Hydraulic Clutches are the Work of the Devil!!!

Octagon Newsletter November 1987

By Alan Fraser

As a result of reconstruction, the clutch of my MGA required replenishment of reservoir, pipes and hose. The manual glibly states that you simply "pump the pedal until all air bubbles cease flowing from the bleeder hole". In fact the clutch piston has a limited capacity for filling the system and, when depressed, it refused to be replenished from the reservoir, preferring to remain in the depressed position until the bleeder valve was opened to allow it to return and refill the system with air bubbles. One sage suggested pressurizing the reservoir to force replenishing fluid into the line, another suggested filling each section piecemeal and then bolting the whole mess together. Nothing worked.

After reviewing the principles of hydraulics, I installed a header tank (actually my favourite wife's turkey baster) high above the master cylinder and connected it by tubing to the bleeder valve at the slave cylinder. I retracted the clutch piston until it was barely within the cylinder, thereby completely opening the return replenishment hole to the reservoir. I filled the header tank with fluid and, when air bubbles no longer entered the reservoir and the fluid level began rising, I shut off the bleeder valve and re‑installed the master piston. Voila! I had a clutch to attend the next Anniversary Meet.

I hope this suggestion helps others cursed by modern technology. At least my beloved 'TC' has a sensible piece of chain linking the clutch pedal and release bearing.

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