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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1990 Alfa Spider Veloce's clutch is "light" as in virtually does not engage at all. I have been "double pumping" the clutch for roughly 3 months and now it's gone. One out of 50+ pumps will engage. I bled the clutch hydraulic fluid as a first attempt to fix the problem. No difference. I checked for signs of leakage on the Master Cylinder, there were none. Then I photographed the Slave Cylinder.... my questions are on the picture. Please advise if you can see the problem.
 

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To actually see if it is a bad slave cylinder, have someone else push the clutch pedal while you watch the slave to see if it operates properly. If it seams to work, then you have some other issue, the throwout bearing perhaps, or the clutch itself is just worn out. And remember to always use jack stands when under your car.
 

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Geh458 makes a good point, there maybe a problem within the transmission itself. But first, check out the proper operation of the slave. The slave should rotate within the housing. You say that the actuating rod wiggles, do you mean wiggles back and forth (parallel with the rod) or perpendicularly? I don't recall any movement with mine when I replaced it. Don't know what that hose is that you show. You do have the bleed screw at the 12:00 position which is good. Have you noticed if you are losing fluid in the clutch MC reservoir? If you pull back the rubber boot of the slave, is there any fluid there? The rubber hose connected to the slave may have collapsed internally? Not sure if that would be visually obvious. Also, have someone push on the clutch pedal and then measure the distance the clutch fork (the plate that the slave rod/ball pushes against) moves. Should be about 11 mm. How old is the slave? Could be time to replace it and the hose as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The MC reservoir has remained full since the original time (maybe '07) my mechanic bled the line. He gave me extra bottles to replenish if necessary but I have not needed to - which seems to me to not be a leak. The fluid came out when we bled the line ourselves.... if the hose was internally damaged would it have barley dripped? I will pull back the boot and check for leakage. Thanks for the responses and stay tuned.
 

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The wiggling and 3/4 inch rotation are normal (the unit is held in place by two circlips). Your problem might be the master cylinder. The rubber around the piston becomes worn and the master cylinder won't develop enough pressure to actuate the slave cylinder. (This occurs without any leak in the master cylinder). Another possibility is an "aneurysm" in the flex hose: the hose inner lining ruptures but he outer lining remains intact, forming a bubble and preventing the fluid from actuating the slave cylinder.
It's a relatively straightforward fix. Replace both master and slave cylinders as well as the flex hose simultaneously. Replacing just one component increases pressure inside the system due to the new component and results in increased stress on the other components. The other components fail within months (ask me how I know!)
Dave
 

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As the previous replies state, problems 1 & 2 (wiggle & rotation) are not problems - normal. I am not sure what the hose is - what's at the other end?

Only thing I can't tell from your photo is if both circlips are in place. If one were missing the whole slave could move instead of the making the throw out fork move. But I doubt it'd then move back into position so that seems unlikely.

Because the slave cylinder can rotate you must make sure the bleed screw is 'up' (12 O'clock) when bleeding the system.
 

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Clutch

Hi Amy , Sounds like you have a worn clutch master or even a broken clutch shaft! Have someone push down slowly on the cluth pedal and see if the lever that goes to the clutch master is moving.... Jim
 

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I agree that it's likely a bad slave or master cylinder. I always replace them together along with the hose. Parts are not that expensive and I only want to be covered with clutch fluid once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay guys - all these replies are helpful but are initiating more questions. 1.) "pull back the rubber boot" from which side? On the Master pull from the reservoir toward the shaft or vice versa? On the Slave there is a small metal wire ring.... am I to unwind it to peak inside that boot? 2.) While bleeding the line I recall the MC moving just over an inch when clutch pedal was depressed whereas the Slave seemed to barely move and certainly not as far.. maybe 1/2 to 3/4 an inch. Would this be a hose line issue or a mechanical issue. 3.) LASTLY (for now) Is there any circumstance (besides being broke and no where near an Alfa Expert Mechanic) that any of you guys would recommend replacing just one of the three components? Master, Slave or hose.... how do I determine the hierarchy? The MC looks mint condition, the hose bled just fine and the Slave by sight does not appear to be bad, albeit covered in an oil slick. btw the Clutch Shaft is in good condition and is an after market double weld.... ask me how I know that for a good laugh.

If I must replace the whole entity then I can not DIY the job. In this case I need the best price on the parts and a close-to-me Alfa Mechanic recommendation. I am in St. Helena of Napa Valley.... if said mechanic would work for wine I'd be a high-roller ; )

Images are MC still and MC with clutch depressed....any thoughts?
 

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Wine ???

Did you say wine?? I recommend you dont start throwing parts at something your not sure about. You will save money or wine by bring it to somebody familiar with it {19 years familiar}. If you have any questions get a hold of me... Jim [email protected]
 

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Yea when you saw It You should of changed it & then if there was an issue ask us. Spend the 40 bucks & it'll work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi alfarules, When I saw what... and should have change what? Either way $40 is a solution I can handle... so please advise further - parts alone are +$300.
 

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Have someone push down slowly on the cluth pedal and see if the lever that goes to the clutch master is moving...
Agree. Find out if it is a hydraulic issue or internal (throw out bearing, etc) issue. Have your assistant hold the pedal down for a few minutes.
The clutch rod at the slave should remain in the extended position as long as the pedal is held down. If it moves initially but then retracts (even though the pedal is being held down) the master &/or slave is faulty. Also watch/feel the rubber hose. It should not expand appreciably when the pedal is pressed down.

 

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<snip!>
If I must replace the whole entity then I can not DIY the job. In this case I need the best price on the parts and a close-to-me Alfa Mechanic recommendation. I am in St. Helena of Napa Valley.... if said mechanic would work for wine I'd be a high-roller ; )
Well there's Rich Ott in Valley-Joe:

707-645-8043

currently vice presidente of ARA:

<http://www.alfaromeoassociation.org/>
 

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Have you measured how far the slave rod moves when you (someone else) depresses the clutch pedal as shown in the diagram provided by Eric? I had this problem just a couple of weeks ago (search for the thread) and I needed to bleed the system twice. I originally thought I had all the air out of the system, but not quite. I followed the process that Eric described on using a 60 ml syringe to push brake fluid up from the slave to the MC. But then I used the typical pedal method, pushing the fluid down, and additional air bubbles came out of the slave bleed screw. Then the clutch operated as it should. Apparently getting air out of this system is more difficult than with the brake system. So don't necessarily assume that all the air is out. I agree with others that if the system was working fine one day, and then not the next, most likely one of the components needs to be replaced. I suppose the rubber flex hose is the least expensive and fairly straight forward to replace. Why not start there?
 
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