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Old 11-02-2015, 08:30 AM   #1
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Default push clutch in engine doesn't like to stay running.

Ok a rundown. I have used the search, and my Google FU is good. I have not found another issues that is similar to mine.
The car is a 2004 Mazdaspeed
The car and build has sat for a few years, but, the motor is "newly built"( 0 miles)... I just started it yesterday. It went way too smooth to be right! Clutch is "brand new"(also sat for a while) a FM happy meal kit
I bled the hydraulics and the pedal does push the fork back. So hydraulics are working. The clutch is heavier than the old one from what I remember.

The motor is built using FM parts and ACL race bearings. I think the builder sourced these on his own. The ecu is a Hydra. All sensors are calibrated and base timing was set. On an FM base map with nothing else done with it.

When the car was idling upon setting the base timing I noticed a "burning" smell, I thought it to be leaves on the DP... but now I think it may have been a clutch smell. After I got everything situated I went to take it out for a spin. Only problem is when I put the clutch in it stalled. I did this a couple times.
I went in and did some reading so I go back out with the wife. She pushed the clutch in and I didn't notice any crank pulley movement, started the car and had her push it in slowly no movement that was noticeable again.
The clutch was all the way down so I hop in push the clutch in slowly, it doesn't stall.

At the top with just slight pressure I can feel a vibration in the pedal. I keep pushing and the rpms drop a tad. I have the shifter at the gate and it goes into gear near the bottom of the pedal travel. But not at the bottom.
I give it a blip of gas and start letting the clutch out and it dies. Total travel is about 10 feet it didn't buck OR jerk just moved smooth until it died. At this point the battery was low. I put the charger on and tried again last night. I do the same and it dies before I can start to let the clutch out. Perhaps im not quick enough. I can keep giving it gas and it will stay running, but it seems like pushing the clutch in puts load on the engine and it stalls out.
The part that is worrisome is that part explained above, and the part where I thought I smelled "clutch" at idle and in neutral.
Any ideas? Recomendations? Adjustments that can be made?
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by David Reith View Post
Ok a rundown. I have used the search, and my Google FU is good. I have not found another issues that is similar to mine.
The car is a 2004 Mazdaspeed
The car and build has sat for a few years, but, the motor is "newly built"( 0 miles)... I just started it yesterday. It went way too smooth to be right! Clutch is "brand new"(also sat for a while) a FM happy meal kit
I bled the hydraulics and the pedal does push the fork back. So hydraulics are working. The clutch is heavier than the old one from what I remember.

The motor is built using FM parts and ACL race bearings. I think the builder sourced these on his own. The ecu is a Hydra. All sensors are calibrated and base timing was set. On an FM base map with nothing else done with it.

When the car was idling upon setting the base timing I noticed a "burning" smell, I thought it to be leaves on the DP... but now I think it may have been a clutch smell. After I got everything situated I went to take it out for a spin. Only problem is when I put the clutch in it stalled. I did this a couple times.
I went in and did some reading so I go back out with the wife. She pushed the clutch in and I didn't notice any crank pulley movement, started the car and had her push it in slowly no movement that was noticeable again.
The clutch was all the way down so I hop in push the clutch in slowly, it doesn't stall.

At the top with just slight pressure I can feel a vibration in the pedal. I keep pushing and the rpms drop a tad. I have the shifter at the gate and it goes into gear near the bottom of the pedal travel. But not at the bottom.
I give it a blip of gas and start letting the clutch out and it dies. Total travel is about 10 feet it didn't buck OR jerk just moved smooth until it died. At this point the battery was low. I put the charger on and tried again last night. I do the same and it dies before I can start to let the clutch out. Perhaps im not quick enough. I can keep giving it gas and it will stay running, but it seems like pushing the clutch in puts load on the engine and it stalls out.
The part that is worrisome is that part explained above, and the part where I thought I smelled "clutch" at idle and in neutral.
Any ideas? Recomendations? Adjustments that can be made?
Also along with the felt "chatter" of the clutch pedal with slight pressure on the clutch. I should note the rpm drop/ stall usually happens at the top of the pedal travel... also there isn't any unusual noise
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Old 11-03-2015, 06:51 AM   #3
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I'm borrowing a dial indicator today to test the obvious... unfortunately it is usually the thrust bearings. I was hoping it to be some how an improperly installed clutch with a bad throwout bearing.... but I'll find out tonight just how much play there is. If I read correctly .007 is within tolerance. I hope I'm close to this just with the bearing installed backwards.
That way I hope I will b only need a new crank... ehhh it's my luck!
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:26 AM   #4
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I'm going to say thrust bearing or throw out bearing, probably the former. Either way, you will likely hurt something if you keep trying.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:40 AM   #5
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I had not started it since Sunday evening. I did an unscientific test last night by pushing the crank back toward the firewall with some wood. The ati damper has 3 bolts that come out so I rested the wood on all three heads and smashed my fingers between the wood and the sway bar. The wife pushed the clutch in and I was expecting to be in pain, as I was already discomforted. There was a mild pressure difference, but not enough to really pinch hard.

I contacted an aquaintence his name is Jarod from Parker Mountain Machine. Former engine builder (euro cars) he is going to lend me a dial indicator tonight. So I can get an actual number tonight.

I was in contact with the guys at FM
And told them all about the build and what was happening. I was hoping they would say double check the clutch as I don't think any of the adjustments they require were done aside from bleeding. The fm2 clutch has the override switch so the only time the thrust bearing had pressure was when bleeding the hydraulics. Obviously the car was not running at this point.
At no other time should there have been pressure present on the bearings until after it had been running. FM seems to think maybe he (the engine builder) installed the bearings backwards.

Either way I'll have a better idea tonight
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:41 PM   #6
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So I measured the crank play with a dial indicator and it was at .009" of play.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:42 AM   #7
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So I measured the crank play with a dial indicator and it was at .009" of play.
I don't know what I was thinking. I'm a bit of an idiot!!! The real end play is.015"
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:08 AM   #8
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There is an electric switch on the top out position of the clutch pedal their is a spring on the plunger that can break. I don't know if this is your problem but generally the ecu will go into a closed throttle Idle air control mode if it sees ether the clutch is pushed in or the transmission is in neutral or both. it uses this switch and the neutral switch on the transmission. I've had this switch fail before when the plunger spring in it broke. car would idle fine sitting in neutral but would die if you were rolling up to a stop light and pushed the clutch in with the car in gear as it wouldn't do anything to catch falling RPM with the Idle control valve and it would die immediately but if I put it in neutral and then push in the clutch and it wouldn't die but it would try to die as soon as you put it back in gear.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:12 AM   #9
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #10
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Remove the transmission and check the clutch again, maybe you missed something or something shifted when you installed it but its better to just pull it and check it before you keep trying things and damage something. If you installed it backwards is it possible to stall out? I dont think your having a Hydra issue because if your just at idle it wont care if you push your clutch in, idle shouldnt move at all at that point, but I have been wrong before, I am running hydra and dont notice any rpm drop when I push my clutch in. I would say possible throwout bearing also but thats pretty extreme to lock up a motor, I was thinking that it might have been forgotten and the forks are locking up against the pressure plate? Hence the chatter at idle? I dont think its anything but a clutch/pp issue from what your explaining.? I am curious to see what it is though so let us know!
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RAHNDEE View Post
Remove the transmission and check the clutch again, maybe you missed something or something shifted when you installed it but its better to just pull it and check it before you keep trying things and damage something. If you installed it backwards is it possible to stall out? I dont think your having a Hydra issue because if your just at idle it wont care if you push your clutch in, idle shouldnt move at all at that point, but I have been wrong before, I am running hydra and dont notice any rpm drop when I push my clutch in. I would say possible throwout bearing also but thats pretty extreme to lock up a motor, I was thinking that it might have been forgotten and the forks are locking up against the pressure plate? Hence the chatter at idle? I dont think its anything but a clutch/pp issue from what your explaining.? I am curious to see what it is though so let us know!
I think it's the clutch switch the fact it happens at the top of the stroke is a giveaway. I have a Hydra as well, it is what exhibited this behavior. The fact it runs and he drove the car and went through gears kinda rules out serious mechanical issues with the clutch install itself. something is causing it to not operate the Idle control I bet. The hydra doesn't try to control idle with the idle control valve if it senses the combination of the neutral switch saying it's in gear and the clutch switch saying the clutch is not depressed. The result is it idle droops and dies usually.

Newly built means it will smell funny till it burns off residue. A clutch dragging enough to get hot and smell would never let it idle well enough to set base timing like he said he did.

Last edited by bbundy; 11-08-2015 at 07:24 PM.
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