2010 ford ranger hard shifting

The only time something like this happened to me is when I installed a defective new clutch disc.

When the clutch disc was manufactured, the splined hole at the center of the disk wasn’t machined exactly straight.

This caused the clutch disc to sit crooked on the input shaft on the transmission.

This meant that the clutch disc was still in contact with the fly wheel and pressure plate when the clutch pedal was depressed, which made it impossible to shift thru the gears with the engine running.


only while running

Issue was before and after clutch was replaced

By who, the shop that replaced the clutch or the dealer ? because they’re wrong.

I wanna update my symptoms so since the new clutch, pressure plate kit, slave and pilot bearing I haven’t been having any issue getting into first.
The main issue is first to second and a slight resistance shifting up from there. Aswell down shifting is difficult so I tend to non down shift and just clutch and brake.

I’ll include the invoices for exact details.
I don’t see mention of a throw out bearing?



The clutch kit includes the throw-out bearing.


If the shop used the clutch kit they say they did, It was the self adjusting clutch, it also includes the slave cylinder and throwout bearing, but does not include pilot bearing.

I also see were charge you labor for the pilot bearing replacement, but I don’t see where they charged you for a pilot bearing.

A pilot bearing could very well be your problem.

I think I’ll be getting the dealership to drop the transmission and have a look and go from there.

Concur w/It_s-Me above, if the pilot bearing wasn’t replaced, that could indeed be the problem. The pilot bearing occupies a recess smack-dab in the middle of the flywheel, into which the end of the transmission input shaft goes. If the pilot bearing is working correctly the flywheel will have no effect on the transmission input shaft as long as the clutch pedal is pressed. But if the pilot bearing isn’t working, the transmission input shaft may sort of “stick” to the flywheel, and that will cause the transmission input shaft to rotate when it shouldn’t, and that will make it hard to shift.

On the other hand it’s hard to believe the pilot bearing wasn’t replaced; that’s pretty much standard clutch replacement procedure. Good question to ask the shop.

BTW, this very topic was discussed by Ray & Tom on the Best of Car Talk.

I’m predicting you’re going to have to have an entire new clutch kit installed.

Was this the Acura Integra?

Sorry, don’t recall, but it was on a podcast episode posted within the past two years.


I have decided not to drop the transmission to investigate further. Clutch symptoms have been slowly getting better (high engagement point is more normal) making me think the new clutch kit was non adjustable or not set correct. Getting into second gear is still an issue at times, very clunky and takes some effort compared to other gears.
Found another forum with some posable culprits.


Thank you all for the feedback. If I ever find the exact issue I will post it here.

First of all the problems with the hydraulic clutch mechanism which seems to have been the brain child of someone from Peugeot 30+ years ago should be tattooed on the brains of all mechanics these days and I long ago decided to replace everything when replacing a clutch to avoid wasting hours fighting and then going back to replace the master cylinder.

If the problem is slowly creeping into oblivion I strongly suggest that you raise the front of the vehicle as high as safely possible for you and take about 30 minutes stepping on the clutch fully to the floor and releasing it by slipping your foot off the pedal allowing it to quickly rise, then after letting it rest at the top for a few seconds press and release again. Doing so USUALLY coaxes out the air trapped at the master cylinder.

When the clutch drags shifting into gear while stopped with the engine running a lot of stress is put on several components that can result in future annoying and costly repairs.


the slave cylinder has been bleed several times by three different shops including the dealer. I don’t think that is the issue.

I’ve also checked for clutch drag and that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Likely it is a clutch problem.
But I am going to throw in a question. Would it be possible engine and/ or transmission mounts are failing, allowing the transmission to move and causing the shift linkage to bind?

Did the clutch master cylinder ever get replaced? Especially if you notice the problem seems to diminish if you first pump the clutch pedal a couple of times before shifting, that’s probably what I’d do next if I had this problem.

I would never be so vain as to consider myself better than anyone without first hand knowledge, @blair.jp_177478. But in posting here I do feel free to state my opinion based on a considerable amount of experience on various subjects and the Peugeot designed hydraulic clutch system is one that I have considerable experience with and I feel certain that I have replaced more than 30 clutches on Fords and Jeeps equipped with them and NEVER released one to the customer unless it was operating properly and yours, as stated is not operating as properly. Best of luck to you.

No experience w/the Ranger, but bleeding the clutch hydraulics on my Corolla is a doodle. Couldn’t be easier. Much easier than bleeding the brakes. I’ve had to replace its CMC several times over the years. I’ve always bench bled the CMC before installing it, then bleeding the slave. Open the slave bleed, press slowly on the pedal (by hand), use a stick to hold the pedal down, close the slave bleed, repeat. I do that about 12 times.

Note that if there’s any play with either the CMC’s or the Slave’s attachment points, something is yielding to the force, etc, that could cause this sort of symptom. Also pressing the clutch pedal puts force on the flywheel, pushing on the engine and the engine’s crankshaft. If either was yielding to the force, that’s another possibility, engine mounts, crankshaft thrust bearing, clutch pilot bearing, etc.

Here’s a recap to help keep things organized

2010 ford ranger 4l 5 speed

March 2021 - Started noticing hard to get into first while stopped and while driving 1st to 2nd and slight resistance 2nd to 3rd. Don’t recall if clutch pedal was engaging high. Shifts fine when engine is off. Pumping clutch makes no difference.

June - “Shop A” replaced clutch, pressure plate, slave cylinder, pilot bearing and flywheel.
Getting into 1st is no longer an issue but 2nd is still an issue. Clutch pedal is engaging at very top of travel less then an inch from the top.

June - I take it back to “shop A” they bleed the clutch and they tell me it must be syncro because every looks and feels fine to them.

Sept - I take it to “shop B” as well as dealership for a second opinion. Both bleed the clutch and tell me they don’t think it’s a syncro issue but can’t diagnose with out dropping the transmission.

Oct - dealership replaces master cylinder.
No change of symptoms.
They recommend I drop the transmission so that they can inspect the clutch. Before they do this they want to have parts on hand incase something needs to be replaced. Clutch and slave are on order, still waiting for parts, although I’m really hoping this is not necessary.

November - over the last two weeks the clutch pedal feel has completely changed. The engagement point is now just about middle and there is about an inch of very little resistance travel at the top of travel. Shifting into 2nd is getting better or I am just used to it. Pumping clutch makes no difference. Still waiting for parts at dealership.

I have tomorrow off so I plan on bleeding the master cylinder. If I can remove the line from the slave I will bench bleed and see what happens.

Since the dealer replaced the MC, won’t they bleed it again for no charge?