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Discussion Starter #1
My friend has a 97 Explorer, manual, 4wd, 4.0 6cyl to tow a boat. Since I want to go fishing, I've offered to help him with a problem. Here is the problem - on the way home from a long trip with the boat in tow (first time with the motor attached), the clutch goes out on his explorer. Now he is freaking out because there isn't a lot of money for a major vehicle upgrade and he thought the explorer would handle it.

Anyone have any suggestions about either 1) upgrades he can do to the motor or tranny or 2) about the likelihood that he'll just tear through clutches one after another. I don't know how much the boat weighs for sure but we estimate an 18 foot aluminum boat with a slightly oversized trailer, probably around 2,000-2,500 lbs (rebuilt boat, second hand trailer, was on the way home from picking up the motor, no time to find a truck scale yet). I know there a lot of things for diesels and automatic v8's. I'm lost for this one. Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated and will land me many a free fishing trip.

Also, if there is a different/better forum to post this in, please direct me since I'm new.
 

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G'day,
firstly...had the clutch ever been done before this? It was probably screwed to before he towed the boat.

Secondly, many people towing make use of overdrive, this really doesn't help the load on the clutch. Have seen clutches with the centre ripped right out of em.

The explorer should handle towing that boat with no problem at all!

Fix the clutch and go get the fish!

Cheers
Jas
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jas,

Thanks for the advice. However, talked to my buddy - the Explorer has about 103K miles, the clutch was replaced about 25K miles ago. Not a good sign (I didn't know that).

One more thing (and this drives me nuts about people who don't know about cars), he told me the person on the phone said that the clutch had to be replaced but that they had to order parts. But he didn't get a full description from a service guy on the phone before approving the work. Since it is at a Ford dealer, this says to me that more than the clutch went bad AND the quote of $1,100 for a clutch replacement sounds a bit steep. More may be wrong than I know about.

Anyway, does this make a difference to you (or anyone else who wants to chime in).

Bob

PS, threat of rain today, no fishing
 

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Ya gotta hand it to dealer mechanics.
ya take your car to em, tell em what ya think is wrong, and thats EXACTLY what they fix...regardless!!! damm it makes me angry.

25,000 out of clutch isn't good, but if its driven badly, could be considered great. You know things like using the pedal as a footrest, holding the car still at the lights by slipping the clutch. etc.

Am not sure of the system on the Exploder, as I have yet to see a manual one, but if its a cable/linkage system then it could be as simple as an adustment, if its hydraulic, it may need bleeding (some also have adjusters), the slave cylinder could be dead, or even the master cylinder is dead.

Very hard to say exactly without eyeballing/driving the car.....which leads to another question, what exactly is his problem???? Clutch slipping or can't get gears?

Cheers
Jas
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jas,
If you want to hear what happened (and I appreciate your time greatly - this helps me learn too), here is the version I got.

Driving down to pick up the boat, 2 or 3 times, the rpm's shoot up and he slows a bit (as if the clutch pedal was depressed and the gas was down).

Driving home towing the boat, the clutch pedal goes the floor, slips out of gear and won't go into gear again. Could pump the clutch and get some feeling back but never was drivable after that (had to pull off the highway towing a boat). Brother picks up the boat, his explorer gets towed to the mechanic.

He had the car there the week before because the 4x4 light was blinking and they seemed cool about fixing that (I was suspect of that work order too when I saw it, another story) so he just had it towed there. Hadn't found a good mechanic (his old one retired and sold his shop) so he just went back there and just didn't have time to get quotes and move it around. Like I said, he is a boat guy, not a car guy. The description makes me think hydraulic.

There it is, any more insight would be greatly appreciated.

bob
 

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Hmm,
sounds like it failed before collecting the boat.
The combination of slippage and not being able to disengage the clutch to select gear sounds to me like the Slave cylinder has failed (or maybe the pipe fittings), and sprayed the clutch with hydraulic fluid.

Have to ponder if there wasn't a burning smell.

Lets face it, he's going to pay the money, and they will most likely fix it regardless.

An oil soaked clutch plate is probably something you don't really want, so it should be replaced as a matter of course. If the slave has failed, it would take something out of the $1100 repair bill.

Cheers
Jas
 
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