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View Full Version : Filling the Clutch Master/Slave Cylinders without 'Bleeding'


mavmav
11-22-2005, 09:34 PM
:D How to fill the Clutch Master/Slave cylinders without 'Bleeding'.

This is for the next person that struggles through this repair.

It can be done but obtaining a prefilled assembly is still the easiest way to go.

Anyway, assuming your are replacing the Master or Slave cylinders (or both) and end up buying separate pieces here are the steps.

1. Get the old assembly out of the car.
2. Separate the hoses and replace the cylinders and hook the hoses back up.

You should now have a rebuilt assembly full of air. Now for the 'bleeding'.

3. Fasten the Master and Slave cylinders to something (a 2X4 worked for me). Fasten them about 18 inches apart. The slave cylinder should be pointing straight up.

4. Put it in a vise to hold it.

5. Make sure that the hoses dangle below the cylinders and the cylinders are fairly level with each other.

6. :yes: Dismantle the slave cylinder (its easier than you think). The Slave Cylinder consists of 4 parts - the casing, a spring, a plastic plunger and a spiral clip to hold everything together. Just pull the shaft out of the rubber boot and snap the boot off. Use a very small screw driver to pry the end of the clip out of its recess and 'slice' the screwdriver around to spin out the clip. Dont worry about the plunger flying out, there is little or no pressure left from the spring - its too short.

7. Now fill the Master cylinder pot with brake fluid and carefully pump the fluid into the line. Keep the the pot filled and pump fluid until your convinced there are no more air bubbles. The fluid will overflow out of the slave cylinder. Put some more in to make doubly sure.

8. Put the spring back in, then the plunger then the spiril clip. To get the clip back in spread it out (carefully) and get one end into the recess. Hold the end in and use the small screwdriver prod clip along. Thats the hardest part.

9. Put the boot back on and the shaft and your done.

If you are replacing the Slave cylinder then you can take the original Slave cylinder apart for a little practice. It is not very difficult and worked the first time for me. Just try not to bend the spiral clip.

BarnOwl
11-23-2005, 07:08 AM
Interesting, this is the first posted method that I would be willing to try. Thanks!!!

stu
11-23-2005, 07:40 AM
mavmav, you must have had an eye on this forum for a while to recognize the value in this contribution.

Thanks a lot!

stu

eljefino
11-23-2005, 07:55 AM
can you take pictures?

maybe we'll mail you all our duds and you can rebuild them for fun and profit. :)

RalliArt16
11-23-2005, 08:45 AM
Or try this alternative method:

Buy a new clutch hydraulic assembly from saturn, install it, and be worry free for years and years to come.

mavmav
11-23-2005, 10:04 AM
Thnks Stu. I've been pouring through this site after struggling for a couple of weekends to fix my 95 SL. Its the first real repair that its needed in 10 years. I could not get the finished assembly so had to opt for replacing the cylinders.

Obviously there are many people running into the same problem so I wanted to give something back. This site is a wonderfull find. :D

My intentions where to get the precharged assembly after reading the posts on this site. For those in the US, its cost is $225+ tax up here - about 1/3 more. Buying the cylinders and new lines (thanx Princess Auto) came out about the same. So there is really no money to be saved unless one cylinder only is replaced. Get the precharged assembly instead if you can.

One other caveat. My beloved 95SL has the hard to shift problem. The hydraulics, clutch, release bearing and pressure plate I've just replaced.
:x Its still hard to shift. So there are no guarantees. There is something else wrong somewhere.

...
1995SL - 165K Kilometers - under extremely rare repair
1998SL - 185K Kilometers - new daily driver

sps SOHC
11-23-2005, 10:14 AM
Or try this alternative method:

Buy a new clutch hydraulic assembly from saturn, install it, and be worry free for years and years to come.

Especially since the price difference between the sealed one from saturn and the one from autozone or wherever is not that great.

stu
11-23-2005, 11:08 AM
One other caveat. My beloved 95SL has the hard to shift problem. The hydraulics, clutch, release bearing and pressure plate I've just replaced.
:x Its still hard to shift. So there are no guarantees. There is something else wrong somewhere.

Have you checked out the bushings beneath the stick? Some feel looseness, while others feel binding:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62121

It seems that various bushing solutions are offered on e-Bay

stu

mavmav
11-23-2005, 11:26 AM
I will definately check it out. Thanx.

mavmav
12-01-2005, 07:43 AM
Thats not it. Will try once more then I'm going to look for the precharged assembly. Attached is a picture on how it was filled.

mavmav
12-05-2005, 08:32 PM
Success! The slave cylinder push rod was not seated properly in the clutch release bracket recess. Even with the snap cap there is no guarantee it will line up correctly. I had to remove the rod, position it manually then snap the slave cylinder back on.

Gubins
02-21-2007, 05:21 PM
:) I used this method this weekend and it worked just fine saved me a new set up and took about an hour. make sure all the air is out of the system andfill the back of the slave cylinder.

sea2seajt
12-22-2009, 09:52 PM
So I took my hose loose at the slave cylinder not knowing that you could pop it out so easily. I came up with a clever method of bleeding it as well. I got a bucket of clean brake fluid, submerged the slave cylinder and pumped it over and over until no more bubbles came out. I left it submerged then did the hose in the same bucket. Once all bubbles were gone, I connected the hose to the slave cylinder while still submerged. I thought this would work great but I seem to have a big time leak at the connection now..... I took it back apart. The brass fitting on the end of the hose that plugs in the slave cylinder has a little groove in it that makes me think an o-ring should be there but there is not. Anyone who has taken the line off know if there is some type of seal there?

t0030tr
05-07-2010, 11:40 AM
Going in for a rebuild on my 1.9 DOHC who would have known not to seperate this unit unless you stumbled on it by luck.. In a panic and after reading everywhere this unit is not servicable and must be replaced I was a little POed to have found this out after the fact. Thanks A BUNCH MAVMAV, you saved me $187.00 bucks as it cost me $3.00 for the brake fluid and maybe 15 minutes to bleed after I got the hang of it. Wish I would have taken a pic of mine as your board pic helped to. So in the end it would have had to come out anyways and it took 15 minutes and $3.00 bucks. My 1997 SL2 is back on the road for two weeks now and no issues. Thanks $187.00 bucks.. :yes:

Kidmet
11-19-2010, 06:14 PM
Ok, so I have to replace my slave cylinder. Put in a new clutch, but my slave pin was damaged and blew the seal in the system. (I had to take the tranny back out to retrieve the pin from the bell housing, fun!) Anyways, what if I submerged the slave cylinder while taking the old off anf putting the new in. after the new one is in, pumping the slave while the cap is off (and still submerged). What do you guys think? I'll need some help. I understand getting the prebled/filled system is easier, but I don't have $200 to spend. The slave was $30 at the local auto parts store. It's been a tough month and it's my only car to work. Help. Pm's or replies would always be great. Thanks in advance.

JrTalon
06-23-2012, 10:23 PM
After reading other threads, I finally came to this one. I had to replace my slave cylinder after blowing it up. I thought I had all the air out of the system. I refused to believe that I would have to buy a whole new system. Thanks Mavmav for the detailed information. Guess what I'm going to be doing on my next day off!!!

02SSL2
12-28-2012, 10:31 PM
Hello! I have this problem with the clutch assembly... see if anyone can help.

I was driving here a few days ago, and suddenly (as per usual) my clutch decided to seize (and heres the kicker) but it seized in the DISengaged position... (ie engine running, put in any gear, nothing would happen)

So today I tried to install a new slave and sure enough, the old slave had the rod extended fully and we tried to push the rod back in. No good. Once we had it apart from the line though, that slave rod moved back and forth quite freely.

Put the new slave in, tried the nightmarish procedure to bleed it, cut the plastic retaining straps (so the rod was extended fully), filled it full... but of course, it wouldnt budge back so there was room to twist the slave cylinder back onto the tranny housing...

So! I see that there is a line going from the master to this plate, then a second hose going from this plate to the slave. Is there a valve of some sort in that plate??

I can get the fluid to go to the slave, but it wont go back to the master; explaining the clutch seizing in the DISengaged position... Or should I just fork out more $$ and just get the whole assembly?

Thanks!

fdryer
12-29-2012, 04:57 PM
Well, you just did it the hard way without any familiarity with hydraulic systems so why struggle and simply buy the entire master/slave unit with hose and replace the old with new?

Bet you're car has well over 100k miles....................because a clutch is in the future if you have to replace the clutch master/slave unit.

antler-lights
01-18-2013, 06:21 AM
Well, you just did it the hard way without any familiarity with hydraulic systems so why struggle and simply buy the entire master/slave unit with hose and replace the old with new?

Bet you're car has well over 100k miles....................because a clutch is in the future if you have to replace the clutch master/slave unit.

We did the old school bleed and then still not shifting right ,, late night and auto parts store close so we couldnt get a vacuum pump ,,, so we did the red neck thing and put a vacuum on it an several min. later pumped it and it was better... put the vac on 3 time and pumped it each time and it was smooth shifting as new ...

the air was gone !!! :)

KD5NRH
05-16-2013, 03:35 PM
mavmav, you must have had an eye on this forum for a while to recognize the value in this contribution.

Especially now that all the "brand new OEM parts only" nazis no longer have anything useful to contribute and even junkyard parts are often rusty and just as bad as the ones folks are trying to replace.