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Old 01-29-2013, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Civic clutch issue, whats wrong?

I'm looking at purchasing a 1991 civic hatch with a clutch issue. Any thoughts on what the issue could be?

"I was driving 60 down the highway and it just started dying slowly. It shut off when i put it in neutral and it makes no difference if the clutch is pushed in or out. it starts still but when I push the clutch in it feels the same but it doesn't sound like its doing anything".

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Old 01-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That has a cable operated clutch, if the cable broke the peddle would drop to the floor, if the clutch fell apart it would sound nasty, I don't think it has a clutch issue.
I sounds like an engine problem, maybe a driver issue who's been freaked out by a car that they don't think they can afford to fix.

How much is it? condition?
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No failed clutch would make it shutdown. Overheated would cause shutdown and loss of power.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ya a clutch problem wouldn't make it stall out. I will say this though, if you press the pedal down and the clutch doesn't disengage, check the pedal itself. On my '88 wagon, the arm the pedal sits on that goes up to the pivot point had actually cracked and split. So the pedal stayed up like it should, but when you put your foot down on it, it would flex so much that the clutch wouldn't release very much. Of course we didn't realize this until after we changed the clutch and it still didn't work, so check the pedal first lol
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I haven't actually seen it yet. Evidently it needs a little tlc and it has the usual rust on the rear fenders. He wants $600 for it but is open to negotiating. I just need something to beat my 3.8L awd minivan. 20mpg auto is just killing me. It hits the tallest gear at 55mph.

I'm really hoping it has a broken pedal now but we'll see.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The clutch cable could also have stretched. If you look at the pedal and it's not cracked, have someone watch the arm on the transmission that the clutch cable attaches to while you push the clutch in. If you put your foot to the floor and that arm doesn't move at all, then you know it's a cable or linkage issue.

As for the stalling on the highway, it could be lots of things, overheating is certainly one of them. Most people selling a car will fail to mention "Ya the temperature gauge went off the end but I kept driving anyway". Have a look at the dipstick and see if there is oil burnt to it. Usually a good sign that it got WAY too hot. But if the car starts and idles, and doesn't get really hot, but only dies when it's moving at speed, my first thought would be a really plugged up catalytic converter. If it still has the original cat in it (it'll look nasty as all get out lol), it may be letting enough exhaust gas through that it's fine at idle, but on the highway at higher RPM for extended periods, it can build up so much back pressure that it chokes out the engine. Also see when the timing belt was last changed. If its way overdue it could have stretched and skipped a tooth, which can cause all sorts of havoc. My advice is free, take it for what it's worth lol, but I have had a few of these cars over the years, and mine are not usually that nice so I run into all the weird issues ha ha
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Last edited by War_Wagon; 01-29-2013 at 11:58 PM..
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The exhaust was changed recently so I don't believe it was a cat unless he's a ricer dude that just bolted on a muffler.

There is a guy selling a vx engine and transmission out of a t-boned car. Could I just swap all the parts? I guess i would have to convert hydraulic to cable brakes. This sounds like its more project than I have garage for.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It could also be something as simple as fouled spark plugs, I'm always surprised at how people neglect their cars and have had a few friends now who thought their car was scrap because it died or would hardly run, $8 worth of spark plugs latter and it's all better.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
It could also be something as simple as fouled spark plugs, I'm always surprised at how people neglect their cars and have had a few friends now who thought their car was scrap because it died or would hardly run, $8 worth of spark plugs latter and it's all better.
That is exactly how I got my Neon for such a deal. The car would barely start, had serious trouble idling (had to rev it up to keep it running), it backfired out the exhaust badly under pretty much any engine load... I replaced the plugs and wires and it ran beautifully for 3 years for me.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You might want the vx motor and trans for another project. It's a little harder to put that in a ef chassis. A 92-95 swap would be alot easier. It can be done though.

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