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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there

Changed all brake fluid, time for clutch and there's problems. Early 156 SW, followed the classic of putting bleeder tube on bleeder nipple on top of the slave, pulled feeder out a few mm, pressed clutch, put feeder back in and pulled clutch back up. But every time I pull the clutch back up it seems as just as much fluid enters the system as I bleed. Tried pumping the clutch with feeder pipe in, got some fluid in there but there's still a lot of air when I go to bleed again. The two answers I've seen is either a bad slave cylinder, or air leaking into the tube going from the master cylinder. Any ideas before I take it to the garage? Feels like I'm overlooking something obvious and I'm doing something wrong with the bleeding. Thanks in advance
 

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Clutch should be easy to bleed. Try gravity bleeding (keep it well topped up due to separation chamber in reservoir) or push the hose in a little to just stop it bleeding and the push clutch pedal. That should push it out and eject fluid. Pedal will then stay down and you can go out and push the hose back in to close bleeding port. Then go back into car and lift pedal and repeat. That should stop air entering from the hose into the bleed nipple port.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gravity bleeding did cross my mind, I'll give that a shot tomorrow. Concerning the other method, the only difference is then to only have the hose semi-inserted, but that it will be pushed outwards once the clutch is depressed right?
 

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Yes, the pressure should push it back open. From memory, it is possible to get 7 pumps per reservoir fill.
I always bleed brakes last to avoid leaving the reservoir overly full but good you are bleeding the clutch as it greatly prolongs hydraulic life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cheers, I'll see if I can get it sorted one method or the other. Haven't put too many miles on the clock since I bought it, so I'm slowly making sure that everything is in good condition. Hoping and trying to make sure there's still many miles to be had :)
 

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I found doing it with a helper helped a lot.

Bleed hose on nipple. Open nipple, helper pushes down clutch pedal and holds it. Tighten nipple. Helper uses foot or hand to lift the clutch pedal back up. Repeat. Making sure that reservoir does not run empty.

That is how I did it. Doing it by myself just resulted in the old fluid being sucked back in every time I released the clutch pedal. Good thing I did do it too, as the fluid was very dark.
 

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Best way is to use pressure bleeder, they are not expensive and just make bleeding brakes & clutches so easy, simple and quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Reporting back with success, but after having to use an unorthodox method. Gravity bleeding stopped bleeding air and only emptied fluid after a couple of seconds, and pushing the clutch went back into the same loop. So, here's how I finally solved it:

So for starters, bleeder pipe to bleeder nipple, placed a bottle to catch fluid on floor in the center square where there's no floor. Feeder clip unclipped, master cylinder closed. This will also assume that you've already flushed out the bad fluid, and that you just want to sort out the air.

Let the bleeder pipe go upwards, so that you can pull up the clutch and pull in the fluid that is in the pipe. Why? Well, in my case, the air bubbles stopped coming after a few seconds and rose to the top of the fluid that was in the pipe, leaving enough fluid free of air to be pulled back into the system.

Pull back feeder pipe, air bubbles and fluid will start coming out. Press down clutch to force out the air. The air bubbles will stop coming after a few seconds (in my experience usually between 10-20 seconds). When there's enough fluid free of air in the bleeder pipe, pull the clutch back up. This will "sort out" the air bubbles from the fluid. Repeat until there's no air exiting from the bleeder nipple when pushing the clutch down.

So, my three notes.
A, pressing down the clutch is really only needed since you later need to pull the clutch up, in doing so it will pull back clean fluid that has no air in it.
B, if the air bubbles don't stop coming after a while when the feeder pipe is pulled back, this method probably won't fit your car, so it's best to use the regular methods of bleeding the clutch.
C, if this is the most suitable way for you to clear the system of air, it might still indicate that air is entering the system from somewhere between master and slave cylinder. If that's the case, it's probably best to get a proper look at those parts. I know for sure that I'll keep a close eye, ear, and foot on how the clutch acts further on.

So if you're frantically searching the forum for when your car has this same problem, here's another way to bleed the air from a clutch. Unorthodox, perhaps a temporary fix, but a method nonetheless. Hope this helps, for now I'm just glad that my prolonged brake change has come to an end.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Adding two things to the above comment

For clarity's sake, what you're doing with the described method is pumping the same fluid in and out from the slave cylinder to the bleeding hose, and sucking the now air-free fluid back in. There shouldn't be much fluid usage from the master cylinder, but it's worth having a check after a while. Make sure there's enough length of the bleeder hose that is going upwards from the nipple, and be slow with pulling the clutch up for the first time to keep an eye on around how much is pulled back in. In my experience, this was around 50cm considering that the tube is quite thin.

Also, a helper really does - as the name implies - help. While you could feasibly do this alone, having a helper to press the clutch let's you pay total attention to how much air is escaping by each press.
 

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Another way is to squeeze the bleeder hose when the pedal is raised but it sounds like your particular car allows air to be drawn in at the bleed nipple where the hose fits into the bleed nipple block. It sounds like a faulty o-ring is the cause.
 
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