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Old 07-20-2013, 10:54 PM   #1
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Unhappy Flyin' Miata Happy Meal not Disengaging

Morning all,

Recently I had a Flyin' Miata Happy Meal and 13 pound flywheel installed and am having some serious problems.

At first the car drove okay not great but drivable, but I thought it was just breaking it. The clutch engaged right off the floor and was REALLY light as in lighter than the OEM clutch that was taken out. I thought this was due to the clutch being new so I ran the break in period and at the end of 500 miles adjusted the clutch per the flyin' miata directions, followed them to a T. Then ran an autocross. On the way home, I had problems getting into 1st, 2nd and reverse was next to impossible. I figured out the clutch was not disengaging fully. OK, no big deal I lengthened the push rod slightly until I could select my gears again. All was okay for about a 3-4 days then I would have to adjust again, using more and more adjustment to be able to select gears.

At this point I had called flyin miata, spoke with Bill (Great guy BTW) and he said that this happened from time to time and that I needed to loosen the 17mm nut on the switch at the top of the pedal. I did so, but it did not correct the situation. Next he suggested removing and/or shaving the rubber stopper on the clutch pedal in order to gain more travel. This again did not gain me enough travel to select any gears.

Now, about 2 weeks before this clutch install, my slave died so I put in a new master and slave. After removing the stoppers as explained above the only thing left that it could be was maybe a factory defective master or slave. So I replaced them both tonight. So, I swapped out all the hydraulics with new components and bled the whole system with a Mityvac.

This weekend I have had a complete failure at this point. No amount of rod adjustment will allow me to select ANY gears. The car will not move. It can be started in gear and driven but one cannot select another gear once moving.

Does ANYONE have ANY thing else I can try? I will try anything. I would very much like to get this car back on the road as it is my daily driver.



SUMMARY of Problem: Flying Miata clutch won't disengage fully
Solutions attempted:
1)New 949 braided steel clutch line
2)Adjusted the clutch rod
3)17mm clutch switch shortening
4)Removal of clutch rubber stopper
5)Bled system with MityVac
6)Replaced Master and Slave

1999 Sport, JRSC M45, Boss Frog Double Hoop, FM Butterfly, Cobalt 3 Point, Raceland Header, CorkSport Duals, Custom Midpipe with high-flow cat, FM V-Maxx Coilovers, Race Buckets, 15x8 6ULs.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
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Have you looked at the clutch fork to make sure the slave is actually pushing it?

If yes then the hydraulics are good. Could be something inside the bell housing. You will probably have to drop the tranny and inspect.

If no then you will have to go over the hydraulics again. Try and isolate where the problem is by working your way back from the slave, or the pedal. Does the fluid drop at all over time?
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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Yes, we have confirmed that the slave is moving with the pedal. The fluid does not drop over time, again all the hydraulics are new as of about 2 hours ago.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:38 PM   #4
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Right. New doesn't mean they were installed correctly or work correctly. But sounds like they were

How freely does the clutch pedal move? Can you feel resistance? Is is smooth? Does it feel like it should be disengaging? Are you sure it's not something with the shifter? I'd inspect that as it is a few minutes worth of work.

It's not exactly common for a FM clutch to fail.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:47 PM   #5
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It does feel like it sound be disengaging, it feels like a regualr clutch pedal. Resistance feels about right, the shifter is okay, works great when the engine is off.
and I think we can eliminate the clutch and slave, both sets old and new are presenting the same problems independent of one another. The problem is not related to the hydraulics or at least to the master/slave.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #6
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I think you will have to drop the tranny. Did you put the clutch disc in the correct way?
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:57 PM   #7
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I paid a shop to install it.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Ehhhhhhhhh. Dunno man you really covered all the easy stuff. Dropping the tranny isn't a bad job, just make sure to drain it and with some well placed extensions it'll be quick. 1 day removal and install if you are okay at working on things, a helper makes it so much easier.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:38 PM   #9
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Check the splines on the disc when you have the tranny out. If the transmission was rocked back and forth too much when it was installed there could be burrs on the splines, clean them up with a small file. That once caused similar issues for me.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:55 AM   #10
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When I installed my FM2 clutch, I did the original adjustment of the rod. It ended up being set to engage pretty far down, maybe 1 or 2 inches off the floor.

Then like you said, after driving around probably 500 miles, the engagement point started moving up closer to the top when the engine/trans was warm.

I adjusted the rod one more time and now it's right about in the middle cold or hot.

I bled my slave just for fun while I was working on this. Hope that helps.

I have heard of at least one other person having the same issue as you with a FM assembly.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #11
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If it makes you feel any better, I am having a similar problem but mine just started happening on an old stock clutch. I have driven it plenty and it has been fine, drove around this weekend and started having ALOT of trouble getting it in to 1st, 2nd, Reverse. Keep us posted on what you find out, I'm not sure what else to try.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigidbigelsworth View Post
I am having a similar problem but mine just started happening on an old stock clutch. I have driven it plenty and it has been fine, drove around this weekend and started having ALOT of trouble getting it in to 1st, 2nd, Reverse. Keep us posted on what you find out, I'm not sure what else to try.
Jeez, I wonder what could be making an old worn stock clutch do this?

jeez, I hope i didnt answer my own question...
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FRT_Fun View Post
Did you put the clutch disc in the correct way?
^ This is my vote. It's easy to put them in backwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rigidbigelsworth View Post
If it makes you feel any better, I am having a similar problem but mine just started happening on an old stock clutch. I have driven it plenty and it has been fine, drove around this weekend and started having ALOT of trouble getting it in to 1st, 2nd, Reverse. Keep us posted on what you find out, I'm not sure what else to try.
Is there also a puddle under the slave cylinder? I've had quite a few of them crap out on me. If that's it, as long as you're building some pressure you can pump it several times and it'll go into gear like normal.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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Is there also a puddle under the slave cylinder? I've had quite a few of them crap out on me. If that's it, as long as you're building some pressure you can pump it several times and it'll go into gear like normal.
No leaking fluid, that is why I am confused. Clutch fluid level fine, Pedal feels normal, from what I understand a worn master/slave would result in decreased pedal resistance or fluid leak. I have neither.

Brain, what would be worn out on the clutch assembly to cause these symptoms? from what I understand, a "worn out clutch" would mean slipping under load, not failure to disengage. regardless, once I did get it in gear, the car did not pull itself forward until I released the clutch pedal. So it did not feel like the clutch was failing to disengage.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:44 PM   #15
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if a clutch disc is worn enough, its much thinner than new. But this doesn't necessarily mean that it wont hold. But what it does mean is that the PP needs to be pushed on even further to release it from the disc...there gets a point where the slave can only push the fork so far even with the clutch pedal adjusted as far as possible.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #16
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Grab the fork in the trans and see if you can move it by hand, if not then a few things could have happened.

1. I realy don't see how you can put the clutch in backwards...but that could of happened (not sure if it would have even been ok to drive before)

2. A spring or something broke off and is jammed at the teeth of the pressure plate, so the plate will not dis-engage. (Happened to my Celica with a relatively new clutch )

3. The TO bearing is somehow stuck and will not move up and down the shaft. (Huh huh shaft)

If it moves by hand then the TO bearing has slipped off the fork and are no longer working together to depress the PP.

Edit: One more thing. You used a vac on the Slave right? See if you can hook up a clear tube to it, open it and see if fluid comes up of it when you pump the Clutch pedal. Old school....I don't trust them mighty vac's.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
if a clutch disc is worn enough, its much thinner than new. But this doesn't necessarily mean that it wont hold. But what it does mean is that the PP needs to be pushed on even further to release it from the disc...there gets a point where the slave can only push the fork so far even with the clutch pedal adjusted as far as possible.

Yeah that makes sense, but my problem was not a gradually formed one. It had been fine for months, then out driving the other day, it was fine when i left, by the time I got to Home Depot Racing, it didnt want to go into reverse to back into a spot. Then when I left, it still didnt want to go into first or second, I eventually got it, but struggled at the rest of the red lights on the way home. So it doesnt seem like a "worn part" symptom as much as a "failed part" which points back to a seal finally giving out in the master/slave, but again, no loss in fluid levels or loss of pedal resistance.
Guy at autozone suggested pilot bearing....which makes absolutely no sense to me since that just stabilizes the tip of the output shaft while it rotates. wonder if he meant throwout bearing? I dunno.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigidbigelsworth View Post
Yeah that makes sense, but my problem was not a gradually formed one. It had been fine for months, then out driving the other day, it was fine when i left, by the time I got to Home Depot Racing, it didnt want to go into reverse to back into a spot. Then when I left, it still didnt want to go into first or second, I eventually got it, but struggled at the rest of the red lights on the way home. So it doesnt seem like a "worn part" symptom as much as a "failed part" which points back to a seal finally giving out in the master/slave, but again, no loss in fluid levels or loss of pedal resistance.
Guy at autozone suggested pilot bearing....which makes absolutely no sense to me since that just stabilizes the tip of the output shaft while it rotates. wonder if he meant throwout bearing? I dunno.
Bearings would make noise.

Have you tried bleeding the slave?
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:02 PM   #19
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Nope I guess I will try that today, I figured the only way air would have gotten in would be if fluid got out somehow. and since my levels looked fine I assumed that was not the case, but assuming is one of the most dangerous things I can do around my car I have realized. Ill try bleeding it after work.
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:04 PM   #20
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Bleed it. See if it helps for a little bit. You prolly need a new one. I would replace both of them though just because.

You check you master level also right?
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