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Clutch bleeding problem
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chickenbeaner
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Joined: March 25, 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Massillon Ohio
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Clutch bleeding problem Reply with quote

So I replaced the master and slave cylinders, I have a vacuum bleeder and have bled the whole system. Took awhile but the clutch pedal feels good - the problem is that I still can't engage any gears. I checked thinking maybe I had the other size pushrod on the slave, nope - same one.

I am at a loss. I was clearly leaking from the slave and finally woke up to pedal going to the floor, replaced them both and now I am at a total loss. What am I missing here?

- other pertinent facts (perhaps)
1. Pedal has good resistance, about an inch of free movement before it engages. Problem?

I know that the pressure bleeders seem to be preferred and I am not opposed to going that way but before I sink in more money I just want to see if anyone has any feedback on anything else I need to check.

Thanks!
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MarkWard
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Joined: February 09, 2005
Posts: 13168
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully you have room to move forward or backwards. Try starting the engine with the transmission in gear and the clutch pedal depressed. It is possible the clutch disc is stuck to the flywheel or pressure plate from sitting. The load should pop it free. That is the best case scenario.
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1982 Vanagon Camper with ALH TDI.
1990 Vanagon Camper Syncro.
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chickenbeaner
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Joined: March 25, 2010
Posts: 31
Location: Massillon Ohio
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Problem Solved Reply with quote

Thanks rsxsr, I got lucky all things considered. I am posting this update for anyone that may run into the same problem. I picked up the slave cylinder at a locally owned import auto supply and the master from a major chain. Since it is a daily driver, I didn't have the luxury of using my typical specialty suppliers online. Long story short, the master cylinder was NOT the right part (though it fit), it did not allow for enough travel on the push rod - after replacing it with the original (it was fine, just the slave was bad but I was following the replace them both advice), I was on the road in 10 minutes. BE CAREFUL, I rechecked the computer system at the national chain and it is listed as the right part - in other words it is incorrect in the computer. In theory, perhaps you could adjust the pushrod but I am dubious that there would be enough adjustment and getting to it is a real nightmare from what I can tell.

Second note for anyone who gets stuck in the future. I got a very cheap vacuum brake bleeder at Harbor Freight, it worked well enough - jacking up the rear seemed to help as well. I will agree with the pro's and say that the pressure bleeders may be easier but if you already have a vacuum bleeder, it is probably not a necessary expense. The moral of the story is that if it takes more than 15-20 minutes to bleed then you may want to check for other issues. I spent hours thinking I still had more air bubbles that wasn't allowing the clutch to engage. So, if you are in a pinch and have to shop at a national chain be sure to carefully compare the tube the rod rests in.

In short, I should have paid more attention and carefully compared the part from the get go. Yet after reading all the horror stories about the difficulties of clutch bleeding I assumed I was having a major air bubble issue. In retrospect, the bleeding was a pain but not nearly as difficult as you might expect. If you get to that point where nothing seems to work - this may be something to consider.

And to whoever designed the inside boltdown for the slave cylinder - my knuckles would like to meet you to thank you for all the fond memories. Confused
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