About a year ago my 96 Hombre (same as Chevy S-10) clutch slave
cylinder had to be replaced, due to a leak. Within a month or two, it
developed a weird, but very occasional problem when the clutch pedal
was let out. The clutch would only partially engage, and then
suddenly pop into full engagement. It was a real problem at stop
lights and especially when stopped on a hill (rolling backward
unexpectedly due to non-full clutch engagement, then popping into full
engagement, then often times stalling as a result).. Along with the
slipping clutch with a sudden pop into full engagement (almost like
popping the clutch, except it was usually partially engaged), there
was a sort of "chirp" or "squeak" sound that at times was quite loud.
It sounded like wet rubber being rubbed against glass for just an
instant, and sounded like it came from around the clutch pedal itself.
It was so intermittent, the mechanic could not find the problem (he
didn't even experience it!), and I went on that way for many months
until it got so bad I could not drive the vehicle safely.
Finally earlier this fall it was so common that I was able to
demonstrate it to the mechanic (long-time transmission experts with
whom I've had a very long and trusting relationship - top quality
people). At first he had no idea what was causing it, and thought
perhaps there was a bushing in the linkage under the dash which was
catching and then suddenly releasing (the "chirping" sound sounded
like it was coming from right around the pedal itself, making
diagnosis even more difficult). Eventually, he went into the bell
housing after he'd checked and/or fixed everything else, and found it
was the replacement slave cylindar which was frequently sticking and
suddenly releasing about ½ -¾ of the way along its travel. He
actually had cleaned up the slave cylindar and showed it to me when I
came to pick up the vehicle - it did indeed "hang up" at a certain
point in its travel, MOST of the time. There was no leak, just a
mechanical sticking of the slave cylindar, not allowing full
engagement of the clutch until the cylindar released it suddenly.
Enter the 3rd slave cylindar just 2 months ago. It began to do the
same thing only a month after installation, progressing even more
quickly than the last one did.
From what I can gather, there should not be any alignment issues or
something similar to actually cause the catching of the clutch slave
cylindar, so we are assuming there was simply a bad run of that
particular part, and I got two from the same batch about a year apart,
as improbable as that would seem. I can't recall the brand name,
though it was an old, well-known brand (my "old age" is catching up
with my recall <g>), not some cheap piece of junk (or so it would be
expected from that company).
Anyone have any similar experience? Even though I got the truck back
again this week, I'm almost expecting the partial clutch engagement to
start up again, with a sudden popping into full engagement, and want
to be able to deal with it appropriately if it happens again. If not,
I'm curious as heck, since even the mechanic (who I know and trust
implicitly) had never seen anything like it. They've been very decent
about it - two additional slave cylindar's without a penny out of my
pocket, despite the fact that the original leaking cylindar was
replaced in September 02 (more than a year ago).
P.S. Please reply in the group - I rarely check this email address
(it's my "throw-away"). Thanks.