Trouble with bleeding clutch slave cyl - advice? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-15-2014
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Trouble with bleeding clutch slave cyl - advice?

Hi - newbie here.
I was thinking i was nearly done replacing the slave cylinder (and the rest of the clutch system at the same time). But I'm having a real bear of a time getting the new slave cylinder filled up (bled). Details below. Any specific advice???? Pretty please with GDMFCherry on top?

89 ranger, 2.9L V6. RWD. This has the mazda M5OD transmission used for a number of years. The slave cylinder blew out. Master cylinder was ok (pressure tight when unclipped). In addition to new slave, i replaced the master cyl, and went ahead and overhauled everything from rear main seal back through the tranny output seal. (i didn't do anything inside the transmission, besides seals and gaskets). I've got it all back together. No bolts left over

I bench bled the master - it's tight (1/8 inch play) - before putting it in. The clutch pedal is rock hard when the line isn't clipped into the slave.

When i clipped the hydraulic clutch line into the slave, and opened the bleed valve, I got steady gravity flow. I don't see bubbles, per se. But i drained two full reservoirs without a problem. But it didn't get full enough on it's own - still no backpressure in the pedal.

I had one of my kids do the pedal-in/open bleed valve/close bleed valve/pedal out cycle a bunch of times. Maybe 15 or 20. I got back pressure in, but not all the way - not enough to get full deflection of clutch. Doesn't want to let me shift into gear, either.

I rotated the transmission by turning the back tires. This caused all the back pressure in the clutch to disappear. Pedal all the way to floor without resistance. And, the clutch master reservoir emptied.

I checked that the master/line is still full (unclipped from slave). There are no leaks in the bell housing - the slave seems intact, not leaking all over the place or anything else odd.

I suspected that maybe the slave (which is concentric) rotated and maybe had a big pocket that filled, exposing another bubble. Doesn't make too much sense, but i went with it and tried a bunch more cycles of clutch pedal depression/bleed valve open/closing. It's not getting much tighter. I've got through a couple reserviors of fluid.

What the heck am i doing wrong?
Does it matter if the front of the truck is slightly higher than the back (the jack stands are a little different)?
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Old 03-15-2014
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check the c clip in the master that holds the rod in if its broken or not completely seated the pedal will come up to far and allow fluid into the cab and air into the line if its damaged you may chase air for days. Also for the two reservoir method i ended up doing about five in mine before it got firm enough to use.
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Old 03-16-2014
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yeah, i worried about the master and clutch pedal, but they seem fine. The neutral start switch thing is on there and clipped pretty well. The OEM clip on there has a little hook extension to hold it in position, so that's fine too. no clutch (brake) fluid leaking around the master or the line. And, when the line is detached from the slave, it's rock solid. (i watched the several youtube vids on problems getting the air out of this version of the ranger clutch master and the funky s-shaped line, and did that bleed before install). So, the problem seems to be in the (new) slave.

I found other ideas around.
A couple of guys said they used a pry through the side window on the bell housing to hold the release bearing back during the clutch pedal cyling.

wonder if it would have been helpful to pre-bleed the new slave while the tranny was on the ground. Bleed the master (also off the truck), plug it in to the slave and flush it till it's full while you can tilt it around to get the air pockets flushed out, then unclip and install everything.
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Old 11-01-2014
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I just finished the same thing- same problem + it would not gravity flow. Pulled the master, hung it & rapped the air out of those foolish curves. Rock hard- instal- clip to slave. Did the pedal down open bleed-close pedal up thing. Air still ran out of slave up to master! On the 3rd try I was able to get fluid out of the bleeder with no bubbles & 5/16" travel at the slave. I think that quick connector allows fluid under pressure to pass, but not gravity- but it will allow air to pass! It could be a feature of my 1993 master- I dunno. The up/down/open/close + 2 bleedings of the master will work.
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