1996 Saturn SW2 Repair Question
If the gear shift shifts easily when the car if off, but very difficultly when the car is on. does that mean that it needs new clutch hydraulics?
Well, generally when you have a cable actuated clutch there is not hydraulic system as the cable atuates the clutch. I have not seen but don't doubt that there may be a setup where a cable actuates a master cylinder. The service manual I have for Saturns actually refers to both a master sylinder and a clutch cable in the diagnostic chart, so I don't have a definitive answer for you. So, I will go over the ways to tell if the sytem is hydraulic, or a cable actuated hydraulic system or strictly hydraulic. However the manual does not refer to a cable actuated hydraulic master cylinder so I am pretty sure you have a cable actuated clutch and the problem is with the clutch pressure plate, bearings or in the transmission itself. But, to be sure I will go over sytem Identification. The way to tell if you just have a cable is to look at the front of the transmission and find the lever arm which will be sticking out. It will either have a slave cylinder which is hydraulic and will look like a small piston ram with a bleed screw on top and a hose leading to it and connected to it. Or, the slave cylinder can be internal and you will only see a hose going into the transmission and you won't see the lever arm. Or, you will see a cable going to the lever. To double check for hydraulic or cable clutch actuation, look on the firewall next to the brake master cylinder.If it is hydraulic, there will be a small master cylinder on the firewall next to the brake master cylinder and just to its left if you are sitting in the car as it aligns with the clutch pedal.
If you have a cable going into the firewall it will be in the same area as the master cylinder location description. Also, at the tranny there is an adjuster for pedal freeplay. You can tightem it until it just has a little play between the cable and the lever, meaning you can move the lever some. This will eliminate the possibility that the clutch is adjusted wrong and is not disengaging enough. If you have a hydraulic sytem there may be air in the sytem and it needs to be bled.
More than likely the pressure plate or the pilot bearing is failing. If it is not that you may have internal transmission problems.
I know this is confusing as Saturns manual has both sytems and does not say if either is specific to your model as they only have one section for both and apply it to all models.
If you have any questions just let me know and I will get back to you ASAP. However you are probably at least looking at replacing the clutch pressure plate, fiber friction plate, throwout bearings, pilot bearing and have the cable linkage clenaed and lubed. I am pretty sure you have a cable sytem if have had the cable replaced, but I am not sure if you might be referring to the SHIFTER cable. If you know it is the clutch cable that was replaced, then the hydraulic references aforementioned can be ignored.
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Just to add to this one the clutch is hydralic and if the the pedal is not hard all the way down that is the first thing i would fix.So the clutch pedal goes down a bit before you can feel pressure in the clutch pedal?If so you need to replace the clutch master/slave as a assembly not one or the other or both seperatly.Or you will have great difficulty trying to bleed the air out of it.I can help you find the assembly if you want.Also what kit are you using to repair the shifter cable bushing that broke?Hopefully not the doorman i used the doorman for the first cable i ever fixed and it came loose a few weeks later.I will tell which one works great that i replaced after the doorman one.Its the same style as the oringal one but much stronger.
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