Clutch problem, U-Joint, or something else?

Nero45

New Member
Nov 21, 2022
2
0
1
Earth
Hello,

I've got a 2003 Mach 1 with just over 100K miles. I've owned the car for not quite a year and found there is something that has me a bit concerned. It's a manual car and even though I've driven manuals before I've never owned one until now. What has me on edge is this, going from dead stop to moving isn't a problem but when shifting from 1st into 2nd and 2nd into 3rd the car wants to jerk like I let the clutch out too soon then after 3rd it's not too bad. What is also odd is if I let off the gas to coast and then apply the gas at anything but a easing it will again jerk. I'm not touching the clutch when I'm coasting but it will still do it. Please let me know what I'm dealing with here so I can get it fixed, thank you.
 
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weendoggy

Active Member
Jan 14, 2019
130
43
38
Aptos, CA
First thing to do is evaluate the joints by using a pry-bar in both front and rear joint area and try to "rock" the shaft. If you have play, replace them both. This is the easiest thing to do. Check your clutch cable and linkage setup and if it doesn't have a adjustable firewall setup, I'd junk the plastic-fantastic self adjuster. Next would be clutch and given the 100k mi (provided it never had a replacement) would be my next choice. Make sure the transmission has correct fluid. If it's a 3650, it uses Dexron IV/V, not synthetic due to synchornizer material. I purchased my car with 123k on it and knowing I was going to replace the clutch, it was toast.
 

nickyb

WAIT,you now have a pair?
10 Year Member
Apr 3, 2009
1,673
861
143
nevada
I would do some sprited driving , you know side step the clutch, shift close to redline, do some long burnouts,and finally change that clutch.
 

CAMTWO1070

Active Member
Dec 17, 2021
163
48
38
NY
Seeings you never mentioned any weird clunking sounds in the rear reversing and the going forwards you can rule out the rear and sounds like there could be alot of clutch material buildup on the throwout bearing shaft and weak springs in the pressure plate and clutch disc.............

First thing Id try is adjusting the clutch....You put your foot behind the pedal and pull the pedal towards you....

When you put a new clutch the tension must be released and clutch pedal properly adjusted or the new clutch will slip....

Like suggested ..It could be a clutch cable going bad or the pedal shaft bushings going bad too....

If you have a hydraulic clutch Id get the remote reservoir kit and install it...The brakes heat up the fluid and contaminate the fluid too fast and could be your issue....

You may need a new clutch because who knows what the old owner did and if you do make sure you index your bellhousing and put a new pilot bearing in the crank aswell as resurface or replace the flywheel to insure proper installation and the smoothest feel..

You really need to go under the car and see what happens when a buddy presses the clutch pedal...

Theres also a driveline angle tool that tells you if your driveline angle is in spec too...Theres apps on google that turn your cellphone into the tool...

Good Luck
 

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Last edited:

Bullitt347

I have been doing it wrong this whole time
15 Year Member
Mar 23, 2007
2,820
1,772
184
Middle of Maine
Hello,

I've got a 2003 Mach 1 with just over 100K miles. I've owned the car for not quite a year and found there is something that has me a bit concerned. It's a manual car and even though I've driven manuals before I've never owned one until now.
And there you have it.
You have no experience with how this car works.
What you describe could be totally normal.
I doubt anyone here could actually diagnose what is the problem, if any, based on what you posted.
Anyone here would have to actually drive your car to determine if this is normal or not.
And that is subjective.
I could drive your car and think that everything is normal.
Someone else could drive it and think it is not normal
Who do you believe?
How you drive could be completely different than how I drive.
I would actually have to be in the car while you drove it to decide if there is a problem or not.
 

COramprat

...I can take it. I think.
Mod Dude
Mar 2, 2003
8,302
1,483
223
Sea of Tranquility
And there you have it.
You have no experience with how this car works.
What you describe could be totally normal.
I doubt anyone here could actually diagnose what is the problem, if any, based on what you posted.
Anyone here would have to actually drive your car to determine if this is normal or not.
And that is subjective.
I could drive your car and think that everything is normal.
Someone else could drive it and think it is not normal
Who do you believe?
How you drive could be completely different than how I drive.
I would actually have to be in the car while you drove it to decide if there is a problem or not.
That is what a forum is for. We work things out through a process. You may not have the experience or expertise to diagnose an issue but others may have had the same experience and can lend their knowledge. Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
24,039
8,892
203
polk county florida
This could also be a rear control arm issue, you will have to get under the car with the rear end housing supported with jack stands, trans in neutral and the front wheels chocked, don't want no members squashed.
Check trans mount, rear control arms, clutch fork and cable for wear or loose/broken parts.
This could also be a TPS or throttle cable issue where at tip in (first bit of movement of the cable or throttle linkage) is off like hard spot in cable movement or dead spot in the TPS.
From the symptoms I would lean towards cable or TPS based on it happening with just the throttle and not the clutch used.
Yeah, kinda hard to diagnose stuff without hands on car.