Clutch not shifting when driven for a while. on 1994 Ford Explorer

So its been happening for a while but has never concerned me that much. When I drive me vehicle from up the mountain down, say 45 minutes worth of driving. My clutch will almost refuse to go into 1st gear, 2nd gear, or reverse. Its only when i shut off my vehicle that i can then freely shift. Not sure if this is related or just bad driving on my part but when this begins to happen if i am holding down the clutch and coming to a stop if i try to shift into 1st gear while holding down the clutch it grinds the gear(still having the clutch held down) when i am below 15mph on the speedometer then i can shift to 1st gear(if its willing)

by in Idaho Springs, CO on August 05, 2009
2 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by on August 07, 2009
Your clutch has a hydraulic master cylinder and slave cylinder. These will go out on occasion. Check Your Clutch Fluid. Is it Low? The fact that you can shift when your engine is off DEFINITELY makes it a clutch issue. This is how I check out a clutch/transmission problem. If the trans shifts fine with the engine off but has problems with the engine on, then the clutch is the problem. It could be a hydraulic problem or a mechanical problem. If you have the clutch replaced, ALWAYS replace the clutch slave cylinder in side the bell housing on a Ranger. I used to work at Ford Dealerships as a transmission tech and the slave cylinders always fail/will fail and need to be replaced with a Ranger clutch job. Best of Luck!
COMMENT by on August 07, 2009
Checked the clutch fluid resevoir. it is approximitly 3/4 of the3 way full currently.(car has been sitting for about an hour now) The color of it is a tanish brown. (not sure if that is totally necessary)
ANSWER by on August 23, 2010
you need to flush all the fluid out .... it has water in it .... so pretty much open the bleeder valve and pump the clutch untill empty ..... refill with fresh fluid ... empty again and then fill once more then bleed the air back out of the system ...... whats happening is as your vehicle is heating up the clutch doesnt want to work because the water or moisture in the system is hot and expanding..... trust me been there a couple times on several different vehicles and this fixed the problem
COMMENT by on August 25, 2010
is there the possibility that the clutch is not recieving any fluid at all. I will definitedly have to try this cause it does sound plausible.

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