Clutching at straws - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Clutching at straws

Ok here goes,156 1.8ts, done 200 miles on rebuilt engine with no problems, came to go out and now wont go in gear. Turn engine off and goes in gear fine, try to start (with clutch pedal down) and she tries to drive/stall
Noticed the fluid level empty so top her up and have a look for leaks but find none, zip, zilch.
Bleed through new fluid and lots of air bubbles,and we start to get a peddle. Bleed more and she'll go in gear hoorah!
Take her for a spin and the pedal gets worse and worse, eventualy the pedal stays down and have to bring her home in 1st...
Fluid level hasnt gone down, and no matter how much pumping the pedal stays soft/down.
Bleed through again and its all airated fluid....grrrr Then it goes dark.
Anyway I'm thinkin the clutch master cylinder is shot and drawing air in?? Ideas? Price?
The clutch itself aint new but when you get a pedal it works just fine.
Could it be the slave cylinder?
Anyone had a master cylinder go?
Anyone help would be appreciated, even Bazza! frown
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I have had a slave cylinder go on my 1.8 16v 155. The symptoms were thew pedal went to the floor and stayed there. It is located under the battery on top of the gearbox. If the seals are shot you will probably see a pool of fluid on top of the gearbox. Or if you squeeze the rubber boot fluid will **** out. They are easy to change and relatively cheap. Dont bother just changing the seals it is not worth it. If you need one and can wait a week to eceive it email me at
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I think this is a slightly different in that the slave cylinder is part of the clutch release bearing assembly inside the bell housing, so if thats gone its a box off job!
Also there's no fluid anywhere to be seen, just loads of air in the line???!!! eek!
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Could the fluid have just gone inside the gearbox? This happened on my brother's Land Rover - it was losing fluid, but nothing was coming out the bottom...
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Thats the point Rick, after we bled her through first time (about 1/2 litre of fluid) and went for a run where it went pear shaped again it didnt loose a drop from the resovoir, it just got shed loads of air in the line!
You can lye in the footwell and pump the peddle by hand, you can hear the fluid in the piston "sucking".
I plan to bleed her up again tommorow and then clamp the flexi hose to the slave cylinder. I'll then press the pedle to see if it goes down or whatever.
Anyone know how much the two cylinders are? frown
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Pilky me old mate ......

Some of these slave cylinder/release bearing jobs have a major design floor as in the bleeder is positioned before the cylinder and this makes them incredibly difficult to bleed (not sure what a 156 one is like)

Have you tried a pressure bleeder to force the air out or i have in the past on some Vectra`s bled them backwards or fill the resevoir up leave the top off and jam the clutch pedal down overnight this will keep the cylinder open and allow any trapped air to rise upto the master cylinder .....

Otherwise you can bleed them and then get air in then bleed again and then bleed again and so on

Keep you pedal to the metal
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Yeah Speedy it is that type an it dont look tooo clever a design to me.
You wouldnt beleive the amount of air that had got back in the line though!
For me its down to 2 things, either a completly shagged master cylinder but why it aint leakin fluid I dont know!
Or the slave cylinder may be going over travel due to wear in the clutch cover/plate.
Anyone got the price of the offending items?
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Sure something like this has appeared on before and the solution was to just keep doing it over and over again.....may not be the same though!!

Pilky, try a search on there just in case wink

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Thanx Wrinx, as an update I tried removing the flexie hose from where it connects to the box (and where you bleed it) and pumped fluid through. Absolutely no air what so ever came through and then we clamped the flexi with mould grips and the pedal was solid and didnt go down at all. So the master cylinder is ok I recon.
Put the pipe back on and try to bleed again and loads of air came out! eek!
We're down to two alternatives, one its just drawing air through the union when bleeding due to bad seal/whatever.
Two, the slave cylinder is caput or has over extended travel for some reason....
Looking like the box is commin off.. frown

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