Lotus Elan

No clutch pedal

PostPost by: summerinmaine » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:06 am

I sought knowledge in the archives, but satori was denied me.

I have pumped at least a liter of fluid through the system, and still have no clutch, and can't even pump it hard. I routed the SS braided clutch line from the MC beneath the bell housing to the slave, and installed an EZ-Bleeder (one way only) bleed screw on the slave to facilitate one man bleeding. Thus, the MC and slave are the high points of the system. I left the bleed screw open, with a hose up into a jar in the engine bay, and a brick holding down the clutch pedal.

The only air pocket I can imagine is in the slave, as I can't clock the bleed screw to 12:00 due to fouling with the bell housing. But even if it is a trapped air bubble, I should be able to pump it hard, right?

Any thoughts? I've heard some say that one must pump the clutch pedal 150 times, but how does one do that without running gallons of fluid through the system?
Jim

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:18 am

summerinmaine wrote:The only air pocket I can imagine is in the slave, as I can't clock the bleed screw to 12:00 due to fouling with the bell housing. But even if it is a trapped air bubble, I should be able to pump it hard, right?


Jim,
I had a similar problem some time ago when fitting a new clutch slave cylinder. The problem was that I had left the piston in the slave bore fully pressed in (meaning furthest away from the adjustable clutch push rod. I would get air out of the system, close the bleed screw and presto, the clutch pedal went straight to the floor. There isn't enough displacement in the master cylinder to push the slave piston all the way out. I put compressed air into the slave to fully advance the piston and then bled the system again. Having done that the clutch worked perfectly after one quick bleeding cycle.
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PostPost by: memini55 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:50 am

Hi Jim,
Another method that I use since it is me only working on the cars, I have a hand vacum pump with assorted attachments and clear hose. It has a rubber piece that slips over the bleed screw and has a clear hose which then runs to a catch container that has a hose to the bottom of the clear container. Another clear hose come off the top of the container and connects to the hand pump. The pump has a guage which I pump up about 15 lbs and then crack open the bleed screw. You can watch the fluid and air bubbles go thru the clear hose. When you see solid fluid crank shut the bleed screw. I use this on brakes and on clutch and the nice thing if everything is clean I can return the fluid to the system. No mess and nothing lost. I bought this pump setup at the local auto parts store and if you want I can get a brand for you and post.
Best of luck
Mark
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:16 am

Thanks to you both!

Mark: It sounds like you're talking about the MityVac, but my one-way bleed screw would probably foil your solution.
Jim

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:16 pm

try this ( back bleeding)
push the clutch pedal to the floor and keep it in place with a piece of wood against the front of the drivers seat.
now unscrew the outlet connection on the master cylinder untill fluid escapes, then tighten.
remove piece of wood and try clutch pedal
Alan B
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:06 pm

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but usually I first try putting the feed pipe into the UPPER hole of the slave cylinder and the bleed screw (closed) in the bottom hole.

Pumping the clutch pedal a large number of times with a pause between pushes then usually has the effect of pushing fluid into the slave, which on the return stroke displaces the air into the feed pipe, this then bubbles upward to the master cylinder & escapes there.

I.e. if you do this the clutch system is often self-bleeding with no hassle at all.

It probably does rely on the clutch pressure hose having sufficient internal diameter for the fluid to bypass the air bubble.
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:40 pm

I know that when ever I bleed a system (brakes or clutch) I alway bench bleed the master first to make sure it has no air, then connect the line(s) and bleed the system. I have never had an issue on any car bleeding anything, when doing that first. Clutches are usually the easiest though and like mentioned earlier are almost self beeding. Let us know what you find.
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:12 pm

Hi Jim

Not a lot of info from you on this other than you pumped and can't get a firm pedal. Are the either master or slave new, rebuilt or just tossed back into service. I figure they are probably rebuilt but I don't know cause you didn't say.

I am lazy, I don't like getting under the Elan any more if I don't have to. So when I put a new clutch master two summers ago I did some initial pumping of the pedal, 50 or 100 pumps, "No Luck" normally I can get a firm pedal this way but not this time. The next thing I did was to take the outlet line off the clutch master and wrap it in a rag a few times so when/if brake fluid came out it didn't go everywhere. All it took was a half a pump and I saw the rag was getting damp with new fluid. I then pulled the rag off and mopped any fluid that didn't go into the rag and reconnected the clutch output line. Back to the drivers seat and about 20 or 30 pumps later the pedal was starting to et firm at the bottom of the pedal travel. I held the pedal on the floor for several seconds and started to pump the pedal again. It got progressively better and better. As soon as I could engage reverse I did so and backed up out into the street and hit the road and haden't touched the bleeder on the slave. I don't know about RHD Elan's or whether that is any different as I haven't got one running. This was not the first one that I have done this way, At least two others were just pump 80 or 150 strokes (about 3 to 5 minutes) and the pedals were good, this is both clutch master and slave either new or rebuilt. The Slaves have the pistons bottomed in the bores with the clutch slave rod adjusted for a minimum slop.

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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:20 pm

garyeanderson wrote:Hi Jim

Not a lot of info from you on this other than you pumped and can't get a firm pedal. Are the either master or slave new, rebuilt or just tossed back into service. I figure they are probably rebuilt but I don't know cause you didn't say.

I am lazy, I don't like getting under the Elan any more if I don't have to. So when I put a new clutch master two summers ago I did some initial pumping of the pedal, 50 or 100 pumps, "No Luck" normally I can get a firm pedal this way but not this time. The next thing I did was to take the outlet line off the clutch master and wrap it in a rag a few times so when/if brake fluid came out it didn't go everywhere. All it took was a half a pump and I saw the rag was getting damp with new fluid. I then pulled the rag off and mopped any fluid that didn't go into the rag and reconnected the clutch output line. Back to the drivers seat and about 20 or 30 pumps later the pedal was starting to et firm at the bottom of the pedal travel. I held the pedal on the floor for several seconds and started to pump the pedal again. It got progressively better and better. As soon as I could engage reverse I did so and backed up out into the street and hit the road and haden't touched the bleeder on the slave. I don't know about RHD Elan's or whether that is any different as I haven't got one running. This was not the first one that I have done this way, At least two others were just pump 80 or 150 strokes (about 3 to 5 minutes) and the pedals were good, this is both clutch master and slave either new or rebuilt. The Slaves have the pistons bottomed in the bores with the clutch slave rod adjusted for a minimum slop.

Gary


Hi Gary. Neither are new, as I got impatient near the end of the process, and planned to pull her apart (again!) next fall anyway. I'll try bleeding from all orifices, and see if that does the trick. With the headers and all, getting to the bleed screw is a major pain in the bum.

Thanks,

Jim
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PostPost by: reb53 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:09 am

"I'll try bleeding from all orifices,"

If that happens you've probably got the Ebola virus.
Can I have your car....?

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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:59 am

reb53 wrote:"I'll try bleeding from all orifices,"

If that happens you've probably got the Ebola virus.
Can I have your car....?

Ralph.


You can have my Elan when you pry it from my cold dead . . . well, you know. :lol:
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:53 pm

If your Elan has ebola, best to bury you in it.

:roll: :shock: :D
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:28 am

billwill wrote:If your Elan has ebola, best to bury you in it.

:roll: :shock: :D


Tell that to the vulture reb53! :lol:
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:31 pm

Clutch pedal solved. A couple of buddies dropped by, and said "I know what's wrong!" Never worked on an Elan before, but they have experience with plenty of motorcycles. It was a two man job, but Gar cracked the junction at the MC (the elbow) and worked it while amazing Ricardo worked the pedal. Three minutes later, that pesky air bubble was history!
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PostPost by: bast0n » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:52 pm

Summerinmaine

Yup it's me again!

As I have to work alone on my car - but do have the wonderful four post lift from Holland - I have devised a little trick should this happen to you again. I have a bicycle/motorbike inner tube that I have cut and kept the length with the valve in it. Sealed off one end by folding over and over and tying off with a cable tie and then having brimmed the clutch or brake master cylinder stretched the tube over the top of whichever one you want, gently pressurise it with a bicycle hand pump and then get underneath and start bleeding!

Works a treat.............................
David

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