Bleeding the clutch: Am I doing it wrong or is my clutch slave cylinder bad? - Page 3 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #31 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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So, I didn't do much since the end of April and when I checked on the car a few times, the level of clutch fluid in the reservoir had been dropping. It is now empty. So, it seems there is a leak in the system somewhere. I know it's not leaking through the clutch slave because I just replaced it - are there other common places for clutch line leaks?

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post #32 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 06:53 PM
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A significant volume of fluid can leak out of the slave into the boot. Any other leaks should be quite obvious.

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post #33 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Another update, I did a once-over check of the clutch line. The metal line does not seem to have any leaks (and as some have suggested, any degree of motion out of the slave should indicate no obvious leaks). I have tried to bleed the line again with a "Phoenix Brake Bleeder" tool. First I tried reverse bleeding the line like it advertises, pushing fluid from the bottom of the device to the top. This got a small amount of motion out of the clutch slave but still not more than before. I tried to vacuum bleed the system as well, which ended confusingly. While it pulled brake fluid out of the line, most of what came out was air. This makes no sense - the small amount of motion I have gotten out of the clutch slave suggests the line does not contain mostly air

Here are some videos I've taken:

So, a few thoughts:

I have also noticed the fluid in the clutch reservoir looks like it bubbles sometimes when pushing in the clutch pedal. I can't get close enough with a camera while pressing the pedal to determine what it is exactly - should I consider the master cylinder a possible suspect for attention? I replaced the slave but have not considered replacing the master.

Is there a point at which I should give in and consult a repair shop? I haven't found a shop to do work on my car yet in my local area, can any automotive shop do this type of work? I might consult Angies' List and start making some calls. I'm getting a little frustrated what with how many times I've tried to get the clutch working and have been unsuccessful.

~Jarred
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post #34 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I have successfully taken a video of the "bubbling" I was trying to describe in my previous post - it appears to be brake fluid, not air bubbles. I reached my weekly upload limit on VImeo, I'll post the video as soon as I can find a service to host it.

~Jarred
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post #35 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 03:13 PM
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You've replaced two out of the four major components, correct? Slave and "rubber" hose.

You may need to replace or rebuild the Master, as the seals, especially if they went dry, may no longer be functioning properly. The metal line is the least likely to need replacement. However, if the flare is cracked, it will allow leakage under pressure.

When it leaked down during your last "reflection period" ( ) did the fluid puddle under the car?

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post #36 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 03:28 PM
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When vacuum bleeding, air can be drawn in around the threads of the bleeder causing bubbles in the fluid. This is not air being drawn out of the lines but you cannot distinguish if there is also air being drawn out. You can try adding a wrap of teflon tape to the thread on the bleeder making sure to not get any beyond the threaded area.
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post #37 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horsewidower View Post
You've replaced two out of the four major components, correct? Slave and "rubber" hose.

You may need to replace or rebuild the Master, as the seals, especially if they went dry, may no longer be functioning properly. The metal line is the least likely to need replacement. However, if the flare is cracked, it will allow leakage under pressure.
Correct, I have replaced my slave cylinder and rubber hose. It does then logically follow the remaining part to replace is the master. Very frustrating that it's not simple to track down the source of this issue, but I suppose having an "all new" clutch system is not a bad idea for longevity. Is replacing and bleeding the master a big job?

Do you have any suggestions for US-based sources of the master cylinder? I'm looking on Centerline, it's $110 - a little pricey compared with my slave cylinder. I got the slave from Classic Alfa but the shipping costs are prohibitive for a small order.

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Originally Posted by horsewidower View Post
When it leaked down during your last "reflection period" ( ) did the fluid puddle under the car?
Ha, an accurate description. Sometimes I just need a break from the Alfa. Of course now that it's warm and sunny out, I don't want another one . It's hard to tell, I have the car parked outside under a portable garage. I see no obvious fluid pooling but any subtle signs of a leak I couldn't say.

ghnl, that makes sense. I think I'll try teflon tape next time around. Might also help prevent fluid from leaking around the threads when I loosen the bleeder.

~Jarred
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