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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, been a while since I posted up, but I just traded my 04 Durango for an 06 Dakota. It is a 4.7 with a 6 speed manual. It shifts nice, but the actual disengagement of the clutch is right at the top of the pedal travel. Is there any way to adjust this to get it closer to the middle of the pedal?

It feels very odd to have the clutch disengage and engage so far up the pedal travel, and this is not my first manual trans, not even in a Dodge. I know that I have seen a few vehicles that had an adjustment knob on the master cylinder to adjust it a bit, and I'm just wondering if Dodge used anything like this? I already looked at the rod to the pedal, and unlike Toyota there is no adjustment there, so I'm really hoping there is something somewhere to adjust this.
 

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Nice to see another 4.7 with 6-spd. Not too many around. Now you've got me wondering about adjusting the engagement point. Mine is about where I'd expect, maybe 1/3 of the way up for partial engagement. It hasn't changed in 95K miles. I agree, it should have an adjustment on the pedal like you noted. How many miles on your truck? I'm wondering if they designed it so that if the truck gets to the point of engaging at the top of its travel that the only solution is to replace the clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Right now I have about 96k on it, but I don't know how it was driven and treated by previous owners. I have yet to find any type of adjustment, especially since the entire system must be replaced in whole, instead of just buying a slave cylinder or master cylinder. The more I drive it, the more convinced I am that it will be needing a clutch fairly soon. Not a huge deal, although mine is an SLT and 4x4, so it's a bit more work to get to it. Just trying to gather the cash to do a full weekend replacing the ball joints, shocks and tie rod ends, as well as a new clutch and possibly the hydraulics as well.
 

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Ah, your truck has 1k more miles than mine. From my past experience with manual vehicles, the only time the hydraulic side of the clutch has needed repairs is when you have trouble disengaging the clutch or changing gears. The force isn't there to push the pressure plate when the slave is bad. It certainly does sound like your clutch plate has thinned and why you have run out of pedal travel. Since it's still engaging then it's a good sign that the flywheel hasn't been scraped with clutch fiber rivets. It seems that most people who can drive stick don't understand the mechanical principles behind it so no surprise if it's been abused by the PO. They slip it horribly to avoid bogging/stalling instead of slowly engaging just off idle then going. I'm constantly explaining to people what they're doing when slipping the clutch and warn them to limit this as much as possible because it's like applying heavy pressure to a disc brake which over time thins it down.

....... especially since the entire system must be replaced in whole, instead of just buying a slave cylinder or master cylinder.
Please explain since I haven't really looked into the exact workings of our clutch hydraulic system. All I know is that mine has a separate clutch reservoir. I would think the slave could be unbolted and replaced separately. Again, yours sounds like clutch all the way. Have you seen any oil leaks around the transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I mean is that in my research the clutch slave, master cylinder and line are not replaceable seperately. It is a complete system that is pre-bled before you get it. When, and if, it needs to be replaced because it has developed a leak it must be purchased as a complete assembly and not replaced piecemeal like other manufacturers. Mopar parts lists the complete assembly but not the individual parts.

Right now, I have seen no sign of leakage, so I don't think I will need to replace the system (which isn't too expensive at around $180), but I do think the clutch is just worn out. I'm just planning for the hydraulics in case I get under there and find something that I'm not happy with, like a worn boot or wear on the line that will lead to leakage.

I started driving clutch with my first vehicle, a 73 bug, and have had lots of them since. Never had an issue with a clutch before, so it just sucks a bit to feel that whoever had this abused it so badly that a clutch is needed this early in the truck's life. As I said though, not a huge deal, it won't be the first clutch job I have done and I will get to it as soon as I can gather all the parts to do everything I want in a single weekend to avoid having the truck down when we need it. Winter is getting closer and I will be relying on this to get me to work through the snow. I'm sure my Avenger would be fine, but I prefer to have all 4 wheels under power since most of my drive is in the opposite direction of the plow trucks. I work graves, drive almost entirely highway/freeway, and because of timing I tend to be going out when the majority of people are coming in, which leaves the plows focusing on that direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I added the cars to my signature so hopefully they show up now. My other thought has to do with replacing the rear axle with one of the newer ones with disc brakes. I'm really surprised that the Dakota hadn't gotten them when the Durango had them in 04. I'm just not sure if it is something I can directly swap out by simply finding a 3.55 rear axle to swap in. But, that's another post when I get a bit closer, right now I just know suspension needs attention and the clutch is going to get replaced.
 

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Is the slave on outside of bellhousing; or inside, requiring motor/trans split to change?
... DK, but i'm assuming it's self adjusting. Is it a possible broken diaphragm/belleville spring is the issue (have had broken diaphragms, but had manual linkages, not hyd).
 

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What I mean is that in my research the clutch slave, master cylinder and line are not replaceable seperately. It is a complete system that is pre-bled before you get it. When, and if, it needs to be replaced because it has developed a leak it must be purchased as a complete assembly and not replaced piecemeal like other manufacturers. Mopar parts lists the complete assembly but not the individual parts.
Ok. Never heard of that before.

Right now, I have seen no sign of leakage, so I don't think I will need to replace the system (which isn't too expensive at around $180), but I do think the clutch is just worn out. I'm just planning for the hydraulics in case I get under there and find something that I'm not happy with, like a worn boot or wear on the line that will lead to leakage.
Good idea. Be prepared and have research done beforehand.

I started driving clutch with my first vehicle, a 73 bug, and have had lots of them since. Never had an issue with a clutch before, so it just sucks a bit to feel that whoever had this abused it so badly that a clutch is needed this early in the truck's life. As I said though, not a huge deal, it won't be the first clutch job I have done and I will get to it as soon as I can gather all the parts to do everything I want in a single weekend to avoid having the truck down when we need it.
I hear ya.......I plan on 200k out of my clutch or more. No real slipping is necessary with most vehicles. Just engage off idle then go instead of revving and slipping unnecessarily. I double clutch downshift for passing or heel-and-toe dbl. clutch (or the best I can with work boots) while slowing and preparing for a turn. This saves over the horrific clutch-slipping downshifts I hear most people do. So many times I get a dumb look when I say rev-matching. It's faster and easier on the equipment. I tell people to at least blip the throttle to get the engine near the speed it will be for downshifts. I don't care about burning my brakes up a bit faster, they're easier to change and more accessible.

Winter is getting closer and I will be relying on this to get me to work through the snow. I'm sure my Avenger would be fine, but I prefer to have all 4 wheels under power since most of my drive is in the opposite direction of the plow trucks. I work graves, drive almost entirely highway/freeway, and because of timing I tend to be going out when the majority of people are coming in, which leaves the plows focusing on that direction.
I hated going in the same direction as the plows. Let me make my own tracks (or my preference is mile-long fishtails). :ebrow:

Is the slave on outside of bellhousing; or inside, requiring motor/trans split to change?
Good question. I was just underneath my truck on Monday and didn't look for the slave.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It is an external slave, there would be no good way to replace a complete system like this otherwise.

As for rev-matching, I do it both way and tend to stay off the clutch if I can avoid it. Far easier to just shift, but maybe not as quick as clutching it. It did take some time to figure out the rev difference for each gear, but I can manage 2-6 without the clutch, going either up or down in gears.
 

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It is an external slave, there would be no good way to replace a complete system like this otherwise.
Yes, but you know how engineers are. They could have installed a fancy access plate to conceal the slave. Did you know that the Trailblazer 4x4 had its front axle passing through the oil pan?


As for rev-matching, I do it both way and tend to stay off the clutch if I can avoid it. Far easier to just shift, but maybe not as quick as clutching it. It did take some time to figure out the rev difference for each gear, but I can manage 2-6 without the clutch, going either up or down in gears.
I only can upshift to 4 and 5 without the clutch. Too slow especially for downshifts and revs drop inconsistently when not using the clutch. Not worth the hassle or risk of grinding. If the clutch wasn't tied into the computer it might be easier, but the only way my revs drop fast is if I clutch. Before the TSB fast feedback update for the manual trucks, my revs hung horribly even when using the clutch and made the truck nearly unbearable to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
2nd tends to be the worst for me when going down, but for the most part the revs drop fast enough for me to easily downshift. However, that's when I'm around town or at lower speeds, there are times when I downshift way early and don't touch my brakes. Just depends on the situation.

Yeah, I've seen the Trailblazer stupidity, but the slave on ours is external (I've seen it on the side of the trans).
 

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Cool. I'm curious to see how the clutch engagement feels with a new one. What brand/stage are you getting or going stock? Keep us updated. I hope lowering the transmission down goes easy for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll most likely just go with a stock replacement, although I'll probably order online since the local parts houses want nearly $300 for a new clutch set. Since I will be ordering before I'm ready to replace, because of the other parts I plan to do, it isn't a huge deal to wait a week for the parts to arrive.

I know it needs a tie rod end, so I will replace both and likely do the ball joints as well. I also think I need to replace the calipers, there is a rattle on the driver's side and I can only surmise it is the caliper. So, hopefully I can do all this at once, and possibly throw a Magnaflow cat-back system on it as well. Going to be a little while though, since my son ran my Avenger into a tree and I need to fix a few things on it now.
 

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At 40k I thought the rattle over bumps was my ball joints going bad. After all the joint tests I realized it was only the stabilizer bar end links that were shot. I bought some Napa ones. So far so good. The ball joints on my truck are still fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's good to know, and will give me something more to check out. I was thinking calipers, but you might be right since applying the brakes doesn't seem to stop the rattle. Hoping to finish clearing my garage (we bought the house last year and I ended up piling my garage full and I'm only now getting it cleaned) this weekend and I can pull the truck in to crawl underneath and check it out really well. Good to know since ball joints aren't cheap. I do still think a tie rod end is bad, it pulls to the right sometimes, and other times tracks straight. Either way, and alignment is in it's future, as I think I can live with this truck for a while before I get the itch to buy another, and go further into debt.

Looks like there was an update to the clutch, 08 and earlier to 99 used an 11" clutch, replacements are typically 12" variety and not supposed to take any modifications to run. Going to plan on that, likely go through Rockauto since they have a pretty decent selection and price range.
 

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DK dakota clutch fork/arm "pivot" setup: but had a shop install a clutch on S10 cheb (full length arm? type), they didn't lube "pivot"(ball stud type) properly, "squeaked" enough to drive me half crazy; there was a half assed fix of drilling thru bell house etc.
... Just trying to say don't overlook ball stud if it requires lube, I'd use the best quality I could get my hands on. Couldn't live with the squeaking, and was a hard to lube headache unless trans was removed again to do it properly. Grrrrrr
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I do have some red extreme duty lithium grease that I will be sure to put onto the pivot. Thanks for the advice, it certainly can't hurt when I get ready to do this. It's going to be a big enough pain just dropping the trans and transfer case, don't want to have to repeat it.

I'm also leaning towards doing a levelling kit at the same time, not a big fan of the raked look on pickups.
 

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I'm assuming/hoping they designed a depression/void in the arm to hold extra grease that would need to be FULL also. The red ex lith sounds good; I'm still sitting on a half ish tube of Red Ram 1 1/2 (been "guarding it with my life", lol) for those kind of jobs. ... Good luck with the new 12".
 
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