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bleeding a clutch


New Member
September 7, 2003
Reaction score
City, State
Brighton, Colorado
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 xlt
Many thanks to all who posted in the past about bleeding a clutch. I was two days of frustration into this when I decided to search here. It became obvious that the gravity method was not going to work at all but a combination of methods did. I believe this may work for others attempting this little joy of a project.

I was doing this as a result of replacing the rubber shift rail plugs with dorman freeze plugs and putting in a new clutch (hays) and slave cylinder since neither had been replaced in this vehicle (139,000) the clutch actually still had some life in it but the slave was starting to go.

1. I attempted the reverse method after several attempts at the gravity method from the chilton book had failed. I put 1.5 pints of fluid up through the bottom using a hand fluid pump while simultaniously siphoning the excess from the master.I got no bubbles up through the master but I knew air was in there and there was still way too much peddle play.

2. I removed the upper line and as a result of the research in here and reached down behind the frame to see where the loop of hydraulic line mentioned in other posts was located. I was amazed that there was this much excess.

3. I CAREFULLY fished the line out from behind the frame and straightened it out as much as possible without causing damage. I believe you could damage the line doing this but I was able to get it out without mishap.

4. I bled the upper line with help from my wife per the instructions of others in this forum. I did notice a considerable amount of air on the first two pumps.

5.I reconnected the upper line and did the bleed procedure by opening the valve, pushing the pedal to the floor and close the valve. I did have a clear tube on the bleeder valve.

7. On the first pump there were enough bubbles to cause concern that nothing was going to work. The second pump was almost free of bubbles and the third pump was completely free. I checked the clutch and it felt as tight as it should. I did two more bleeds just for good measure, both clear of bubbles.

8. After checking if the clutch was actually working and it appeared that it was, I tucked the loop of hydaulic line back behind the frame. By my estimation that line is 5 to 8 inches too long for a non lifted vechicle.

Test drive went better than I could have expected all seems to be working and the Hays clutch is noticably better than the one it replaced even when it was new.

I believe that the reverse bleed got all of the air out of the slave but the loop in the line behind the frame was still too much to overcome. But the combination of the two methods produced good results. When I do this on my Ranger I will bench bleed the slave. Anyway, I hope this helps someone else and thanks again to all who have posted on this subject in the past, It would have taken another week to figure this out on my own.

I feel your pain ...I went through the same thing a few weeks ago.

May I add?
I had problems with the disconnect line on the slave. The plastic sleeve release bushing was mangled.

Did you know that Homeless Depot (and many others) sells a 5/8” plastic compression ring for plastic plumbing?.... which “oh by the way” if slit….. is as close as it gets to the “little guy” that is in there?

I tried a brass one, but after slitting the brass, it gets “out of round” when you slide it in place.

Hey! Worked for me


Made me almost wanna go back to an automatic.

And added many a gray hair too.