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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

All of the sudden I'm getting this horrible crunch/grinding when I both shift into first gear from neutral as well as reverse. this started occurring over the weekend and I haven't experienced anything like this before. I tend to get a little lost when it comes to the gearbox/tranny, but I'm assuming something is off or misaligned. I'll get the shift knob about halfway into first gear/ reverse and then something makes this absolutely horrible grinding noise and vibrates like hell. It's also happened once or twice with second gear, but third, fourth and fifth are fine. Is this a synchro problem? something else? Any insight is hugely appreciated.
 

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First and reverse have no synchro. Before going into first from neutral you need to touch second, you don't need to completely engage it, just pull it back until the synchro touches then put it in first. Same for reverse.

In other words, it's normal. Not sure why you never noticed it before because they all have always been that way.
 

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Engine off, engage first gear, clutch pedal down and try starting her in gear - can you pull away with no strange noises? Or do you feel she is trying to creep forward as the starter turns?
As you feel this has only just started to happen, you might want to check the clutch is engaging properly.
1. check the clutch fluid reservoir - does it look like the level is down from how you remember it before? - you might have a leak
2. is the flexible hose to the clutch slave cylinder giving up the ghost and expanding when you push the clutch pedal? - in bad cases this would not allow the clutch to operate as it should
3. is the clutch pedal pivot pin weld twisting (often a clutch pedal perhaps hanging a bit lower than it did before, points to this) - this would make you think that although the pedal is to the floor, the clutch itself is not in fact fully engaging
 

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Yes, for this to suddenly start happening is not normal. From the description it definitely sounds like the clutch is not fully releasing.

Check the hydraulics and clutch pivot pin as stated above.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've got an update!
So what I've been doing since this problem started was having to start the car in first gear in order to avoid having to shift into first when idling (There hasn't been a problem when downshifting, just shifting into first from neutral). That was working fine until this morning. I had the car in first with the clutch pedal pushed all the way in, tried to turn over the engine, but this time the car began moving forward, as though the I was starting it with first gear fully engaged. As it is, it does seem as though the problem has to do with the clutch not engaging fully so I end up grinding gears when shifting.

Could anyone maybe point to a thread / guide on how to get the clutch aligned again or offer any insight/tips on the matter?

Thanks so much everyone!
 

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How does the clutch pedal feel? If the pedal is hanging at the proper height, perhaps you simply have air in your clutch line. Try pumping the pedal a few times to see if that firms up pedal feel or allows you to start the car with your foot on the clutch without lurching forward.

Have you checked the fluid in your clutch reservoir? It's the small, round fluid tank next to the brake master cylinder.

Good luck!


Evan
 

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as i said above, if it creeps forward when starting in first, then there is a clutch engagement problem and it sounds really like a hydraulic problem (no need to align, remove g/box or any of that stuff:).......just yet!)
Again like I said, check the fluid level hasn't gone down (any fluid leaking out under the car?), the rubber hydraulic pipe near the slave cylinder under the car, and the clutch pivot arm near the servo unit under the hood. Start there then report back....that would be my advice for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, so I took a look at the car this afternoon. The first thing I checked was the clutch fluid reservoir, and lo and behold the thing was bone dry (which I'm guessing is indicative of a leak somewhere). I went and bought some fluid, topped the reservoir up to max, and tried pumping the clutch a bit to try and get whatever air was in the line out. However, the fluid didn't drop into the line at all, and the problem persists. Am I going to have to bleed the line? Is there an article outlining how to do that? Do you know if the problem even has to do with air in the line, or could it be something else?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It might also be worth noting that I did notice that the clutch pedal sits about 1/2 inch lower than the brake pedal. If I pull up on the clutch pedal, it'll move upwards about a 1/2 inch and then fall back in to place once I let it go. The brake pedal does not move upwards at all. Could that be indicative of the pivot pin failing, or could air in the line also be the culprit?
 

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sounds like the pin failing... sometimes if you open the hood of the car, and look at the pin next to the clevis joint, you can see the twisting / breaking of the weld.. to remove the pin( the way i did it. undo the brake master cly( no need to undo the lines) just push it forward. and do the same with the clutch master cly..( you must remove the clevis pin) you remove 2 nuts on top of the pedal box from the engine bay, and 2 nuts from under the dash.... use a couple extentions to do this one. remove the rubber pedal pads,, they will be hard to take off, they might even break.. don't worry. mine came off that way.. i just replaced the pads with skateboard grip tape on the brake/ clutch pedal... now you have all 4 nuts and washers removed... pull out the pedla box,, some twisting to slip the pedals out of the hole.. before yo replace the clutch pin.. do yourself a favour.. drill 2 small holes and use a small tap. tap in some threads. this will allow you to use zerk grease fittings. see photo. now replace the pin and reverse the pulling out pattern, re- attach the brake/ clutch master cly..
 

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The first thing I checked was the clutch fluid reservoir, and lo and behold the thing was bone dry (which I'm guessing is indicative of a leak somewhere).......Am I going to have to bleed the line?Thanks!
As you say, you must have a leak for so much fluid to have gone awol! so I would find this leak first - it should be fairly easy to locate, as either the master cylinder under the hood, or the slave cylinder and/or the flexible hose down by the gearbox, must be quite wet!
 

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Pepe,

Bleeding is a PIA but can be done. I don't know where you are located but if you have a Harbor Freight nearby, you can by a vacuum bleeder that uses air pressure for about 20 bucks. This will make life much easier.

You can also use a syringe type device (see Griots.com) to push the fluid UP from the slave to the master. This is very effective on short/low fluid displacement systems where it's hard to get the air to go DOWN the lines. I use this on motorcycles all the time.

The old fashioned method is to have a helper pump the pedal and then hold it down. You then open the bleeder screw to release the fluid and any air it is mixed with. You may have to do this many times to fully clear the air.

Inspect the area under the master and around the slave for the leak. It could be either or the line itself.

There are a few pivot pin threads recently and you can take a look thru the spider tech FAQ by clicking the link in my sig below.

Bianchi, is that a picture of your wiener :) Anthony Wiener style???
 
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