- Difficulty Level:
I appreciate there have been a few posts recently about the clutch master cylinder squeaking and clicking and that this is generally quite a well known issue. Mine has done it for a while and I did spray it, but it only lasted for a while, and came back again. Anyway, after a bit of research, I quickly established that the only real solution is to change it.
I like going OEM, but even when I was enquiring about it, the new OEM CMC does not appear to solve the issue and appears to come back and I decided that I would try aftermarket (sorry Ichiban). I decided to go for a blueprint part after lots of phone calls to clutch garages asking their recommendations and even Honda themselves who confirmed to me that the OEM replacement modification did not address the clicking issue. Every single garage I spoke to, including some specialist ones dealing with only clutches/gearboxes etc and numerous independant non mainstream ones, were aware of the CMC issue and the one, when I called up and said I had an Accord asked me outright "Is it clicking?". The unanimous suggestion from them was Blueprint.
I could not find a single DIY for a right hand drive CMC change on our cars. So this is for a Gen 7, 2006, Accord Saloon CDTi.
Thought I would document my journey for others, hopefully this will help @arcticfire.
- 10mm Flare Wrench (don't try this without one, strip the clutch line and you will be replacing it)
- 17, 12 (short is essential) and 8 mm spanners
- Pliers (long nosed and snub)
- Brake/Clutch Cleaner
- New brake/clutch fluid
- Ability to bleed clutch system (I used a one man bleeder kit eventually)
- Flat nosed screwdriver
- Replacement CMC obviously
- Something to press clip back into replacement new CMC - I used a pipe wrench, but you would use a c clamp, vise etc.
- Patience of a saint and some more common sense. Oh, rope to tie the kids up to a tree for the day to leave you alone is also a good idea.
Here you can see the mess my CMC made of the inside of the car.
There are two 12mm bolts holding the CMC into place. I took loosened the nuts first as from alreay digging my head around in there, I could see how awkward this was going to be and refused to disconnect anything before I knew I could get the nuts loose. The one here is the easiest by far to get to. There is another one at the 10pm postion, I didnt even attempt to get a picture as the space is so small its ridiculous. I am not embarassed to say that it took me 3 hours to loosen the nut. It is at an incredibly awkward angle, cannot get any sockets in there as it hits with numerous connectors and metal parts, and if you try to swing a spanner, you have only an inch of so and it hits the centre console. I resorted eventually to 12mm flare wrench purely because it was shorter than my other 12mm and I could manipulate the soundproofing by pushing behind the centre console with it and get an extra 2 inches. Once it is cracked lose, you can spin it with your fingers. You cannot see this nut at all. Once they are finger loose, remove the lock pin from the clevis pin and remove them both. You can remove the clevis pin by pushing on it with your fingers from the left, and pulling it out from the right. Step 1, in my opinion, was the hardest by an incredible long shot. All my years of working on cars as a hobby, never had a job like that to get one nut loose.
Get the bonnet open as wide as you can. Not many people know this but you can open your bonnet to approx 80 degrees upright. Put the bonnet stay near the hinge, there is a hole which fits perfectly. You need the bonnet open as wide as you can get it.
Here is our prize, buried deep under the sill on the firewall (where else would it be).
Move the accelerator cable out of the way. This simply unclips, it will get in the way. I didnt remove the engine cover as I wanted to try it with it on so that I could try to avoid damaging any solenoids etc which are on top of the engine.
Cup of tea, and check up on the kids tied to the tree
Suck the fluid out of the clutch reservoir and unclip it. This just gives you a bit more room to get your arms where they need to go. Here you need your 10mm flare wrench (don't even think about doing this without a flare wrench, its on there tight) and your 17mm. The hard line goes into a quick release adapter which is held into place with a clip, however it is impossible to remove this whilst it is in the car still so you need to remove the hardline the old fashioned way. The quick release adapter will just spin within itself so you need to hold it - hence the 17mm spanner. I loosened these with just one hand, they are close enough together where you can support the 17mm and close your hand into a fist compressing the two spanners together breaking the brake line loose. Once loose, spin it out with your hand. It is tight in there, you will likely cut yourself or at the very minimum, lose quite a bit of skin like I did, but what is mechanics without hurting yourself....
Remove the nuts fully from inside the car, remove the pin holding the CMC to the pedal as pictured here, pull out the CMC with the reservoir still attached. This is really easy to do, unlike the left hand drive versions where they have to remove the brake line with it.
Give everything a damn good clean. I stripped the clutch res down and cleaned everything with brake cleaner. The reservoir hose, on my car at least, was colour coded at the end to show where they attached. Why would Honda do such a nice thing for a hose where common sense would work out where it goes as it is molded, but don't apply the same logic to the positioning of a nut?
Yellow - went to the res
Blue - to the CMC
Whilst everything above it drying out, try not to use cloths etc in case you can any fibres left behind, time to sort out the CMC's.
They are identical, down to the number of threads on the rod (16 btw). The OEM one has the quick release adapter on it, gotta take that off first.
Pinch the end of the retaining clip closed.
With the end of the retaining clip pinched straight again, use your flat head screwdriver to pry it out, its in there pretty tight, but its doable. I don't have a vice, but it would be much easier with one.
Just showing the condition of the CMC here.
Once the retaining clip is removed, the quick release just pulls out easily.
You can see the ridge here where, if you didnt hold it in place with the 17mm when removing the hardline, it would just have kept trying to spin.
Your replacement CMC should come with new clips, washers etc. Use em. Lubricate the washer only using silicone grease.
And put it onto the end of the quick release, once you have cleaned it off course.
And then just pop it straight back into the new CMC. Requires a bit of a shove, but not much really. I just used my thumb and finger and pinched it into place.
Put the retaining clip back in. The OEM one had the portion you need to split facing away from the firewall so I put it in the same way. I used a water pump plier to get this in place. Gave a bit of trouble, but after threatening to tie it to the tree with the kids, it soon listened. Get it in, make sure the fitting is secure, it will spin, and then bend the one part of the pin back to stop it coming out again. This is a high pressure line.
Make a rough pedal adjustment here, as the parts appeared identical, I just adjusted it against the old CMC.
Then, as they say, fitting is the opposite of removal. Be careful fitting the clutch line back into the quick release. I initially tried by putting the CMC back into its slot, and linking up the line to it, but due to the awkward nature, and the hard time getting two hands in there, I resorted threading it lightly with the CMC in my hand, once it started on the thread, I then moved it into position. I then secured the lower nut inside the car tight so I could bring the awkward bolt thread at the 10pm position in as far as possible. Threaded the nut on there as best I could with my fingers and then snugged it up with the 12mm flare again. This took another hour, just doing this nut.
Secure the c clamp onto the rear of clutch pedal, put back the clevis pin and the retaining clip.
Go the the front again, secure the brake line down fully using flare wrench and 17mm, and then check your pedal adjustment. Then its time to bleed. I started initially vacuum bleeding it, but I think my unit is playing up and not securing a vacuum correctly so I resorted to the old fashioned method. Once she is all bled out, another quick pedal adjustment, and go out for a test drive.
My pedal is a little low still, bites quite close to the floor, but so did the other one. Finished the car late at night so couldn't be bothered to adjust it then. I will do this today, turning it clockwise lengthens the rod and brings the bite point up a bit more. You want a bit of flex in the pedal to ensure that the clutch is not semi engaged.
Just to show my old CMC so you can see and hear how much play it had.
Clutch Master Cylinder Installation
Accord 04-08 [CN1, CN2] (N22A)