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Thread: Clutch now? D'oh...

  1. #1
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    Clutch now? D'oh...

    After finishing my recent brake job (stuck caliper) I jinxed myself by saying "Well, now that car is good to go for next winter's beating" now I'm having a problem with the clutch..

    When I lift my foot off the pedal it comes up maybe halfway...have to pull it up the rest of the way with my foot. I figured since the clutch and brake both share a fluid reservoir that was my problem...nope! Full of fluid. None of the lines are leaking so I reckoned some air got in the clutch lines (somehow) during the brake bleeding. I've bled the clutch for at LEAST 30 min straight up and downing...half-filled the reservoir five times with fluid and still the clutch is NO better at all (shouldn't it get better as you get more and more air out? When a 110lb girl says there's hardly resistance that can't be a good sign). If anything it's worse than before I started bleeding (now can't engage gears at all while running). Sometimes only a few trickles of tiny, tiny air bubbles come out and sometimes I get a couple HUGE ones that hardly have any fluid. Pretty sure I'm bleeding it right, pedal full down then bleeder open, close it when fluid slows, pedal up repeat until the gf gets tired...

    So, am I just not patient enough or am I needed a new slave, master or both?
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  2. #2
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    the sequence for bleeding a clutch is this
    1. crack bleeder
    2 depress pedal
    3 tighten bleeder after flow slows
    4 release pedal
    5 check fluid level and repeat.
    if you're stuck without a helper, depress pedal and hold down with a rod, crack bleeder and allow to gravity bleed while checking reservoir level. once fluid seems to be flowing well , tighten bleeder and remove rod.
    good luck with the bleed

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    I've heard 4 different ways of bleeding the clutch from various sources: pump clutch between vs. don't pump and crack bleeder after pedal depressed vs. before pedal. Gf got tired after 1 method but luckily I'd just bought beer so I found help to try it every other way... bled the master nicely after making a brake line fitting/tube bleeder device but the slave part still won't bleed....WAY too much air after WAY too much bleeding. My theory is the slave must be bad (or the internal parts of the clutch like throw out bearing or ? but I don't see how that would affect the hydraulics/put air in the line).

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    Something has failed. If you start the engine while in gear, clutch down, does the car jerk forward or stay still?
    ....-Noltz
    '91 Frankenheep Edition. 4.0, 4" BDS, Richmond 8.8, 35" KM2's, Titan 12k, ... gone.
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    slave or sometimes slave spring on some aftermarket deals good luck.

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    if this problem occured imediately after doing the caliper replacement, air got into your hyraulic system. try bleeding the clutch master first. crack the line coming off the clutch master half a turn, get your "helper" to push down the pedal. tighten the line and release the pedal. repeat a few times until you see no bubbles. then try rebleeding the curuit the way I explained earlier. THIS WILL WORK.
    good luck

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    Thanks for the answers guys. I like the confidence, quasi. I actually did bleed the master already but what I did was detach that line coming out of the clutch master and hooked a line from the master going back to the reservoir (cap off of course) and pumped the clutch pedal a billion times till I saw no more air in that line...does that sound like it would work as well as (though not as easy as!) your method?

    The rubber boot on the slave cylinder was all ripped and the hardline going into it was junk once I got it off, so I replaced those yesterday since I figured it would eliminate the slave as the culprit (and car parts bought in the US are so cheap!). Well, now cracking the bleeder on the new slave...nothing happens. Sigh. You'd think gravity would fill that whole works up with fluid? the master fluid level did drop a bit, so it must be going somewhere. Also, holding the clutch pedal down is not an issue at all, once you touch it, it just drops to the floor on a spring and stays there, can be pulled up easily.

    Noltz, if I start the car in neutral it starts fine, HOWEVER if I start it in gear with the clutch depressed ALL the way it will jump forward. Likewise, gears can be engaged with engine off but not at all if I start the car THEN try to put it in gear with clutch down.
    Last edited by silverbullet91; 04-01-2010 at 08:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    I'm sorry for not getting back to this sooner. It sounds like you bled the clutch master well enough. clutches can be a PITA to get air out of compaired to brakes because you don't really pressurize the system, you just move the slave. if nothing else works, unbolt the slave from the transmission, push the piston into the slave and hold it in with some kind of clamp. hose clamp might work. then bleed the system. with the piston having reistance it should bleed properly. once the air is out you will see the piston pushing hard against the clamp. bolt her back up and start celebrating. it's too bad you're so far away, I'd love to help you see this car fixed.

  9. #9
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    No problem quasi, Easter weekend can be busy! I appreciate all the answers. And I really appreciate your offer to help if you were closer, that's awesome dude.

    However, I do have a happy ending anyway: I order a power bleeder online from this company called Motive Power.. got the one with an adapter featuring the same size screw-on cap as my fluid reservoir (they have a universal one too but that seemed cheesy). Followed the instructions on the bottle and, working up to 20psi, in about 10 minutes I had my clutch back in no time and it works perfectly. Drove it around the block and from what I can tell the clutch is just like it was, if not better. This thing is supposed to be great for brakes too (one person operation) and I'm sure it is! Here's the site I ordered it off if anyone else has a similar problem to me:

    http://www.motiveproducts.com/

  10. #10
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    that rocks, a pressure bleeder is the safest way to bleed brakes/clutches. with older master cylinders if you pump too hard. or too fast you can damage the seals. whereas with this bleeder you don't risk it. the dealership I work at has these things and I havent had to bleed brakes the old way in 7 years( other than my motorbikes)
    glad your ride is up and running

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