Clutch Goes Out While 1986 Pickup Parked for Several Years?

A friend has a 1986 pickup which he had parked for 5 to 6 years. He regularly started the vehicle every few months. But recently he tried to drive the vehicle and the clutch was out. (the clutch worked fine when he parked it).

What could cause this to happen?


What do you mean by “goes out.” It suddenly lost all grip, or the pedal stopped working? My guess is that the pedal no longer works because the cable snapped.

<snark>A 1980’s GM product? And you wonder why it doesn’t work in all respects?
The marvel is that it works at all?

Does it have a 5 digit odometer (yes kids - even after VW (required frequent manual valve adjustment, but ran forever), then Toyota (I knew a guy with a Toyota truck in 1971) and Honda (father had a hellish commute and bought one of those first “toy” Honda’s that four guys could pick up and carry) had made the future obvious, Detroit kept with the 5-digit odometer (and engines which were junk at 50,000 miles).

I had a 198x truck which broke it’s right engine mount in SF traffic - by miracle I was on a just-cleared of Street sweeping prohibition, so there was space at the curb.
I looked under the hood and the engine was leaning up against the right wheel well.

I removed the contents of the glove compartment and left it there.

X2 on what do you mean, went out? Does it not engage? Does it not disengage? Pedal will not move? Pedal goes to the floor & (A) stays right there on the floor, or (B) springs right back, but does nothing down or up?

As you can see there are many failures covered under “the clutch went out” and each of them has a different cause. I am sorry I can not be of more help with the limited information available to me at this time.

Please reply with answers for us.

Thanks, 48.

Do you mean the gears grind when he tries to put into first from neutral with the engine running and the clutch pressed down? Have him (carefully) put it in first gear, push the clutch in, and tap the key (making sure nothing 's in front of it!) If the truck jerks like the clutch didn’t disengage then the problem is that the clutch disc had rusted to the flywheel and/or the pressure plate. Easiest way ti fix this is get it pointed toward the road, start it up in first gear (you’ll have to push the clutch in to disable the safety switch but the car will move anyway) and then rapidly accelerate & decelerate while pushing the clutch pedal up & down. The clutch disc will break loose pretty quickly and it will stop accelerating when the pedal is pushed down.

Umm, what kind of clutch does this vehicle have? does it possibly have an hydraulic clutch, and the fluid just drained out? or is that too obvious, and he already checked it? It could also have sludgy fluid in the lines. But rusted-together parts is probably a better suggestion.

On a manual clutch, you should put the clutch in, using wire or a block, otherwise the clutch mechanism will rust together.