I recently bought a '98 Sunfire GT, and stumbled across this site while researching what might be wrong with its clutch. I've got a ton of questions, but I'm going to start with what's currently the most important one.
The clutch has no resistance while the engine is running, and won't go into gear. What tends to be the cause of this? The seller told me it has an Exedy clutch and pressure plate, as well as a Fidanza flywheel. I have the Hayne's manual and will have the car on jackstands soon. Any advice on where to troubleshoot first would be appreciated.
So when running you can't put it into gear and the clutch pedal has no resistance? Does it return after pressing it down?
Start with the easiest and work your way down:
1. Ensure the clutch hydraulic system is full and bled.
2. Ensure the clutch master cylinder is working and not leaking (hell, even try a new one since it's relatively easy)
3. Look in inspection hole of transmission bell-housing to see if excess clutch friction material is present.
4. Pull transmission and replace clutch disc, pressure plate, slave cylinder/throw out bearing (they're the same piece), and Fidanza friction disc.
4a. Inspect Fidanza flywheel for cracks or other issues. They are known to sometimes have cracking issues.
It sounds like it may be a slave cylinder issue. They aren't the best in these cars and they're concentric
which means you have to pull the trans to replace it.
"In Oldskool we trust"
Exactly. While the engine is running, the pedal stays down if I press it. With the engine off, it springs back after being depressed. I'll follow up after I get the hydraulics and slave cylinder checked.