Bleeding clutch? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Bleeding clutch?


Explorer Addict
May 2, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Monroe, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Sport & '96 XLT
Okay, here's the deal. I've got a brand new Ford clutch master cylinder, new Centerforce Dual Friction Clutch, Napa flywheel & pilot bearing, and a 1yr old Ford slave and throw-out bearing....

I finally got everything buttoned up on the clutch/flywheel/master cyl. install today and went to bleed the clutch. Using the Haynes manual and a write-up on here, I tried to bleed it for about 45 minutes. It barely stiffened up at all. My Haynes manual talks about bench bleeding a BRAKE master cylinder, but didn't say anything about the clutch master cyl. (other than what to unbolt, how to reinstall, and it says to follow the instructions for bleeding the clutch). Anyone know what I need to do to get all the air out of the system? If it needs to be bench bled, how do I do that? Any help is appreciated, as my truck is sitting in the driveway with everything finished but this...and I'm ready to be back on the street w/ 37s instead of a 3" dropped Sonoma. :D

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Come on, anyone? This is pretty much 911 as I REALLY need this thing back out on the street.

take the clutch fluid lid off, try pumping the pedal a few times to push some fluid out and air bubbles in the line should come out, if nothing helps to stiffen the clutch then you may have a bad slave cylinder, fords with the 4.0 and manual tranny have a non adjustable slave cyl.

Come on now, you know me better than that. I'm not stoopid. :D Of coursed I already tried regular "gravity" bleeding. It hasn't done jack $h*t to help it. I got back about 1 hour ago from buying a vacuum bleeder set at Advance. It's pouring down rain now, but the short 5 minutes I was able to use it, it pulled out a ton of air. I'm going to continue this once the rain stops. This alone may not make it 100%, but it sure will help out a lot.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and the slave is fine. It was replaced a year ago and everything was working fine before I replaced the clutch/flywheel this past week.

ok i kinda figured you might have allready tried that but i wanted to feel helpful here lol

Did you unbolt the master from the firewall, and tilt it down? It's a real bubble trap when bolted up.

LOL James.

No Bill, I haven't tried that yet. I'll give that a try after I try to the vacuum pump some more (nobody is here to help me bleed it the normal way). Thanks.

^^ I havent bleed mine yet, but i was going to say bascially the same thing rangerX said, although i though LUK said to tilt the master cylinder up, not down? Maybe i read it backwards.

EDIT said:
Vehicles: Ford Explorer 1991 - 1992 4.0L

LuK Part Numbers: 07-077, 07-904
Referenced applications require special procedures to bleed the hydraulic system properly. The mounting position of the master cylinder on the firewall traps air in the rear portion of the cylinder. Before bleeding the system, remove the master cylinder from the firewall and position it so the reservoir end is higher than the push rod end. This will enable air to escape from the rear portion of the cylinders. Use only approved hydraulic fluid recommended by the manufacturer.

For additional information, refer to Ford bulletin #93-12-19.

Wow, so hey man, i might need to try a vaccum bleeder. Did you get your clutch pipes bled? Dad and i tinkered around with the bleeding the clutch for three hours this afternoon. We unbolted the pump that is attached to the clutch, flipped it upside up, unbolted the little resiviour and raised it up... all we got was straight air out of the bleeder valve. The fluid in the resiviour didnt go down, it actually went up after a while. hahah, what a contraption.

I tell you what, this is a fawkin PITA. I was sick the past two days (tried it again two days ago and got nowhere....sucked the damn thing dry twice trying to do it myself in the dark)

My dad helped me today, but now we're having problems bleeding it with the vacuum pump. He was keeping an eye on the resevoir, and he refilled it every time it would get to the half way mark, but it was still pulling about 85% air in. We continued to bleed it with no luck. We cranked the truck and I pumped the clutch a few times and it lost the very little amount of pressure that it had before. I'm really at a loss now. I was hoping to check this thread and find some magic fix for it :(

I checked all the lines, fittings, etc, and there isn't a single bit of leakage (if air is able to be sucked in, I'm sure atleast a little bit of fluid over 3 days could leak out.) Everything appears to be good.

As of now, I'm planning on calling my mechanic tomorrow afternoon and prays he picks up his phone on a Sunday. I'm gonna see if he has any tips/tricks to getting it bled properly. If not, I'll have to have the damn thing towed to the shop (about $75-100) then have him look at it and hope he can fix it. If you come up with any ideas, definitely let me know as I don't want to spend 300 damn dollars on this when I've gotten this far on my own. :(

EDIT: Do you think your bleeder might be clogged or something? That doesn't seem right for it to not suck anything but air for that long. Even mine is sucking down a lot of fluid (more air than fluid tho).

man i dunno, it didnt seem like it wanted to suck anything. after fiddling with it, we were able to get it to spit some oil at us, but nothing serious. I was seriously about to drag this thing up to the dealership to have them bleed it. Its too weird to not be able to something like this on my own, i dont like it hahha.

Dad though he was forcing oil in using the blow-gun on like... 10PSI. From my angle it didnt look like was doing anything. We even tried bleeding via pumping clutch, and using the blow gun... no change

what the hell did ford put in there? haha

No clue, but it's one of the dumbest setups I've ever seen for having to bleed it. When it is bled it works awesome tho. :rolleyes:

I'll post up after I talk to the mechanic and maybe he's got a magic answer for me :)

Can some mods move this into 911 please? I REALLY need my truck for tomorrow!!!!!

Haha, yep, already tried that with no luck.

On a side note, here is something that might work:

I might see if I can try that tomorrow night sometime. I'm afraid though, that if I try to disconnect the rod from the clutch pedal, the tiny little plastic clips will break off. I might see if there is some way to get the hydraulic line to bend up to the resevoir and leave everything the master cylinder still bolted up to the firewall. IDK though.

EDIT: Here's another saying the same thing:

The damn Haynes manual never said anything about this?!?! It said to remove the old one, & install the new one, not to bench bleed it first. :mad:

its coo dude, i already broke the plastic clips, it still works fine haha.

im going to have print that crap out and analyze it tomorrow, good info. Thanks guys.

EDIT: damn after reading those pages i think i did everything that i was not supposed too, haha.

Yeah, unfortunately, I'm installing a body lift on an 04 f150 tomorrow at 10am (been doing lift kits on the side of work for about 9 months) so that's gonna take all day tomorrow, and probably a little bit of Monday with all the **** this BL requires. I'll hopefully get to try this tomorrow night or sometime Monday. My guess is the vacuum pump is pulling the fluid, but maybe is leaving the air bubble in the master cylinder b/c it needs to be bench bled?

I tried again last night after I finally found the directions for the vacuum pump. Turns out there were a few things I was doing wrong (I needed a different fitting at the bleeder, and I was supposed to use the lubricant on the bleeder screw to seal out air).
I tried it again and it pulled a little air, lots of fluid, then nothing but fluid. I tried the clutch pedal again and it's still extremely soft. So I'm going to try pulling the master cylinder off the firewall and tilting like LUK clutch said. That should be the only place that air was at (only thing replaced) so maybe it's just completely missing this when using the vacuum pump. If that still doesn't work, I'm gonna try to bench bleed it.

dang well maybe something will finally work man, or i guess you SOL and have to go to the mechanic lol

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!