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HP Technician
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Discussion Starter #1
Its been a few months so I knew it was time for my Beetle to steal what few dollars I managed to save. My clutch pedal has been acting wonky for a month or so (shop couldn't get it to act wonky for them) but today it finally took a dump.

The pedal is strong one press, weak another, and other times it collapses to the floor. Once getting to work I saw the puddle and drip so figured a cylinder; master or slave (I am not a car do-it-yourselfer).

I had it towed and got a call that it was the cylinder (I forgot if he said master or slave) and to get to it easily they need to drop the transmission and if they are dropping the transmission they might as well replace the clutch itself and rear main seal for a grand total of $1500 out the door.

Your opinion? The car has 86k miles on it. I figured I'd do the clutch as the previous owner was a good for nothing teen that yanked the gears everywhere he went so I'm confident he nearly shortened the clutch's life span. I say this because the shifter cable has already broken on me and the non oem VW shop I go to has never had to replace one before me. They concluded it must have been a violent driver to shred the cables and bushings in just 70K miles. BTW, the car was repo'ed from this previous owner who lives in the same town as me.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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5,639 Posts
Oh man :eek:hnoes: ... yep the Slave Cylinder for the Turbo S is inside the Transmission housing, because it is part of the throwout bearing assembly. Not sure what the benefit of that is, if any. To bad you are not the DIY Type, you could cut your cost in half if you were. When I out-source, here is the way I do it ... buy the parts first, then when I can afford it I take it to the shop. Providing the parts, helps to eliminate the shop from adding their .02 to the cost and I know where the parts came from and their quality.
 

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HP Technician
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449 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Oh man :eek:hnoes: ... yep the Slave Cylinder for the Turbo S is inside the Transmission housing, because it is part of the throwout bearing assembly. Not sure what the benefit of that is, if any. To bad you are not the DIY Type, you could cut your cost in half if you were. When I out-source, here is the way I do it ... buy the parts first, then when I can afford it I take it to the shop. Providing the parts, helps to eliminate the shop from adding their .02 to the cost and I know where the parts came from and their quality.
Yeah, thats what I did with the timing belt job. I saved a few hundred planning for the work but when it happens out of the blue and it's my only car (bumming rides from co-workers) it is hard to order the parts and wait. Just the day or two of waiting for the parts is a huge burden.

But you are right, any planned maintenance I do try to get the parts myself. For what they are doing though, $1500 sounds fair? I have been jaded by shops in the past but these guys have always appeared on the up and up with me but that honesty comes with a price of $100 a hour. I can also say they have had to fix a lot of stuff on my beetle and they have always fixed the problem the first time.
 

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Peace Love & T.o.D.
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2,802 Posts
For the amount of work needed in man hrs,then the cost of parts, I think the price seems fair. Just my 2cents.
 

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$1500 sounds fair. I had my clutch done three months ago, including master cylinder, total was close to $1400.
 

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9 Posts
May make you feel a little better...

I have to do the clutch on my 911. The parts alone are going to be $1100+.
 

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HP Technician
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449 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Got the car back and everything is good. The pedal is very light which will take some getting used to. The old pedal took pressure to push but this one feels like one finger could operate it.

I also thought the engine sounded different somehow but I might just be paranoid.

Its instant noodles and cereal for weeks in my future with my Beetle twice a year insisting on draining every nickle I manage to save.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,171 Posts
Do you know if they put a single mass flywheel in? If so, that could be what is making noise. SMFs are known for a little chatter.
 

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HP Technician
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449 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Do you know if they put a single mass flywheel in? If so, that could be what is making noise. SMFs are known for a little chatter.
That I don't know. The receipt just said 'complete clutch kit'. I drove it tonight for the second time and can say that it falls limp (no resistance) until it feels about a inch off the floor and that's when it hits the engage zone. It will take quite a while to get used to with just barely lifting off the floor and it engages leaving little room for error, especially if I get lazy at a light with it in gear...lift off a smiggen and it's lurching into the car in front of me.

My last clutch engaged just short of fully extended so it's as 180 degree difference as it gets.
 

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5/23/10 <3
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11,171 Posts
The SMF in our TDI is very light too. Going from my 20th to that car and back has made for some interesting times :lol:
 

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HP Technician
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449 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The saga continues...

When the car has been sitting overnight or at work all day, when I get in it the clutch peddle has zero resistance. If I start the car with it in gear the car lurches forward as if I wasn't holding in the clutch. If I start the car in neutral I cannot get it in gear as if I wasn't pushing in the clutch. After I pump it about 10 times it will finally operate correctly and as I drive it, the clutch gets firmer and firmer until it acts like a normal clutch with normal resistance.

I'm dropping it off at the shop tomorrow but they will have to let it sit a long period of time and then try it as once the car is warm and all that it works perfectly.

What's left that could be the problem?
 

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Peace Love & T.o.D.
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2,802 Posts
just remember that the clutch and the brakes use the same system.
 

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HP Technician
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449 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The shop said it most likely was air bubbles causing the weak clutch or non working clutch. They bled it and I was on my way no charge. The peddle is much stiffer now and works great. I guess I will see how it does after it sits at work all day today.
 
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