1983 Ford F-250



May, 1, 2010 AT 9:05 AM

Transmission problem
1983 Ford F250 V8 Two Wheel Drive Manual 117000 miles


I've got an '83 F-250 XLT diesel. Basically it shifts fine when I first start it up in the morning, but after a few minutes I have trouble shifting it. It's been happening since I bought it, and it's gotten slightly worse over time, not much though. I mash the clutch all the way down, but it just doesn't seem to fully disengage.

I didn't think standard transmissions had transmission fluid, and if there is I don't see the reservoir under the hood. Is there a way to adjust the clutch pedal so that it's tighter, ie, it'll disengage before my foot hits the floorboard?

Thank you so much for your time,


4 Answers



May, 1, 2010 AT 10:00 AM

Sounds like a slave cylinder issue. Or your clutch could need replacing. But with the temp variance I'd look at the slave.

There is reservoir on the engine side of the brake master cylinder. Small and a bit lower. Check that level.

From underneath check the travel of the slave, see if you can identify any leaks. Might need a buddy to push the clutch down. A slave cylinder is a relatively easy thing to replace on early fords. Do NOT push down the clutch if the slave is not bolted in place. You might get a shower of brake fluid. No real adjustment



May, 5, 2010 AT 12:50 PM

Hey vegasfarmkid, thanks for the help. I just replaced the slave cylinder, but it's still doing the same thing. I forgot to mention that the clutch pedal was very loose before and wouldn't come back up off the floorboard sometimes.

When I tried to bleed the slave cylinder nothing came out, so I manually pumped the cylinder a bunch of times. The clutch pedal is still loose though. Is there anywhere else that I should try bleeding air out of the line or looking for leaks? The fluid levels were fine. Does the main cylinder have a bleed?

Thanks so much for your time.



May, 5, 2010 AT 1:34 PM

Your clutch master cylinder could have an internal leak. But you can usually feel that.

Pushing the clutch to the floor you should feel some resistance, if the resistance fades, then you likely have an internal leak.

Your slave at the trans? Does it have a bleeder on it, or are you loosing the line?

If no bleeder take the slave off the trans (still hooked up to the line though) and stoke by hand. It could take many strokes to bleed all the air up to the master cylinder.

Your clutch pedal drifting towards the floor, makes me think you clutch needs replacing. As your clutch wears, your hydraulic slave will extend a small amount to take up the slack or compensate for wear. In return the clutch pedal will drift down some. In extreme cases it might be half the distance of travel.

Unless you have some history on the life of the clutch, I would really consider replacement of the clutch and pressure plate.



May, 5, 2010 AT 2:26 PM

I do feel some resistance. When I let up on the pedal a lot of times it stays down at the floorboard and if I put my foot under it, and nudge it then it pops up all the way.

The slave does have a bleeder on it.(I'm assuming that's what the little allen wrench bolt is). I tried pumping the pedal like 20 times and then holding it down with a stick and opening the valve but nothing came out, no air, no fluid, nothing. Then I did what you said and took it off and manually pushed the rod in about 30 times, and I could hear the fluid moving around up in the reservoir.

It's still acting exactly the same though.

The fluid levels were all fine, so I don't think there's a leak. So you think it's the clutch then? What do you think a ballpark figure would be for replacing it?

Thanks again for your time.

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