Clutch or Clutch Hydraulics?
Background: 2004 RL with 156K, bought used at 145K. Compared to my prior 1996 SC2, the clutch is 5x harder to depress. Took a little getting used on shifting. These are my DD, so I'm generally easy on them. My 96 had just over 300K on it before I lost compression on cyl 4 and only put in one clutch at 200K.
Onto the RL...When shifting normally, normal RPM's around 3500 to 4000, no problems, shifting normally, no grinding, no difference in shift points. When in the tallest gear I can floor it and no slippage and good power.
Now, when I want to get up to speed quickly I have good power, and everything is stock and it pull around 11.5 boost according to my torque app. When shifting from 2nd to 3rd 6000 RPM esp. and some in 3rd to 4th the clutch release feels different. I don't know how to specifically describe it, but it releases softer, slower. I don't think it's not was catching/slipping because I continue to accelerate. But I also feel I couldn't immediately shift into the next gear until its done.
Could this be hydraulics? I ask because my brake fluid, which I think also runs the clutch hydraulics, when inspected discolored yellow/brown and a bit low. My brake pads are thinning which may account for some of this.
If I used a power bleeder (the one that has a reservoir and pushes fluid into the system, not a mityvac) would bleeding the clutch help this?
Opinions? Or is this a symptom of a failing cluch?