cyl position before and after adjustment to avoid slipping, because I was concerned about running into issues where the clutch would only be partially disengaged even with my foot off the pedal.

I guess driving like this might have worn both the synchros and the clutch disc, but I'm glad to finally have it sorted.
 
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