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Eh. :(
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this on another fourm today, cause PO.com doesn't work for me while at work.

My '01 Prelude started doing some weird transmission tricks today.
It has 45k miles on it, and the trans has 23k on it. It has been the recepient of 15k oil changes since it went in the car. I currently use Honda MTF, and still have the stock flywheel/clutch assembly on the car (45k on this combo.)

Today, on my way to work, the shifter started behaving strangely. Coming off of the freeway, I attempted a shift from 3rd to 4th, and the car would not go into gear, and couldn't get back into 3rd even with rev matching. This was at about 60mph. It felt like I was trying to force it into gear without the clutch disengaged. At 40mph, I was able to get it to go back into 3rd (top speed in 3rd is ~90mph.)

At the next traffic light, I depressed the clutch as I was coming to a stop, and the engine behaved like the clutch was still engaged before I pulled it out of gear (almost stalled.)
Driving to get lunch, it ground like mad going into 3rd, and the shifts felt notchier than it ever has before.


I couldn't get under the car to check the MTF level at work, but the clutch resivoir was at the 'full' mark, and there were no apparent leaks in the slave cylinder or the clutch lines. The pedal appears and feels to be operating normally. This particular transmission has never felt anything but smooth after it has warmed up. The MTF was last changed at ~36k miles and is less than 6 months old in the car. All that I've experienced today is brand new behavior. I drive the car near everyday.

The slave cylinder has never been topped off or flushed in the 2 years I've had the car (gonna do it with the brakes next week) could water in the clutch circuit cause these problems? If so, wouldn't the pedal feel different? Could anything else be causing the shifts feel like the clutch isn't completely disengaged?

I'm thinking water absorption could be the root issue beacuse on the way to work everything felt fine (40 mile commute) until the last 5 miles. I did do shifting on the freeway, as I have to use a few interchanges, so I didn't just fail to notice due to driving conditions.

Got home, and did a more thorough inspection.
My roomate suggested that I pump the pedal before shifting, and that worked real well to get me home.
No brake fluid in the driver's side footwell. Master cylinder looks fine. 40 mile trip home, fluid level still at the top.
Slave cylinder, perfect as well- the boot was in good condition, no fluid came out when I pulled it back, still full of factory grease.
Had my roomie pump the pedal while I traced all the lines and examined both cylinders. No weeping or leaking anywhere.
Watched the shift lever actuation. Nothing appears to be blocking it, or even close to it's path.
Sat in the car and pumped the clutch for 5 mins, then rolled back to see if any accumulated under the car. None had, no patches of fluid in the engine bay.

Drove again. Unless I pump the clutch on the way out of gear, gearchanges are not smooth (grinds particularly in 3rd I'm not forcing it, but it grinds on the way in) or impossible (not willing to force the shifter.)

The pedal feels normal, so I'm not sure about the pressure plate having failed, but I'm really worried about this.

Thanks for any ideas,
Jesse

It has been suggested that the pressure plate has failed, but the pedal feel hasn't changed. I would assume that it would get softer if that were the case.
 

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Nuke'em til they glow!
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Sounds like the master or slave cylinders...

If you pump it and it works, then you probably have a leak or a bad component.

At around 50k you shouldn't need to a new clutch, and your symptoms do indicate that's the problems. (So far as I'm familiar with them.)

Gerhard
 

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if the car is still under warranty take it to the dealership and let them take a look at it. This may be your best option. Or if the new tranny is still under warranty take it to where you had the work done and let them have a look at it. Thats probably the first thing I would try to do.
 

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You won't get warranty service with a clutch, it's a wear item. Honda doesn't care what happened to it as long as its between the engine and the tranny, they won't fix it under warranty. You could ruin a clutch in 100 miles if you really tried. It should not be going out that quickly, but that does sound like the problem. Actually it sounds like mine when a spring popped loose on the pressure plate. Sometimes the spring would move around and allow me to disengage the clutch, other times I couldn't get it out of gear. I suspect this is your problem and that's why it works intermittently. Basically, you probably need a new clutch.
 

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Eh. :(
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Taking to the shop tomorrow. The car feels like something is dragging on the engine sometimes with the clutch disengaged and the trans in gear.
Absolutely no leaks in the hydraulic system, so it's not that.

To top it off peices were falling off my goddamned car on the way home tonight! I lost one of the thermostat housing bolts!
****!!!! The thermostat hasn't been changed on the car, so no idea how I lost a ****ING bolt off of it!!!
 

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wow...

my car was acting the same way when one of the spring holders on the clutch broke and the spring was loose

everything seems to point to the clutch
 

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Eh. :(
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I went to the shop today, and my tech had a 95 VTEC.
He said he had 2 oem clutches break off of the spring perches on his. This guy was great, he was all over wanting to upgrades 'while we're in there' and if this hadn't happened so suddenly, I would.
Ex: "I remember mine had lots of problems with traction off the line- I'd reccomend putting in an LSD while I've got the transmission off the car!"
 

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been there...done that. yep, just wait till he pulls your old clutch out and you see that one of the springs came loose, and that it's a design flaw, not the result of beating your clutch. then you'll get really pissed off when you find out that labor alone is like $500 for the base model, and $800+ for an SH!!!!!!! at least, like you mentioned, get a bit stronger clutch and might as well get a lightened flywheel too! i think my total bill was around $1300 all due to a little tab of steel snapping off and allowing the spring to float freely.
 

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Eh. :(
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Saw the clutch today...
A 2" long chunk of metal, about the width of my pinky was bouncing around in there!
3 springs were starting to come out of their cages, and one was hanging half out, dragging on the flywheel!
 

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you mean like this:





seems to be happening alot... why does this happen?
 

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Happened to me also. Didn't realize it was such a common occurence. The shop I went to said they've seen it happen on Accords and Integras as well, so it's not just a Prelude issue.

-Andy
 

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Eh. :(
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How did you take a picture of my clutch all the way over in FL???

EXACTLY like that, except the curved part broke off the strip and became it's own projectile.
The guy working on my car (~40 w/ kids ASE gold certified master tech) had a 4th gen that did this 2 times on the OEM clutch. Honda makes crappy center sections and the cages use crap steel.
Based on the friction material's appearance and the fact that I wasn't slipping, I had approximately 20k left on my stocker.
Personally, I'm sending a report of this to the NHSTA http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/Consumer.cfm if a big enough chunk had come off, could have been looking at something shooting out of the bellhousing. Since this happened to me in traffic, I almost got rear ended during failed upshift attempts far too many times. If enough people complain, Honda will have to do a recall, and those of us who have paid to have the clutch replaced will have some recourse against Honda.
 

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Eh. :(
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh yeah, there is a thread on H-T called 'ACT clutches suck' or something like that where a guy with an ACT clutch had that happen to him...
 

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i dunno if i have any recourse, even though the same thing happened to me. the chunk that wuz floating around in mine wuz just the tab that holds one of the springs inplace; and of coarse the spring wuz floating around too. i had them put in an exedy organic (nearly the same price as oem) and seems to be built better. i had this done at honda, but they couldn't guarantee their work cuz it wasn't oem. i don't know if they'd ever reimburse me or anything since i don't have oem in there anymore.
 

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Eh. :(
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, if enough people contact the NHTSA about this, Honda may be forced to do a recall- Recall means that you could at least get the cost of labor out of Honda in small claims court. At the least, if there is a recall, those who haven't had this happen yet will get helped.
 

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I'm filing a complaint, thanks for the site.

If enough people complain, Honda might do something about it.
 
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