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Clutch bleeding problem update

To: <alpines@Autox.Team.Net>
Subject: Clutch bleeding problem update
From: "Andy Walker" <>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 21:58:54 -0600
Hey, guys:

First, let me thank all of you who responded to my initial plea concerning the
stubborn clutch hydraulics on my Alpine racer.  I know it's taken me a while
to get back to everybody but, between work, other chores and just plain being
sick of the problem, I've just now gotten back out to the shop to resume work
on the car.

I received many responses; things like suggesting changing positions of the
bleeder screw and hydraulic line on the slave cylinder, removing the return
spring running from the slave cylinder to the clutch pivot arm, all sorts of
different bleeding techniques, etc.  Actually, I learned quite a lot about
bleeding hydraulic systems and I really want to thank you guys again for
educating me.

Now for the moment of truth.  I had several people who wanted me to write back
to the list and report on what suggestion actually worked for me.  So...drum
roll please...

After trying every technique and/or suggestion made to me, the winner was
(pregnant pause...)...removing the return spring from the slave cylinder to
the clutch fork arm.  I actually did get several suggestions to do that and,
lo and behold, it is the ONLY thing that worked!  As a matter of fact, once we
got the clutch bled out and I re-hooked the return spring, I had my buddy try
the clutch.  It promptly went to the floor with hardly any pressure.  It also
pushed a pretty fair amount of fluid out the top of the master cylinder
reservoir (I had the cap off at the time).

Now, to my way of thinking, Rootes put that return spring on there for a
reason...evidently, to hold the release bearing off of the pressure plate when
the car was in gear.  Having said that, is it really okay to run the car
without it, or will it cause early release bearing failure?

Furthermore, it's obvious that, for whatever reason, the clutch hydraulic
cylinders will no longer overcome the tension that this spring provides on the
system.  Doesn't that mean that the master and/or slave cylinders are worn out
and will no longer perform as specified when they were new, even though I just
kitted them both?

The bottom line here is that the only way I'm going to have a clutch in the
good ol' Alpine racer with it's freshly kitted hydraulic cylinders is if I run
it without the clutch return spring.  Is this okay or am I asking for more
trouble down the road...or track, in this case?

Please let me know your thoughts,
Andy Walker
Edmond, OK

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