Manual Clutch Bleeding | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Manual Clutch Bleeding


January 23, 2001
Reaction score
Based on the search of this topic that I performed, the clutch is a ***** to bleed. I suspected that I had air in the line and attempted to bleed. I hit the depressed and released the clutch with the bleed open and now the pedal moves freely...air into the master cylinder (whoops). Anyway, I read about several methods of bleeding the system on this site including the following:

1. Follow Haynes manual prodedure of bleeding by gravity through the bleed fitting.
2. Use a crow bar to actuate the slave cylinder, then follow the Hayes procedure.
3. Disconnect the master-slave cylinder line and bleed as described in the maintenance tips section.
4. Bench bleed the master cylinder, reattach and follow Haynes procedure.

Can anyone provide insight as to the easiest and most effective way to bleed these systems?

Thanks much in advance.


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!

The easiest way to bleed these is with a vacuum pump for bleeding brakes. You can pick one up for $30 (its worth the money) at any auto part store (they are made by mighty-vac). With tool in hand (and a helper to keep the resivor full) hook up the bleeder hose to the bleeder screw and crack open the screw. Start pumping away on the vac. Keep this up for a couple minutes (and do NOT allow the resivor to empty) tighten bleeder screw and have the helper test the clutch. If it still isn't working try bleeding it again.

I agree with Mike completely on this method. I spent many days under my Ranger trying all different methods. I finally gave up and bought the pump. It took about 30 minutes. A snap.

Thanks guys,

I'm going to try using a Mityvac when I get home tonight. Was this method effective in drawing fluid into the master cylinder (I currently have no pedal). Also do I just hook up and start pumping (while adding fluid) or does the pedal need to be depressed.


I don't remember needing to pump the pedal. Just be sure to keep the reservoir full or you'l be at it all day.


does this mean no disconnecting the master/slave line into the tranny and just loosening the bleeder screw under there? Wow $30 sounds like a deal to save all that headache. I guess its just a universal pump?

Just loosen the screw and crank the handpump until all the air comes out. Simple.

I just spoke with the MityVac people today. There is another method we can try, which is by shooting fluid up from the slave. They say this will assure the trapped air in the Master escapes because we are working with gravity not against.

This link describes the procedure, but with a "Shooter" not the pump. The guys says the pump works just as good.

I'll keep you posted.

Well, it has been about 5 days since I did the reverse bleeding with the Mityvac pump, and it worked like a charm. A little messy at first, but with the right feetings I was able to control the fluid, and voila!!

So after a year of agony, finally, I'm free of clutch problems!!

(knock on wood!)