How to properly bleed your hydraulic clutch

Posted by Strm Trpr, Feb 1, 2006
Articles: Drivetrain -

  1. Strm Trpr

    Strm Trpr Proven Member

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    Stockton, California
    This method of clutch bleeding will work on pretty much any car.
    Forget about what the manuals tell you!

    First off you'll need the following:

    1) Goggles or other form of eye protection to prevent brake fluid from splashing into your eyes.
    2) Get a clutch pedal buddy, a person that can push the clutch pedal in and hold it to the floor, and then lift the pedal off of the floor on command.
    3) Jack stands and a jack so you can properly support the front of your vehicle while you bleed the system.
    4) Brake fluid, and a pan of some sort to catch brake fluid as you bleed the system.
    ---I like to use a length of hose that fits snuggly onto the bleeder screw hose barb of the slave cylinder and then position the other end of the hose in a mason jar filled about 2 inches deep with brake fluid.
    ---This will prevent air from entering the slave cylinder when you are bleeding the Master Cylinder.
    5) You'll need some rags handy just in case you spill some brake fluid. Remember, brake fluid is very corrosive, it will damage skin, eyes, paint etc...
    6) Last but not least, a 10mm Flare Nut Wrench, this is a must, without it, you will round off your bleeder screw hex if the bleeder screw is on tight.

    Procedure:
    1) Properly support the front of the vehicle on jack stands.
    2) Install Clutch Pedal Buddy in driver's seat. (DO NOT PUMP THE PEDAL AT ALL THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE PROCESS).
    3) Remove Master Cylinder Reservoir Lid.
    4) Top off reservoir with brake fluid.
    5) Next, you'll be opening and closing the Slave Cylinder Bleeder Screw.

    CAUTION: Protect your eyes from squirting brake fluid.

    6) (Helper) Press clutch pedal in fully to the floor and hold.
    7) (You) Open the bleed screw to allow fluid to flow.
    8) (You) Close bleed screw.
    9) (Helper) Release clutch pedal. You may have to pick the pedal up off of the floor, do this slowly and smoothly all the way up.
    10) Repeat steps 6-9 two times, and then top off the reservoir.
    11) Repeat steps 6-9 three more times, and then top off the reservoir.
    12) You're not done yet, but you just bled the master cylinder and the hydraulic line, next you have to bleed the slave cylinder. (This is what the manuals don't tell you).
    13) There will be no further action needed with the clutch pedal, so remover your Clutch Pedal Buddy from the driver's seat.
    14) Make sure the reservoir is topped off.
    15) Now, you're about to properly bleed the slave cylinder.
    16) Place a pan or equal under the slave cylinder bleed screw, and completely remove the bleed screw from the slave cylinder body.
    13) Your helper should have the bleed screw and a wrench ready to tighten the bleed screw into the slave cylinder.
    Please remember to protect your eyes and those of your buddy's.
    14) With the bleed screw removed, firmly press and hold the slave cylinder push rod into the body of the slave cylinder. Yes you read it right, push the rod into the slave cylinder and hold it.
    15) Be careful, as soon as you push that rod back into the slave cylinder, it will and without remorse squirt brake fluid onto anything within reach.
    16) Have your buddy reinstall the bleed screw and tighten it with the flare nut wrench all the while you're still holding the push rod in.
    17) Once the bleed screw is tight, release the rod and as it comes out, guide it into the proper position on the clutch arm.
    18) Work your clutch pedal a couple of times, and notice that your reservoir is filled right up to the Max Fill Line.
    19) Install reservoir lid, lower the car, and give a test drive....
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