Hi guys -
Since the big suspension upgrade last year my Fiero has been kicking ass and taking names... until super early Thursday morning. I'd hustled the car up to Lake Tahoe Wednesday evening and stayed overnight. In the morning I went to back the car out of the garage and could not get into any gear. I turned the car off, put it in reverse, started it, and backed out. 1st was unpleasant, but each gear was gradually easier. No further issues on the drive home through 3rd, 4th, and 5th. I figured it was a fluke.
Didn't drive it for a couple days, today the same thing - except worse. I drove it around the block and shifting was an impossibility. Pumping the pedal didn't help. I took it home and parked it. The clutch master cylinder reservoir was low - at the "add" line. I looked around and saw no leaks. I hooked up the Motive pressure bleeder and put 8psi in the system. Still no leaks. I cracked the slave cylinder bleeder screw and got a small burst of air, followed by a steady stream of fluid. I took out 12 full ounces, no bubbles or anything. The weird thing, however, was that my year old (almost exactly), 2,000 mile ATE Super Blue was GREY.
Regardless, I sealed it back up and it worked great. I ran my errands without incident. Five hours later, clutch is hosed again in exactly the same way. I was only able to move it by starting in gear. Poop.
I'm pretty sure I am dealing with a hydraulics failure - the pedal feels VERY spongy at the top (like nothing is happening), the air blowing out when I bled it, the grey fluid (from deteriorating seals?), and the spontaneous failure/repair/failure. When I bought the car at 98,000 miles I was told the clutch was new at 75,000 miles (when the 3.4pr was installed) so I'm inclined to believe it's not that.
1. Is there any way to inspect the clutch without taking things apart?
2. Any opinions on whether the issue is more likely the slave or the master? From reading here, sounds like the slaves on these cars are crap so that's where I am leaning. (I know the advice is to buy Rodney's, however I need to keep this cheap right now *and* this car will be getting a powertrain swap this winter, so it doesn't need to last very long)
3. Anything else?