Hydraulic clutch on 2004 Accord, specs for pedal travel- before engage clutch

my wife has this 5 spd Accord; i don’t usually drive it, but i have an experienced sense for the distance the clutch pedal should travel from its floor’d position until it begins to engage the clutch disk and pressureplate to flywheel.

I believe the pedal ought to trave some distance, if only a half or an inch; otherwise it would engage the clutch dangerously.l

Is there a way on this 2004 Honda to introduce some more play in the pedal as it comes off the floor? I sense that a bit more free play is wanted before i feel the clutch action engaging.

i cannot explain why this misadjustment condition has occurred, if indeed there is a misadjustment. the car has 81K miles, everything is in good order otherwise.

several months ago before i went out of town, when i last drove the car i would not have perceived or commented on a “misadjustment”–but driving it after returning i note these symptoms just related.

i am told by honda that there is NO adjustment (of the type that can be made on other clutch linkages–e.g. altering the throw of the rod at slave cylinder that moves the throwout bearing fork).

sorry for the sloppy description here.

any experience with this ‘adjustment’ problem, or perceived problem, most welcome.

thanks. waddell

I think what you are referring to is a low ‘pick up point’ i.e. the distance above the floored pedal postion where the clutch effectively engages. The ‘throw out’ travel is determined by the travel of the master cylinder piston between the time the cup covers the compensation port till the pedal reaches its travel limit. So there should be as little clearance between the pedal push rod and the master cylinder piston. You want some clearance to guarantee that the MC piston returns to its stop and is not held in by the push rod – keeping the compensation port from being uncovered. If you lengthen the slave cylinder rod (if it is adjustable), all you are doing is pushing the slave piston back in its cylinder. The fluid just exits through the compensation port in the MC. If done to an extreme the slave piston will bottom; the throw out bearing will be constantly under pressure; and the clutch will be partially disengaged (similar to resting your foot on the clutch pedal).

Barring the misadjustment of the clutch pedal push rod, the lack of ‘throw out’ travel is likely due to a worn clutch master cylinder or air in the system. So you might try bleeding the system to see if that helps. You could live with the master cylinder until the ‘throw out’ travel is reduced to the point where the clutch no longer disengages completely and shifting into gear at a stop becomes blocked. Then you would be looking at replacing the MC.

Hope that helps.

thanks for the feedback. you said:
. . . clearance to guarantee that the MC piston returns to its stop and is not held in by the push rod . . . If you lengthen the slave cylinder rod (if it is adjustable), all you are doing is pushing the slave piston back in its cylinder.

i am cognizant of this mechanical aspect of getting a system that needs a certain minimum of “free play” tightened down too much.
that’s not really my issue. First i haven’t been under the car to even see what we got, RE slave cyl and pushrod, etc. but i’m told that since this clutch system is a closed hydraulic system (that obviously has a master and slave cylinder at the ends) there is NO adjustment that can be made.
somehow i just suspect there must be some adjustment, but perhaps there is not.
logically i thought, 'how could this lack of freeplay have arisen, in the first place, if the system is closed and mechanically unadjustable at some spot? after all, a couple of months ago i didn’t perceive this ‘lack of wanted slop’ when the clutch pedal was being released from its floor’d position; it work’t fine then.
of course one could suppose the clutch disk was wearing down, however i am near certain it hasn’t worn much at all (81K on the vehicle); there are no other signs of wear to suggest a clutch disk problem.

someone out there familiar with this clutch by way of actually working on it may be able to tell me whether it’s possible for some bump or jarring hit to the hydraulic line, or some road abuse could possibly result in the symptom that’s annoying me.
i reckon i’m not going to discover the explanation for the problem by simply inspecting every inch of the hydraulic tube etc, but it’s on my list soon’s i can devise a way to lift the car enough to do the underneath part of such inspection.

thanks for your efforts to assist.

oh! i had another off the wall thought on this: if something shifts in a motor mount or some relationship changes, unrelated to the clutch linkage, sometimes that might change the amounts of freeplay etc.
however this is a hydraulic line and i suppose its working tolerances and limits aren’t affected by the kind of chassis joggling i was musing on.
my wife who drives the vehicle did say that she’d one time thought that in depressing the clutch pedal it seemed to give a ‘bump’ or an irregular hiccup in its travel to the floor. i couldn’t make much use of that piece of info as a help to diagnosing an as yet perceived problem, but maybe there is no mechanical irregularity.
as i’ve mentioned, this particular "mis"functioning seems a bit unsafe–because one hasn’t much room to work with, from the time pedal lifts from floor to the beginning pressure indicating engagement.
so, hhmmmmmmm . . .

Is it losing fluid? Have you looked under the dash where the clutch rod connects to the master? Any sign of a leak?

Next thing I would do is drive it up on a set of ramps & check for a leaking slave.

On my Fords the transmission has to come out to get to the slave. But your Honda probably has an external slave.

absolutely no leaks from fluids from anywhere.
this is something i would have included in my perplexed detailed account of this “supposed” clutch pedal adjustment problem.
the car is immaculate, if not holy.

There are drivers that can destroy a clutch in less than 80K. Any change( for the better)in engagement position will require parts replacement.

Has the hydraulic system been opened for any reason, even to bleed it? I don’t know if your car is like this, but some hydraulic clutches will not feel right after bleeding unless you “sidestep” the pedal a few times. This is worth a shot since it is free and you can do it on your own in less than a minute. If the clutch has been bled and this was not done, it may be all you need. I have seen it on internal and external slave cylinder setups, so give it a try. To do this, just push the clutch to the floor and let your foot slide off it, allowing it to snap back up on its own. Repeat several times and see if it helps.

dang interesting man. but . . . b-b-b-but! this cl. system has never been opened-- while we’ve owned the vehicle (that commenced at 64K miles; it now has 82K).

allow i shd sound out, again, the Litany on Honda, the jap vulgate version,
praise that is for modern-day auto technology generally!
it goes like this:
CAD programs and precise engineering analytical tools, along with en-acting robots–who, being nourished and fed on the pure science data–deliver us products that are design-incarnate;
& behold-- the unibody sculptured look is borne, as well as
(from my experience) engines that will run certainly ~ 250K miles, without rebuild! and not be at a point of tiredness or inefficiency. for such reasons i bought this accord 2004, used. never had a problem (i changed the timing belt when i got the vehicle, that’s all) and now this clutching perception threatens to throw my whole religion into question . . .
wot neck’st?

I would first replace the fluid with new. (After 5 years it’s time. Same for the brake fluid.)
If that doesn’t help then it’s the MC.

A master cylinder is $91 from an online Honda parts dealer.


Take a look at the DIY/do it yourself section of your Accord owners manual & you might find something similiar to this.

From the DIY section of my wifes 02 Sonata owners manual:

“With the engine off press lightly on the clutch pedal until you feel a change in resistance. This is the clutch pedal free play. The free play should be within the limits specified in the illustration -.24 to .51 inch. If it is not, have it inspected by your Hyundai dealer & adjusted or repaired if necessary.”

Your Accord should be similiar & from your description I think your pedal will have a lot more freeplay than .51 inch.

Try as i might i cannot convince my dear wife to drive a manual trans. But, i must say that i have never driven a better automatic than the slap shift auto in her Sonata. And the trans has been trouble free for it’s first 136,000 miles.

Whats your secret? How did you convince your wife to drive a stick?

i went out and tried that wee technique you described
–nothing ventured / nothing gained, was the motivation–
since it costs nothing, and shouldn’t do any damage to the vehicle (if it did some damage i’d say it was decrying a defect that needed to be discover’d anyway!) i proceeded.
guess what!, my “perceived” clutching problem, a matter of tolerances of pedal play measured off the floor’d pedal position . . .
appears to be resolved.
i’ll be dip’t i.s. if the pedal isn’t performing to those remembered specs of yore.
that is, it now has an adequate travel off the floor, till it begins to engage clutch.
one caution i guess: this wasn’t a “rigorous” test (no double blind or placebo flapdoodlin’ was used),
therefore i speak of administering the procedure that ‘seems’ to have fix’t my problem.
maybe the problem was only one of perception, all along tho!
–in which case the “sidestep” was as good as a placebo–
i thank you again. m.

if you refer to my latest post to mark9207, you see that my issue involved a problem that commences at the pedal floor’d position, not at the full engaged position where pedal is at ‘top’ and has some degree of travel before starting to
DISengage the pressureplate mechanism.
it was in ought-like-'85 when i acquired a '91 honda accord with an automatic transmission; my daughter had one whose performance was impressive to me; it could peel rubber with the trans, and there was no slippage . . . it was then i determined that the Age of the Reliable Fluid Drive had come in to its own! My twin of her Accord rather confirmed this assessment.
used to be i ran from automatics; they failed, and they had to be replaced, but no stick shift, manual x-missions had ever betrayed me (you might have to change out a clutch disk, is all).
and in town, if a place like Austin, one adds yrs to one’s life by using an automatic trans. in commuter traffic–i further noticed that the mpg seemed to suffer negligily, if at all, compared to manual x-missions–with the proviso that I AM DOING the driving, cause i know how to shift and optimize the gears etc–
long story short, leaving out the chase entirely . . .
my wife is a mechanical engineer, soi disant, or with laymen’s claims–so SHE was the one said “git it, git it” when we found this manual.
i thought, “what the hell–i like 'en too!” – so
Even tho the automatic had risen in my pantheon of drive trains to be the Mover of Prime Preference, i went with this 5 spd sassy little four-adore; . . .
only to discover very soon, her appreciation of manual x-missions didn’t include a keenness to “torque”, the useful physical feedback continuum the engine conveys to the ‘attuned’ driver–that is a determinative guide telling when to shift gears, & so making it possible even TO IMPROVE upon the efficiency of automatic x-mission sensors.

i’ve forever been coaxing her to forget about numbers and lines on the tachometer, and instead cultivate, by The Feel, the sense of “how tight the engine’s winding” to get some proprioceptive finesse into the motoring experience, like it was meant to be fun to do.
why have a manual shift if it cain’t beat an automatic on mpg??? unless it be for ‘the fun of it’!
DRIVE!!! . . . he said.

Congrats on the fix & kudos to mark9207. Who would have known that something so simple would be the fix. Go figure.