bleeding the clutch slave cylinder

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Thread: bleeding the clutch slave cylinder

  1. #1


    I violated a cardinal rule in replacing the brake/clutch fluid while everything worked aok. I then put a vacuum pump on the clutch bleed screw and used a knock out bottle to evacuate old fluid from the slave cylinder.
    The pedal now resides on the floor, despite my use of ~ 15 psi air pressure on the fluid reservoir in an attempt to push fluid into the slave cylinder. I had the bleed screw open and connected by tube to a waste fluid bottle, but only get air bubbles out. No clutch pedal resistance at all.
    Is it possible to combine the vacuum at the bleed screw with some air pressure on top of the reservoir and get the system bled? I am in the woods, a considerable way from a shop with hydraulic irrigation.

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  3. #2
    i cant see what you have done wrong. Last time i did this i put a vaccum pump on the clutch bleed nipple, and put a little bit of pressure into the fluid chamber. Cant see why your only getting air coming out. If you have someone else there could you try pumping the clutch pedal at the same time??

  4. #3
    you could try back bleeding from the nearest brake bleeder nipple; ensure you have clean fluid coming out of the brake nipple then attach a length of hose from the brake nipple to the clutch bleeder nipple open both nipples and carefully pump the brake pedal which providing you don't blow the pipe off expells the air backwards from the slave up in to the resevoir, i have had success many times using this method when a professional pressure bleeder would not expel the air, but to be honest i've never tried it on a saab so feedback would be appreciated DF

  5. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Kippen, Stirling

    Once the pedal is on the floor, you have effectively sealed off the route from reservoir to slave cylinder. I would manually lift the pedal to 'restore the route', then use either a pressure bleeder attached to the reservoir or make up a 'back bleeder' to force fluid back up from the slave cylinder. Get a length of fairly stiff walled plastic tubing of the correct diameter ( about 3 - 4 mm ) and a large syringe. ( about 50 ml ) Fill the syringe and tube with fresh fluid and attach to the partially opened bleed nipple. Gently press the syringe and force the fluid back up through the slave cylinder, pipework, master cylinder and more pipework to the reservoir. This should take the bubbles with it.

    I have had problems in the past bleeding the 9000 system since the master cylinder has its lowest point at the outlet to the clutch. It is difficult to get enough fluid velocity ( speed of flow not pressure ) to carry any bubbles past the master cylinder, even with a pressure bleeder ( up to 30 psi ). I generally get the front wheels only onto a lift and get the front of the car up in the air until the rear valance is just about touching the ground. Now pressure bleed the brakes and it works in seconds.

    Back bleeding with a syringe gets round this since the bubbles are being displaced from the highest part of the master cylinder up the delivery pipe to the reservoir.

    Paul @ Kippen.

  6. #5
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Isle of Man
    Am I right in thinking it is only the clutch that is giving you a problem?

    I posted somethng like this on the site a few weeks ago.

    If it is just the clutch get down to your local vet & obtain the biggest shrynge you can get.

    Open bleed on slave & inject a full load>> remember to close bleed before disconecting shrynge.

    Someone on this site told me this but he hadnt tried.

    It worked for me on a burst master to slave pipe.

    Best of luck all the best Clypse

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