Car will go into gear while off but not when running. Clutch problem?

Tiny
BYMA85
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 VOLKSWAGEN CABRIOLET
  • 86,000 MILES
Hello I have a 1987 vw cabriolet, all original parts. I just replaced the clutch cable 2 months ago. Today I drove to work normally but when I tried to go home here is what happened:

Started it, tried to put in reverse and it just jumped violently, there was a loud CRANK but it did not go into gear. Actually, it just would not go into ANY gear.

I Turned it off, checked the clutch cable, the clutch lines. Everything looked normal. Went back inside, and still could not shift. BUT. I tried to put in in gear with the engine turned off and it actually did. So I left in in gear and started it but the same thing, it just jumped violently but would not start.

NOTE: I've never put any clutch fluid. Actually different people tell me different things, some tell me that It does NOT need or require fluid, others tell me it DOES. Also, i've never put transmission fluid in it because I cannot tell where to put it.

I don"t get it, it was just fine this morning when I drove it to work. Except for a leak in the coolant flange and I did not drive it or even started it until after work
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Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 AT 9:55 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Clutch system is cable NOT hydraulic so no need for fluid. Have you checked cable adjustment?
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 7:58 AM
Tiny
BYMA85
  • MEMBER
Yes, that is the first thing I did. Everything looked good. I even tried putting in a brand new clutch in yesterday and still the same results.
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 8:46 AM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Clutch freeplay .224-.248" (5.70-6.38mm) see diagram. If OK possible siezed pilot shaft bearing
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 9:00 AM
Tiny
BYMA85
  • MEMBER
What does that mean? I'm sorry I dont know much about cars. But here's this, that leak from the coolant flange, I looked at it today and it has been dripping (quite a bit) and falling onto this part where there is a green plate, I belive its where the throw out push rod or bearings are located? Could exsesive water on it have caused anything?
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 9:54 AM
Tiny
BYMA85
  • MEMBER
I just spoke to the maintenance guy at my work, who is also the husband of a friend of mine. He admits that he took a look under the hood and saw a lot of acid forming on the battery terminals so he took the pressure hose and sprayed all over. Maybe the clutch took in some more water? Is it possible that water could have gotten in the bellhousing and caused it? Because I drove it to work just fine and after the spraying it would not respond
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 10:22 AM
Tiny
EXOVCDS
  • MEMBER
Have a look at these links:

#10 could be broken: https://www.2carpros.com/images/external/Lever.gif

To remove, https://www.2carpros.com/images/external/Clutch_Lever.gif

Thomas

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+1
Friday, June 28th, 2013 AT 3:43 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
So what happened?
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 11:58 AM
Tiny
BYMA85
  • MEMBER
Well, I guess water from the spraying and the leaking coolant flange ended up in there somehow. I just parked the car and let it sit for a few days and the next time I started it, it just went back to normal. Thank you for your answers.
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 12:07 PM
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Awsome like those spontanious healings
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 12:11 PM

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