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1997 Legacy Wagon has been running strong and then, out of nowhere, the clutch pedal does something strange. First it loses return pressure and I struggle to get it in gear. Then after about three brief uses the pedal goes right to the floor with no resistance and the stick refuses to go into any gear. The pedal pressure is non existent now. 

When engine is off, I can easily put the stick in any gear.

When I start it in first, it starts and leaps forward confirming that it is in gear.

The cable connections all look solid and rust free.

Is there a return spring somewhere. The pedal one looks fine.

The PHV spring is there at the end of the cable but I know nothing about PHVs. 

Since the cable seems to be functioning (but not returning) could it be the clutch or clutch fork?

Can a clutch just die instantaneously like this?

My stick linkage is the loosest I've ever felt. Related?

Any advise is welcome. Thanks for your time and knowledge.

 

 

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Its common for the release fork to wear and crack at the pivot point. The pivot then pushes through the fork.

 

Shift linkage doesn't affect the clutch, but since you have to pull the trans to replace the release fork get a new "Boss" for the linkage and fix that while you're at it.

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Uh oh. I just noticed the rubber boot on the clutch fork is completely rotted. I can see right into a rusty looking clutch.

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