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1G ACT2600 + stock flywheel Clutch not working

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my_precious

15+ Year Contributor
454
0
Jan 19, 2004
Jackson, Michigan
When I bought my car (1990 TSI AWD 5 spd), the previous owner had replaced the clutch with a ACT2600 unit. He never drove the car however with it installed. I'm not positive but pretty sure that the stock flywheel is being used still.

Problem:

I press the clutch pedal in all the way and try to shift in first or reverse and it grinds. I try it in 2nd 3rd 4th or 5th and it is fine. I checked for pressure leaks through out the lines and i bled the system 3-4 times and just bled the slave cyl like one of the tech articles on here says to do. I am wondering what to do next.

I think its a good possibility that the previous owner didn't step the flywheel correctly when he installed it. Before going ahead and tearing everything apart to find out, I was wondering what else I could do. What all goes wrong with the clutch pedal assembly?

Oh by the way, I adjusted the pedal to give me as much leverage as possible. I cant adjust it anymore. So, what do you guys recomend? I'm gonna check the tech artical again and see exactly what specs the flywheel has to be so that if i DO have to take it apart, I can call a machine shop and get an estimate at how much it'll cost to turn it.

I've also read somewheres on here that the AWD master cyl. isnt very strong so that when installing the more powerful clutches it needs to be replaced with a later model. Is this true?

Thanks guys. My cousin's comin over this weekend to help me out with it all. He's alot better with this stuff than me.

Thanks for all the help.

later,

Zach
 
Did you pull the boots back for both the master and the slave to check for leaks? People often put on the heavy clutches with very old and used clutch systems and stuff starts getting by the seals. I would start there and then keep keep going down the list here http://roadraceengineering.com/clutchandflywheeltech.htm
 
Ok, sorry for not giving you guys any updates.

I did end up pulling the boot back like you said and guess what, no leaks. I left it over night and no fluid was under the engine bay. So no leakes externally.

However, the guy I bought the car from did get back with me and said he never resurfaced the clutch because he read on here that it would be ok if it was in decent shape. He also said something about putting washers in between the fork and the throw out bearing, I don't remember exactly, i have it saved as a pm though.

Tonight I believe I'll be taking the tranny out with my cousin and getting the flywheel resurfaced over the week and then next weekend we should be putting it back together and driving it. I don't know we'll see.

If you read this before he gets here, have any tips or advice when dropping a trans? I'm just gonna go by the Haynes manual I have and that should work. He should be bringing a trans jack too. I'm wondering if I can get away with just unbolting the tranny from the engine and sliding it back, that way I wouldnt have to disconnect the half shafts...I'll do some research.

later,

zach
 
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dont pull it out yet. is your clutch slipping? it doesnt sound like the clutch is the problem. did you adjust your shifter linkage yet?
 
You think it could be the shifter linkage? It is really stiff. I dont know, I think there are too many washers between the bearing and clutch fork. Remember, its only grinding on me in first and reverse...not first and 3rd or something.
 
DAMNIT IM MAD:mad:.

They have a VFAQ on this but the site doesn't work anymore. Basically take out the shifter boot and knob. look down and right at the end of the shifter linkage there will be two double sided nuts:confused: (i think that's what they can be called) and you can loosen and tighten them to get into gear a little better.

I forget how it goes but i know one of them helps with getting it 1st, 2nd, 5th, R and the other one helps with getting in the up and down gears i believe.

Someone please come in and better explain this because im sure i just messed up the whole gear thing! i havent done it since i installed a lower mileage transmission and every time i go to adjust it i used to just look at the VFAQ on how to do it....

hope that helps
david-
 
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I'm his cousin. I came over to help him with this problem.

Took a look today and the clutch fork is extremly far to the drivers side (Reading from RRE website that passengers side is a no-no, but says nothing about having it too far on drivers side). Contacting the previous owner revealed he used SEVERAL washers on the pivot ball. Probably too many. But I wouldn't think this would cause the clutch to not engage enough, but I'm not the expert here.

I don't think the previous owner replaced the fork and pivot ball when installing the 2600.

The shifter linkage definately needs adjustment. Forward and back motion seems fine, but side to side is way off. 1st and 2nd is like with the shift nob in the dead center. But it's odd that the 2 gears that grind are completely opposite. Doesn't point to a shift cable out of adjustment.


I think we are still going to drop the trans to remove some of the washers and to inspect the fork and pivot ball. But I'm kind of runing blind here.
 
Pull tranny out.

-Restep flywheel to .610".
-Remove excessive shimming washers. (I normally use *ONE* stock head bolt washer.)
-Inspect and weld clutch pedal assembly if lever is worn.
-Go through hydraulic system and inspect for leaks. Replace MC and SC if faulty.

That's a beginning. LOL
 
my_precious said:
I'm his cousin. I came over to help him with this problem.

Took a look today and the clutch fork is extremly far to the drivers side (Reading from RRE website that passengers side is a no-no, but says nothing about having it too far on drivers side). Contacting the previous owner revealed he used SEVERAL washers on the pivot ball. Probably too many. But I wouldn't think this would cause the clutch to not engage enough, but I'm not the expert here.

I don't think the previous owner replaced the fork and pivot ball when installing the 2600.

The shifter linkage definately needs adjustment. Forward and back motion seems fine, but side to side is way off. 1st and 2nd is like with the shift nob in the dead center. But it's odd that the 2 gears that grind are completely opposite. Doesn't point to a shift cable out of adjustment.


I think we are still going to drop the trans to remove some of the washers and to inspect the fork and pivot ball. But I'm kind of runing blind here.
Having to many would make it not engage all the way at some point I would think. I have 2 washers behind mine but one was really small so I figured it would work good. I am really happy with the way it turned out.
 
diambo4life said:
Pull tranny out.

-Restep flywheel to .610".
-Remove excessive shimming washers. (I normally use *ONE* stock head bolt washer.)
-Inspect and weld clutch pedal assembly if lever is worn.
-Go through hydraulic system and inspect for leaks. Replace MC and SC if faulty.

That's a beginning. LOL
yeah its really a lot of work to get our clutch systems with upgraded components to be as good as stock. But when you do it is so nice to have 1 less thing to worry about.
 
UPDATE:

Well since last time, I've restepped the flywheel, installed the pivot ball and release fork bought from RRE and my cousin and I have since put on the tranny, and well everything else. We adjusted the cables too and well, its STILL not working. In fact it is worse. We took out one of the washers so there's one in there now (RRE says to do this). We bled the system and put in new tranny fluid. Even though I just put new fluid in, when we drained it the fluid came out black so yeah, its flushed now! Anyways, its down to replaceing the master and slave cyl and them hopefully that will fix it. I'll eventually bleed it after they're installed and if that doesnt work it HAS to be the clutch pedal assembly. I really dont think it is though. Anyways, I adjusted the master cyl IN because if there's more rod in, more fluid can be pushed right....wrong, because we did that and then bled it, it made the pedal super soft almost like there was no fluid in it. Anyways, it wasnt working the other way either so we were trying new ideas. Have any clue, anyone wanna help me out please?

BTW, I read somewhere's that the AWD master cyl is weak and should be upgraded? I dont remember what it was to, maybe a 1gb or 2nd gen i cant remember what it was about though. Anybody verify this for me or should i jsut get a stock AWD master cyl...
 
I've never heard of the 1g master cylinder being a problem. My bet is on the pedal assembly, but I would think if that was the case, it would grind in all gears. Maybe it's just the syncro's in the tranny... My car has 133k and grinds in reverse and 2nd.
 
my_precious said:
UPDATE:

Well since last time, I've restepped the flywheel, installed the pivot ball and release fork bought from RRE and my cousin and I have since put on the tranny, and well everything else. We adjusted the cables too and well, its STILL not working. In fact it is worse. We took out one of the washers so there's one in there now (RRE says to do this). We bled the system and put in new tranny fluid. Even though I just put new fluid in, when we drained it the fluid came out black so yeah, its flushed now! Anyways, its down to replaceing the master and slave cyl and them hopefully that will fix it. I'll eventually bleed it after they're installed and if that doesnt work it HAS to be the clutch pedal assembly. I really dont think it is though. Anyways, I adjusted the master cyl IN because if there's more rod in, more fluid can be pushed right....wrong, because we did that and then bled it, it made the pedal super soft almost like there was no fluid in it. Anyways, it wasnt working the other way either so we were trying new ideas. Have any clue, anyone wanna help me out please?

BTW, I read somewhere's that the AWD master cyl is weak and should be upgraded? I dont remember what it was to, maybe a 1gb or 2nd gen i cant remember what it was about though. Anybody verify this for me or should i jsut get a stock AWD master cyl...
I noticed a few problems with what you said.


A. the washers change the geometry so it makes it easier for the pp to go in.
B. your supposed to set your master cylinder rod at half bleed and then adjust. Not adjust then bleed.
C. Did you even peel back the boots on the master or the slave to see if fluid was getting by?
D. If you need to check your pedal assembly then you need to pull up on it and see if it moves.

I hope this stuff helps.
 
Dream On said:
I've never heard of the 1g master cylinder being a problem. My bet is on the pedal assembly, but I would think if that was the case, it would grind in all gears. Maybe it's just the syncro's in the tranny... My car has 133k and grinds in reverse and 2nd.
When the master goes it just is extremely hard for first gear and reverse. Second will grind and the other gears are hard to get in but they do not grind. That was the case with my car atleast.
 
well then maybe the master cyl is fine? idk but the pedal was hard before i adjusted the MC and then after it there was alot of slack like the pedal wasnt pushing anthing. we pulled the boot back on the slave but i had an antifreeze leak so it was hard to tell. as far as we know it isnt leaking. i dont know whats wrong with the stupid car, i just figured replacing the hydrolics would be the next step
 
my_precious said:
well then maybe the master cyl is fine? idk but the pedal was hard before i adjusted the MC and then after it there was alot of slack like the pedal wasnt pushing anthing. we pulled the boot back on the slave but i had an antifreeze leak so it was hard to tell. as far as we know it isnt leaking. i dont know whats wrong with the stupid car, i just figured replacing the hydrolics would be the next step
Yes I would replace those too. And get a ss line if you don't have one yet.
 
The head of parts and service here at the dealership I work at says it's most likely the slave cyl. since that is cheap and the most easy to replace I will do that first. Then the master cyl and SS line but the line looks fine to me. Maybe you should come over and check it out :p
 
my_precious said:
The head of parts and service here at the dealership I work at says it's most likely the slave cyl. since that is cheap and the most easy to replace I will do that first. Then the master cyl and SS line but the line looks fine to me. Maybe you should come over and check it out :p
To be honest I haven't had any time to myself this summer. I have been meaning to put on my new throttle body all summer but I haven't got around to it.
 
Well the slave cyl is in. Now I just have to readjust the MC and then bleed the system. Hopefully this solves my problems, if not then its time to replace the line and MC.
 
I ran into some disturbing information when I was looking for new trannies on TRE's website. They state not to use a stock clutch disk with ACT pressure plates because of the materials, and something about the clutch disk dragging on the pressure plate when disengaged. I am shopping for a new tranny right now as well. Cant decide, TRE or Shep's tranny:confused:
 
not much for updates lately. I still havent messed with it. I'm going to order the ss line tomorrow finally and buy a mastercyl. after work one day this week. Hopefully it'll fix my problems, if not i guess the only choice is to remove the pedal assembly and weld it up.
 
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