93 del sol si clutch noise

Hi all, i've search high and low through tons of forums and newsgroups but haven't found a good answer to my dilemma. There's this noise that sounds like crushing aluminum cans coming from the engine bay whenever
i step on the clutch and release it while pressing the gas pedal. This
happens when i upshift and downshift. The noise goes away after the clutch engages and the car seems to drive fine.
Here's a quick chronology to my clutch noise problem that started about
two weeks ago.
Day 1: Clutch wouldn't engage when i release the clutch pedal. After a few seconds, it finally engaged and i heard a loud "clunk". I have a
very short drive home from work, so this only happened once. This happened from 1st to 2nd gear. I only need to go up to 4th gear going home from work.
Day 2: Same thing happens, but more often, again, on the drive home, and in the low gears (1st, 2nd and 3rd). (I don't know if it matters, but this was in the middle of that heat wave we just had in California.
Day 3: Checked the clutch master cylinder reservoir and found it to be
low, so i topped it off to the max level. This didn't help. At this point i didn't know i needed to bleed the hydraulic clutch lines yet. (Before this I didn't even know there was a clutch cylinder reservoir to check the level.) I then took it on the freeway to do a quick errand and it did a few "clunks" in the low gears. But when i got home
and pulled into my driveway it started to make that notorious aluminum can crunching noise when i pressed the clutch pedal and eased off while
pressing the gas pedal.
Day 4: Now i'm thinking my clutch is going bad and i wanted it replaced. Called a free-lance mechanic who agreed to replace the clutch for $300 in my garage. But when he came, he did a diagnostic and said clutch is fine, that I need to replace the master and slave cylinders. he just started the car and changed through the gears without driving it! I wanted him to test drive it but he said that he didn't need to. I'm thinking, great, i'll save loads of money by replacing the parts myself.
Day 5: I ordered new parts and replaced the master and slave cylinders and bled the clutch. Old parts i took out were cruddy and just about dead. Tested the clutch and the metallic aluminum can crunching sound is still there when the clutch pedal was pressed and gears were in Reverse and 1st, and i eased the gas pedal to move the car. So i left it alone.
Waited a couple of days and just read more forums, but can't really pinpoint a solution to this problem. The only thing that comes close to the problem points is the slave rod's ball joint needing some grease. but i'm thinking the sound that occurs when i depress the clutch pedal is too noisy to be fixed this easily.
BTW, i did check the movement of the slave cylinder and it moves about an inch, so this rules out any question about the slave cylinder's operation.
This morning i took it for a quick drive around the parking lot where i
live and the sound is still there. I only took it up to 3rd gear because i didn't want to go too far and it's a small parking lot. good
news is that from 1st to 2nd to 3rd gear, there were no clunking noises
as i mentioned above. I only heard the aluminum can crunching noise whenever the clutch pedal was depressed. You would be able to hear the noise if you were in a car next to mine. Other than that, the car is driving fine, but i left it at home just in case.
I plan to stop by the local auto parts store after work to get some grease for the slave cylinder ball joint.
Questions: Would adding grease solve this problem? What kind of grease should i get? Do you think i need to try bleeding the clutch again? (i already did it three times thoroughly.) Would it cause more damage if i drive it? Thanks in advance for your help.

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