1995 Ford Ranger Clutch Trouble

I have a 95 ford ranger. 2.3 Liter with 134,000 miles on it. It has always been next thing to trouble free minus the interior lights, radio
speakers, etc but that is not what this post is about.
Over the past 3 monthes I have expierenced some clutch trouble. It usually happens after having run my truck for at least a half hour. It doesn't happen often but then again I usually only drive my truck 7 miles to work and then 7 miles home from work. It has never happend when going to and from work.
What happens is my clutch becomes very hard to push and will not grab hold. I push the clutch with all my might and release it again and again and nothing happens. To finally get it going I keep pusing it and release it quickly. Eventually it will grab and when it grabs it grabs hard and my wheels squeal:)
The weird thing is it won't do it for a while. And even though I said I mostly take it to and from work there are longer stretches where it has been fine. This has actually happened 3 or 4 times but ususally each time it will last until I let my truck set for a while.
To my non mechanic mind it seems like if my clutch would be going out it would keep getting worse and worse.
Anybody have an idea what it might be? Thanks
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If you have to pump it, you probably have air in the hydraulics, or a bad clutch master/slave cylinder. You could try bleeding the lines. If this is the original clutch at 134,000 and it needs any parts - I'd change all of it.

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is
Top posted, and advise for the opposite of what he said. the problem is. Its not an issue of he can't get it to release, its an issue of he can't get it to engage. Two possibilities come to mind. One the pressure plate is over centering, or two the slave cylinder/throw out bearing abortion ford used is binding. I would say he's looking at a pressure plate (or cover as they sometimes call it) slave cylinder/throw out bearing assembly, clutch disc, and shims for the flywheel (they go between the flywheel and the crankshaft to make up for material lost when the flywheel is machined) If the flywheel has severe heat checking, hard spots or cracks, it needs to be replaced. If the flywheel can be turned, but the starter ring gear shows wear, the ring gear can be replaced.
Whitelightning
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Whitelightning wrote:

So I guess I need to take it in and say that the pressure plate and the flywheel. Do you know how much something like that would run?
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It all depends on where you live, my friend. Understand that the transmission has to be dropped completely. While you're there, the clutch plate, slave cylinder, etc., all have to be removed. As someone else said, now's the time to do replace everything between the engine and transmission. Clutch plate, slave cylinder, maybe flywheel depending on condition, etc.
It's not an extremely technically challenging job, but it can be done wrong by someone who is careless or ignorant. Find someone reputable to do it. I live 10 miles from the White House, and everything's expensive here. A job like yours is one I'd take to a good mechanic near my parents home in WV because the labor charges are literally half as much.
If it's any consolation, the clutch on my 1997, 2.3, 5 speed, 110k mile Ranger has acted goofy once or twice too. Thankfully all that was last summer and it's still going a year later. I know I'll need to do the same job one of these days tho.
CJB
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says...

I had this exact (I think) same problem just recently. 1995 Ranger, 4cyl, MT, 35,000mi. I could depress the clutch pedal and when releasing it it would stick and not come back up. I could press really hard several times and the clutch pedal would pump up until it was jammed at the top and could not be pressed in again. The clutch would be completely disengaged from the transmission, i.e. shift to any gear you want but it goes nowhere.
I stomped so hard trying to get it to release I broke the plastic rod connecting the clutch pedal to the master cylinder. Course you can't just replace the rod, needs a whole new master cylinder. I told the dealer I thought the slave cylinder was binding and it needed to be replaced also, so I wouldn't have to pay another towing bill when it failed. They told me they were "experts", it was a problem with the master cylinder, they had road tested it thoroughly and it was definitely fixed. $350+
Since I only use the truck every couple of weeks to do garden stuff, 2 months later guess what happened? You guessed it, it failed again with a heavy load in the back (heavy for me to lift) and it cost another $80+ to get it towed again. Of course since the new master cylinder wasn't at fault the work warranty didn't cover paying my towing bill. After 15 min of talking with the "service advisor" and "mechanic" who was going to work on it they decided to discuss the problem with the "lead tech". The lead tech's comment....of course it's the slave cylinder that's a common failure mode for the symptoms I described. $600+ later I had a new improved slave cylinder that was covered with a rubber boot to keep out the dust. I examined the old part and it looked to me like the open plastic slave cylinder assy with throw-out bearing got full of dirt and was binding.
Bottom line, it's been working fine for a couple of months.
Thanks for reading my story. You need a new "improved" slave cylinder.
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