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  • Bleeding the clutch

    Guys I'm trying to bleed my clutch- but nothing seems to be happening. The clutch pedals stays on the floor and there is nothing happening. I've been getting air out, but I'm not seeing any results. The pedal just stays on the floor when you push it down.


    Am I doing something wrong?
    1988 M3
    2012 335is
    1993 Civic Si

  • #2
    I haven't bled the clutch before, but I thought that it went the same as brake bleeding but you use the clutch pedal instead.
    "Only a company that built airplane engines could build a car to make you heart soar."

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    • #3
      Yeah, thats what I thought. The clutch won't come back up though...
      1988 M3
      2012 335is
      1993 Civic Si

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      • #4
        maybe you need to remove the cover off the master cylinder (I believe the clutch master cylinder uses brake fluid, but not sure)

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        • #5
          Hopefully not too stupid of a question-but did you remove the slave cylinder from the transmission and turn it upside down while bleeding? From what I understand this is what you have to do to properly bleed it. If you are already doing that, then I have no idea.

          I was supposed to bleed my brakes and clutch today, but got too involved in working on my friends (and my ex) E30 325is.
          Eric Giles
          '07 X5 4.8i
          '01 325i
          sigpic

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          • #6
            I had the same issue when I bled my clutch. The problem was that I was letting the fluid level get too low. It was falling below the hose fitting that feeds the clutch slave allowing it to suck in air. Make sure that you keep the fluid topped off and that the slave hose cannot suck in any air. It's the hose coming off the drivers side of the reservoir.

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            • #7
              If you're bleeding the slave cylinder correctly, once you close the bleeder and pump the clutch (by lifting it and depressing it) ~3times the pedal should stay off the floor.

              If this is not the case, you still have air in the system. This could be because of the what Mick said (letting the reservoir fluid drop too low) or that you still need to bleed the system more.

              here's an excerpt from the Koala CD on how to bleed the clutch, if it helps.
              "Bleeding by hand - one person
              Open the bleed valve, press the pedal to the floor, it should stay there. Remove the slave cylinder and press the rod in against the stop. Close the bleeder, release the rod and repeat several times. Once no more air is present in the fluid, remount the slave cylinder and pump up the pedal. Never pump the clutch pedal while the slave cylinder is dismounted, this will result in the slave coming apart."

              Bryant

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              • #8
                Cheers guys. I'll work this out tomorrow.
                1988 M3
                2012 335is
                1993 Civic Si

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                • #9
                  Below is a cut and paste from this thread. I've modified it slightly for clarity to suit this thread.

                  Originally posted by Jake
                  The one thing I found odd was that some people reported that the installation was not straight forward. The line won't reach to where it should on the slave cylinder so you have to turn it (the slave cylinder) upside down with the bleed nipple facing down. I didn't think much of it for a while until I got to looking at a slave cylinder diagram.

                  As it turns out the slave cylinder was originally intended to be mounted with the bleed nipple facing down anyway. Looking at it you'd think you'd want it on top so you could get all the air out when bleeding it, that is if the internal passages are drilled as you'd expect. But it's a little known fact that this isn't the case and the slave cylinder nipple is actually drilled into the far end of the chamber. So with the nipple pointing down, the internal passage leading to it actually comes into the chamber at the top, where it should. This screen capture from the factory manual depicts what the internals look like in the slave cylinder.



                  So anyway, something to keep in mind and helpful to know if you ever have to bleed the clutch hydraulic system. I think those who ran into trouble installing their SS clutch line and then reported they had to turn their slave cylinders upside down were actually correcting something that had be done at some point in time long before they ever got under there. Someone goes to bleed their clutch and thinks "hey, this would work so much better if the bleed nipple was on top!" So they turn it around and presto! There's no reason anybody else would know the difference. (the hard line to the slave cylinder would have to be modified (rebent) to accomodate this I'm sure)

                  So be sure to bleed it with the slave cylinder bleed nipple facing down. Unless I'm not in the know and there are slave cylinders out there that do not follow the design that the above diagram from BMW depicts.

                  HTH,
                  Jake Larsen
                  Moral of the story, don't turn your slave cylinder upside down (nipple facing up) when bleeding.

                  HTH,
                  Jake Larsen

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                  • #10
                    If it's only staying down after each pump-down during the bleeding process, after you close the bleed valve on the slave just pull it back up by hand each time. I only point this out because it's not clear to me if it's only staying down during the bleed procedure or after you've bled it. Once it's bled properly the clutch plate diaphram spring will return the pedal back up, but during the bleed procedure you are not compressing the clutch plate.

                    There is a special tool that gets around this by compressing the slave rod instead:



                    ps: the part # on this photo is for an E36, not sure if it applies to the S14 or not, used as an example only
                    Last edited by TeamM3; 12-28-2003, 06:32 AM.
                    A friend will come bail you out of jail, but a TRUE friend will be sitting next to you in the jail cell saying, "Dude, that was focking awesome!"

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                    • #11
                      If you are using a tube immersed in fluid just disconnect the tube and proceed with the bleeding. Let the fluid escape in a container without the tube.

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                      • #12
                        what difference would that make?
                        A friend will come bail you out of jail, but a TRUE friend will be sitting next to you in the jail cell saying, "Dude, that was focking awesome!"

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                        • #13
                          Don't know but like the "einhander" I could not get the pedal off the floor using the tube in brake fluid method until I just allow the fluid to escape in a container. ???
                          :idea:

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