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About 2 years ago the clutch master cylinder was leaking so I replaced it with a Wilwood item. I replaced the red pipe with a braided one & replaced the slave cylinder with a new one at the same time.

All worked well.

I have to say that since buying the car the clutch has always seemed quite heavy to me, not that I mind, with that and the lack of power steering it means Dawn's not so keen to have a go in it! I've driven one other '88 turbo & the clutch pedal on that seemed light as a feather in comparison.

I noticed a couple of months ago that the point at which the clutch starts to "bite" had moved closer to the floor. Checked the resevoir & the fluid level had dropped to being non-existant. I topped it up, expecting to have air bubbles in the system now, & that I'd need to bleed it again. However I hopped back into the car & all seemed perfect.

A few days later the bite point seemed to drop again. I checked the resevoir again, no drop in level. Perhaps the clutch is wearing out, I thought.

Although now using most of the clutch pedal travel to change gear, there was no sign of the clutch slipping all at. (I have a heavy right foot at times!)

Hopped into it one evening, depressed clutch pedal & couldn't get it into any gear. I've no garage & no electricity in the drive (for light) so I had to wait for the weekend to fiddle.

The bolt in the release fork (to the slave cylnder pushrod) is screwed right the way in so there's no further adjustment available there (that's the way it was when I bought the car & I didn't adjust it when I changed the slave cylinder). I bled the system thoughly & only one airbubble came out., but after then hopping back into the car, the clutch now feels lighter than a feather (as if it's not doing anything at all) & there's no sign of movement at the slave cylinder pushrod.

Could the clutch have stuck to the pressure plate/flywheel? Never fiddled with a clutch housing, so don't know how they work!

Could the slave cylinder seals have gone?

Could the master cylinder seals have gone?

I can't see any signs of leaking fluid, but then the level in the resevoir hasn't dropped again either (and it's a bit wet outside!).

I reckon I'll probably replace the slave cylinder again.

If that desn't work I'll replace the master cylinder again.

Though surely they should last more than a couple of years/10,000 miles.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Hooligan at heart.

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Hi Neill

If the level's dropping, then it must be leaking from somewhere! Check either side of the bulkhead for damp spots near the master, and peel back the slave rubber to see the state of it. The adjustment on your pushrod sounds very wrong - it should be 12.5mm (from memory) protruding from the fork at the slave side. Sort the hydraulics and adjustment, and I suspect your problem will be solved.

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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I wouldn't be thinking about clutch going just yet. The adjustment on my 88 carb turbo is like yours and doesn't seem to match the adjustment in the manual. I then read somewhere that some carb turbos can be different so stopped worrying.

You say you have replaced the master cylinder with a Wilwood item - not sure what this is for brake and clutch items I would stick with original parts. I would still be thinking of fluid loss at this stage which is then letting in air gradually. Check all connections at master cylinder and slave, they are easy to overtighten and can seep. You need to be fairly vigorous witth the bleeding as air bubbles can get trapped

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Seals on master or seals on slave...

Take the pushrod out of the slave, and pump the pedal until the slave piston stops on the snap ring and can't push any further. IF the pedal is still soft then I would guess it is the Master seals. If fluid shoots out the slave, then it should be the slave seals...

In otherwords, it's probably the master.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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I second (or third or whatever) the opinion of worn/failed seals. Generally speaking and assuming all adjustments are correct, if a clutch is worn, you end up with serious slipping issues rather than issues getting in/out of gear (or if bad enough ability to shift into any gear without pushing the clutch and with engine running). If your having trouble getting into/out of gear then you have an adjustment issue or hydraulic issue which prevents the pressure plate from releasing the clutch disk as a result of insufficient clutch lever travel. Basically the whole purpose of the clutch is to engage and disengage engine power to the transmission, pushing the clutch pedal disengages this power through a series of hydraulics levers and springs.

I agree with Travis in removing the slave cylinder and pushing the clutch pedal several times in order to bottom out the slave on the snap ring. If the slave bottoms out and you have a VERY HARD pedal, chances are the seals are ok. Don't force it beyond this point, but use it as a test. If you can pump the pedal several times without acheiving this rock hard pedal or it only feels stiff but will still push to the floor, then you can just about guarantee a worn seal somewhere in your master/slave cylinders or a significant air bubble. If it does feel rock hard, maintain pressure on the pedal (just to hold position) and see if the pedal continues to move to the floor. This would indicate a leaking seal, most likely at the slave. It would also be helpful to have an assistant to inspect the slave and master cylinder areas during this test to check for evidence of leaks.

One note that helps is when bleeding the clutch, DO NOT PUMP! This atomizes the air in the line making it very difficult to completely remove all the air. You should crack open the bleeder before pushing the pedal. This forces large amounts of air/fluid out, and then retighten the bleeder before releasing the pedal. Repeat as needed. *note* this can also assist when bleeding brakes.

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I've got a brand new OEM master cylinder in stock if you want it - £85 I believe.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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if not slave or master then could be the translator at the back of the gear box. not too hard to replace, but easy with the floor out. i got a couple of threaded ball joints and cut a stainless bolt to length (used teh old one for a guide) and re fitted been A1. sailorbob gave me the link. one of the best and cheapest things i've done worth checking this ans its a bit delicate and can easliy wear

Edited by mr.oogieboogie

It's Oogies turn to boogie

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Ended up having to work this weekend, so I guess I'll have to wait 'till next weekend to have a go now.

I wondered if the initial drop in level was due to clutch wear. I've no idea at what rate the level drops with wear.

I agree that a leak is the most likely explanation, but couldn't see any signs of one. Taking out the pushrod out of the slave to test sounds like a good way to find if the pedal pressure drops (indicating a leak) or is spongy (indicating air in the system - although its never felt spongy at any time).

If the pressure drops, is there any way of working out if it's slave or the master other than looking for the leak?

I've read in a couple of other threads about adjstment at the pedal. Is the bolt in the cluch fork what adjusts this, or is there something else?

Hooligan at heart.

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Adjustment is at both ends - check pedal first, then clutch fork. On your model, the pedal should have full travel to the floor, and just a few mm slack at the top. At the fork, the adjusting bolt should protrude 12.5 mm towards the slave cylinder.

Clutch wear will not generate a significant drop in fluid level, so you probably have a leak at either cylinder. You have to go looking for it! My money is still on the slave.

Looking back, you said the pedal got lighter after bleeding it. Are you sure you haven't introduced a load of air?

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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Bearing in mind it's a couple of years since my head by the clutch pedal, the only "adjustment" I recall were two holes in the clutch pedal, upper & lower, can't remember which hole I used now. Is this the adjustment at the pedal or is there someting else?

Pedal feels as if I'm only compressing air - no resistance at all.

Is there a way that failed seals on the master could introduce air? If not, I guess it must be from when the level dropped & the air has now worked it's way in.

Hooligan at heart.

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The pedal pushrod should have an adjuster. It's difficult to see, and very hard to get at! A master cylinder inner seal will not leak, but the outer seal will, normally evidenced by leakage underneath the cylinder mounting flange in the front compartment, or behind the carpet under the pedal. If your level is dropping, then it's definitely a leak. I'd be revisiting the bleed procedure first, and peeling back the slave cylinder rubber cover whilst there.

How exactly did you bleed the system, step by step? Did you have help?

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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I know what you mean by an adjuster on the pushrod now. I don't recall it, but I'm sure there would have been one there & I just don't remember it that well.

There's no sign of a leak in the bonnet, but I haven't looked behind the carpet, I guess that's the next place to check.

My son & wife helped with the bleeding. Dawn stood ready to top up the master whilst I loosened the slave nipple, Luke depressed the pedal; I tightened the nipple, Luke released the pedal. I losened, Luke depressed; I tightened, Luke released. I loosend, Luke depressed....... well you get the idea, I guessed we probably did this a couple of dozen times. Then when I hopped in & pressed the pedal it felt like there was no resistance at all.

Hooligan at heart.

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Have you peeled back that slave dust cover yet?

The slave can be a beast to bleed properly - often best to use a pressure/vacuum bleed tool.

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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It was dark by the time I got back from work. Won't get the chance now 'till next weekend.

A pressure/vacuum bleed tool - wot dat den?

Does it do away with helpers? Dawn's always happy to lend a hand, but I never know if Luke's going to be around!

Hooligan at heart.

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When I beld my clutch system I found that the slave cylinder was mounted with the piston end slightly higher than the nipple end. Even using a vac bleeder, there was still air trapped at the 'top' of the cylinder. In the end I removed the two moutning bolts and let the cylinder sit vertically with the nipple at the top which released two air bubbles without the need to pump the pedal, gravity did the job for me.

Edited by stevem

Too many Toys are never enough !

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Have you actually checked the movement on the clutch fork when you depress the clutch pedal and that after taking your foot off the pedal the cluch fork moves back. That to me would be the starting point. Then check that the connectors are all tight with no seepage of fluid, then bleed the system again using the one man beed kit - bleedeze I think is what its called. As I never really trust these things I finally get someone to hold the clutch pedal to the floor whilst I tighten up the bleed screw. Since it is very cheap to replace I would also not mess around and put in a new slave.

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Fitted a new slave this morning, still having the same problem.

I noticed that after locking off the bleed nipple & pressing the clutch pedal a few times there were air bubbles in the master cylinder reservoir that weren't there before I pressed the pedal, so to me that indicates a problem at the master. I guess the seals must have deteriorated, but 2 years seems a bit quick!

Bibs you still got that master?

Hooligan at heart.

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BIbs very kindly supplied me with new master cylinder - unfortunately, still no joy.

As you can see from the photo the pushrod on the new one (top) is about 1 1/2 inches shorter than the one I had fitted (bottom)

P2050024.jpg

Even with the the clevis right at the end of the pushrod (as shown), and the clutch pedal flat against the floor, I can't get the clevis pin in.

Did they make the master's with different length pushrods?

Do they make different length clevis's?

Can I swap the pushrods over?

or get a longer clevis made?

Any other suggestions?

Hooligan at heart.

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No problem just swop the push rods over.... remove the rubber boot and the clip retaining the rod....careful all the internals don't shoot out.. they shouldn't but be aware... Then refit in reverse...... When refitted and all bleeding done adjust carefully as per sevice notes..... very important...!!!!!

Dave

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