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1996 Tacoma 4cyl 4x4 Odd Clutch Behavior 1st Gear

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by pmiller613, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Jul 16, 2010 at 11:23 AM
    #1
    pmiller613

    pmiller613 [OP] Active Member

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    Had this problem for a month or so now, but seems to be getting worse. Have a 1996 Tacoma with 37k miles that I took over after my dad passed and I've been driving it daily for about 3 months now, but prior to that I hadn't driven a stick in about 10 years [not really by choice, although 10 years before that, manuals were all I drove], but I still probably don't have the best clutch habits since I've gone back to the manual Taco.

    The first time it happened, I was sitting at a stop light, I see the light is about to change, so press the clutch all the way down, holding it all the way down while in first gear maybe 5-10 seconds max. waiting for light to change. Light turns green, and IMMEDIATELY when I start to let off the clutch pedal the truck lurches forward and stalls (same as if I had suddenly let my foot slip off the clutch). I restart and go on with no problems, until next I'm holding the clutch down for maybe 5-10 seconds and it happens periodically. (Now that I am expecting it, if I am very careful and let out the clutch as slow as I possibly can it does not stall, but I still look like somebody who is learning to drive a stick)

    After experimenting further, here is a more accurate description of what happens: If you hold the clutch all the way in while in gear (typically first gear but has happened in higher gears as well), for perhaps 5-10 seconds (or more, although that is never necessary), when I let off the clutch it is as if the slightest movement of letting off the pedal is just like I let it all the way instantly. But, to avoid stalling it, if I shift to neutral, let off the clutch, then press the clutch pedal all the way back down and shift back into first, I can then depress the clutch normally (as long as I don't hold it in for any more time than is necessary, perhaps 1-3 seconds). As long as I hold the clutch in the minimum amount of time required to start or shift, it behaves normally. About 20-30% of the time if I hold it for more than a few seconds, as soon as I start to let off the pedal it is just like letting it out all the way. Yesterday while parking was the first time I ever had it actually "let out" while I was still holding down the clutch pedal to the floor and stall. I have noticed it happen in 2nd/3rd gears only a few times (although rarely am I holding the clutch down in these gears other than the second or so to shift).

    I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to manual transmissions, but I was thinking if the clutch was going out or 'slipping', it would have this behavior consistently every time instead of maybe only 2 or 3 times out of 10 (or at least a majority of the time). Also, while holding down the clutch, I can often (but not always) hear a sort-of clicking noise (intermittent) that kind of sounds like whatever mechanism holding a cable somewhere in the front end is slipping, catching, slipping, catching... kind of this ek, ek-ek-ek.... ek... ek-ek... ek... sound.

    But again, if I go to neutral, totally let off the clutch and push it back down, it behaves normally 100% of the time.

    When the problem is present, it is also feels like the clutch lets out 100% in that first, slightest of motions, and the rest of the play of the clutch pedal releasing feels as if it is doing nothing (much less resistence compared to a normal shift of slowly letting out the clutch pedal and equal resistance all the way). Hope I've been clear enough with enough info...

    Anyway, ideas? And thanks for your time.

    [EDIT AFTER POST FOR GRAMMAR & CLARITY]
     
  2. Jul 16, 2010 at 11:29 AM
    #2
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Sounds like you may need to bleed the clutch. Check your fluid level also.
     
  3. Jul 16, 2010 at 2:47 PM
    #3
    pmiller613

    pmiller613 [OP] Active Member

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    Checked the fluid and its full to the max level... like I said I don't know much about dealing with manual transmissions, but in the clutch reservoir there is this large floating black stone looking object... totally smooth surface, flat oval shape, and about the diameter of the reservoir cap... very light... what is that?
     
  4. Jul 16, 2010 at 3:01 PM
    #4
    huntinggunns

    huntinggunns Lifes a garden, dig it.

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    PJ,
    That large stone looking thing is a float so you can see the fluid level from the outside of the reservoir. What is happening with the clutch is that the clutch master is getting weak. When you have the pedal pressed all the way down the fluid pressure is slowly bleeding off internally past the seals and allowing the slave cylinder to start returning to the normal position. When you start to let off the pedal, the slave cylinder is almost back to the normal position and it engages almost instantly. As it gets worse, the truck will start to roll as the clutch is engaging even with your foot on the pedal. Replace the master and you should be fine but I would replace the slave at the same time as it is probably getting tired also.
    Fred.
     
  5. Jul 16, 2010 at 5:12 PM
    #5
    pmiller613

    pmiller613 [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the info Fred! I feel kinda silly about the float, but I woulda never thought of that since Dad always kept the engine so clean you can easily see the fluid level on it. Gonna change both cylinders in the morning. 9 months ago, the only thing I knew about cars was how to change oil, battery, air filter, and tires. Now thanks to forums and people such as yourself, in our other vehicles I have changed the starter, serpentine belt, flushed coolant and replaced reservoir, flushed the heater coil to fix the heat, changed plugs and wires, and am now (probably overly) confident about fixing just about any basic to moderate difficulty issue with our cars. Thanks again for your time & advice, I'll post back with how it goes!

    Also if anyone has a link to good info on changing/fixing the emergency break on my Taco that would be much appreciated. Since I've had the truck the EB doesn't work... you can pull it tight but just nothing happens. I think it got stuck engaged for a long period while Dad still owned it (remember driving it a few times where the EB would just barely work) and wore it down completely where its just useless. That's just my best guess tho it could be something totally different that is causing it not to work. The regular breaks work fine as far as I can tell, stops fine in a pinch when u have to bear down on them, and I believe the emergency break just manually engages the rear drums, correct? If I have someone pull it I can see the cables in the rear engage, but don't really know more than that.

    [EPA FOR CLARITY]
     
  6. Jul 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM
    #6
    huntinggunns

    huntinggunns Lifes a garden, dig it.

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    PJ,
    Glad to help. I have a 95 that I have slowly started restoring for my hunting truck. I worked in the automotive field for more years than I care to admit. Anyway, about the rear brake cables. If you pull the handle and the cables move, they are ok. Make sure to watch the one right above the rear differential. This is the one that you want to make sure is moving because, if it is, you know the rest of the cables are ok. If it is, 99% of the time it is just an adjustment problem. The way to make sure the brake cables are adjusted right is to pull the drums and make sure the cables are all attached. Next, make sure the e-brake lever is resting against the brake shoe when the e-brake is completely released. Next, make sure the e-brake pivot arm adjuster (on the brake shoe backing plate there is an arm where the e-brake cables hook to) bolts are touching the backing plate. If they are touching on both sides make sure there is only a slight amount of slack in the brake cables (should be able to move the rear brake cable above the differential slightly up & down without making the arms move). If there is too much slack there is an adjuster nut right in front of the gas tank that you can loosen and take the slack out of the cables. If the cables are adjusted right, the rear brake shoe adjustment is just way out. You can adjust the rear brakes by putting the drums back on and turn the star adjusters a couple of clicks at a time until you feel a slight drag on the drums. When you feel the drag (make sure both drums are on) step on the regular brake pedal to center the shoes in the drums and then check for drag again. It may take a few times of doing this until the shoes are centered and adjusted properly. When the shoes are adjusted properly you should be able to pull the e-brake handle and it will come out about 5-8 clicks. You are good to go then. Any questions let me know.
    Fred

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jul 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM
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    pmiller613

    pmiller613 [OP] Active Member

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    Hey Fred thanks again for the info! I'm trying to get this one restored as well similar to you. My dad bought it brand new in '96 just to have a 4x4 when the weather gets bad, so most of the time he would drive it a few miles a week just to run it... so when he passed away back in November mom said he wanted me to take it. I never was much of a truck guy but my regular car is up there in mileage right now and needs some repairs so I parked it about 3 months ago and started driving the truck "until I get the car fixed"... and after about 2 weeks of driving it daily I had fallen for it and now don't ever want to stop driving it! The bottom is rusted really bad due to the salt on the roads here in winter (mainly when it has been driven the past 14 years), so I'm also going to be taking it in for that soon hoping they will replace the frame (I can tell you its bad now)... I really don't like the idea of the spray and definitely not gonna sell it being one of the big connections I still have to my dad. Anyway wish me luck tomorrow! I'll post how everything goes. I'm sure I'll have more questions too later... thanks again!
    P
     
  8. Jul 16, 2010 at 9:43 PM
    #8
    higherlux

    higherlux Well-Known Member

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    they wont replace the frame sadly no matter how good of shape the truck is in
    they will offer to buy it back for 1.5x kbb

    you might however be able to buy a frame and replace it yourself
     
  9. Jul 16, 2010 at 10:28 PM
    #9
    pmiller613

    pmiller613 [OP] Active Member

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    They will replace the frame... in "certain rare circumstances" according to the service mgr. I spoke with, and they replaced my brother's on his '99 Taco, albeit after you have to go through a bunch of red tape first. I saw the goop they spray on the bottom, and seems to me it makes it impossible to work on anything underneath the truck. Maybe they won't do it for me, but I'm gonna try... its worth alot more than 1.5 book value for a 4x4 with only 30k miles, and my Dad's truck... otherwise I'll do as you suggest and try to find one at a junkyard in good shape
     
  10. Jul 17, 2010 at 10:23 PM
    #10
    pmiller613

    pmiller613 [OP] Active Member

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    On the initial problem I posted. Per huntingguns above, it was the master cylinder. Replaced it today with a new one $50 from Advance Auto. First time I've done any of this, took me 3 hours (1.5 of which spent trying to get the hydraulic thread started... big hands small space, but so if you can manage getting that thread on it could be done in 60-90 mins by a beginner). THanks again for the time & replies earlier!
    P
     
  11. Jul 18, 2010 at 6:25 AM
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    huntinggunns

    huntinggunns Lifes a garden, dig it.

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    PJ,
    A little trick to starting that fine threaded small line. Do not tighten the master cylinder to fire wall nuts all the way before starting the line. You angle the master a little while starting the line so that it starts straight. After running the line nut in the master a few turns, then tighten the master assembly all the way. After it is tight then tighten the line the rest of the way. PS: a good set of line wrenches is a must for working on any hydraulic lines. I have to put one on mine today and will post pics as I do it.
    Fred
     
  12. Jul 18, 2010 at 3:57 PM
    #12
    pmiller613

    pmiller613 [OP] Active Member

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    I was going to do that too (take pics) but the batts were dead. After about the first 15 mins of the thread ordeal I did actually take the firewall nuts completely off since it looked like the threaded line was hitting it at a slight angle, which it was, but something about it just made it very difficult for me as a first time. Probably one of those things if I had just walked away for 10 minutes and came back would have went right on, but that's how I learn and next time I'll know to just be patient with it. One thing I like about working on my Tacoma (generally) is that it has alot of space under the hood compared to our other two vehicles... being a big guy with big arms and hands isn't very condusive to working with nuts and bolts in very confined spaces. I also noticed I have a hose that is shredded and disconnected at one end under the hood. It is one of two at the back that run sort of parallel at the top of everything, relatively small size, both with an outer diameter I would guess around 1/4"... left to right. Both ends of it just slip onto 'male' ends, and the truck runs fine with it disconnected (not sure how long it has been shredded/disconnected even... at least a few weeks)... but still I need to identify the hose so I can replace it and have no clue what it is connecting to. I will take a pic here shortly and see if you can identify it for me (will start a new thread for that)...
     
  13. Jul 18, 2010 at 4:37 PM
    #13
    huntinggunns

    huntinggunns Lifes a garden, dig it.

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    PJ,
    Send me a pic and I will tell you where it goes.
    Fred
     
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