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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 86 grad with only 17k. I 've owned for two years. Prior to that not driven much. Anyways, had problems with clutch and putting stick into 1st and rev. Checked reservoir level and decided to add. Pumped pedal and level decreased. Added more and pumped and did same again. Checked under car and had big leak around tranny. Checked threads and sounds like slave or hose or both. Any other thoughts or advice? Would be most appreciated. And would like to do myself if possible.

Paddy Boy
 

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Replacing the slave cylinder and the flex hose is not too hard. You'd need a set of ramps to get the car up high enough to work underneath it safely. The slave cylinder is held onto the bell housing by a pair of large circlips. A decent quality 'snap-ring' plier is needed to get them off.

The slave can be rebuilt if the internal bore is not damaged (any water that gets into the system can allow rust to pit the inside of the slave). That'd save some money but add a bit off time. There are two kits listed on IAP's web site so you'll have to figure which one your car has...

Here are some links to Centerline's web pages: Clutch slave cylinder & Flex hose.

Keep in mind that the master cylinder is also as old as the rest of the system - seems like it'd be worth replacing or rebuilding that while you have the tools out. Then you'll know the whole clutch hydraulic system is as good as new.
 

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If you are going to do the whole system - including the master cylinder - the easiest way to empty out the hydraulic fluid is to open the bleed screw on the slave cylinder, attach a length of plastic hose and pump the clutch pedal to force out as much old fluid as possible into an old jar (never re-use brake fluid!).

I like Valvoline SynPower. (It is not the same as DOT 5 Silicone brake fluid that some don't like.) Castrol GT LMA is another well liked product.

While you are at it, it'd be a good idea to also flush the brake system to install fresh brake fluid. All brake fluids are hygroscopic - they absorb moisture - even water vapor out of the air. The water degrades the brake fluid and it allows corrosion. Replacing the fluid every 1-2 years will dramatically increase the life of all the components.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ghnl,

Thanks again, I will follow your advice with the flushing of Brake fluid. sounds reasonable since it is all probably original. I've used Synpower on my other vehicles and it is excellent. I will probably go against changing out the master cylinder and just replace fluid. As of right now brakes are excellent. the master cylinder replacement might be out of my scope of expertise and time for that matter.

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Sometimes (especially if you are not also replacing/rebuilding the master cylinder) it can be difficult to bleed the clutch system. Try this: before removing the slave cylinder put a piece of plastic wrap on the clutch fluid reservoir and put the cap back on over it. That will not allow any air to get in and limit how much fluid will be lost by gravity when you remove the slave & flex hose. (definately replace the flex hose when you replace the slave cylinder) My reasoning is to prevent the master from draining down and getting air inside. Air in the master cylinder isn't the end of the world but it might make subsequent bleeding more difficult.

Then, when you install the new slave, remove the plastic wrap, fill the reservoir with fresh fluid and start bleeding. Don't let the reservoir run dry - keep refilling it when it's almost empty. Pump a whole lotta fluid through until you are sure only clean, fresh fluid is coming out. (Same technique for the brake system.)

BTW, make sure the bleed screw is 'up' - at the 12 o'clock position to ensure you get all the air out of the slave cylinder.
 
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