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  1. #1
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Clutch pedal will not depress

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    Just did a motor swap and got everything back into the car today. Bolted the slave up and went to test it and the pedal was rock solid. I figured the rod was not aligned correctly so I popped it off and tried to press the pedal to make sure that was the issue and it still would not depress. Didnít have any issues with the clutch before the swap, is this a symptom of a bad slave? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Established Member Four Rings JustManson's Avatar
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    So the pedal is stuck in the top position?

    And cannot be depressed at all...

    Iím thinking the master might be stuck....

    Can you push the rod in and out on the Slave?


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Yes it is stuck in the top position and yes I can depress the slave with the rod pretty smoothly. Whereís the master located?

  4. #4
    Established Member Four Rings JustManson's Avatar
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    The master is inside the cabin.

    Pull the kick panel off under the dash where your clutch, brake, and gas pedal is.

    The master connects to the clutch pedal itself. Looks like a black plastic pump. Iíve read of the master (I just changed mine) getting stuck internally before popping. Itís the only part that would keep the pedal from moving inside the cabin.






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  5. #5
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Got around to looking at it today. Popped the slave off again and tried one more time. Pedal was still solid. Then I opened the bleeder on the slave and pressed the pedal and it went to the floor like normal but stayed down there on its own. Closed the bleeder, pulled the pedal back up to the top and tried to push again and it was again too solid to move. I then pulled the hydraulic feed line to the slave off and pressed the pedal and it shot fluid out through the feed line and the pedal depressed normal. It sounds to me like the master is working correctly and theres something blocking the slave from operating correctly. Anyone have any thoughts on this? My diagnosis is faulty slave.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
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    Clutch installed incorrectly, or the wrong tob/pp combo.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowSfaux View Post
    Clutch installed incorrectly, or the wrong tob/pp combo.
    Itís happening with the slave cylinder removed though so the clutch should be out of the equation. Itís the same clutch setup I had before so it canít be the wrong setup but in what way could it be installed incorrectly? If the tranny shaft lined up with the disc you would assume itís good to go right?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
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    Oh I must have misread, I didn't see you say that the pedal was still rocksolid with the slave removed from the transmission but with the slave line still connected. If that's the case, then yes, the symptoms point 100% to a faulty slave.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    It should be rock solid with the slave removed because thereís no pressure plate to depress the slave cylinder back into itís closed position. If you push the slave rod back in and hold it, I guarantee the clutch pedal will depress again. If you try and force it, youíll blow the seals on either your slave or master.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trb1 View Post
    It should be rock solid with the slave removed because thereís no pressure plate to depress the slave cylinder back into itís closed position. If you push the slave rod back in and hold it, I guarantee the clutch pedal will depress again. If you try and force it, youíll blow the seals on either your slave or master.
    So that would suggest thereís something wrong with the clutch. The clutch seems too straight forward for their to be an issue with though. I bolted the flywheel up and put the disc in and the pressure plate on. The tranny slid on and I verified the splines weíre engaged when I wasnít able to turn the driveshaft hub by hand any more. The tranny bolted up and I assume all is fine. Am I missing something in there??

  11. #11
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trb1 View Post
    It should be rock solid with the slave removed because thereís no pressure plate to depress the slave cylinder back into itís closed position. If you push the slave rod back in and hold it, I guarantee the clutch pedal will depress again. If you try and force it, youíll blow the seals on either your slave or master.
    Not true, you should spit the rod right out of the slave. It's happened to many people who don't line up the rod with the release fork.

    What it sounds like is fluid isn't acting on the rod within the slave. It doesn't take much pressure to shoot that rod out, definitely not enough that anyone would call it "rock hard".

  12. #12
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowSfaux View Post
    Not true, you should spit the rod right out of the slave. It's happened to many people who don't line up the rod with the release fork.

    What it sounds like is fluid isn't acting on the rod within the slave. It doesn't take much pressure to shoot that rod out, definitely not enough that anyone would call it "rock hard".
    Oh itís definitely true. If the Slave is fully extended, rod in place or not, the pedal will be rock hard. If you install the wrong TOB (which Iíve seen done) and the clutch fork doesnít retract, the seals will blow out if you press hard enough. Iíve watched it happen. Think about how a hydraulic system works.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattg1.8 View Post
    So that would suggest thereís something wrong with the clutch. The clutch seems too straight forward for their to be an issue with though. I bolted the flywheel up and put the disc in and the pressure plate on. The tranny slid on and I verified the splines weíre engaged when I wasnít able to turn the driveshaft hub by hand any more. The tranny bolted up and I assume all is fine. Am I missing something in there??
    Did you install an aftermarket clutch and not replace the throw out bearing? Different pressure plates use a differently stepped throw out bearing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trb1 View Post
    Did you install an aftermarket clutch and not replace the throw out bearing? Different pressure plates use a differently stepped throw out bearing.
    I used the same exact clutch setup off the old engine. The clutch has been installed for thousands of miles with no issues I just unbolted it off one engine and bolted it right onto the other one.

  15. #15
    Established Member Three Rings ReggieNoble's Avatar
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    If the pedal is still hard with the slave off the transmission, I would look at the clutch master cylinder like stated in an earlier post

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  16. #16
    Veteran Member Four Rings wbrunner23's Avatar
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    You removed the plug from the port on the slave before installing the line, right?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbrunner23 View Post
    You removed the plug from the port on the slave before installing the line, right?
    I havenít installed a new slave yet, going to pick it up tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Iím not able to work on it today but tomorrow Iím going to attempt to stick a tool in the hole where the slave goes and try to manually disengage the clutch. If I am able to do that without too much force then Iíll assume everything in the bell housing is working as itís supposed to. If not then Iíll probably have to yank the tranny again.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Iím totally stumped. Did a couple things today.
    -put the car in gear and turned the engine over by hand to ensure the output shaft on the tranny was spinning and it was
    -put pressure on the old slave with it removed and the pedal worked normal
    -I replaced the slave anyway
    -I felt inside the slave hole and was able to pull the fork forward a little bit then push it back towards the front of the engine. I believe itís supposed to have this small amount of play if itís correct?
    With the new slave installed itís doing the same thing. I wasnít able to fully bleed it by myself but itís already getting solid about halfway down.
    Am I installing the slave incorrectly or is there something messed up internally in the bell housing?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
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    And this is a 2.7? I only ask because this is the b5 s4 page, but you have 1.8 in your name, haha. The release fork is held in place by the little plastic holder with the bolted on metal clip at the bottom, and the tob in the middle. If both of those are in place, and the tob fits snugly around the input shaft sleeve, there shouldn't be much side to side movement of the fork.

    Edit: I misread again, my apologies, I thought I read side to side movement. A small amount of in and out movement of the release fork is normal.

    By chance did you forget to install the bellhousing spacer?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowSfaux View Post
    And this is a 2.7? I only ask because this is the b5 s4 page, but you have 1.8 in your name, haha. The release fork is held in place by the little plastic holder with the bolted on metal clip at the bottom, and the tob in the middle. If both of those are in place, and the tob fits snugly around the input shaft sleeve, there shouldn't be much side to side movement of the fork.

    By chance did you forget to install the bellhousing spacer?
    Lol yes itís a 2.7 when I made my audizine account I had a 1.8. The bell housing spacer is installed. I have an aftermarket (vast I believe) clutch. Idk if thereís a special way it needs to be installed?? But again, if the tranny went on I donít see how it could be installed incorrectly.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
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    Does vast use a sachs or luk pressure plate? If luk, did you reset the self adjusting clutch before you bolted it back to the flywheel?

  23. #23
    Active Member One Ring ZAB5S4's Avatar
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    Had the exact same happen to me once after reinstalling the engine. The problem is with the release fork being misaligned or something else which is locking it in place. I had to remove the engine, correct the fork, and reinstall. Clutch worked fine after that.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowSfaux View Post
    Does vast use a sachs or luk pressure plate? If luk, did you reset the self adjusting clutch before you bolted it back to the flywheel?
    I have no idea what plate it uses. And I also have no idea how to reset it so hopefully not.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZAB5S4 View Post
    Had the exact same happen to me once after reinstalling the engine. The problem is with the release fork being misaligned or something else which is locking it in place. I had to remove the engine, correct the fork, and reinstall. Clutch worked fine after that.
    Dam. Was it obvious what was misaligned in there? Is there a way to test that itís going to work once the tranny is bolted back up but before putting it in the car aside from making the slave the first piece to be hooked up and tested on install?

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Four Rings Nollywood's Avatar
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    If you can depress the clutch pedal with the slave unbolted from the transmission, the bleed nipple removed or pressure line disconnected, then the master cylinder is not binding.

    What could cause binding once itís all back together, are the following:

    1) Throw out-bearing sleeve damage, not allowing the bearing to slide along its length.
    2) Incorrectly fitted throw-out bearing (slipped sideways) causing the bearing to bind on the edge of the sleeve.
    3) Incorrect throw-out bearing (too tall) for the clutch and flywheel combined stack height.
    4) Transmission spacer missing from between transmission and engine.
    5) Damaged release fork (bent).
    6) Damaged input shaft splines.
    7) Damaged friction disc splines.


    I saw a suggestion that questioned whether you adjusted / reset the self adjusting pressure plate before putting it all back together. This will not cause a locked pedal. The car will drive the same, service life however will be shorter; it will wear faster, especially if the engine is not stock output-wise.

    Since the thread starter says the transmission spacer was installed, we can rule out #4 scenario. Personally, Iím leaning towards throw-out bearing issues (#1&2). Unfortunately, these will require pulling the transmission to rectify. You can try selecting first with the engine not running, making sure the front of the car is clear of obstacles. Then start the car in first, drive forwards, then cut the ignition. Try the pedal once more.

    This sometimes works, and knocks the release bearing back into place, if it was misaligned on the release sleeve. You could be lucky.

    Did you grease the input shaft serrations, and the throw-out bearing sleeve? Did you ensure the friction disc slides freely along the shaft, before it all went back together?
    Last edited by Nollywood; 07-12-2018 at 06:13 AM.
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  27. #27
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nollywood View Post
    If you can depress the clutch pedal with the slave unbolted from the transmission, the bleed nipple removed or pressure line disconnected, then the master cylinder is not binding.

    What could cause binding once itís all back together, are the following:

    1) Throw out-bearing sleeve damage, not allowing the bearing to slide along its length.
    2) Incorrectly fitted throw-out bearing (slipped sideways) causing the bearing to bind on the edge of the sleeve.
    3) Incorrect throw-out bearing (too tall) for the clutch and flywheel combined stack height.
    4) Transmission spacer missing from between transmission and engine.
    5) Damaged release fork (bent).
    6) Damaged input shaft splines.
    7) Damaged friction disc splines.


    I saw a suggestion that would questioned whether you adjusted / reset the self adjusting pressure plate before putting it all back together. This will not cause a locked pedal. The car will drive the same, service life however will be shorter; it will wear faster, especially if the engine is not stock output-wise.

    Since the thread starter says the transmission spacer was installed, we can rule out #4 scenario. Personally, Iím leaning towards throw-out bearing issues (#1&2). Unfortunately, these will require pulling the transmission to rectify. You can try selecting first with the engine not running, making sure the front of the car is clear of obstacles. Then start the car in first, drive forwards, then cut the ignition. Try the pedal once more.

    This sometimes works, and knocks the release bearing back into place, if it was misaligned on the release sleeve. You could be lucky.

    Did you grease the input shaft serrations, and the throw-out bearing sleeve? Did you ensure the friction disc slide freely along the shaft, before it all went back together?
    Well hopefully itís a throw out bearing, I grabbed a spare when I picked up the slave yesterday. I did grease the shaft around the bearing but I did not check that the disc slid freely on the shaft. I actually didnít even use a clutch alignment tool. I guess the engines coming back out to figure it out.

  28. #28
    Veteran Member Four Rings Nollywood's Avatar
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    I never use a clutch alignment tool, but thatís neither here nor there.

    Itís probably easier to pull the transmission to carry out any sort of clutch work.

    I would still try my suggestion before pulling either engine or transmission though.
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  29. #29
    Senior Member Three Rings mattg1.8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nollywood View Post
    I never use a clutch alignment tool, but thatís neither here nor there.

    Itís probably easier to pull the transmission to carry out any sort of clutch work.

    I would still try my suggestion before pulling either engine or transmission though.
    Well as it sits right now i donít have the driveshaft, axles, radiator, coolant, oil and a couple other things hooked up. I dropped it in and hooked up a couple hoses and electronics so at this point it would be more work to get it able to drive than it would be to just yank it out again.



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