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Old 12-12-2011, 08:16   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Clutch and brake use the same fluid reservoir?

Hey, quick question.

I have a '92 Ford Ranger with the 4.0L Cologne pushrod V6 with the Mazda sourced 5spd manual transmission (it's 2WD) and while it runs fine, though uses oil quite a bit these days at 236K+ miles on it. When the weather got to where it remains in the 40's (mostly low to mid 40's during the day, 30's often at night), the brake idiot light comes on very briefly, especially when cold for a sec or so and then goes out when I apply the brakes, even gently to moderate at low speeds.

Doesn't do it all the time, but sporadically and it seems to becoming more frequent of late. No metal to metal noises that I can hear, brakes stop and feel fine otherwise. Even the ABS (rears only) light occasionally blinks (but they work otherwise) on when the brake idiot light pops on (it goes out after the bulb check but occasionally when I press the brakes partway down, it might come on for a sec before going back out).

I need to know if the clutch and brakes use the same reservoir or not because I need to verify if I have low fluid or not (it needs to be replaced but if it's shared with the clutch, the fluid should only be nearly 3 years old at best as I had the clutch slave replaced in early '09 and likely had all new fluid put in then). The clutch also had the new master clutch cylinder replaced in late '06 and it had a new clutch put in in late '05 and when I bought it in early '06, it had maybe 200 miles on the new clutch, front brakes, front wheel bearings and new oil in the transmission. BTW, had the oil changed in Sept at Precision Tune and they noted coolant leaking (does not seem to be doing it now that it's cold), needs new coolant and other fluids changed as well, which I haven't done yet.

Today, I've put about 46K miles on it.

Also, if the clutch and brake system share the same reservoir, how far up should the fluid be to ensure I have plenty, when I last checked, it was just below the screen and barely touching the bottom of it. Could it simply be that the fluid is old and that's all it needs or am I looking at a potential brake failure?

Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:49   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Clutch and brake use the same fluid reservoir?

The clutch master cylinder reservoir is separate and will be located close to the brake master cylinder reservoir.

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Old 12-12-2011, 09:28   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Clutch and brake use the same fluid reservoir?

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Originally Posted by jwko View Post
The clutch master cylinder reservoir is separate and will be located close to the brake master cylinder reservoir.

Ah thanks!

I saw that but was never sure what exactly what it is.

Anyway, will check when I get a moment and see if it's low.

BTW, have not had access to a manual as I've never gotten around to getting one.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:04   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Clutch and brake use the same fluid reservoir?

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Originally Posted by 92rangerstx View Post
Ah thanks!

I saw that but was never sure what exactly what it is.

Anyway, will check when I get a moment and see if it's low.

BTW, have not had access to a manual as I've never gotten around to getting one.
Looking at this again, is this image the brake reservoir or the clutch reservoir?. I remember adding clutch fluid to the one the other one and it was low and restored my clutch for a while before it completely drained out when the slave clutch cylinder was leaking a few years back.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:59   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Clutch and brake use the same fluid reservoir?

That's the clutch reservoir. If you go to Autozones website, you can use the repair manual online for free.
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Old 12-12-2011, 20:53   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Clutch and brake use the same fluid reservoir?

UPDATE: It turned out after I learned which was which in terms of what's the brake reservoir and the clutch reservoir on these old trucks, I stopped by O'Rielly's (formerly Shucks) to get 2 Qts of oil and a bottle of DOT 3 brake fluid as I was low on oil, again after a trip to Tacoma over the weekend with a Qt added on Friday. The trip is about an hour's drive each way and it was already low Saturday morning when I went down to my Mom's church as my 3 older sisters and I put on a celebration party of her 80th birthday that was last week.

So now, the truck starts up a little faster and no brake idiot light when I step on the brakes (so far anyway) and they DO feel a tad firmer than before too now that I think about it so now it's just a matter of watching all my fluids as now the overflow bottle for the cooling system is now dry again and try to keep them topped off as much as possible as it seems EVERYTHING leaks on the truck now.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Clutch and brake use the same fluid reservoir?

Thanks for the update.
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