Clutch Repairs Made Easy: Making Use of Something We Normally Throw Away

Clutch Repairs Made Easy: Making Use of Something We Normally Throw Away

Concentric slave bleeder tool Fig 4
How do we turn this old slave cylinder into a bleeding tool?

Clutch replacement is a job that normally takes a good bit of time, and we want the job to go right the first time. Whether it’s a 4-wheel drive Ford F-450 or a Chevrolet Cobalt, we don’t want to do the job twice, but that’s exactly what may happen if the clutch installation does not go right.

Schaeffler Clutch Bleeding Tool
Fig. 1

The first issue with a new clutch replacement is getting the hydraulic system bled of air, which is easily the most common problem on a new clutch install. With today’s “fluidless/dripless” quick disconnect at the clutch slave cylinder, we disconnect the line coming down from the master cylinder, take the transmission out, replace the clutch and reconnect the line, and expect things to be perfect.

However, that’s not always the case. Air gets into the hydraulic system, requiring us to bleed the system, and that can be much easer said than done.

With just a few quick steps, part of an old concentric slave cylinder that normally gets thrown out can be recycled to create a bleeding tool.

1. Drive the drift pin (Fig. 1) out of the old slave cylinder.

Schaeffler Clutch quick disconnect_Fig2
Fig. 2

2. Pull the quick disconnect (Fig. 2) and the 2-inch piece of steel line out of the old slave cylinder.

3. Get a piece of 3/8” ID hose and push it on to the end of the steel line (Fig. 3).

You now have a bleeding tool that will help in making the critical job of bleeding the hydraulic system easier.

1. Connect the tool you just made to the line coming down from the master cylinder.

2. Submerge the end of the hose in a vessel of clean fluid. Ensure that the hose always stays submerged in the fluid so that no air is drawn back into the hydraulic system.

Clutch quick disconnect with hose
Fig. 3

3. Have an assistant depress the clutch pedal slowly, while keeping a close watch on the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. Make sure that the fluid level in the reservoir doesn’t go below the “low fluid” marks.

4. Repeat the process until all that is seen being pumped through the system is clean hydraulic fluid.

5. Disconnect the tool from the hydraulic system in the vehicle and from the quick disconnect up to the master will be bled of air.
This is a great example of recycling something we normally would throw away to make our job easier and more efficient.

Courtesy of Schaeffler Group USA

You May Also Like

Advanced Wheel Bearing Diagnostics

Can a bump set a wheel speed sensor code?

A fellow employee contacted me with a diagnostic conundrum recently. When he was driving to work, the ABS and ESC light would come on just a quarter-mile from his house, and a message in the driver information center told him that these critical safety systems were not available. It did not matter the time of day or the weather. 

Driveshaft, Axle and Drivetrain Noise FAQs

These are some of the frequently asked questions about driveshaft, axle and drivetrain noise.

Drivetrain: Diagnostic Test Drive

Driveshaft problems can be spotted from the moment you put the vehicle in gear to pull it into a bay.

Constant-Velocity Axle Options

Whether new or remanufactured, complete CV axle assemblies can throw you a curveball from time to time.

Transmission Valve Body Replacement

Learning how to perform drivetrain diagnostics and “in-the-car” repairs is important.

Other Posts

Axle Torque Procedures

Guessing the correct torque setting is a bad idea.

Manual Transmission Service

Parts that wear out and must be replaced.

CV Axles: A Look Inside A Joint

Check out these photos and take a look inside a joint.

Transmission Valve Body Replacement Tips

Here are some important things to remember when replacing the transmission valve body.