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Clutch Bleeding: I'm a believer now

Clutch Bleeding Procedure, as per 2011 Mustang manual

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc235/calimr/ClutchBleeding.jpg



Some of you may recall I have been having grinding and lock out issues, and I noticed the clutch also had too much free play at the top. As many of you know, we do not have a bleed screw for the clutch. So I looked up how to do a clutch bleed on it, and was a bit skeptical. You put a vacuum on the MC for a minute, swap the cap back on and pump 10 times, repeat as necessary. After each pumping session, I also used a turkey baster to suck out the fluid in the MC and replaced it with ATE Amber 200 (already flushed the brakes with it). The fluid came out really, really dark for about 4 sessions, then started getting cleaner. There was also floaty lint looking bits (cooked fluid, I'm sure some of you have seen it before) that I sucked out with the baster. To get them out, you need to suck from the surface of the fluid, don't plunge it in, as they are right at the top. 8 sessions and a whole can of ATE later, fluid is nice and purty, clutch is stiff almost all the way to the top (1/2" free play is normal).

My friend showed up at that point, I promised he could try driving it as he had a C5 vette he sold a couple years back and is looking for a car to replace it (his DD is an S2000). I drove to get gas and test it out before handing it over, drove like new. Got up to the top of the mountain and handed her over, asked him after how the clutch and tranny were and he said great. Not as slick as his S2000, but very good. So problem is solved.

Dealer claimed everything was normal and would not do anything, which is why I did it myself.

And FWIW, he was giggling like a little kid every time the exhaust popped and he said it was the most fun car he ever drove.


CaliMR said:
I have this one, it works fine and is pretty cheap

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM5952503102P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=00947058000


The only issue is it does not come with the plug to replace the MC cap, but it looks like they sell one at your link. I had the Motive kit already for pressure bleeding, and the cap works for this.

http://motiveproducts.3dcartstores.com/Black-Label-GMFord-3-Tab-Adapter-1118_p_105.html

I think there was a cheaper version but that one works well. Use the thick gasket, and push down pretty solid or it won't screw on. I like this one as it can be used for pressure bleeding as well, since it locks on. The plug type is only for vacuum as it just sits on there and vacuum holds it on.


The only issue with the Motive cap is that the tube is wider than the tube for the Mighty Vac, but the MV comes with an adapter that has a cone on one end and you just wedge that in the Motive tube to mate them.


You could also buy an oem cap and drill a hole then fit a tube to it, I don't know what type of glue or epoxy will not be bad for the brake fluid though.
 
I'm thinking the fluid flushes itself after use as well. This spring I flushed from Super Blue to Amber and used 3.5 liters since the blue still shows when mixing with the new amber. I know that's about a liter or so too much but I was still getting some blue and wanted to make sure I had a complete flush. I bleed my brakes after every track day weekend when I'm getting ready for the next event. After each event this year I've sucked a fair amount of blue out of the reservoir with a turkey baster. It has to be coming from the clutch line since the brakes were completely flushed with amber.
 
Blue does that, I have done 2 full flushes of Amber in my E30 since I had the blue in there and it still is a bit blue.

The pumping swaps the fluid around, as you said, but the vacuum supposedly pulls the bubbles out. I have pumped the pedal many times trying to flush it out, and some of the scum came out but this really got it to the point the last session it was not kicking any more out at all that I could see. Also it firmed the pedal, which doing it without vacuum did not do. That was the main reason, I was thinking the clutch was dragging causing all the issue (and a little bit of smell) since the incident where it started sticking half way up.


Whatever the reason, pumping alone did not make any improvement. Alternating with vacuum made it drive like new. I'm a believer.

So it is supposed to take 2.5 liters? I didn't need that much when I did the brakes, but I also sucked all the MC out so it wasn't mixing as much before going through. I'm probably 2.5 liters in including the 1 for the clutch flush. Both my track cars could be done with 1 total, 2 if you want to get the blue out.
 
Should be able to do it with just under 2 liters actually. I just hadn't gone from blue to clear before. I just started using blue last year and bled it with more blue all season. Prior to last year I had always run either AP Racing 5.1 or Brembo LCF600.
 
I was doing blue/amber each flush, but I forgot how long I had the blue in one time and when I drained it, it was like tar. Couldn't tell while it was in the reservoir. I now keep better track of it and will probably go back to blue next time, as I have a bottle left over and don't want to use it on the Boss. She's my purty street car.

Hard to tell in the pic, but it is pretty much black. Can't see the floaty bits since it is so dark, so can't tell when it is burned. The color was what clued me in on bleeding the clutch in the Boss.

ATE.jpg
 
As a 2006 Corvette Z06 owner also. I also own a 2012 Boss 302 # 465. I been doing this clutch thing or what I call exchanged to new clutch fluid for to the Z06 for years. Have not done it to the Boss. About every 500 miles or so. More if you go to the track. What we do is get a turkey baster suck out all the dirty black fluid. Refill the MC with clean fluid pump the clutch about 10-15 times until the fluid get dirty. Suck it out again then refill the MC & the repeat these steps about 4-8 until the fluid looks clean. There are many thoughts on why the fluid in the Z06's turns dirty they range from excessive heat to clutch dust getting by the o-rins on the slave cylinder. It hepls a lot on the Z06 it keeps the clutch pedal from sticking to the floor. It would be great if GM or Ford would place bleeder in the system.
 
The extra step I did, as per Ford's manual, was applying 20 inch vacuum to it for 1 minute between pump/refill sessions. It is supposed to get the bubbles out better. Now that I know how the bad fluid makes the tranny feel, it will be easy to tell when it needs it again.

Bleeder would be nice, never had a manual that didn't have one before. But like dip sticks on trannies, it is just not making it onto many new cars.
 
boss2511 said:
what is the cheapest tool to buy (that works) to do this vacuum bleeding?

I bought a MightyVac at the local auto parts store, it was like $40 because I got the nice kit (more adapters). You need a cap with a hose or a plug to put in there, I use the cap from my Motive power bleeder. I don't like the cap, it is metal (only metal offered for this car) and has been scratching the grooves on the MC.

Since you drag race, you might want to try it. When you suck out the old fluid after pumping, suck from the very top so the burned gunk in there gets sucked up. If you suck from below the surface, it floats and doesn't get picked up.
 

Justin

Save the dawn for your dishes!!!
CaliMR said:
boss2511 said:
what is the cheapest tool to buy (that works) to do this vacuum bleeding?

I bought a MightyVac at the local auto parts store, it was like $40 because I got the nice kit (more adapters). You need a cap with a hose or a plug to put in there, I use the cap from my Motive power bleeder. I don't like the cap, it is metal (only metal offered for this car) and has been scratching the grooves on the MC.

Since you drag race, you might want to try it. When you suck out the old fluid after pumping, suck from the very top so the burned gunk in there gets sucked up. If you suck from below the surface, it floats and doesn't get picked up.
I have one of those I think in my tool box. I used it once well tried to use it but it wouldnt hold a vacuum but I ill give it a try cause my clutch has the sticking issue at high rpms like the throw out bearing is sticking is the best way to describe it. So I will give her a try. looks like this weekend I will have a driveshaft/shifter/REDLINE MTL/shifter boot/parking boot to install. might as well round it out with a clutch fluid swap as well
 
The cap you are using may not be snug, also I had an issue with the separator bottle (the one with the two holes so it drops the fluid in the bottle) would not hold a seal unless you get the top on just right. Try putting your finger over the tip of the pump and squeeze it, one pump should make pretty good vacuum since there is no real volume. Then you know it is something further down the line. I actually didn't suck any liquid out so didn't need the bottle, as the cap I used has the hole above fluid level.

Pump the clutch 10-15 times quickly, then take off the cap and look in the MC. If it is dark or has floaties (looks like lint) you should do it.
 
fhawk149 said:
As a 2006 Corvette Z06 owner also. I also own a 2012 Boss 302 # 465. I been doing this clutch thing or what I call exchanged to new clutch fluid for to the Z06 for years. Have not done it to the Boss. About every 500 miles or so. More if you go to the track. What we do is get a turkey baster suck out all the dirty black fluid. Refill the MC with clean fluid pump the clutch about 10-15 times until the fluid get cleaner. Then refill the MC & the repeat these steps about 4-8 until the fluid looks clean. There are many thoughts on why the fluid in the Z06's turns dirty they range from excessive heat to clutch dust getting by the o-rins on the slave cylinder. It hepls a lot on the Z06 it keeps the clutch pedal from sticking to the floor. It would be great if GM or Ford would place bleeder in the system.
Thanks I'll just add this to my track prep before I bleed the brakes. So far the fluid's just been Super Blue from last season, but not dark. It's noticeable since I flushed with Amber this spring. I'm pretty anal about fresh brake fluid so since I'm continually putting in fresh fluid it's not surrprising it's not getting burnt.
 
I wonder if the larger Joe Heck Racing clutch line allows the fluid to circulate more freely and eliminates the need to bleed this line?

http://www.hecticparts.com/products/JHR-HIGH-VOLUME-CLUTCH-LINE-AND-FITTING-KIT.html

S197_-4_AN_CLUTCH_LINE__49076_zoom.jpg
 
CaliMR said:
She's my purty street car.

Hard to tell in the pic, but it is pretty much black. Can't see the floaty bits since it is so dark, so can't tell when it is burned. The color was what clued me in on bleeding the clutch in the Boss.

ATE.jpg

Your fluid was that black from just street driving? How may miles do you have on your car? I better check mine.
 
BossJockey said:
CaliMR said:
She's my purty street car.

Hard to tell in the pic, but it is pretty much black. Can't see the floaty bits since it is so dark, so can't tell when it is burned. The color was what clued me in on bleeding the clutch in the Boss.

ATE.jpg

Your fluid was that black from just street driving? How may miles do you have on your car? I better check mine.

That is from a year of track time, and it was blue to begin with. I guess I wasn't clear, that is from my other car. 230k miles ;D



5dot0, it is so easy to do I would just do it anyways whenever you do the brakes especially if you don't bother with the vacuum part. I don't think that line would make that much difference, as the manual states in the trouble shooting that the fluid level should move less than 1mm when you use the clutch. The tube probably isn't the bottleneck, it just takes a lot of pumping. But I also don't think it would hurt. Bigger, stiffer clutch line was a noticeable improvement in some cars as far as clutch feel.
 
I don't recall if I mentioned it, but my brake lines had air in them at 1200 miles with just street driving in cold weather. So I suspect they had air from the factory. One bleeder was very loose, all the ones on the right side were so tight I thought they might be seized. Thus it is possible there was air in the clutch line too, which could have been part of the issue and why it boiled so bad in the first place. I was having the clutch only come 1/2 way up at the track and slipping really bad so I parked it. I also had a slight clutch smell, not enough to smell driving but I could smell it after I parked it in the garage.
 

Dvendet

Everyone's entitled to my opinion. ;)
Thanks for posting this topic Cali. The more I read info on this forum the more I learn and that's what this forum should be about. You have just given me additonal insight into some of the things I need to be aware of and some ideas as to how to address these issues should I ever experience the same.

Regards,

MMD
 
335
1
MakeMyDay said:
Thanks for posting this topic Cali. The more I read info on this forum the more I learn and that's what this forum should be about. You have just given me additonal insight into some of the things I need to be aware of and some ideas as to how to address these issues should I ever experience the same.

Exactly. This is what this forum is about. Great info man, thanks!

By the way where did you get your manual?
 
It's posted online for the 2011s, ours is pretty much the same except some motor stuff. If you are pulling the motor apart, I hope you don't need the manual ;D

http://iihs.net/fsm/?dir=499

It is hard to find some things, and it is all posted in sections, so when I find what I want I download that section.
 

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