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Unread 11-09-2014, 04:51 PM   #1
HanksRide
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Clutch Bleeding Issues

Well to start this is actually on a MJ Comanche however since I also own a YJ I know this section gets a lot more views than the MJ section. I am going to post to both sections to see if we find a cure. Figured a clutch issue would be the same on either model.

Ok, 1991 MJ with internal slave, 4.0L, 5 speed tranny. We replaced the clutch, pressure plate, internal slave approx 6 months ago. The clutch worked great for a few months until the plastic linkage that connects to the clutch pedal broke. Purchased a new Orielly's Master Cylinder and installed it. Could not seem to get the clutch to engage properly with standard bleeding, pumping clutch and bleeding fluid. It appeared that the linkage rod on the master cylinder was too short. Gave up on it and thought it might be defective so bought another Oreilly's master cylinder and had the same luck. It would bleed and shift pretty good, not perfect for a few days then revert back to not engaging. Then bought a LUK master cylinder from Rock Auto and also picked up a vacuum bleeder, used it and got the clutch engaging perfectly, shifting great however it only last for about 1 week and gets to where you can't shift at all with clutch, total non-engagement. We then bleed it again, back to perfect for a week then back to non-engagement. There is no leaking fluid, master cylinder stays full at all times. We have bleed 3 times with the vacuum bleeder and numerous times the manual way.

Any idea why this thing will not remain fixed?? How is it getting air into the system when no fluid is leaving the system??

Any help would be appreciated. Thansk, !!

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Unread 11-09-2014, 05:49 PM   #2
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FWIW total non-engagement would be like a permanent neutral. Your description appears to explain the the clutch won't disengage. You need to confirm the slave is moving/putting pressure on the throw out bearing/clutch fingers. That's what I would do at this point. The next steps will be obvious at that point I would expect.

For example, how do you know air is in the system? If air is getting in you will likely find fluid leaking at that same spot air gets in.
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Unread 11-09-2014, 06:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishadventure View Post
FWIW total non-engagement would be like a permanent neutral. Your description appears to explain the the clutch won't disengage. You need to confirm the slave is moving/putting pressure on the throw out bearing/clutch fingers. That's what I would do at this point. The next steps will be obvious at that point I would expect.

For example, how do you know air is in the system? If air is getting in you will likely find fluid leaking at that same spot air gets in.
Like I stated above, for 1 week of driving everyday after bleeding the clutch works perfectly fine slowly getting worse after about 5 days and on about 6 or 7 days it is back to not being able to shift. Pedal feels good all the time. It gets to a point where you can push the clutch down while in first gear and jeep keeps pulling. We can then bleed it again with the vacuum bleeder and it goes back to working perfect and shifting will ease. During this time there is no loss of fluid, when we check the reservoir it is completely full just like we left it after bleeding.

Could it be just a matter of a couple drops of fluid leaking somewhere allowing only a small air bubble or two in that could cause this?? We actually bleed it one time and it held for a couple months then did it again. I don't think it has anything to do with the slave moving and applying pressure to the throwout bearing, of course when it is acting up it is not doing that but what is causing it?? If bleeding fixes it then I would think it is air but how is it getting in if we are not losing any noticeable fluid??
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Unread 11-09-2014, 08:01 PM   #4
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I would look at the slave and fittings if it were me. You are making me glad I collected the parts for an external slave!

The logic is this: you've changed the master a couple times and can fix it for a time by bleeding it. So that makes me think it ain't the master. Which leaves the lines fittings and slave.
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Unread 11-09-2014, 08:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishadventure View Post
I would look at the slave and fittings if it were me. You are making me glad I collected the parts for an external slave!

The logic is this: you've changed the master a couple times and can fix it for a time by bleeding it. So that makes me think it ain't the master. Which leaves the lines fittings and slave.
That is what I was thinking also, it just blows my mind that we are not losing fluid. I guess it could be just a slight amount, maybe that is all it takes.

I think he is leaning toward doing the external slave conversion if we have to go back into it again.
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Unread 11-09-2014, 08:39 PM   #6
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I could be coming to the party late, but explain the process of how you bench bled your master cylinder prior to installing it. Frequently this can be a very vexing issue, and you have a small volume of air inside the cylinder still that works its way into the line. I do understand that you've bled, vacuum bled etc and you did get a working clutch that apparently was fine for a week, then it went soggy on you. All I can suggest is that you didn't completely clear the master cylinder of air in the bench bleeding process.
Don't know if it's helpful or not, but I can't think of anything else in the process that would allow you to have a good clutch for a week, then lose it. Good luck on this.
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We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
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yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
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Unread 11-09-2014, 08:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59 View Post
I could be coming to the party late, but explain the process of how you bench bled your master cylinder prior to installing it. Frequently this can be a very vexing issue, and you have a small volume of air inside the cylinder still that works its way into the line. I do understand that you've bled, vacuum bled etc and you did get a working clutch that apparently was fine for a week, then it went soggy on you. All I can suggest is that you didn't completely clear the master cylinder of air in the bench bleeding process.
Don't know if it's helpful or not, but I can't think of anything else in the process that would allow you to have a good clutch for a week, then lose it. Good luck on this.
Well to be honest we did not bench bled it at all, we didn't think that was a must do from my experience. I have installed several in the past without bench bleeding and they work fine. But you very well could be right about trapped air. Can it still be bench bled at this point?? If so what is the process of doing that exactly??

And you stated soggy clutch, that is not the case, the pedal never gets worse on it, it keeps the pedal it just won't dis-engage so you can change gears when it starts going south on us.
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Unread 11-09-2014, 09:04 PM   #8
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I get what you mean, I just didn't have a better term to use so I chose soggy clutch. Yes, you can bench bleed it still, or perhaps don't despair and just keep vacuum bleeding it. Air is not getting in your system, it's just lurking there and wreaking havoc when it chooses to. There are many techniques to bench bleeding various hydraulic master units, and everyone has their own techniques. I generally plug off the outlet with a proper sized plug, fill the reservoir, and S L O W L Y depress and then S L O W L Y release the plunger and do this many times until I see no further release of air bubbles up thru the reservoir fluid. This is done on the bench, usually in a vice. I don't know of any hydraulic master unit that one would purchase which does not have a mandate to bench bleed it, and I've never got away with out doing it. Then again, I've likely only installed a dozen or so, at least no more than 20 for certain. The volume of air in there is finite, it's not breeding new air molecules so eventually you should be able to get it out with vacuum bleeding.
Recently I had a problem bleeding my YJ brake master, despite my tried and true methods. I ended up having to take a needle and syringe full of brake fluid, and inject thru the small ports at the bottom of the reservoir to pressure the air out back into the reservoir fluid. Don't know why I had to do this, but somehow the air just wouldn't all come out bench bleeding it.

Check out some Youtube videos on how to bench bleed various hydraulic masters, I think you'll achieve success in getting your system working properly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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Unread 11-09-2014, 09:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59
I get what you mean, I just didn't have a better term to use so I chose soggy clutch. Yes, you can bench bleed it still, or perhaps don't despair and just keep vacuum bleeding it. Air is not getting in your system, it's just lurking there and wreaking havoc when it chooses to. There are many techniques to bench bleeding various hydraulic master units, and everyone has their own techniques. I generally plug off the outlet with a proper sized plug, fill the reservoir, and S L O W L Y depress and then S L O W L Y release the plunger and do this many times until I see no further release of air bubbles up thru the reservoir fluid. This is done on the bench, usually in a vice. I don't know of any hydraulic master unit that one would purchase which does not have a mandate to bench bleed it, and I've never got away with out doing it. Then again, I've likely only installed a dozen or so, at least no more than 20 for certain. The volume of air in there is finite, it's not breeding new air molecules so eventually you should be able to get it out with vacuum bleeding. Recently I had a problem bleeding my YJ brake master, despite my tried and true methods. I ended up having to take a needle and syringe full of brake fluid, and inject thru the small ports at the bottom of the reservoir to pressure the air out back into the reservoir fluid. Don't know why I had to do this, but somehow the air just wouldn't all come out bench bleeding it. Check out some Youtube videos on how to bench bleed various hydraulic masters, I think you'll achieve success in getting your system working properly.
Thanks for the great info, we have read that the line that comes from the master goes up and over along top of fire wall can sometimes retain air in that area as well. Well would you suggest that if the problem returns to bench bleed or continue as we are a few more rounds in hopes we find the end of the air?? Lol.
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Unread 11-09-2014, 09:21 PM   #10
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Your choice, whatever you think is the least annoying measure. Whether or not to keep doing the Vacuum bleeding on it every few weeks or so until it's all done, or pull the master off and do a full bench bleed--dealer's choice on that. Either way, I do think you'll have it whipped in short order, just gotta persist in whichever route you choose.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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Unread 11-16-2014, 12:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59
Your choice, whatever you think is the least annoying measure. Whether or not to keep doing the Vacuum bleeding on it every few weeks or so until it's all done, or pull the master off and do a full bench bleed--dealer's choice on that. Either way, I do think you'll have it whipped in short order, just gotta persist in whichever route you choose.
well the clutch lasted 3 days this time so we are about to tackle it again. One question, when bench bleeding what do I do with the line port, plug it or leave it open??

Our plan is to bench bleed it then hook the line back up and raise the master cylinder as high up as we can to make it the highest point in the system. Then we are going to vacuum bleed it from there then remount the master and see what we got. See any issues with this plan of attack??
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Unread 11-16-2014, 12:07 PM   #12
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Oh, the reason for raising it up high is the line comes from the master then goes up the firewall over the brake booster, we have heard that air can get trapped in this area and is hard to get purged out!
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Unread 11-16-2014, 12:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanksRide View Post
well the clutch lasted 3 days this time so we are about to tackle it again. One question, when bench bleeding what do I do with the line port, plug it or leave it open??

Our plan is to bench bleed it then hook the line back up and raise the master cylinder as high up as we can to make it the highest point in the system. Then we are going to vacuum bleed it from there then remount the master and see what we got. See any issues with this plan of attack??
Sounds reasonable. If you plug the line, you won't get air out, since it needs a place to go. You need to "recycle" the fluid back into the reservoir so you don't run the reservoir dry, etc, and you can see when bubbling stops. This Youtube vid may be helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6iwrhZCdwc


Quote:
Originally Posted by HanksRide View Post
Oh, the reason for raising it up high is the line comes from the master then goes up the firewall over the brake booster, we have heard that air can get trapped in this area and is hard to get purged out!
Air will always rise to the highest point in a fluid. If there is high point in the line before it drops back down to the master/reservoir, air will hang out at that high point. Don't pump fast in bleeding, that will just froth the air in the fluid into a bazillion tiny bubbles that will then coalesce later into a big bubble. So pump slowly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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Unread 11-16-2014, 12:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opihi59
Sounds reasonable. If you plug the line, you won't get air out, since it needs a place to go. You need to "recycle" the fluid back into the reservoir so you don't run the reservoir dry, etc, and you can see when bubbling stops. This Youtube vid may be helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6iwrhZCdwc Air will always rise to the highest point in a fluid. If there is high point in the line before it drops back down to the master/reservoir, air will hang out at that high point. Don't pump fast in bleeding, that will just froth the air in the fluid into a bazillion tiny bubbles that will then coalesce later into a big bubble. So pump slowly.
What do we use to fit in the line port of the master, requires a special fitting to be air tight there. Anyway to do it without that fitting while bench bleeding?
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Unread 11-16-2014, 03:05 PM   #15
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New masters come with plastic plugs that thread in there, did you toss those out? I have a small pile of them in the toolbox from various jobs. Another way to do it is get a short piece of brake line with that fitting on it. You can thread that in, and then attach a short piece of clear tubing to that so you can see the bubbles, either that or bend the short piece of brake line so it ends up under the fluid level in the master reservoir.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian4.2 View Post
We will be going Metric every inch of the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 40dog View Post
yes I'm a some guy and have always put gasket sealer on my surfaces before mating
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virjeep View Post
You should go to Pirate. I hear they are real smart over there. You'd fit right in.
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