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Hi, it now being Spring, I pulled my 87 Spider out of hibernation. When I parked it all was working properly so I was surprised to find the clutch pedal had virtually no resistance, and hence, am not able to shift gears. I checked the fluid reservoir at the master cylinder and it was a bit low so I filled it. I don't know how it would get there, but could air in the line cause there to be no resistance at the pedal. Since it was operating properly as when I last parked it, I can't see how it could be anything mechanical. But I'd be grateful for any insights to solving this problem. Thanks in advance!
 

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Unless the reservoir was totally empty it is not likely air got in that way.

Peek under the rubber boot at the slave cylinder. Anything more than a slight dampness likely means the slave is leaking. And if fluid can leak out then air can leak in. It might, maybe, possibly work again if you flush fresh fluid through and thoroughly bleed the system. But once leaking it is more probable it will continue to leak. Why they decide to do this while parked over the winter is beyond my understanding...
 

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ghnl: thanks for the input, I check out the slave and see where it may be leaking. This is the first time this has happened following a winter storage...
 

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ghnl, I have a schematic of the hydraulic system (SEE ATTACHMENT) .. What you refer to as the slave cylinder, would that be the Operating cylinder at the clutch?
 

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once leaking it is more probable it will continue to leak. Why they decide to do this while parked over the winter is beyond my understanding...
ghnl offers good advice here. I can't explain either why it decided to do this while parked over the winter. But let me say two things about that:

1) Better it fail in your garage than on the road.
2) From my experience, hydraulics do tend to fail when they aren't being used. Dunno why, but they do.

ghnl said:
Peek under the rubber boot at the slave cylinder. Anything more than a slight dampness likely means the slave is leaking.
If your slave cylinder fails that test (and it probably will - where else could the fluid have gone?), then my recommendation would be to at least replace the slave cylinder. Have a good pair of snap ring pliers handy when you remove & replace the slave. Your flex hose may be OK, but they are cheap and replacing that too "while you're in there" would be a good idea.

And if you don't want to worry about your clutch hydraulics for awhile, replace the clutch master too.
 

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ghnl offers good advice here...
And he's so handsome, too. I keep having to remind y'all about that.

A couple more tips. Replace the flexible hose while you are at it. They can also fail - often internally. And when installing the slave cylinder make sure the bleed screw is uppermost. The slave can rotate in the mounting rings. If the bleed screw is not at the top you'll never get all the air out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi, thanks for your input. The strange part is: this being the 4th time having parked it over the winter, it's the first I've experienced it, but it being what it is, I will take up on the advice given. Thanks again...happy driving!
 

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One more thing to check - the weld at the end of this pivot shaft is notorious for breaking. That's what went on my Spider.
 

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I've found that after a few years, and when garaged/unused for the winter, or whenever, the seals, as in the slave cylinder, do tend to take a set, and will let fluid go by when actuated. Or, if the fluid is really old, there can be particles of old seal and rotten fluid deposits getting under the seal edge. No fluid is lost but the tired stiff seals just tend to let fluid pass by if not used often.

Sometimes, after continued trying, the seal may work again and start to seal, but even if that is the case, it is time to rebuild the slave or whichever other seal is doing this and certainly replace the fluid.

Had this happen with my LS years ago. I had thought the fluid had been changed before a trip, but part way through, the clutch pedal didn't work worth a darn. Fed new fluid (from my get home box in the trunk) into the system while bleeding the slave and it recovered, working ok. The fluid coming out onto the hotel parking lot had big particles in it. Obviously the particles had gotten under the seal lip. My bad for forgetting when I had last changed the fluid. Needless to say all were changed after getting home, ie, new master, slave, and ATE Amber fluid.

For one thing, cars do not like to set without use for all that long. It does pay to use them now and them, even if it is just around the block several times to warm up (unless the snow is too deep, lol). I do use the LS now and then, even if it is not the daily driver.
 
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