Lotus Elan

Bleedin' the Bloody Clutch

PostPost by: archigator » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:04 pm

I just replaced the leaking clutch slave cylinder on my '71 Sprint, and forgot how hard it is to bleed with the exhaust headers in place. After several attempts, (with the headers in place and my wife pumping the clutch pedal) I quit for the day in frustration. Figuring that someone must have come up with a tool that lets one bleed a clutch or brake system with clearance problems, I hit the internet and found this tool. I ordered one, and I'll give a report as to its performance when I receive it in the mail. Looks like it should do the trick.

Gary
'71 Sprint FHC
Miami, Florida
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Motion Pro bleeder.jpg and
Bleeder in use...
Motion Pro mini-brake-bleeder.jpg and
Comes in 8 and 10mm sizes
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PostPost by: lotocone » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:16 pm

I'm looking forward to your report Gary. Hope it works well. I've used a pressure bleeder on the master cylinder and I think I cut a wrench to get enough clearance to turn the bleeder at the slave cylinder. I can't say I enjoyed it though.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:59 pm

Gary,

Quite simple, once you have the cylinder out of its mount on the bellhosing. Put the dust seal back on to keep the piston inside. Hold the cylinder with the open end down, opposite end with bleeder and supply line up. Open the bleeder and put your finger over the hole in the end. If you've already got some fluid in the slave, you may be able to just push the piston to the closed end of the bore, to expel the trapped air. If not, stroke the pedal fairly slowly and just enough force to blow your finger off the bleed screw. I often stroke the pedal by hand, which is bit more controllable. Remember, all you're doing is getting the air out. You don't need high pressures.

You could do the same by pinching a vinyl hose. The key is having the cylinder vertical.
Tighten the bleed screw with a wrench and re-install and you're finished.

Roger, central Florida
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:08 pm

Gary,

I should also mention you don't need to pump up the system. Only a couple of strokes is all you will need. You may want to pause and let the fluid flow by gravity. Having the bleeder at the very top of the slave is what purges the air.

Don't throw away the old slave. They are usually rebuildable for much less than the cost of a new cylinder.

Roger
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PostPost by: archigator » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:20 pm

Thanks for the insights. The cylinder that I'm installing was one that I had rebuilt with a brass sleeve, so hopefully I won't be replacing and bleeding this so often in the future. I'm still saving the old one and may have it resleeved too.

Thanks again for your help! Roger, where in central Florida are you? Did you go to the LOG in Orlando?

Gary
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:29 am

I, too, like that tool and looking forward to the report.

My fix was to extend the bleeder to where it's accesible. I removed the bleeder nipple and fitted a line about 14 inches in length and attached it to the frame. The line has a bleeder nipple at the end. I got all the parts needed from Pegasus Racing and can give you the part numbers if needed.

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PostPost by: alan » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:38 pm

to bleed the clutch i floor the clutch pedal and put a wedge between the driver's seat and the pedal to hold it done. Then i unscrew the pipe where it exits the master cylinder and let the air escape. Tighten connection, remove the wedge between seat and clutch pedal to let it rise. If you do this 3 or 4 times the clutch is bled without going under the car
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:18 pm

Alan
What about the air in the pipe/slave cylinder?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: RichardS » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:21 pm

Found this - quite an expensive solution but might save some hassle.

http://brits-n-pieces.com/shop/index.ph ... lutch.html

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PostPost by: archigator » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:56 pm

Greg, I'll take you up on the Pegasus parts to construct a remote bleeder. The bleeding tool that I ordered is a bust... at least for the clutch. It will not hold tight onto the bleeder nipple and allows fluid to escape around it. It may work at an accessible location where you can apply greater pressure to hold it on, but not at the clutch slave. Very dissappointing...

Gary
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:16 am

Gary, this thread has the part numbers and pics. All from Pegasus Racing

lotus-elan-f19/what-does-your-elan-plus2-look-like-today-t23626-375.html

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PostPost by: archigator » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:43 am

Thanks Greg.

Gary
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:37 pm

Buy a set of Speed Bleeders for the car and another one for the clutch. They come in two lengths and are so easy to use. Makes bleeding a one person job. www.speedbleeder.com 888-879 7016.

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PostPost by: alan » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:38 am

john,
when the clutch pedal is pushed down to the floor some fluid gets pumped to the slave. o.k. it's not very much but it does move the slave a small amount. With the pedal wedged down, you undo the connection at the master. The slave returns to it's standby position pushing the air out. Tighten connection on master and release pedal. You need to do this several times but it works and no going Under the car
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:22 pm

Whenever I've bled the clutch I just used a see through piece of pipe (tight fit on the bleed nipple) and ran it back to the master cylinder,a quarter of a turn on the nipple and pump away...you can see the air bubbles in the pipe and the fluid is re-circulated to the master cylinder....never had any problems..

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