Clutch won't disengage

I have a 95 Honda civic with a d15b block and a d16z6 head millage unknown I put a new clutch in it already had a new slave and master I installed a few weeks ago and when the car is running with out the clutch pressed in I can run through all the gears shift with ease it’s like the clutch is pressed in but it’s not

I’ve tried dropping the tranny and checking the pressure plate the clutch disc throw out bearing pilot bearing all good and installed right I rebleed the system then I removed the slave to see if it was in the hydroelectric system and still no change what am I missing any ideas

I doubt that the linkage is even moving anything inside the transmission. The transmission is staying in Neutral as you go through the gears.

If you were going through the gears without the clutch pushed in and engine running it would grind, or leap into gear.

Go over your work again concentrating on the linkage.


Compare the height of the new and old throwout bearing. If the new one is taller, or if it won’t slide onto the trans as far as the old one, the clutch will be disengaged, always. Also check the height of the pressure plate spring fingers to see if they are the same as the old pressure plate. Check the clutch with the slave cylinder disconnected from the master cylinder and be sure the pushrod from the slave is not tight. If its all good and the clutch is engaged. Reconnect and bleed the system again. If your problem comes back, it is the master. Somewhere in there, is the answer

I wonder if it is possible to completely disconnect the mechanical linkage from the slave cylinder to the clutch arm? If so, if everything inside the transmission is working correctly, that should keep the clutch engaged* at all times. So you wouldn’t be able to shift the transmission with the engine running without a lot of grinding noises and the car lurching forward and backward.

Then you’d know if the problem was in the hydraulics, or the transmission/clutch.

Edit: *I get confused what the term “disengage” means when applied to the clutch. To me it means when the clutch pedal is pushed in, so – when it is working correctly – there’s no “engagement” from the motor to the transmission. But not everybody agrees on this terminology as I recall.

hydroelectric system</blockquote How did you convert your Honda to hydroelectric? But seriously as mentioned before recheck the linkage from the shifter, it sounds like the trans is not even trying to shift. If it was, with the engine running and shifting with out the clutch it would be grinding in every gear.

Does the car move at all?

GeorgeSanJose Your definition of engaging the “clutch” is 100% correct. The confusion seems to come from people whose definition of engaging the “clutch” is actually engaging the “pedal” by placing their foot on it. For them the “pedal” is the “clutch” as they are clueless regarding the actual clutch assembly and how it works.

keith A backwards clutch plate would create these symptoms. You may be a winner!

sgt, note I changed my post because I realized that I did not really understand the OPs post. A few critical details are missing.

So I removed the slave cylinder and no change I can run thru all the greats with the car runing and with out the clutch pushed in ill check the linkage tomorrow and the clutch was fine before I did the engine swap and got this issue so I replace the clutch just to see if that was the issue and it wasn’t would the half shafts cause this or no and what should I look for when I check the linkage

And the clutch plate is not backwards clutch plate is labled flywheel side and no car doesn’t move at all it doesn’t even try

These guys are pretty much nailing the issue here. You either have one of the clutch components installed incorrectly OR like someone else said…you arent actually shifting gears.

DO THIS…Put the car in 2nd gear…no E Brake engaged… Can you push the car? Does it roll as if it is in neutral? If so…your clutch is indeed disengaged mechanically. If you CANNOT roll your vehicle and it is trying to turn the engine over while you push or move the vehicle…the clutch is ENGAGED…

This issue should be easily sorted out. You need to check carefully over what you have done thus far and also determine if the vehicle can engage a gear and actually move the vehicle.

I think you are about to find a “DOH-MOMENT” sometime soon here. Let us know what you find and THINK about how this system works first…There will be very obvious clues to what is happening if you understand how the system functions.


So the car rolls when it’s in 2nd gear

I like Blackbirds suggestion but you can also just jack up one front wheel, put the transmission in any gear and try to turn the wheel. It might be easier than trying to push the car. That won’t work with both front wheels off the ground though.

The half shafts are easy enough to check out. If they are the problem, and assuming that they are all the way in and seated, just put the front end up on sturdy jackstands, start the engine, put it gear and let out the clutch. Check the inner CV joint to see if the outer part is turning but the half shaft itself is not.

You can also do this without starting the engine, just turn the wheel and see if the shaft turns but the outer part of the inner CV joint does not. That may be a little safer. Hold onto the outer part of the inner joint as someone else turns the rotates the wheel to be sure.

I suspect the inner joint over the outer one because of the outer one breaks, it is really obvious, you would not have to ask.

Now I have one big question, this happened after the engine swap, before you replaced the clutch, then you replaced the clutch and it didn’t fix it, why do you still think its the clutch? The next time you remove the transmission, grab the flywheel/pressure plate and try to rotate it while someone holds the crank pulley with a breaker bar to keep it from moving. If there is no slippage, then see if you can move the clutch plate around.

If you have a metal clutch alignment tool, stick that in the clutch plate and see if it will turn. Lastly, rotate the input spline to the transmission with it in gear and see if the splines where the axle shafts go in turn.

Last question, does the clutch pedal feel normal to you when you are trying to drive it? Can you feel the free play, the friction point etc.

If u turn the tranny splines the axcle splines turn as well clutch pedal feels normal and the axcle spins idk I can’t fig it out

When you mate the transmission to the engine, can you slide the transmission all the way up to the block or do you have to use the bolts to pull them together?

Is the clutch assembly and flywheel from the new engine or the old one? What about the transmission?

Check the diaphram fingers on the pressure plate once the clutch is installed to make sure they’re all pointing back at the throw-out bearing.


Comments above are spot on. Try those first. Here’s another idea if they don’t pan out. When you shift, at least on my Corolla, there are cables attached between the gear shift lever and the transmission that move, corresponding to which gear you are shifting into. Remove the center console (where the gear shift lever is located), peer down to see where the gear shift lever cables are located, and see if the cables are taut and seem to be moving in a logical way when you shift the gears. Then follow those cables to the transmission, see if they are attached and move in the same logical way when a helper is shifting the gear shift lever in the passenger compartment.

Maybe someone simply forgot to attach those cables. Or they attached them backwards. Or there’s too much slack. Or not enough. Cross your fingers, as if so, that should be easy to fix.

Axles were messed up.

This is a family friendly forum. Please respect this with the language used in your posts.
Carolyn, perhaps you could modify the post??

How were the axles defective? If the car was running and driving previously then one has to wonder about that DOH moment Honda Blackbird referred to.

If it is a DOH moment don’t be ashamed of it. We’ve all had them; some of us multiple DOHs… :blush: