I wrote this how-to guide when I had to replace my clutch master cylinder, due to the clutch pedal losing pressure and there were no leaks, so I came to the conclusion the inner rubbers of the clutch master cylinder were gone.
I am making this guide to help someone that might need to make this job. It's not a difficult job, the main problem is the very confined area that you have to work in, the clutch master cylinder is very well hidden and it's difficult to access.
I did this job in about 2 hours and 30 minutes, in a parking lot in the shadow of tree, doing it slowly and with some problems in the middle that were very time consuming. This guide is for cars with steering wheel on the left, although the ones with steering wheel in the right should not alter too much.
First, let's see what's needed:
- Clutch Master Cylinder
- DOT 4 Brake Fluid
To start, you have to get your tools and parts. I got the cylinder from a local parts supplier, and it's from ADL Blueprint, which turns out to be exactly from the cylinder that was installed on the car. As for the brake fluid: I got some regular DOT 4 brake fluid. I had to buy almost all the tools, since I had almost none with me, and couldn't wait till I had time to go to my parents. I didn't bought any socket wrenches because they were not available at the shop and didn't wanted to go to another shop.
- 8, 10, 12 and 14mm wrenches (I recommend the 10, 12 and 14mm sizes to be socket wrenches)
- Flat screwdriver
- Thin clear tube
- Plastic bottle
- Plastic syringe
Now, start with pulling the driver's seat all the way back, get the flash-light and look under the dash for the clutch pedal. You will have to remove two nuts (12mm wrench) the lock-pin and pedal pin. I got some problems removing the lock-pin, maybe because I had no flash-light and couldn't see the correct position,in the end I had to break it...
Then remove the "YOKE" from the cylinder, just unscrew it from the push-rod and it should came out easily. You might have to hold the push-rod with your hands, or even old the nut behind it to be able to remove it. Don't do it like me, when removing it it fell under the plastic piece used to rest the clutch foot. I had to remove it to get access to the "lost" yoke.
Now, let's go to the engine compartment. First locate the cylinder, it's behind the shock-absorber mount, down the hole under those electric wires.
First thing to do, remove the fluid from the reservoir with the syringe and put in a bottle.
Then, undo the bolt that holds the reservoir to the car and detach the power relay that comes together with the reservoir mountings.
Now, you will have to try to remove out of the way all the electrical cables in order to gain some more space to work. I managed to removed them almost all.
Finally, we can see the hidden cylinder, down there on the hole. You can see that there is a "Retaining Clip" holding the clutch line, just stick your hand down in the hole and pull it. Then you just have to pull the clutch line and it should come out easily. Get ready for some fluid spill...
Then, just get your hands on the cylinder and take out of the hole, it will not be easy..
Now it's almost time to start installing the new one. Give a good clean on the reservoir.
I filled the new cylinder before install it into place, so it would be easier to bleed the system. Just connect the reservoir to the new cylinder, put a bit of oil, and push the push-rod a few times. Then remove the reservoir from the cylinder and install the cylinder in its place.
Now, back to the inside of the car, put back the yoke, the nuts, the pedal pin and the lock-pin in place.
Then just attach the clutch line to the cylinder, carefully not to damage the o-ring and put back the retaining-clip. Put back the reservoir, the power relay and all the wires that you managed to remove out of the way. And it's almost done, all we have to do is put some oil in the reservoir and bleed the system. Start to fill the reservoir with DOT 4 brake fluid. Then we have to access the bleeder in the clutch master cylinder, which is very close to the front engine mount and it's impossible to reach it. There are several ways to access it, one is to remove the clutch slave cylinder and bleed it while it's not installed, the other is to remove 3 bolts from the engine mount and push the mount just a little so you can reach the bleeder. This time I opted by the last one, and it revealed to be much easier
Then get something to pull the engine mount off the way:
Then attach the clear hose to the bleeder, put the other end of the hose in the bleeder and undo the bleeder just a bit(8mm wrench), about 1/2 turn would do. You should see immediately some oil coming out of the slave cylinder into the hose.
Now, it's time to bleed the system. There are several ways to do this. This time I was alone and tried to bleed it as it's stated in the car manuals, and it worked fine. Top up the reservoir with fluid, and with the bleeder still opened push down the pedal slowly, then pull it up slowly. When you do this, the oil should come out into the plastic bottle. Do this repeatedly until there is no air in the system. Make sure to NEVER let the fluid in the reservoir to be too low, other wise you will have to start again. I topped up the fluid about 5 or 6 times filling almost 1/2 of a 33cl bottle of water. It's better to bleed more than less, just make sure there is no air in the system, or your clutch will not work properly.
After making sure that the system is properly bleed, tight the bleeder (not too much, it's a small bolt), and test the clutch, see if it has a good feel. Then, put back the bolts on the engine mount, you might have to use your jack to raise the engine just a bit, so the bolts go in better. Make sure the fluid level is correct, and put the cap on the reservoir.
Take a look at how the oil that was bleed from the system:
And that's it, pack up everything and go home.
As a side note, if your clutch fluid in the reservoir is quite black, it's possible to that the rubbers in the master or slave cylinder are on their way out.
Clutch Master Cylinder Replacement