First things first I have a 2004 Ford Ranger 2WD 2.3L 4 Cylinder, 5-Speed Manual 85k miles.
I've had a recurring issue where I am having a hard time getting into and out of gear. I've driven manual transmission vehicles for roughly 8 years and try to do as much maintenance myself as possible. I'm an engineer with enough knowledge to think I know whats going on, which I know can be a danger in and of itself, so please let me know if I'm arriving at the wrong conclusions with a little too much confidence.
I bought the truck in January of this year and first noticed the issue in May. It got to the point I couldnt get into first gear, and I had a cross country move in two weeks so I took it to a ford dealer for repair as I didnt have access to a garage myself at the time. The dealer changed the clutch spring assembly and the issue was resolved, until about halfway through the 800 mile drive. I wound up having to start in second a few times (I believe getting in second was easier because it has syncros and first doesn't, but I could be wrong).
After that move, due to the fact the issue was fully resolved post repair, but degraded to a worse level after 800 miles, I got the sneaking suspicion that the issue was simply air getting in the hydraulic system, so I bled the line. After bleeding the line, the issue was fully resolved again, so I've come to the conclusion that it was just an air pocket issue, which appears to be common with Ranger Clutche systems of the era.
Fast forward to about a month ago, and it was in the same state, to the point I crunched the shifter bushings due to difficulty getting into and out of gear. I replaced the bushings, and re-bled, all was well.
I've put about 700 miles since then, with my last drive being a 300 mile drive home for the holidays, and now the clutch is the worse its been, I couldnt hardly even get out of gear, and needed perfect rev matching to get into gear. The bushings are crunched again and I've immobilized it until repair
My current plan is to replace the master cylinder because I'm assuming the seals have worn out and are letting air into the system.
I was also thinking of replacing the hydraulic line as that could be another point of failure in the system.
- Does it sound like I've arrived t the right conclusion here with the master cylinder being the issue?
- Would replacing the hydraulic line be a good idea as well, and is there anything special with hydraulic lines? I havent replaced them before and while I have found videos on the clutch master cylinder replacement, I cant find too many specifics on the line replacement
Thanks in advance for any advice, and sorry the post was so long, I just wanted to get as much infor across as I could