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'01 Camry V6 LE (MT)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Car details: 2001 Toyota Camry LE V6 with a 5spd.
Where to start on this one... I bought the car back in Feb 2006 when it had 60k on it. It now has 153k and in the 4 1/2 years I have owned it, I have replaced various parts of the hydraulic system of the clutch 6 times now. It's never the same part each time, so the parts are never under warranty from previous replacements. Each time it has been either the master cylinder, the slave cylinder, or the clutch accumulator... Every time it's $300-400, and I'm getting pretty sick of it. The accumulator is the part that I had most recently replaced (3 months ago) so based on my luck with this issue so far, it won't be the part that's causing the issue again...
I keep asking what the root cause of the issue is, but nobody has ever been able to tell me. I'm at my wits end here.
I have never had to replace the clutch itself, just the hydraulic parts. Would a worn out clutch cause those parts to fail? Any ideas what the issue might be? I love the car, and haven't had any major issues with it besides this (other than having to replace a window regulator and motor).
Any ideas would be helpful.
 

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V8'sRGone
95 Cam
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1,956 Posts
Would like to help, but I didn't see what your problem was.

MC = master cylinder
SC = slave cylinder

One or both could have had leaks = replacement

Clutch won't disengage, can't get into 1st gear, car grinds into reverse = unless they leak, probably not the MS or SC fault.

So, why did they sell you these parts?

Yes, a worn clutch pressure plate can be the cause of;
clutch slips
clutch chatters
clutch won't release
clutch is hard to push
transmission is hard to get into 1st, reverse
 

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'01 Camry V6 LE (MT)
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Discussion Starter #3
Would like to help, but I didn't see what your problem was.

MC = master cylinder
SC = slave cylinder

One or both could have had leaks = replacement

Clutch won't disengage, can't get into 1st gear, car grinds into reverse = unless they leak, probably not the MS or SC fault.

So, why did they sell you these parts?

Yes, a worn clutch pressure plate can be the cause of;
clutch slips
clutch chatters
clutch won't release
clutch is hard to push
transmission is hard to get into 1st, reverse
I guess writing about the problem itself would be helpful... :)
The issue is that there is no pressure pushing the clutch pedal back. I can push it in and sometimes it will engage the clutch, but when it gets worse, there will be no pressure at all and it will sink to the floor and will not engage the clutch at all, which means I can't get it in gear. This apparently is caused by any one of the three components failing (the MC, the SC or the clutch accumulator)
The clutch itself should be fine as I'm not experiencing any of the above listed issues. It's just the hydraulic portion of it that is failing...
 

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V8'sRGone
95 Cam
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1,956 Posts
I guess writing about the problem itself would be helpful... :)
The issue is that there is no pressure pushing the clutch pedal back. I can push it in and sometimes it will engage the clutch, but when it gets worse, there will be no pressure at all and it will sink to the floor and will not engage the clutch at all, which means I can't get it in gear. This apparently is caused by any one of the three components failing (the MC, the SC or the clutch accumulator)
The clutch itself should be fine as I'm not experiencing any of the above listed issues. It's just the hydraulic portion of it that is failing...

This statement says everything ->>
The issue is that there is no pressure pushing the clutch pedal back.

Although the clutch appears to work fine, its the clutch's pressure plate which is likely failing you. Springs are heat treated to allowing them to bend yet retain their shape and tension. Your's appears to be bending and releasing but has lost its resilience thus it no longer returns with the tension it once had. Some times its referred to a work hardening but in this case, its actually getting softer.

Sounds like its time for new pressure plate even though it doesn't slip.
Chris Crash just went through this same thing with a brand new clutch and pressure plate. It just wouldn't return. Unlike yours, his was soft all the time and wouldn't return.

Wat I didn't say is that the times it doesn't return all the way, the port in the master cylinder does not open allowing a full volume of fluid into the MC piston to move the slave cylinder, hence why it doesn't disengage.

During these times of failure, get your toe under the pedal and pull it up to the top. When at the top, the port is open to allow the reservoir to fill the MC piston. It should work but is obviously dangerous to drive. OR, while in neutral, REV the engine, sometimes that pushes the clutch up bit too.
 

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'01 Camry V6 LE (MT)
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Discussion Starter #5
This statement says everything ->>
The issue is that there is no pressure pushing the clutch pedal back.

Although the clutch appears to work fine, its the clutch's pressure plate which is likely failing you. Springs are heat treated to allowing them to bend yet retain their shape and tension. Your's appears to be bending and releasing but has lost its resilience thus it no longer returns with the tension it once had. Some times its referred to a work hardening but in this case, its actually getting softer.

Sounds like its time for new pressure plate even though it doesn't slip.
Chris Crash just went through this same thing with a brand new clutch and pressure plate. It just wouldn't return. Unlike yours, his was soft all the time and wouldn't return.

Wat I didn't say is that the times it doesn't return all the way, the port in the master cylinder does not open allowing a full volume of fluid into the MC piston to move the slave cylinder, hence why it doesn't disengage.

During these times of failure, get your toe under the pedal and pull it up to the top. When at the top, the port is open to allow the reservoir to fill the MC piston. It should work but is obviously dangerous to drive. OR, while in neutral, REV the engine, sometimes that pushes the clutch up bit too.
So if indeed I need to replace the clutch pressure plate, should I replace the clutch and flywheel as well since they haven't been touched in the 153k miles I've driven it?
 

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V8'sRGone
95 Cam
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1,956 Posts
So if indeed I need to replace the clutch pressure plate, should I replace the clutch and flywheel as well since they haven't been touched in the 153k miles I've driven it?

Typically not and what is done is the flywheel is resurfaced by grinding 5 to 10 thousandths off the surface. I'm not sure on your model, but some flywheels are not flat and they have a step. The competent machine shop must grind equal amounts of both surfaces to retain the step. This is the normal procedure.

Must be mostly highway miles to get 150+ miles! Good Job! :thumbsup:

You up for some wrenching?
 

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V8'sRGone
95 Cam
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1,956 Posts
So if indeed I need to replace the clutch pressure plate, should I replace the clutch and flywheel as well since they haven't been touched in the 153k miles I've driven it?

Service would be:

Remove transmission and replace clutch disc, pressure plate, and throw-out bearing. Clean and inspect everything. Replace axle seals if needed.
Resurface flywheel.
Install parts flywheel, clutch disc, pressure plate and TOB. Install trans, fill trans with fluid, flush and fill master/slave cylinder, adjust clutch.

If you have torn CV boots, damaged or clunking CV joints, now would be good time to replace them as the labor is the same.
 

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'01 Camry V6 LE (MT)
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Discussion Starter #8
Service would be:

Remove transmission and replace clutch disc, pressure plate, and throw-out bearing. Clean and inspect everything. Replace axle seals if needed.
Resurface flywheel.
Install parts flywheel, clutch disc, pressure plate and TOB. Install trans, fill trans with fluid, flush and fill master/slave cylinder, adjust clutch.

If you have torn CV boots, damaged or clunking CV joints, now would be good time to replace them as the labor is the same.
I enjoy doing work on my car myself, but that might be a little too much for me to handle, especially since I don't have access to a mechanics set of tools, and since the car is my primary mode of transportation so if I mess it up, too bad... I love this car but it might almost be time to let it go in favor of the FJ Cruiser or Tacoma I have been considering buying...
 

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99 camry
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It sounds like it may have been the accumulator all along.

I also have a Camry with a 5spd and a V6. It is pretty easy to tell if the problem is with the clutch itself, or the hydraulic system. If you are just loosing pressure then it is the hydraulic system. The only 3 parts are the master cylinder, slave cylinder and accumulator.

My car is over 15 years old with 275k, and I am the original owner. The accumulator just went out, and this is the only part I have ever replaced. The accumulator is under the starter, bolted to a plate, that is in turn, bolted to the transmission. The accumulator has a plug in the back that will rust out and start leaking. There is also a metal ring that goes around the edge of it between the plug and the plate, that could act as a gasket and slow the loss of pressure and fluid. The ring is to keep the plug from blowing out. My accumulator had been leaking for a long time, because the area of the plate inside the ring, was very rusty.

My guess is that if the leak was small enough, the ring would contain most of the fluid and pressure. When the clutch pedal was held down for a long time, the accumulator would loose pressure and the pedal would go to to the floor. If the accumulator is the issue, the pressure will come back if you let the car sit for a little while.

In this case since this is not a part commonly used in a clutch hydraulic circuit, the loss of hydraulic pressure may have been misdiagnosed by the shop. The Toyota parts guy told me that he has never heard of this part, and V6 Camry's with a clutch are pretty rare. With the new accumulator, you should not have any more problems with the hydraulic system for a very long time. Don't worry about the clutch disk and pressure place unless it slips or chatters.
 
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