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2002 Tacoma Clutch Issues

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Old 05-10-2018, 06:59 AM
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2002 Tacoma Clutch Issues

hello all. I have a 2002 Tacoma Ext Cab 4x4 V6 that I've owned for about 4 years.It's not a daily driver. I bought it with 121K on it. It now has 129K on it. When I bought it the previous owner said he just had the clutch replaced. I'm sure they all say that.
Anyhow, since I've owned it the clutch has always acted funny. If I left the truck sitting for a while the clutch pedal would fall to the floor. Before driving it again I would pull it back up and it would be fine to drive for however long.
Last night I got it in to use it and the clutch pedal was rock hard and at the top. I pushed on it a few times and it finally broke loose and fell to the floor. I know I should have looked around before doing so but I didn't. So now I have zero pedal. I didn't notice any fluid on the ground and the master cylinder doesn't look to have lost any.
If not for the initial hard pedal I would assume and back master or slave cylinder. I haven't had a chance to look at it any further yet but will. Just looking for thoughts hoping someone else has experienced this.

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Old 05-10-2018, 07:58 AM
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Never had this exact issue but definitely weird clutch issues. Almost always due to hydraulic issues. I'd say the fact that it's being so weird almost proves the previous owner did replace the clutch, and messed something up. Scary because if they screwed up the hydraulic system it kinda makes you worry about the clutch job itself...But best not to worry about that at this point

First I'd stick my head under the dash and look at the actual pedal linkages. Move it back & forth and see if something looks wrong. Then I'd bleed the fluid. Ultimately if none of that worked I'd replace both master and release cylinders. They're fairly cheap and easy. Just make sure you follow the instructions on priming/bleeding them correctly.

I replaced the clutch (and pretty much everything else) on an old 83 I had, and one winter when it got really cold (-20s and -30s), the clutch started working in reverse of how it should. With the clutch pedal depressed, it would engage and I'd start moving forward. With the clutch pedal out and the truck in gear, it would just sit there idling...I still don't know exactly what was going on but it had to do with the hydraulic system.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:49 AM
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Hmm. That is odd. I am hoping it is just hydraulic related and nothing major is screwed up. I am going to try and look at it tonight and see if I find anything.

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Old 05-10-2018, 12:59 PM
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If you follow 83's advice and bleed the clutch system, first drain the master cylinder and then operate the clutch pedal up and down until you are sure that it doesn't bind, make noise, or get stuck. Then refill the MC and continue with the bleed job.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:48 AM
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ok. An update to my situation.
Last night I looked under the truck and under the dash etc. No leaks anywhere.
What I found was under the dash, where the master cylinder plunger connects to the pedal, it looks like in forcing the pedal down I folded where the pliunger connects to the pedal (pic attached). So, something was freezing the system up and I forced it bending that connection. My concern is what would be binding everything up? I wouldn't think it could be the master cylinder could it. \
So, I then went under the truck where the slave cylinder pushes the throw out bearing lever and tried to see if I could move that at all to see if it was set up. I couldn't budge it. I assume the pressure is too much to push my hand. I hand a small pry bar but nothing really to get leverage against to give it a good push. In good working condition can this lever be moved by anything other than the slave cylinder for testing purposes? I'm hoping something didn't break inside the actual clutch assembly.
Looking for any thoughts.
Some pics below.

THanks
Attached Thumbnails 2002 Tacoma Clutch Issues-img_0205.jpg   2002 Tacoma Clutch Issues-img_0206.jpg   2002 Tacoma Clutch Issues-img_0207.jpg   2002 Tacoma Clutch Issues-img_0209.jpg  
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:46 PM
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I couldn't tell you how much pressure it takes to move that clutch fork down by the trans, but it's a lot. Your leg is pretty strong, and you still use a fair amount of leverage on the pedal (not counting what the size difference between the master and slave does). But I wouldn't be surprised if you weren't able to move it by hand at all.

I can say that I was having a similar issue to the first thing you described. The pedal had an inconsistent 'bite' point to it, sometimes was slow to come back up. I actually replaced the clutch (at 210K miles, it was about time, I'd had it slip under torque while wheeling and figured it was on its last legs) but it kept acting funny. And progressed to sometimes staying down after pressing it (I'd reach under it and pull it up with my toe and it would act normal for a while). I replaced the master cylinder and it was back to being perfect again. I didn't really bother taking the old one apart to see what was wrong with it, but there was some black sludgy looking fluid coming out of it. I think the rubber seals just started to fall apart. When the pedal is all the way down on the floorboard, the spring on the pedal arm itself is locked out (past center), and it relies on the clutch mechanism to push it back. If it's doing something weird hydraulically, it won't do that, won't get the nudge backward it needs, and will just stay on the floor.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:10 PM
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Iím also not 100%, but I donít think youíd be able to move it by hand.

If bleeding the system doesnít help...you have bigger problems. While you may not be able to move the clutch arm, I think you should be able to compress the release cylinder.

Hereís what my linkage looks like for reference, in case it helps.


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Old 05-17-2018, 08:14 PM
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And wow, yeah I really need to vacuum...I don't even really let my dog ride up front anymore
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:34 AM
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Red face

I push the pedal in by hand if I have need to !

I gotta wonder did the clutch release bearing get off center on the transmission front shaft and bind .

Might be the fork is slightly bent as well

Making things give at the weakest spot when applying force to the pedal .

This might account for the different release points also.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:07 AM
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All. An update:
I didn't get back to the truck for a while but removed the slave cylinder to find it pretty much junk and rusted pretty bad. I'm leading to believe this was my problem and am planning on replaced this and the master cylinder in the next couple weeks.
Can anyone make any recommendations on which brand/where to order these from?
Also, are there any tricks to bleeding the system, or just fill it and bleed at the slave cylinder similar to brakes?
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:13 PM
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Toyota sold a kit for older 22RE pickups to rebuild the master cylinder. It was a new rod, diaphragm, and clip for like $15. I did 2 during the life with that rig. Iím not sure if they sell the same for your Taco.

Either way, a good name brand aftermarket should be fine.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:38 AM
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It sounds as if the larger of the 2 rubber cups (one which seals "one way" between the compression chamber and the fluid entrance from the reservoir) in the master cylinder has worn out to the point it leaks fluid back into the reservoir under pressure of just the pedal. but when u press hard on it, the sudden pressure pushes the seal outwards and reseals it whilst pressure is exerted and works, only to deflate after a while of sitting.

U need to simply open the master cylinder, and put a rebuild kit through it,.

When this happens, there are no leaks. The slave being crappy is not a coincidence, the system hasn't been flushed enough and the fluid has destroyed everything by turning acidic and causing rust, which grinds away at the rubber cup.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:03 AM
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like this
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