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Discussion Starter #1
Recently the clutch pedal on my 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT froze. I’m not sure if it’s all of the way down but it’s mostly down. I’m wanting to narrow down the possibilities of what the issue is, and I’d very much appreciate input. Here are some symptoms:

1. immediately before the clutch pedal froze, it became loose and useless. A few presses of the pedal and it froze.

2. the shifter can still more or less put the car into gear and neutral.

3. for the last few months I’ve been hearing noise related to the clutch. At first I thought it sounded like some weird air leak, but it remained the same and I realise it had to do with the clutch. When I’d press down the pedal the noise would change somewhat. The noise was almost always there, although it’d seem to lessen or disappear for short periods of time.

I’ve been meaning to replace the clutch since hearing that noise but I’ve been working on another car and put it off (regretting that now!). Now I have to address the issue.
 

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It seems that you have a hydraulic clutch and one of the hydraulic pistons failed
Hard to tell without actually seeing the master and slave cylinders
But, if pedal is frozen then more than likely either master or slave has failed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks avisitor! Could those going out cause a subtle (but noticeable) sound all of the time and change when the pedal is depressed?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have some more information...

I replaced the master and slave/release cylinders. Same issue.

However, what I discovered is that the pedal wasn’t actually frozen. Rather, the release lever which the slave cylinder is attached to, which disengages the clutch, is already at the furthest position. Meaning, nothing is pushing back the slave cylinder and forcing the pedal back up. So what was really happening is that the pedal had ‘bottomed out’ and just wasn’t returning to the up position.

I do have a new clutch with an input shaft bearing. Will that be enough to fix the likely cause or do I need to get more parts or is the transmission toast?
 

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you will need a whole new clutch assembly... to include pressure plate, clutch disk, throw out bearing, and pilot bushing.
If the clutch fingers (in the pressure plate) have broken or failed then the clutch will not return to engagement.... Since you say you can shift to all gears, I assume that no engagement with engine exists and the car will not move. Is this the case?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks MR1Kingsbury.

I got the Exedy clutch kit from RockAuto . It does come with the disc, pressure plate, and release bearing.

If the car is not in gear then I can push the car manually, but I don’t think that’s what you mean. The engine runs but trying to put the car in gear while it’s running will be met with resistance :) I didn’t try it more than a moment when the pedal first froze.
 

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Good luck replacing the clutch.
Don't know what system Hyundai uses for the clutch
Some manufacturers use a push type clutch and others use a pull type clutch
One system makes it much harder to get the tranny off the engine
If you have issues then check youtube. They must have a video on how to release it.
 

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So in order to get the clutch to release on the pull clutch you have to simply remove the lever that the slave connects to.. also if it's maxed out try flipping the lever start the car and press the lever back with a pry bar it may have disengaged from it's clip. Here's a pic of how it should look.. there's a stop on the lever that keeps it from rotating all the way which will NOT let get the trans off the engine without a fight!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Surebuilt! I did see a video of someone on YouTube and he took apart more than he needed, and even tried to lower the frame...

I’ve done lots of work on this Hyundai, including replacing the CV axels, struts, control arms, etc., so I have experience with part of the process. I recently replaced the head gasket on a Mazdaspeed so I feel a little pleased about that, though I’ve never done anything with a transmission beyond replacing the fluid.

Any tips for a transmission newbie on this Elantra would be appreciated.
 

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If your going to replace the clutch..
1. subframe has to come down separate lower ball joints,4 rack mount bolts 2 power steering return line mount bolts and coolant res.. makes life so much easier!
2. Before you pull the trans down drain it lol... And when your putting the new clutch in leave the throw out bearing on the clutch fork in the trans side don't pressure into the pressure plate once you get it all bolted back up do the same process I said in previous post about flipping the lever and prying it back while it's running you'll know when it engages cause the lever will no longer flop back and forth.. just did this Friday night...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I’d prefer not to take the transmission fully out, just separate it enough to get at the parts. Is that awkward enough to not merit doing that?
 

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There is no room lol you will have to pull it down and out in order to change the clutch.. it's really not that bad as it sounds.. it took me about 3hrs by myself with a lift and air tools..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I see your engine support SureBuilt and I decided to look up pricing and they’re not bad at all so I ordered one. I can’t believe I never looked them up before!

After working on my Mazdaspeed motor I see my Elantra’s motor as wonderfully spacious! But never having removed the transmission I obviously can’t say what’s easiest. I don’t think the Haynes manual says to lower the frame does it? In any case, getting the engine support will make things a lot better.
 

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While Haynes are the better of the fake manuals they have a lot to be desired. Even genuine Hyundai are poorly written.
 
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