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Clutch went out...help!

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So my 76 is my daily and I drove it two days ago to and from work (20 minutes each way). Parked it, tried to take it to work yesterday morning to find that I had next to no feel in my clutch pedal. I was able to put it in gear but upon trying to slip into reverse it engaged like a 13 year old in a farm truck. Tried first gear, same thing. Didn't have time to check it out before work and then got home way too late. Tried it this morning to see if I could get a miracle, absolutely no clutch. Couldn't even put it in gear. Looked at it this afternoon after work and the foam behind the actuator is drenched in fluid. I haven't ever had to work on a clutch or troubleshoot it so I am at a total loss. What do I need to do? There has to be a leak somewhere, but I can't tell where. It doesn't help that it's 15 degrees outside either. But I need my car and my wife needs hers back too! Thanks for your help.

-Clete

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use the forum "site search" at the top of each forum and search for clutch mater cylinder or clutch slave cylinder...that's most likely your problem

did you loose all of your brake fluid...the clutch and brakes work off the same reservoir

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See that's one thing I needed to know. So they do operate off the same reservoir? Then why didn't my clutch come back when I refilled it? It wasn't totally empty but it lost a considerable amount.

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You will need to bleed both systems but no need doing that until you fix the leak.

A SITE SEARCH will also turn up ways to bleed both the brakes and the clutch, if you can not find what you need, repost and someone will come to your rescue.

Posting were you live may get you a helper and then again, maybe not. Worth a try

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the foam behind the actuator is drenched in fluid.

-Clete

I'm assuming you meant that there is brake fluid inside the pedal box. This might point to a bad clutch master cylinder.

The round brake fluid reservoir has (3) ports:

(1) on the side for the clutch master cylinder

(2) on the bottom for the brake master cylinder

If you have brakes and the fluid level inside the reservoir does not drop below the side port, your clutch master cylinder is leaking.

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Kind of a related question...I plan on doing my brakes soon and replacing the brake lines with steel braided lines. Will I have to bleed the clutch as well as the brakes when I do this?

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Kind of a related question...I plan on doing my brakes soon and replacing the brake lines with steel braided lines. Will I have to bleed the clutch as well as the brakes when I do this?

That depends...

If you leave the flexible hose from the clutch master to the slave cylinder alone, then the fluid in the reservoir and vertical clutch pipe will be OK.

If you change that hose, then you will have to bleed the clutch.

You will absolutely have to bleed the brakes after opening the system. Use some plastic (Saran) wrap under the lid for the fluid reservoir to minimize the loss of fluid when the brake pipes/hoses are opened. The cap has a small vent hole - putting the wrap on under the lid seals the reservoir.

Since Bill replied - I'll add this:

If the fluid is dark (like dark brown or black), then you SHOULD bleed everything.

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Thanks. Actually I was thinking I would pump out most of the fluid since it's probably pretty old.

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Thanks. Actually I was thinking I would pump out most of the fluid since it's probably pretty old.

Get a turkey baster to suck the fluid out of the reservoir (label it for brake fluid only and do not return it to the kitchen).

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That sounds about right with the pedal box. Thanks, I had no idea what I was looking at until now with searching around a whole bunch. So what if my reservoir fluid is below the clutch port but it wasn't earlier? I just did a brake job about 2 weeks ago. Did it properly and such with bleeding and all that goodness, but could that be related to this?

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reservoir fluid is below the clutch port but it wasn't earlier? I just did a brake job about 2 weeks ago.

Your clutch master cylinder just recently went bad. You need to replace it.

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The short version is that your clutch master is leaking.

If it didn't come back

when you added fluid, it probably needed to be bled- or it's so bad that

it can't build any pressure at all.

Change the clutch master, refill the system, and then open the bleeder

on the slave. Let it gravity bleed until it flows fluid freely, and try again.

hth

t

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your clutch master is bad. if it is the same age as your clutch slave, change them both while you have the system open. and change the flex hose that links them. do it now, once, rather than having to do this job two more times.

and you will not have to mess with the brakes after doing this. they will be fine as is. a case like this is why the clutch feed from the reservoir is well above the bottom of the reservoir where the brakes feed from.

have fun!

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Thanks everyone so much. It's good to have an answer. Guess it'll be my day off project. I'm in Spokane and will be selling my car this spring to get a motorcycle. We move a lot and it isn't gonna be possible to take my baby any more. Had it since I was 16. Anyways, that's just to get the gears turning for people. Anyways, thanks again and email me if you want to ask me something about my car. [email protected]

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