clutch problems

i have a 96 honda prelude with almost 140k on it. i have ownd it since 70k and have never replaced the clutch or any part of the transmission in general. i dont drive it ultra hard but i probably put more strain
than average on it.
about two years ago i started getting a problem with the clutch giving very little resistance and tough to move the shifter into gear. the problem would go away if i pumped the clutch several times before started the car. i had my local mechanic take a look and he said that it was the master cylinder leak but it was a very small leak and if i added fluid every every few months i would be fine. sure enough, the fluid was low and i added some fluid religiously anytime i noticed it got a bit lower and it has never failed me.
about a week ago i started getting an intermittent problem which has become much more consistent witin the week.... where i was not able to shift into first gear at all. the clutch completly down- i would start to move the shifter into 1st but no luck- on top of that as i pushed the shifter towards where 1st is, i could feel the car alreazdy catching and moving forward even though i had the clutch all the way down. if i started the while car in 1st with the clutch down, it would start catchiong and moving forward even though the clutch was all the way down. if i am on a bit of an incline at this point its even starts stalling a bit since im not giving it any gas (almost as if if i had a couple more inches to go on the clutch pedal- all would make sense, but this is not the case).
i have read some newgroups already with many suggestions- i should point out that A) its not the floor mat B) i dont think any air has ever gotten in during my 'add a bit of fluid' time C) im not sure how long clutches last but this one is atleast 70k old if not all 140k
Also- when i am driving on the street/highway (after being forced into starting in 2nd gear by using more force that i would ever wish upon anybody to use on their shifter), i can rather easily shift from gear to gear ONLY if i revmatch. if give a bit of force, when shifting from 3 to 4 for example from, against where 4th gear is and only when i bring the tach to the proper RPM will it let the shifter move into place (rather harshly though)
my findings so far (thanks groups) have been that it is the clutch master cylinder that needs to be replaced.
if this is the case (or whatever the case may be)- is this something i can do myself (or with a buddy pressing the pedal when needed) and whats involved. otherwise... anybody know a local place in chicagoland area that decent- i prefer mom/pop shops.
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Well sure. Your master cylinder has now got *completely* worn out, whereas before it was only a *little bit* worn out.
You need to replace the master cylinder.
--
Tegger

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Probably needs to flush out all the old hydraulic fluid,too. Replacing the MC should not be that hard.It needs to be bled free of air,though,after replacement.
--
Jim Yanik
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