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Old 07-31-2011, 09:41 PM
MusicMan374 MusicMan374 is offline
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2000 Accord EX 5 speed clutch adjustments

So a few months ago I got a 2000 Accord EX 5 speed manual with about 90k miles on it. Recently I noticed starting out in first gear the clutch would slip, especially on hills, but not during normal driving. I also heard that the proper free play on the pedal was supposed to be about an inch to an inch and a half. I adjusted the free play with the push rod, and then adjusted my cruise control shutoff sensor accordingly, but I just want to make sure that my clutch will fully disengage so that my synchros don't wear out prematurely. I think my clutch is nearing the end of its life, and I'm having a hard time getting the adjustment into that happy medium where it's comfortable, disengages properly, and engages properly, while also keeping enough free play to let the throwout bearing release. I'm slightly new to the DIY stuff, and I just need a few pointers that I can't quite find with all the hours of searching that I've done.


Any tips would be much appreciated!
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:15 AM
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nehonda nehonda is offline
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The clutch is self adjusting for wear in the design of the slave cylinder, so no regular free play adjustment is required. The master cylinder push rod is only adjusted when it is first installed or replaced. The Accord service manual does not give a specific clearance, it just says if there is no clearance then adjust the push rod to make clearance so the release bearing wont wear out.

If your clutch is slipping in first gear only then you may have some other problem like an oil leak thats getting on the clutch or the master/slave cylinders may be going bad. Clutches usually last longer than 90k unless they have been abused.
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2000 Accord SE I4 F23A1 Auto - Sold @174k miles & 10 years ownership
1998 Accord LX I4 F23A1 5 speed - sons DD in DC
1987 Accord LX 5 spd Owned for 17 years sold @155k
1986 Accord LX Auto Totaled @137k miles
1983 Accord LX 5 spd My Second Accord traded in
1978 Accord LX 5 spd My First Accord sold @ 100k
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:32 AM
MusicMan374 MusicMan374 is offline
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That's what doesn't make sense to me, because the car was my aunt/uncle's in Sacramento, CA, where it's super flat, so no hill starts really, and they drove it SUPER conservatively, for gas mileage, but they did do 90% city driving in downtown Sacramento. It makes no sense that it would be going out. I learned to drive stick on it, but I'd say I'm fairly good at it now and don't put excessive wear on it. I've only put 2k miles on the car anyway. I adjusted the push rod mainly for comfort because I felt like the friction point was too high and there wasn't enough free play. Now it catches closer to the floor and fully engages quicker. The problem I was having before was mainly noticed on hills when I started out, that if I started like I normally would in first gear, letting the clutch out slowly, my RPM's would keep rising even as I let the clutch further out, pretty much until either I took my foot off of the gas or I dropped the clutch pedal, which is not normal. With the adjustment where it is now, I feel like my starts are smoother, so maybe the problems I was having were simply driver error and having the grab point closer to the floor made it easier for me. My clutch isn't slipping after it's been fully engaged, just when starting out.

You mentioned a possible leak, are you talking about in the transmission gearbox or in the hydraulic lines for the clutch? I check my fluids at least once a month under the hood and my clutch reservoir is at the max line. I don't know how to check transmission fluid but it was just flushed for my 90k service.

I hope my clutch isn't nearing the end of its life because that's a costly repair, and with only 90k on the car I would hope it would last at LEAST a few more years.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:08 PM
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nehonda nehonda is offline
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The leak I was talking about could be either the transmission gearbox input shaft or the engine main bearing seal. Either of those leaks could possibly be getting on your clutch and cause slippage, but if they are leaking that bad you should see evidence of oil on the ground after the car has been parked over night or drips of oil on the bottom of the engine.
The clutch master cylinder can leak internally and cause gear engagement problems as it will not keep the clutch fully disengaged after you press on the pedal down. Grinding in reverse and difficulty going into 1st gear are typical.
The 5 speed transmission oil level is checked by removing the fill plug on the side of the transmission. Not as easy as the automatic which has a dipstick.
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2000 Accord SE I4 F23A1 Auto - Sold @174k miles & 10 years ownership
1998 Accord LX I4 F23A1 5 speed - sons DD in DC
1987 Accord LX 5 spd Owned for 17 years sold @155k
1986 Accord LX Auto Totaled @137k miles
1983 Accord LX 5 spd My Second Accord traded in
1978 Accord LX 5 spd My First Accord sold @ 100k
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:03 PM
MusicMan374 MusicMan374 is offline
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I never see any leaks under the car so it probably isn't that, I'll test the master cylinder thing tomorrow, but I don't think it could be that because I have issues with engagement, not disengagement. I do notice that 2nd gear is more difficult to get into and if I slowly move into 2nd while the car is moving it crunches while other gears don't (except first of course). I'm assuming first is so hard to get into going any speed much more than 5 or 10 mph because the synchro has a hard time spinning the gear that fast but maybe my synchros for first and second are wearing out. Third through fifth aren't hard to get into, no harder than normal. There is a TAD more resistance in those gears while moving as opposed to stopped but that's normal, isn't it? It's just annoying if I'm going 10mph and I need to downshift into first to quickly accelerate, it's super difficult to get into first. I adjusted my clutch pedal to be more comfortable for me, which did help a little bit but it still feels like that on hills starting out the clutch isn't engaging strongly enough, the engine hangs around 2000, and then goes up and never quite syncs up with the wheels until I let off the gas. The best way I can describe it is the engine keeps ahead of the wheels until I either let off of the gas or it gets to 3000 rpms, but pretty much only on hills. It FEELS like it slips because the rpms go up even as I let out the pedal, but then once it does engage it won't slip again, even if I floor the gas pedal. It's a very odd problem. Could it actually be something as simple as my technique, having only a few months of experience driving a manual? Thanks for your help
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:46 PM
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nehonda nehonda is offline
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It sounds like your transmission is working fairly normally. First gear will always have the most resistance when the car is moving for the reason you stated. As your shifting skills expand you can work on "double clutching" to rev match the engine speed with the gear speed when you down shift which makes engagement easier.

Not sure what to say about your clutch slippage issue. Maybe take it to a trusted mechanic and show them the issue to see if its just your technique or something else.
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2000 Accord SE I4 F23A1 Auto - Sold @174k miles & 10 years ownership
1998 Accord LX I4 F23A1 5 speed - sons DD in DC
1987 Accord LX 5 spd Owned for 17 years sold @155k
1986 Accord LX Auto Totaled @137k miles
1983 Accord LX 5 spd My Second Accord traded in
1978 Accord LX 5 spd My First Accord sold @ 100k
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:45 PM
MusicMan374 MusicMan374 is offline
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Alright well thanks for your help. Since there doesn't seem to be an urgent issue, no leaks or any serious mechanical issues I'll wait until my next oil change and then bring it up to my mechanic. The only other thing that I can think of is that the clutch fluid is disgustingly dark, very unlike my brake fluid (although my brake lines were just flushed at around 87k) and that the dirty/old fluid is causing the issues. I was going to ask my mechanic to change the clutch fluid during my next oil change as well which is coming up in just over 1000 miles. Could that cause problems like this?
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