September 18, 2008

Bleeding The Clutch

After taking a quick drive in James' RX8 and comparing the clutch pedal feel between mine and his, we both decided it had to be a air in the master cylinder or clutch line. Mine was still better then before, but at the same time it felt like putting your foot in stiff spaghetti.

The process sounds a lot easier then it really is. Honest. And sadly, we needed three people to do this job. NOTE: Make sure your car is COOLED DOWN or you WILL burn hair off your arm (I learned the hard way). You start by jacking up the front of the car ( a good amount, one of you 3 is going under there) and setting it on jack stands.

Take off the cover of the brake fluid reservoir. You're going to need a light under the car, as well as above from the hood so everyone can see where the bleeder is. In the picture above, look between the oil filter and the clutch line... That is the bleeder with the rubber cap on. It's really frustrating to reach from both directions, but we managed. Remove the rubber cap, then slip a 8mm wrench up carefully and placed the closed end on the bleeder. This will be a pain, but patience and help from the other person in the hood, you'll be okay. Make sure it's on the bolt tight, then fit on the hose.

When the hose is on perfect, put the other end into a disposable cup or bottle, but clear enough you can see what is going on. Now, someone will have to go into the car and get ready to pump the clutch, while the person under the car will open the bleeder valve, while the third person will be watching the cup for air.

Start off by holding the clutch pedal to the floor, open the bleeder valve, then close. Pick up the pedal from the floor (It'll stay stuck to the floor) and begin to pump it a good amount until you really can't anymore...and then hold to the floor. The person under the car will then open the valve and release more air or fluid. After you've done enough and gotten rid of all the air bubbles and have nothing but fluid constantly coming out, replace the fluid you've gotten rid of and cap everything back together.

Give the pedal a few pumps before driving to make sure it feels good, then after, you should notice a serious improvement. I've read somewhere that you may want to bleed the master cylinder before AND after bleeding the clutch line, but we only bled it after the clutch line. Huge difference to my pedal after doing this.

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