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Discussion Starter #1
Went out yesterday to move the 164 so company could park in the driveway. Pushed in the clutch to start the car and the petal just went to the floor and stayed there. Doing a search, it would appear to be either the master or slave cylinder seal that went bad. But I checked the brake/clutch reservoir and it is almost empty, so it appears to be a leak in the system, but there is no indications of any leakage under the car. Also, the problem appeared very suddenly. I drove the car the night before, (and ever since I bought it) without any indications of brake or clutch problems. Also, there apparently is a sensor for brake/clutch fluid level, and I didn't get any warning light on the dash as to a brake problem.

I would appreciate your input as to where to look first before I have it hauled in for repair. (Keep in mind, it is getting pretty cold here!)

Thanks for your input.
 

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Sounds like what happened on one of my 164s about a year ago. Don't remember if it was the S or L but it was the slave cyl in my case. I also saw no puddle of fluid on driveway or on any components and no warning light.
 

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Fluid leaking from the slave cylinder can collect on top of the transmission, so you won't see it on the floor under the car.
This year I changed both the master and slave clutch cylinders in my B.
 

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Once the fluid is gone, if you press the pedal it will not come back by itself. This is because the return force is from the clutch itself, and if it isn't being depressed there will be no return force. Missing fluid would argue for slave cylinder failure (dumping fluid onto tranny). Full fluid and pedal on floor would argue for master cylinder (at pedal) failure allowing fluid to bypass the seal. I suspect that other possible failure modes exist.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for Your Input

After all of the input indicating that the problem is probably with the slave cylinder (although it's called the master cylinder in the Alfa shop manual I have on CarDisc, and the master cylinder is called the pump), I went out and looked again at the car in the daylight. I see fluid under the car beneath the slave cylinder, so I suspect that is the problem. Doesn't look too bad to replace, so I'll order the part)

Thanks again for your input. This BB is the greatest!
 

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Replacing the slave cylinder is an easy fix, as it is readily accessible. Remove the air cleaner box and AFM and it's all right there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Replacement looks easy enough

Thanks John,

When I looked, it also looked like all you had to do was remove the air cleaner and maybe the AFM and the slave cylinder is there ready for the plucking. We have pushed the car into the garage and I have ordered the slave cylinder from Centerline, so all I need is for it to arrive and the time to replace it. Hopefully, the part will arrive this week, and I can replace it next weekend.

BTW, if I haven't pressed on the brake pedal since the clutch problem appeared. Will I also have to bleed the brakes? I suspect not, because the brake MC is much lower than the clutch MC, but I may be wrong?
 

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Thanks John,

When I looked, it also looked like all you had to do was remove the air cleaner and maybe the AFM and the slave cylinder is there ready for the plucking. We have pushed the car into the garage and I have ordered the slave cylinder from Centerline, so all I need is for it to arrive and the time to replace it. Hopefully, the part will arrive this week, and I can replace it next weekend.

BTW, if I haven't pressed on the brake pedal since the clutch problem appeared. Will I also have to bleed the brakes? I suspect not, because the brake MC is much lower than the clutch MC, but I may be wrong?
You are correct clutch master supply hose taps off brake reservoir at a higher level with a high stand pipe inside it.

Check hoses to slave and damper to be sure they are not leaking too. I remove damper if installed and just run slave hose to rigid line at firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What is the Clutch Damper?

I have had several references to the clutch "damper" in this post and in previous posts that I have searched. What exactly is the clutch damper and what are its affects on the performance of a 164Q? Since it is forcast to be "***** cold" (highs in the upper 20's in the upper midwest), I am planning to just replace the clutch slave cylinder, bleed the system, and hopefully be able to drive the car in the same condition as before the problem. But if I could do a simple modification to improve the car, I would be willing to consider it if it would improve the performance of the car overall.

Thanks to all that reply.
 

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It just prevents "clutch dumping" to save the tranny from that kind of abuse, it takes it's own dump though when it goes bad and can make for a unbearably heavy clutch. Most people remove them even if they aren't having an immediate problem with it, just to avoid a problem in the future and in an attempt to give a lighter clutch pedal. Just follow the hose and it will be "inline" if you have one, under the air cleaner/AFM box area.
Charles
 

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It just prevents "clutch dumping" to save the tranny from that kind of abuse, it takes it's own dump though when it goes bad and can make for a unbearably heavy clutch. Most people remove them even if they aren't having an immediate problem with it, just to avoid a problem in the future and in an attempt to give a lighter clutch pedal. Just follow the hose and it will be "inline" if you have one, under the air cleaner/AFM box area.
Charles
I am sure it is a bad hose. That hose from the damper to the slave is a high failure item. Dump the damper run the hose from the hard line into the slave as mentioned.
I am sure if this is done your leak will be gone.
Jason
 

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Also, another good way to tell that the slave has gone bad is if you mess with the rubber boot and a bunch of fluid poor out. You should be able to just wiggle it around a bit and fluid will come out if its bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Took out the Slave Cylinder Today

I got my replacement slave cylinder from Center Line and pulled the old one today. The hose runs directly to the firewall, so the damper has been eliminated. But now, I am having a problem getting the slave cylinder out of the bracket. I have the snap ring off, but it is rusted in. Am spraying it with PB and pounding on it. Hopefully it will free up.

I am concerned that there was fluid in the slave cylinder that came out when I pushed back on the piston. So now, I'm not sure if its the slave cylinder or the hose. Hope it's not the hose, because it looks like a lot of work to get to the end on the firewall.

Keep you informed.
 

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Tom,

What you described is fluid bypassing the piston and ending up in the boot or leaking out of the boot. It is actually quite simple to replace the hose. You may have to move a thing or two out of the way. The hoses also don't last forever, so you may want to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Got the Slave Cylinder Out of the Bracket

After several days of aplying PB without success, I gave up and used the "heat wrench!" A little heat (not enought to melt the paint) applied to the bracket allowed me to easily pound out the old slave cylinder from the bracket. Now all I have to do is repaint the bracket (to prevent a similar rust condition between the bracket and slave cylinder) and reinstall and bleed the system. Unfortunately, it has snowed several times since I started this repair, so I'm not sure if I can get into my storage garage for the winter!
 
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