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Discussion Starter #1
When I changed my clutch line with the Joe Heck braided line, all I had to do was pump my clutch a couple hundred times and all was right with the world. However, after I pulled and replaced my engine and replaced the clutch with a McLeod RXT, I have not been happy with the clutch. Believing I had air somewhere in the line, I have been pumping the crap out of the clutch, but it still engaged low to the floor and the clutch felt heavy sitting at a traffic light.

I was still convinced there was air in the line because when it's cool and I start off in the morning, the clutch engagement is better than once it warms up and temps rise. The service manual calls for pulling a vacuum of 15-20 inches on the system a couple times to bleed the system. Later cars don't even have a bleed valve that the earlier cars do.

Here is the factory procedure:

1. Make sure all hydraulic lines are correctly seated.

2. Make sure the clutch pedal is in the most upward position.

3. Check the fluid level of the brake/clutch reservoir. Fill the reservoir to the MAX mark.

4. Using a suitable bleeder kit and a Vacuum Pump Kit, install the rubber stopper in the reservoir. Make sure the rubber stopper has a tight fit.
  • Alternate method: use a 50mm (1.96 in) rubber stopper with an 8mm (0.31 in) pipe inserted through the rubber stopper.
5. Holding the rubber stopper in place, operate the pump to 15-20 inches of vacuum. Hold the vacuum for one minute, then quickly relieve the vacuum. Remove the special tools.

6. Check the fluid level of the reservoir. Fill the reservoir with the specified fluid to the MAX mark. Install the reservoir cap.

7. Depress and release the clutch pedal 10 to 12 times or until clutch pedal effort is consistent and positive at top of clutch pedal travel.

8. Repeat steps 4 through 6 two additional times or until clutch is consistent and positive at top of clutch pedal travel.

9. Install the reservoir cap.

10. Check the clutch pedal reserve. Test the clutch for normal operation.


I did this with a Mity-Vac and some brake bleeding attachments. One thing the procedure doesn't mention is the vacuum also pulls the brake pistons back into the caliper, so pump the brake pedal a couple times before you take off. Only thing I did different was pump 100 strokes after each vacuum draw.

This made a big difference in my clutch performance. The clutch pedal engages at higher pedal travel and it's much easier to hold the pedal down. So if you have symptoms similar to what I described above after a clutch change or a line change and pumping the pedal isn't getting the results you hoped, give this method a shot before you do anything else.
 

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Thanks for the info! Good to know. I have a stainless line I need to get on.


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Another method that has great results is with the pedal released, open the bleeder then slowly press the pedal to the floor and close the bleeder before letting off the pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe you missed the part where I mentioned there is no bleeder on later cars. I'm guessing 2009 was the last year the clutch system had a bleed valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What could be easier than hooking up a vacuum pump and pumping the handle 5 times? I didn't even have to jack up the car.
 

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Back up...

Any more impressions from you guys with the stainless line? I see SR Performance has one for $69 on American Muscle. Not too familiar with them though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Your stock clutch line is plastic. How can moving to a stainless line and/or braided line not be an improvement? Check out this video that shows additional restriction in the stock line.
 

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When I changed my clutch line with the Joe Heck braided line, all I had to do was pump my clutch a couple hundred times and all was right with the world. However, after I pulled and replaced my engine and replaced the clutch with a McLeod RXT, I have not been happy with the clutch. Believing I had air somewhere in the line, I have been pumping the crap out of the clutch, but it still engaged low to the floor and the clutch felt heavy sitting at a traffic light.

I was still convinced there was air in the line because when it's cool and I start off in the morning, the clutch engagement is better than once it warms up and temps rise. The service manual calls for pulling a vacuum of 15-20 inches on the system a couple times to bleed the system. Later cars don't even have a bleed valve that the earlier cars do.

Here is the factory procedure:

1. Make sure all hydraulic lines are correctly seated.

2. Make sure the clutch pedal is in the most upward position.

3. Check the fluid level of the brake/clutch reservoir. Fill the reservoir to the MAX mark.

4. Using a suitable bleeder kit and a Vacuum Pump Kit, install the rubber stopper in the reservoir. Make sure the rubber stopper has a tight fit.
  • Alternate method: use a 50mm (1.96 in) rubber stopper with an 8mm (0.31 in) pipe inserted through the rubber stopper.
5. Holding the rubber stopper in place, operate the pump to 15-20 inches of vacuum. Hold the vacuum for one minute, then quickly relieve the vacuum. Remove the special tools.

6. Check the fluid level of the reservoir. Fill the reservoir with the specified fluid to the MAX mark. Install the reservoir cap.

7. Depress and release the clutch pedal 10 to 12 times or until clutch pedal effort is consistent and positive at top of clutch pedal travel.

8. Repeat steps 4 through 6 two additional times or until clutch is consistent and positive at top of clutch pedal travel.

9. Install the reservoir cap.

10. Check the clutch pedal reserve. Test the clutch for normal operation.


I did this with a Mity-Vac and some brake bleeding attachments. One thing the procedure doesn't mention is the vacuum also pulls the brake pistons back into the caliper, so pump the brake pedal a couple times before you take off. Only thing I did different was pump 100 strokes after each vacuum draw.

This made a big difference in my clutch performance. The clutch pedal engages at higher pedal travel and it's much easier to hold the pedal down. So if you have symptoms similar to what I described above after a clutch change or a line change and pumping the pedal isn't getting the results you hoped, give this method a shot before you do anything else.
Catmonkey, where did you buy the 50mm (1.96 in) rubber stopper with an 8mm (0.31 in) pipe?

Thanks,

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's probably easier to get the Ford cap that fits our cars for the Motive power bleeder system and use that. I've used that since I posted this. The stopper I used was made by Mity-Vac as an accessory for their brake bleeder kit.
 

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It's probably easier to get the Ford cap that fits our cars for the Motive power bleeder system and use that. I've used that since I posted this. The stopper I used was made by Mity-Vac as an accessory for their brake bleeder kit.
It's funny you just said that. I just went to my garage to look at my Motive Power Bleeder and was going to use that. I also have a UView 550000 Airlift Cooling System Leak Checker and Airlock Purge Tool Kit. So between the two I should be good to go.
 
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