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Ironforger

Clutch not disengaging intermittently

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02 3500 dually 6sp nv5600 quad cab 2wd independent suspension  approx 230k miles. It has the 5.9HO.

 

I've had this truck for about 6 years, never had any clutch issues. I don't know the full history of it so I'm assuming it may have the factory clutch.

 

This weekend I noticed it was hard to get in gear, like the clutch was not fully disengaging.  I was towing a trailer for a couple days (not really a huge trailer, 10ft enclosed single axle, not really too  heavy or loaded etc, prolly 3000lbs total).

 

Clutch issue started after I had backed in and parked / disconnected the trailer.  After I pulled away, I noticed it was hard to get in gear. I thought maybe I heated the clutch up a bit when I was backing the trailer in, can't rule that out. 

 

So anyway, I shut the truck off, put it in gear, then started it while holding the clutch pedal down. Truck nudged forward a bit, then it was fine.  I managed to drive it home, but along the way it was acting up, same issue, sometimes hard to get in gear like clutch was not disengaging, other times it seemed to act perfectly fine like nothing was wrong.

 

Thinking probably best to drop the trans & see what's going on. If I do, I'll definitely replace the clutch and throw out bearing. Do these trucks have actual ball bearing pilot bearings? Or are they bronze bushings like the old school days?

 

Any recommendation on which clutch kit to buy?  I'm not running any performance mods right now, but sure would like to in the future, but nothing too radical. maybe either a tuner, performance injectors or both. Also may do an engine brake too.

 

By the way, I do my own work and I'm very particular and detailed about everything, clean install,  proper torque values etc. I'm not trusting some dumb-a$$ shop to work on my machines

 

Thanks

 

 

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When my master cylinder starting it acted the same way. Sometimes it would and others times be difficult to get i to gear. As it got worse it would start creeping forward after being put into gear. All this was intermittent like you describe until it just failed. Mine was leaking internally so there was no fluid visibly leaking to the outside.

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38 minutes ago, dripley said:

When my master cylinder starting it acted the same way. Sometimes it would and others times be difficult to get i to gear. As it got worse it would start creeping forward after being put into gear. All this was intermittent like you describe until it just failed. Mine was leaking internally so there was no fluid visibly leaking to the outside.

Thanks Dripley.

 

So, no you had no leaking fluid anywhere? The fluid level was good in the master cylinder? 

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I had a similar thing happen to me. Pulled up to a stop light slid it out of gear couldn't get it back in.  Shut off truck and put it in gear then took off.  A little while later I pushed in the clutch to stop and truck kept going pushed in the brake and heard a snap.  Turned out that the pilot bearing had froze up and was dragging the transmission.  After that I didn't have any problems with the clutch.  Replaced bearing with transmission and clutch a little later.  I have had to put 2 pilot bearings in both from heat related failures. (Rocking the truck while stuck once).  If the clutch feels good you might want to look at the pilot bearing ,although the Master cylinder is easier to check first. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Rotax3006 said:

I had a similar thing happen to me. Pulled up to a stop light slid it out of gear couldn't get it back in.  Shut off truck and put it in gear then took off.  A little while later I pushed in the clutch to stop and truck kept going pushed in the brake and heard a snap.  Turned out that the pilot bearing had froze up and was dragging the transmission.  After that I didn't have any problems with the clutch.  Replaced bearing with transmission and clutch a little later.  I have had to put 2 pilot bearings in both from heat related failures. (Rocking the truck while stuck once).  If the clutch feels good you might want to look at the pilot bearing ,although the Master cylinder is easier to check first. 

 

 

Thanks Rotax

Ok, what you are describing makes sense. If the pilot bearing is the culprit, then me thinks one must pull the trans to check the condition of the pilot bearing.

 

When it happened to you, did it damage or destroy the tip of your input shaft (the part that goes into the pilot bearing)?

 

Also, is the pilot bearing an actual ball bearing? Double sealed? Or a solid bronze bushing?

 

Thanks

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Ironforger said:

Thanks Rotax

Ok, what you are describing makes sense. If the pilot bearing is the culprit, then me thinks one must pull the trans to check the condition of the pilot bearing.

 

When it happened to you, did it damage or destroy the tip of your input shaft (the part that goes into the pilot bearing)?

 

Also, is the pilot bearing an actual ball bearing? Double sealed? Or a solid bronze bushing?

 

Thanks

 

 

Yes only way to check that is to pull the transmission.  The input shaft was fine, the bearing is a needle bearing similar to a caged wrist pin. Cheap fix but lots of work. I think there are some updated bearings available too. I just used oem.

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6 hours ago, Ironforger said:

Thanks Dripley.

 

So, no you had no leaking fluid anywhere? The fluid level was good in the master cylinder? 

I had no fluid visible any where. The fluid level in resevoir remained full. It was that way when it failed. Figured an internal seal failed and it was leaking by. A few times when it started to creep I had to shut the engine off so did not hit something. All this was over the span of a couple months.

I ought to add a bad pilot can mimmick the same thing, just not sure it would do it intermittantly. But anything is possible.

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So mine is kinda the same way, but I have a new slave/master set in my truck. I did accidentally pop the slave out like an idiot, but I cleaned it with a blue towel and put it back together, and got it bled (used a vacuum bleeder up top, worked like a charm). My truck doesn't creep forward in gear, but I have to fight to get it into reverse, 2nd,or 3rd unless I float the gears. 

I suspect the pilot bearing thought because when I put my new transmission in, it wouldn't go all the way in. About a ¼ was sticking out, but I pulled it in with the bolts. Idk if that was a good idea, but it seemed ok. New pilot bearing btw. 

I have a new one from torque king (the big one) are they worth the hassle to pull the trans and machine the flywheel? 

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The transmission  should slip right on  with out using the bolts to pull it in. Somethings not right especially if you are fighting to get into gear. 

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22 hours ago, dripley said:

I had no fluid visible any where. The fluid level in resevoir remained full. It was that way when it failed. Figured an internal seal failed and it was leaking by. A few times when it started to creep I had to shut the engine off so did not hit something. All this was over the span of a couple months.

I ought to add a bad pilot can mimmick the same thing, just not sure it would do it intermittantly. But anything is possible.

dripley,

 

Did the clutch pedal feel normal?

 

My pedal sure feels normal.

 

I did an overall visual inspection, everything looks as it should. Reservoir fluid level is normal, no signs of leaks etc.

 

Is there any way to check the function of the slave cylinder without removing the trans?  Or should I (as a first step) just change the entire slave and master assembly?  Thoroughbred diesel  has the soutbend kit for $315 & free shipping. https://www.thoroughbreddiesel.com/2002-dodge-ram-3500/hydx1-50/?HideOptionsEditButton=True

 

Thanks

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Ironforger said:

dripley,

 

Did the clutch pedal feel normal?

 

My pedal sure feels normal.

 

I did an overall visual inspection, everything looks as it should. Reservoir fluid level is normal, no signs of leaks etc.

 

Is there any way to check the function of the slave cylinder without removing the trans?  Or should I (as a first step) just change the entire slave and master assembly?  Thoroughbred diesel  has the soutbend kit for $315 & free shipping. https://www.thoroughbreddiesel.com/2002-dodge-ram-3500/hydx1-50/?HideOptionsEditButton=True

 

Thanks

 

 

 

The clutch pedal felt normal. Just that it was harder to get into gear sporadically. I had no visible leaks and the resevoir level stayed the same. What led me to believe something was leaking by was when the truck would start creeping forward with the clutch pedal on the floor. Again this was sporadic as it got worse until finally the clutch pedal went to the floor one day and the clutch was inoperable. If this is your problem, you are in the early stages of it failing. If you start to get more creep with the clutch on the floor I think you would know one of the two is failing. 

 

I cannot for the life of me remember what led me to the master having failed other than maybe not knowing there was a slave cylinder. This was the first hydraulic clutch I have ever owned. All my past vehicles were connected with rods or cables. This was also pre being a memeber here or any forum.

 

That being said you can replace both the master and slave for less than 100 bucks. @Mopar1973Man has an article about how to bleed it and reuse the OE hydraulics. When I did mine I knew nothing about the system. I just went to Auto Zone near the job and bought a master then put it on the truck. I had pump that thing like crazy for about 2 weeks before I got all the air out. It then worked fine and still does 9 years or so later. I have had to replace the slave also a few years back but it came with a bleeder screw, no issue there.

 

I cannot pass an opinion on about the SB kit other than being pricey. But I am still running the OE lines and resevoir. I have only replaced the master and the slave. This is with 470k and 17.5 years of ownership. Bleeding the system is not that difficult.

 

The pilot bearing can do the same thing tough I would think the creep would be less. Maybe not if it is failing badly.

 

The slave is mounted on the outside of the tranny. 2 nuts and its off. Not sure how to check for proper operation that way though it needs something to push against. Rock Auto has the whole assembly by LUK for 90 bucks. Quite possibly the one that came on it since LUK was the OE clutch provider if I am not mistaken

 

 

Edited by dripley

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13 hours ago, dripley said:

The clutch pedal felt normal. Just that it was harder to get into gear sporadically. I had no visible leaks and the resevoir level stayed the same. What led me to believe something was leaking by was when the truck would start creeping forward with the clutch pedal on the floor. Again this was sporadic as it got worse until finally the clutch pedal went to the floor one day and the clutch was inoperable. If this is your problem, you are in the early stages of it failing. If you start to get more creep with the clutch on the floor I think you would know one of the two is failing. 

 

I cannot for the life of me remember what led me to the master having failed other than maybe not knowing there was a slave cylinder. This was the first hydraulic clutch I have ever owned. All my past vehicles were connected with rods or cables. This was also pre being a memeber here or any forum.

 

That being said you can replace both the master and slave for less than 100 bucks. @Mopar1973Man has an article about how to bleed it and reuse the OE hydraulics. When I did mine I knew nothing about the system. I just went to Auto Zone near the job and bought a master then put it on the truck. I had pump that thing like crazy for about 2 weeks before I got all the air out. It then worked fine and still does 9 years or so later. I have had to replace the slave also a few years back but it came with a bleeder screw, no issue there.

 

I cannot pass an opinion on about the SB kit other than being pricey. But I am still running the OE lines and resevoir. I have only replaced the master and the slave. This is with 470k and 17.5 years of ownership. Bleeding the system is not that difficult.

 

The pilot bearing can do the same thing tough I would think the creep would be less. Maybe not if it is failing badly.

 

The slave is mounted on the outside of the tranny. 2 nuts and its off. Not sure how to check for proper operation that way though it needs something to push against. Rock Auto has the whole assembly by LUK for 90 bucks. Quite possibly the one that came on it since LUK was the OE clutch provider if I am not mistaken

 

 

 

dripley,

 

Great info! Thanks. Didnt think to check rockauto. Maybe I'll just buy that luk pre-bled setup from rockauto & see if that makes any difference.

 

470k miles? Wow. Thats great. Glad to hear this! I plan to keep my truck for many years, good to know it can last so long if well maintained!  Question, are you still running the original pilot bearing? Have you replaced it?  and for that matter are you still running the original transmission, clutch & throw-out bearing too?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Ironforger said:

470k miles? Wow. Thats great. Glad to hear this! I plan to keep my truck for many years, good to know it can last so long if well maintained! 

 

I'm running right behind him at 384k miles. Still kicking out about 1,000 miles a week. These engines are good for 1 million miles.

 

3 minutes ago, Ironforger said:

Question, are you still running the original pilot bearing? Have you replaced it?  and for that matter are you still running the original transmission, clutch & throw-out bearing too?

 

I'm on my second clutch. South Bend Con OFE clutch. It a full kit with flywheel, all bearings, friction disc and the pressure plate. Trailer towing and log skidding is really tough on clutches. Being this clutch is mostly highway miles I'm going to get much more miles on it. Transmission wise I broke the main shaft on the OE transmission. Still going on the new one already past 100k miles.

 

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2 hours ago, Ironforger said:

 

dripley,

 

Great info! Thanks. Didnt think to check rockauto. Maybe I'll just buy that luk pre-bled setup from rockauto & see if that makes any difference.

 

470k miles? Wow. Thats great. Glad to hear this! I plan to keep my truck for many years, good to know it can last so long if well maintained!  Question, are you still running the original pilot bearing? Have you replaced it?  and for that matter are you still running the original transmission, clutch & throw-out bearing too?

 

 

Its not alot of cash to drop on the problem. Though throwing parts at something kind of sucks since we are not sure that is the issue. But yours is acting like mine did when it started to fail. My OE master lasted about 7 years and about 175k. The slave held longer but I dont remeber how much longer.

 

I replaced the OE clutch while it was down due to a failed ECM at 240k. Had it in a shop and I got him to put a new clutch just so I did not have to pull the tranny. It is a beast. I figured the OE clutch had to be getting pretty thin. I was surprised to see it still had some life left in it. Then about 20k miles later I lost 4th, owner neglect, and ended putting one in from a salvage yard. That one is still on the truck. The clutch I put on was way to grabby for my taste and the throw out bearing that came with it failed 70k miles after install so I had to pull the tranny again. I replaced that clutch with a SB at 400k and while it is a touch grabby on launch it has been good so far. 

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51 minutes ago, dripley said:

Its not alot of cash to drop on the problem. Though throwing parts at something kind of sucks since we are not sure that is the issue. But yours is acting like mine did when it started to fail. My OE master lasted about 7 years and about 175k. The slave held longer but I dont remeber how much longer.

 

I replaced the OE clutch while it was down due to a failed ECM at 240k. Had it in a shop and I got him to put a new clutch just so I did not have to pull the tranny. It is a beast. I figured the OE clutch had to be getting pretty thin. I was surprised to see it still had some life left in it. Then about 20k miles later I lost 4th, owner neglect, and ended putting one in from a salvage yard. That one is still on the truck. The clutch I put on was way to grabby for my taste and the throw out bearing that came with it failed 70k miles after install so I had to pull the tranny again. I replaced that clutch with a SB at 400k and while it is a touch grabby on launch it has been good so far. 

 

Did you replace the pilot bearing at any point? & if so how many miles and how did it look?

 

Also, are you still running the original flywheel? & did you get it re-surfaced when you changed out your clutch?

 

Agree regarding your comment "throwing parts at something".  I'm old school and was taught not to be a "parts changer" but I will do so occasionally in circumstances like this.  Especially if I do end up pulling the trans, I would replace the master/slave cyl assy anyway along with the clutch, throw-out bearing and pilot bearing (and flywheel re-surface) anyway. Maybe rear main seal too.

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2 hours ago, Ironforger said:

 

Did you replace the pilot bearing at any point? & if so how many miles and how did it look?

 

Also, are you still running the original flywheel? & did you get it re-surfaced when you changed out your clutch?

 

Agree regarding your comment "throwing parts at something".  I'm old school and was taught not to be a "parts changer" but I will do so occasionally in circumstances like this.  Especially if I do end up pulling the trans, I would replace the master/slave cyl assy anyway along with the clutch, throw-out bearing and pilot bearing (and flywheel re-surface) anyway. Maybe rear main seal too.

The first replacement clutch, at 240k, I resurfaced the oe flywheel and put a new pilot bearing, not bushing, in also new throw out bearing. Thye all came in a kit both times. I never saw the old ones. The SB clutch came with a new fly wheel and bearings. I had both installed by 2 different shops due to my work schedule. I did not have time to do it myself.

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On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 8:43 AM, Ironforger said:

02 3500 dually 6sp nv5600 quad cab 2wd independent suspension  approx 230k miles. It has the 5.9HO.

 

My original clutch lasted for 297,000 miles.  The clutch didn't fail - the pilot bearing did.  As hindsight,  I now know that I should have done the clutch job around about 250,000 miles because when the pilot bearing failed (same symptoms as yours), it damaged the pilot bearing surface of the transmission input shaft - a very expensive item to replace.

 

I chose not to replace the transmission input shaft, but the new pilot bearing may now have a shorter life because of the damage.  I replaced the clutch disc, pressure, flywheel, throwout bearing, and pilot bearing.  I used a new Luk clutch assembly from Napa.  I am still running the original clutch hydraulics.

 

So far, so good at 314,000 miles.

 

Because of my experience, I recommend that you do a full clutch job now, before more potential damage has a chance to occur.

 

- John

- John

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Posted (edited)

A lot of truth in what John says. You are getting near the same mileage john and I had our problems, though mine was hydraulics and his seems to have been the pilot bearing. The both can cause the symptoms younare seeing. If it were me I think I would do the hydraulics first and if the problem persists, a new clutch is in your very near future. 

 

@Tractorman which LUK clutch did you go with and how is holding up to the Smarty?

 

 

My oe clutch help up fine towing while stock and after I added a Banks tuner and RV275's. My 5th wheel weighed in a 12k and I never slipped the clutch. Back then I also never held back while pulling a grade.

Edited by dripley

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3 hours ago, dripley said:

 which LUK clutch did you go with and how is holding up to the Smarty?

 

@dripley, the Napa part number is NCF 1105179.  The clutch and pressure plate were Luk stock replacement (organic disc).  I chose to stay with stock because the original truck was run with the Smarty tuner for about 50,000 miles with no issues.

 

The Luk replacement clutch now has logged 17,000 miles with the Smarty (11,000 of those miles with the Smarty and RV275 injectors).  Most of the miles logged are towing.

 

The trailers I tow usually weigh in at 4,000 lbs to 8,000 lbs.  These are real weights as I use scales to weigh axles during trips.  I occasionally tow 10,000 lb loads usually less than 20 miles.

 

My trip from Salem to Baker City using Hwy 22 and 26 crosses over six mountain passes (6% to 7% grades).  Most of these passes I pull in 6th gear at about 60 mph.  I drop to 5th to slow for curves or traffic in some areas.

 

So far, the clutch has been operating flawlessly with no indication of slipping - just like the old Luk OEM clutch. 

 

- John

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Ok, so I've decided to do the right thing and remove the transmission.  I don't want to take chances with a potential pilot bearing fail, especially if it's common to happen in the 200 k - 250 k mile range.

 

I'll replace the clutch assy and pilot bearing and resurface the flywheel too. 

 

Question: Does anyone know about where the balance point / center of gravity is on the NV5600?  I'm fabricating a custom transmission jack plate to mount on my 3ton floor jack. I'm designing it in such a way that it will securely hold the entire trans as well as swivel forward / back and left / right. I just need to have some idea as to where to mount it on the trans - need to know about where the center balance point is. Does not need to  be exact, just ballpark.

 

I would easily be able to figure this out if I had the trans out, but have never had the opportunity with the NV5600.  

 

Picture below. I scribed a white soapstone line at about the point where I'm guessing it would be?  Any suggestions appreciated!

 

 

I can't figure out how to upload or add my picture here, how do I add an image to my existing attachments? Just wondering if this is a subscription function limitation.

Edited by Ironforger

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I bolted a flat piece of steel to a floor jack in place of the round cup the first time I took mine off and got the bolt about center ways of the tranny housing. It worked ok but had to have the jack almost fully extended and was precarious looking to say the least. I did this i  my gravel drive way with a piece of 3/4 plywood for a floor. That just added to my worry of it tipping over. Worked out ok though. 

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I used two ratcheting straps to secure the transmission to the transmission jack.  I think in your case the ratcheting straps would work well.

 

 - John

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I like the way you guys think! 

 

Definitely was planning to secure my jack plate to the trans with ratchet straps. I see there are clear unrestricted areas on the top front and rear of the trans.

 

Glad we're all on the same page.

 

Kudos to dripley for doing this on gravel with plywood! I at least have the luxury of a level concrete pad  ;o)

 

 

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