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Old 11-01-2009, 12:37 AM   #1
ShawnV
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Default How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Hereís a how-to on replacing the clutch hydraulics in a Saturn S-Series.

Iíd like to thank SLCraig for his help with this repair.

First, block up the clutch pedal so it cannot be depressed. I used a bungee cord.
Remove the air box and battery.
Remove the battery tray



There are three bolts to the battery tray Ė two on top and one on the drivers wheel well.



Next, remove the two bolts holding the clip on the slave cylinder.



Remove the slave cylinder by pushing in on it and turning counterclockwise until it pops out.

Let it hang there and move to the brake cylinder. Remove the two bolts holding the brake master cylinder to the booster.





Pull the brake cylinder off the bolt studs and move it towards the passengers side slightly. This gives room to get to the clutch master cylinder.

Now itís time to remove the clip holding your clutch pedal to the master cylinder pushrod. Get your light and a flathead screwdriver. Stand on your head looking up under the clutch pedal and youíll see a clip. In the picture below the pushrod is silver with red paint on it. Itís connected to the clutch with a clip.



Remove the clip with your screwdriver and pull the pushrod off the stud on the clutch pedal.



Hereís a picture of the clip that holds it on:



Let the push rod hang there and return to the engine bay. Next grab the master cylinder and turn 1/8th of a turn counterclockwise and pull it out of the dash. The push rod will pull out as well. Note the brake master cylinder off its studs and moved aside in the pic below:



Take note of how the hydraulic lines are run under the brake lines and other stuff as you try and untangle it. I pulled the master cylinder under all that stuff and put it back in the same way.

Hereís a picture of the clutch hydraulics:
Left to right is pushrod/master cylinder and then slave cylinder. The slave cylinder pushrod was not present in the picture!



Notes:

This took me about 30 minutes on my first time doing it.

There is a clip holding the pushrod on the slave cylinder side that holds the rod in place while installing the slave cylinder. The first time you push the clutch youíll break this retaining clip. Itís normal.

If you run into very much resistance after ever removing the slave cylinder STOP. Donít stand up on the clutch because you will blow out the slave cylinder. Itís possible for the slave pushrod to miss the clutch fork and give you a rock solid clutch pedal.

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Old 11-01-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Good write up. This should be added to the How To library if the same isn't already in there.

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Old 11-01-2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Just a couple things to add:

-There are four bolts securing the battery tray on older models.
-Theres a 10mm nut attaching the battery strap on the drivers side. No need to bend it and mess it up.
-Not necessary to mess with the brake brake master cylinder. On ABS or non-ABS models.

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Old 11-01-2009, 12:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

yeah, couple extra steps in there I wouldn't worry about (bungee on pedal, undoing brake master). Heck, I didn't even take out the battery tray the last couple times. I just remove intake & battery, undo clip on pedal & take the rod off the pedal, undo 2 nuts holding the puck, twist & remove both ends, maneuver it out, install reverse of removal.

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Old 11-01-2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

ShawnV is a regular richpin !

FWIW, I noticed you have ABS. On a non-ABS car you can easily skip the undoing of the master cyl, it was no issue on my non-ABS car.

Super easy job, I was surprised how little effort it was. Chalk another one up for the Satty, such awesome easy cars to work on.

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Awesome write up! The pictures are very nice and everything is easy to see.

The only part I am confused on is the comment to ignore the master cylinder step if you have non-ABS.

I have non-ABS SL. Please explain about skipping this.

Thanks,

Jon

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnJon View Post
Awesome write up! The pictures are very nice and everything is easy to see.

The only part I am confused on is the comment to ignore the master cylinder step if you have non-ABS.

I have non-ABS SL. Please explain about skipping this.

Thanks,

Jon
Moving the brake master cylinder isn't necessary for both non-ABS and with ABS systems. But the ABS set-up is quite a big larger than it's non-ABS counterpart and may geting some peoples way. But the ABS master cylinder never changed throughout the years and it hasnt gotten in my way.

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

+1

However, Low, My hands are wayyy too big to get a grip on the clutch master with the brake master still in place. Besides, It's two easy-to-reach bolts.

Try removing the clutch master with the brake master still attached and if you need more room, move the brake master aside.

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Old 11-03-2009, 11:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnV View Post
However, Low, My hands are wayyy too big to get a grip on the clutch master with the brake master still in place.
Are you like a Sasquatch or something?

I can pick up a basketball with one hand. I got big hands too.

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Don't make ShawnV angry... you wouldn't like him when he's angry

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Old 02-19-2010, 07:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

I just today re-visited this posting....hilarious!

I can also palm a basket ball so maybe I don't need to unbolt the brake master.

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Old 03-08-2010, 01:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

very useful thread. thanks ShawnV. i'm gonna have to do this since i broke my hydraulic line :-/

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Old 05-17-2011, 04:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Just a quick correction. Maybe I am just stupid. I don't know. Your instructions say to turn the master cylinder counter clockwise to remove it. I did this for about an hour. I thought the darn thing was stuck on their. I was getting seriously agitated and was ready to break out the big tools until I just happened to turn the thing clockwise and it popped right off.

Reminds me of the first time I tried to change a flat tire on an old Dodge Dart. I was literally standing on the lug wrench trying to loosen the lug nuts. Then my dad came home and said, "oh I guess I forgot to tell you about the reverse threads on dodge vehicles". Thanks pops, I wasted half the day working on that. Live and learn.

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Old 12-11-2011, 04:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

Should the pushrod be lubricated before putting in the new one? I thought I saw that mentioned in some other thread on this subject as recommended...


Just for any other readers I have no ABS but I found it 100% necessary to still unbolt the brake master cylinder to get the clutch pushrod out, there was no way I could possibly twist things to clear with the lines still attached.

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Old 12-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

will a clutch hydraulic system from a 96 saturn work on a 2000 manual transmission?

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

No. The clutch hydraulics changed from 99 to 00.

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Old 12-22-2011, 03:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

ok will the clutch from a 96 work with 2000. or are they different?

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Old 03-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

This is a wonderfully useful thread. Today, my clutch stopped functioning. Using techniques learned in my Tao training, I visualized getting every light green on the 20 miles journey back to the safety of my house and my very own tools. And I did!

It took about 13 seconds to determine that the battery negative cable had been wearing on the plastic clutch hydraulic line under the battery box for the past 10 years and had worn a pinhole in it.

Then I found this thread, where I discovered that this is a sealed system with "no user serviceable parts" as they say on electronics these days. So I opened a new tab, skipped right on over to Rock Auto.com and ordered up a brandy new system. $93 including shipping. God I love the internet.

Then I went out and removed the old system in about 30 minutes. The only issue I had with the instructions in this thread is that the clutch master must be turned CLOCKWISE as you are looking at it while draped over the left front fender. The instructions say to turn it Counterclockwise, and that is true, if you are looking at the master cylinder from the driver's seat. But you're not. You are outside staring back at the firewall and if you try to turn it counterclockwise, you will soon be cursing like a drunken sailor.

So......to keep your sanity and protect the tender ears of any children who may be within hearing distance - roughly a mile or two - turn it clockwise and be a happy camper. Righty tighty, lefty loosey may pertain to Saturn clutch hydraulics, but, in the case of the clutch master cylinder, only if you are looking at the problem backwards.

Other than that one minor issue, a fantastic thread. I would never have attempted this on my own without it. And sure as shootin', I would have broken the battery support bracket if you guys didn't tell me about that bolt through the fender well!

Thanks

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Old 06-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

I'll add my sincere thanks for this guide which saved me about $17000 because I was going to buy a new car if the clutch in my old Saturn was shot. With the new hydraulics it shifts much better.

Here's my notes from the experience as an individual who knows exactly enough to get himself in trouble when it comes to vehicle repair.

When I got to the step of removing the slave cylinder by pushing on it, I didn't realize how hard I'd have to push to get it to come loose. I doesn't help that it's a slightly awkward angle at which to push which means I didn't have full leverage.

It wasn't until I got the slave cylinder out that I realized I'd ordered the wrong part from Rock Auto. (My fault, not theirs.) They sell the hydraulic hose by itself for $95 and the hose plus slave and master cylinders for anywhere from $76 - $110 depending on who makes it. I needed the Clutch Master and Slave Cylinder Assembly for my '97 SC.

With regards to the great controversy over whether or not to move the brake master cylinder when installing, I don't think it has anything to do with the size of one's hands. I've got long, skinny, agile fingers and I still couldn't get the new unit threaded into place on my non-ABS vehicle without moving the brake master cylinder. It's probably easier to install the unit with the hose going *above* the brake lines, but that looked to me like an invitation for damage to the line from a rubbing battery cable once everything gets back into place. The unit I replaced was original and it was threaded below the brake lines, and that's how I installed mine.

Also some mistakes not to make that I --- er, that a friend of mine made when he was doing this. While you're upside down under the dash removing the clip that connects the master cylinder pushrod to the clutch pedal, bear in mind that that little clip is yearning for freedom and will make the most of its opportunity. With one hand holding the flashlight and the other holding the screwdriver, you'll need your third hand to make sure it doesn't get too far.

Also, my friend -- this guy is really an idiot, you have to understand -- when reversing the process after the new unit was installed, he reattached the pushrod/clutch pedal clip and decided to test the linkage while he was down there. This promptly broke the factory-installed, one-use plastic binding on the slave cylinder which should only be broken once the cylinder is mounted in place which of course this one wasn't. Fortunately it was a gentle test and it didn't shoot the slave cylinder pushrod onto the driveway, thus saving the pusher a great deal of time, money and embarrassment.

First gear is no longer a constant trial, and I and everyone who has gotten stuck behind me at a traffic light is grateful for that.

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Old 06-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: How To: Clutch Hydraulic system with pics

It sounds like you learn like I do...by making mistakes and then noting them!

I'm glad the how-to was useful.

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