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Clutch Replacement Question

 
Old 10-09-2015, 08:27 AM
  #1  
Christian327
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Default Clutch Replacement Question

So, like many before me, my 99 has suddenly been hit with the sticky clutch pedal woes. After many hours of research through the forum and talking to reputable shops in houston. General consensus is that I have two options.

Option 1) Most are saying, the problem is most definitely the master cylinder. And to replace that piece should fix my problems. (oh, I have done the ranger method religiously since I've found out about it to no avail). The master cylinder swap from a well-known corvette mechanic will swap it out for around $500 including parts/labor/warranty.

Option 2) Replace/upgrade the whole clutch assembly while I'm at it. Since this is more labor intensive, the cost is so much more. I am in the middle of purchasing a Mantic er2 and the mechanic will provide the stock slave/master with 2 year warranty on those parts/labor. This will cost me around 1600. (Around 620 for the mantic and 985 for everything else).

My question is: If I were to just switch the master cylinder (for the less expensive option), how long should I expect my whole assembly to last? It has around 56000 miles on it now. Or would it be wiser to just replace everything? And if my clutch bearing/discs/etc are still in good condition, what is the resale value for them used? My wife and I are expecting a child early next year Lord-willing and this is definitely an unexpected cost. So I just want to make sure I make a wise decision. My thoughts were to replace everything might as well right now so I dont have to run into any problems later but I have zero expertise in this area. Future/current performance mods would be strictly bolt-ons and a tune.

I kind of already jumped the gun by purchasing the mantic (got a little too excited/anxious lol) but I can always return it unopened if need be.
Any advice/help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:52 AM
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dork
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I was in exactly the same situation. Nobody could diagnose with any certainty whether it was the slave or the clutch master cylinder. By "nobody", I mean the dealership. The closest Corvette specialist/speed shop is ~250 miles away. I bought everything needed for a clutch/master cylinder replacement--Tick adjustable master cylinder, McLeod RST clutch, balanced flywheel, OEM slave cylinder, bolts, Hinton front and rear torque tube bushings, etc. The clutch locked up once too often in my driveway, coincidentally on the drive I had intended to drive the car to the speed shop. (I'm still uncertain whether to trust that shop; they post here but are not vendors, and have very little feedback.) Rather than pay the flatbed towing rates for a 250-mile delivery to a pig-in-a-poke, I decided to install a Tick adjustable master cylinder first myself and proceed from there. The car's been driven about 5,000 miles since then with no troubles. I got the results I'd hoped for, but I know the sooner I replace the clutch, the better. Sure, the whole, total problem might have been the cylinder, but since I've got the other parts, so I might as well install them to be sure. Like you, finances stand in my way.

I read in a very few posts that both clutch and cylinder should be changed at the same time because the Ranger method doesn't actually work and the new master cylinder will get worn more quickly because of all the contaminants, but I Ranger the car every 500 miles to keep it clean. A hassle, but I'm not financially ready to have the rest of the clutch work done. So far, so good.

Installing the Tick was no fun at all. Coupled with a header install, these two projects should be listed as a rite of passage for Corvette owners. A real PIA, just so's you know what you're in for if you DIY.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:01 AM
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In your situation, I would first replace the MC and see how it goes. You plan to do that with the clutch, but if it solves the problem and buys some amount of time why not just do that first. If not, then you have the parts for the rest of the job. Not sure how anyone can determine how long the clutch will last.

I think $500 for the MC swap is a lot of dough for that job. Biggest issue is disconnecting the line, but its doable. Have you considered doing it yourself?
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:12 AM
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I'd do the MC... from what I've seen with clutch jobs, it can be a real nightmare... the clutch job has some pretty intricate, precise measurements and steps to be followed and IF not you'll have even MORE problems in the future... the life of your clutch probably depends on HOW it's been driven in the past and HOW it will be driven in the future...You for SURE want everything working correctly (MC) so there will be no excessive wear caused by something else other than NORMAL wear and tear..
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:26 AM
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Christian327
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Originally Posted by dork View Post
I got the results I'd hoped for, but I know the sooner I replace the clutch, the better. Sure, the whole, total problem might have been the cylinder, but since I've got the other parts, so I might as well install them to be sure. Like you, finances stand in my way.

A hassle, but I'm not financially ready to have the rest of the clutch work done. So far, so good.

A real PIA, just so's you know what you're in for if you DIY.
Yea definitely in the same boat. I just dont want to have to end up replacing any other items in the next couple years with a newborn. That's why I was leaning to biting the bullet now. But its just a big bullet for a high school teacher to get hit with right now lol
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by vettenuts View Post
In your situation, I would first replace the MC and see how it goes. You plan to do that with the clutch, but if it solves the problem and buys some amount of time why not just do that first. If not, then you have the parts for the rest of the job. Not sure how anyone can determine how long the clutch will last.

I think $500 for the MC swap is a lot of dough for that job. Biggest issue is disconnecting the line, but its doable. Have you considered doing it yourself?
Originally Posted by 73Corvette View Post
I'd do the MC... from what I've seen with clutch jobs, it can be a real nightmare... the clutch job has some pretty intricate, precise measurements and steps to be followed and IF not you'll have even MORE problems in the future... the life of your clutch probably depends on HOW it's been driven in the past and HOW it will be driven in the future...You for SURE want everything working correctly (MC) so there will be no excessive wear caused by something else other than NORMAL wear and tear..
So yea, I have heard some horror stories about clutch installs. That is my big fear. This guy assures me that he knows what hes doing but one measurement off can screw around with a lot of things. I just didnt want to end up paying for eventual two 'installation charges' if it can be knocked out together. Especially if we somewhat can afford to now but will be 'tight' on extra spending the next couple of years. (Ex. 350 for just master or 600 for everything install wise). Thanks for the input! MC first seems like a smart thing to check. If he can do it for a little less than I may go that route. I just would hate for that not to work and end up having to pay for two labor fees.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:18 PM
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I think you're confusing a MC installation with a clutch/slave installation. A MC can be easily replaced in your driveway, but doesn't require removal of the torque tube, and if you use a factory MC, not that tough. Installing a Tick can be alot more work because you have to remove the pedal assy. and accurately drill two holes that the Tick will attach and align. I have installed a Tick MC, and it wasn't easy for me, being a big guy squeezing into the driver side foot well. Being a dumbass, I didn't remove the seat first.
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Old 10-09-2015, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by zeevette View Post
I think you're confusing a MC installation with a clutch/slave installation. A MC can be easily replaced in your driveway, but doesn't require removal of the torque tube, and if you use a factory MC, not that tough. Installing a Tick can be alot more work because you have to remove the pedal assy. and accurately drill two holes that the Tick will attach and align. I have installed a Tick MC, and it wasn't easy for me, being a big guy squeezing into the driver side foot well. Being a dumbass, I didn't remove the seat first.
So the $500 quote for just a MC replacement is way too high? I dont think I would install a tick either...Main priority is to get this problem fixed now and ideally not have to worry about any clutch issues for many years from now. Thanks for the input brother!
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:54 AM
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Even at full GM retail for parts (about $210, aftermarket is $50) $500 is on the high side depending on their labor rate. I would expect the dealer to charge this, not an independent.
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:09 AM
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I would just replace the master cylinder at this time with a new stock one, why introduce new variables that can introduce more problems you don't need. Stock worked fine before, plus it's not hard to change. I had a slave go out in my car at 106,000 miles. I figured at this mileage since I had to remove everything it didn't make sense to not put everything in new. I didn't screw around with performance parts I didn't need. With my sometime abusive driving and mildly modded engine, the stock clutch held up just fine. When I removed the old clutch it still looked almost new. I still have it. And at 140,000 miles it's working perfectly. Make sure if you find you need a clutch, which you probably don't, you install a remote bleeder. It makes maintenance so much easier. BTW, I did my clutch myself at home. It ain't easy but you can save a ton of money and you ave better quality control! All the info for doing it yourself is here on the forum. Buying some tools is cheaper than paying someone with no Vette experience to screw it up for you.
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:57 AM
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If/when you go for the clutch, educate yourself on marking the parts and checking the balance of the stock clutch and the replacement. Do some searches on clutch balance and read all you can. If your installer is not aware of the issue, especially with a Z06, then you need to find another installer that can properly set it up.
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:10 AM
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Update, same trusted mechanic said he can switch out master for less than $400 and provide 2 year warranty on parts/labor...if that fixes the problem then I'm more than okay with it if not then I will look into replacing the whole kit...now I just don't know whether to return the kit I bought or keep it just in case. Is there a shelf life to these things?
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Cliff8928
Even at full GM retail for parts (about $210, aftermarket is $50) $500 is on the high side depending on their labor rate. I would expect the dealer to charge this, not an independent.
Thank you brother for the instructions!
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Christian327 View Post
Update, same trusted mechanic said he can switch out master for less than $400 and provide 2 year warranty on parts/labor...if that fixes the problem then I'm more than okay with it if not then I will look into replacing the whole kit...now I just don't know whether to return the kit I bought or keep it just in case. Is there a shelf life to these things?
not that I am aware of... I had an act twin disc in my closet for a couple of years that I was dreading installing at the time but eventually was forced to do so... change the master out and if it fixes the issue that's great and send the clutch back, if not then at least you already have a clutch ready to go and just need to find someone to install it
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by neutron82
not that I am aware of... I had an act twin disc in my closet for a couple of years that I was dreading installing at the time but eventually was forced to do so... change the master out and if it fixes the issue that's great and send the clutch back, if not then at least you already have a clutch ready to go and just need to find someone to install it
That is the plan! Man I feel a whole lot better with the decision, thank yall so much. Can't explain how much more I'm at ease now. I will send an update Monday when I drop the car off...prayers up.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:26 PM
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So got the clutch master replaced, worlds a different! The pedal comes all the way up and is extra firm. It's been two days now. Cost around 350 for parts/labor and they also flushed out the transmission fluid too shifts so much better now. I am going to hold on to the clutch kit for a couple more days and if there aren't any hiccups then I will look into selling it. Thanks again everyone for the advice, potentially saved me close to a grand!
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:24 PM
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glad she's shifting like butta... thanks for posting your results
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