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drain & bleed a clutch

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i need to totally drain, then refill and bleed my clutch fluid, can someone please explain how i go about doing this for me and what i need as after the day i have had im about to explode if i dont get this done.

also is it easy to take off the master and slave cylinders to check them over?

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I put in a braided hose to replace the original and refilled the whole system quite easily. Not sure if it's as per the textbook but, here goes.

Keep fluid away from paint.

Draining is as simple or as messy as you can manage but I started at the slave cylinder end, opened the bleed and with a suitable tube over the nipple into a glass container. With plenty of rags wrapped round everything, pump the clutch pedal gently a few times to empty the main reservoir and the hose as much as possible.

Filling is the reverse with the master cylinder top off (lots of rags again!) and very gently clutch depressing and topping up of the reservoir. Have a chum watch the slave bleed and when the last of the old fluid is through and the air behind it has all been expelled so that new fluid is coming through, tighten the bleed, remove the tube and put the master cylinder top back on. Clean it all throuroughly and check operation. Any sponginess and you may have air in there so do it all again until no air bubbles appear in the fluid being expelled from the tube on the bleed.

If you want to remove the slave cylinder at any time, two bolts hold it to the bell housing and there's the clutch hose at one end and the rod that operates the relese lever at the other.

I haven't done this recently so apologies if I've missed anything. I'm sure someone else will fill in any blanks.

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Get an Eze-bleed and all the work's done for you! All you need to do is screw it onto the fluid resevoir, plug it into the spare tyre and open the bleed nipple then watch smugly as the old fluid is forced out and replaced by nice new stuff. Only thing to really watch out for is the seal between the eze-bleeder and the resevoir. Because you're presurising the system, fluid will try and get out wherever it can. Available form Halfrauds et al.


Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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  • 2 months later...

My Clutch master cylinder was giving trouble, so I replaced the internals; easy enouth.

Now its back on the car, and I'm having struggling to bleeding the system. I've gone through 300ml of braking fluid, but it still seems as if there is air trapped in he system. When the clutch is pumped, it stiffens a up somewhat, but even with that the slave cylinder plunger only moves by a 1/6inch. I assume there is a bubble trapped somewhere.

To do the beelding, I have the car's back end jacked up to reach the slave cylinder bleed valve. To bleed, I open the bleed valve, and my asistant press down the clutch lever, I close up the bleed screw, and the asistant release the clutch lever, and so on. (I assume this is the old fashioned way)

Any advise will apreciated! (Just for the record, I still have the red pipe, but I will replace it somewhere in future.)


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When you re-built the master did you use some lubricant to ensure the new rubbers don't get stuck?

Personally I use the old red grease for rubber, but hydraulic fluid should be sufficient.

If the rubbers stick you can end up with the rubber leaving the piston at full press, so you only get a very small amount of effective travel on the master. I had a similar issue with an unrelated car (Peugeot) after a clutch job took too long and despite the fact I didn't touch the internals of the master cylinder it stuck. I managed to break the rubbers free by using one of the ezibleed systems that puts pressurised air from a tyre into a canister that connects to the system to push fluid through, then when the master cylinder piston moved back out the rubber stayed with it.

I'd suggest trying to borrow one of those systems, or failing that spend

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Bigsi, you may just be right. I'll have to check if the rubber is still in position.

As for the ezibleed system, I'm sold on the idea, but I haven't seen one in the local market; I'l do some more investigation.

I was also wondering, with the bleed teghnique I was using, if the clutch pedal was released too quickly, if air could slip past the compression rubber?


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Brandt I have just replaced my red hose with a nice new braided line from [Mark hedges] at[[email protected]]its the dogs b...ock.It took me an hour to fit and bleed on my drive.I used a self bleed from my neighbour.Works great.Most importent use the correct rubber seal in the bleeder cap also do not put more than 20psi in the spare tyre when you connect it all up or you will be washing your car down franticly.Good luck if you need any more detail ring me on 07976879278 regards Mark p

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