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TD4 Clutch Bleed Tutorial

Discussion in 'Technical Archive' started by joe27979, Feb 19, 2011.

By joe27979 on Feb 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM
  1. joe27979

    joe27979 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    west Norfolk
    Hi chaps,
    Having bled my defender clutch in the past and after some useful advice from some guys in this forum regarding my TD4 clutch (especially Chaser) I felt my TD4 Freelander needed similar treatment to the clutch hydraulics.

    I had a new clutch master cylinder fitted recently as mines was leaking from the shaft in the footwell, it was also very loose on the foot! Replacin the master cylinder helped tighten up the feel of the pedal but it still took bite only a few mm off of the floor.

    This got me thinking and onto simlar threads in this forum, if clutch fluid was leakin out of my old master cylinder then there is a chance that air would have leaked in past the same worn seals!

    This is what I did step by step:
    Collect all tools necessary to do the job - 13mm and 8mm spanner, big syringe, dot4 brake and clutch fluid, an old tonic bottle, a length of pastic tube, some rags and a work lamp

    Put your empty bottle on the bottom radiator hose below the fans so you can see it topping up. Thread one end of your rubber tube into the bottle, all the way to the bottom!
    Locate the clutch slave cylinder as it comes out of the bell housing, one leg will go to the bulkhead/master cylinder fitting and the other one will have a bleed nipple sticking out. Attach the other end of your rubber tube to this nipple
    Fill your large syringe with Clutch fluid, careful - dont get it on our paintwork!!
    Put an inch or so of fresh clutch fluid into your tonic bottle so that the end of the rubber hose is submerged (this stops air being drawn back into the slave cylinder)
    Remove the rubber cap from your clutch master cylinder resevoir (on the bulkhead just to the right of your oil filler cap)
    Looking at my fluid it looks like the new master cylinder assembly I brought had contaminated fluid - if you look closely you can see the fluid is slightly coloidal (cloudy) I suspect water contamination!!
    Now, undo the 8mm bleed nipple about two turns and then go into your truck and fully press down the clutch pedal and pull it up with your hand once!

    Now go and check your bottle, make sure it doesnt overflow - after each pump of the clutch i refill the master cylinder resevoir with fresh clutch fluid

    On the first pump I went round and looked in the bottle and saw a few air bubbles rising to the surface, this was air from the empty tube I had fitted, after your first pump of the clutch pedal the tube should be full of fluid and the only air coming out now will be air in the hydraulic fluid.

    I pumped my clutch by hand a total 0f 3 times, topping up the master cylinder each time. My tonic bottle then got too full to continue, I could have tipped it and started again but I decided to close the 8mm nipple and try the clutch.

    Findings - clutch now feels super smooth and takes up bite halfway through the travel now and not just a few mm from the floor.
    Have a look at your old fluid, mine clearly shows the coloidal seperation!

    Hopefully this will help some of you, will try and order my pics for clarity for you now :eek:)
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
Tags: this article has not been tagged


Discussion in 'Technical Archive' started by joe27979, Feb 19, 2011.

    1. Chaser
      A nice explanation showing the importance of changing the fluid. Good work Joe! ;)
    2. joe27979
      you were my inspiration chief ;0)
    3. Ian jones
      Ian jones
      Nice one joe thanks:)
    4. joe27979
      you're welcome Ian-hope it helps a few people out!
    5. mick 1986
      mick 1986
      I have read through this twice now, and I still can't find out what to do with the 13mm spanner listed at the start?
      Am I being a donut and missing something??
      Cheers, Mick.
    6. joe27979
      lol sorry Mick. the 13mm spanner is to hold the pipe/nut so you can undo the bleed nipple without bending the pipe into the slave cylinder..put your 13mm spanner over the arrow in the pic mate and use it as a steady to undo and tighten the bleed nipple..
      hope this helps
    7. mick 1986
      mick 1986
      Magic! Thanks mate. I will be out there in the morning doing it. I hope I get a similar result to yours.
      I will post back at somepoint tomorrow and let you know.
      Cheers mate.
    8. mick 1986
      mick 1986
      Well, the results of the clutch bleed is.......no change! If anything the biting point may have moved about 1/4inch up, but nothing noticeable when driving, so I guess it's a replacement job, oh well.
      Cheers for the help in the bleeding procedure, I will need to do it when the clutch is changed later in the year.
    9. Chaser

      I know I keep harping on about this but I would try changing the master cylinder before going for the most expensive option of replacing the clutch.

      £100 for a master cylinder against anything from £450 to £700 for clutch replacement.

      If I was changing the slave cylinder and complete clutch assy I wouldn't want to keep an old master cylinder anyway.
    10. mick 1986
      mick 1986
      I can get a clutch kit for £100. So it's the sane as changing the master cylinder.
      Like you said, the master cylinder will be replaced when the clutch does, so why waste time messing about changing it first?? I would rather do it all in 1 go mate.
    11. joe27979
      Hi Mick,
      shame it didn't work for you mate.

      if you're still going to go into the clutch-as well as the clutch kit make sure you put a new slave cylinder,release bearing etc in there. you never know what you'll find when you open it all up so while your paying for it to be stripped it would be wise to change these bits also...well that's what I'd do ;0) ..clutch bits are cheap-labour to do a TD4 clutch is hoooooge
    12. mick 1986
      mick 1986
      There wont be any labor charges mate, I'm doing it myself!
      I intend on changing all the parts listed my thread, the one you pointed me to this thread in. Thanks for the help mate, it's much appreciated.
    13. Chaser
      ffs where is the logic in that if a new master cylinder cures the problem????

      Concentric slave cylinder will cost best part of £100 without the clutch kit.
      Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
    14. mick 1986
      mick 1986
      What's with that reply? You on the blob this week?
      What if a new master cylinder doesn't fix it? Then I got to **** about changing them and rebleeding the whole thing again, wasting money and time on it. Why don't I just replace it all in 1 go? It's more practical and less time consuming!
    15. Chaser
      Simply trying to point out that you could potentially fix it for the price of a master cylinder and not have to change the clutch. It's worked for others including me.
    16. mick 1986
      mick 1986
      can you tell me which one of these is the one for my 53 TD4?
      all im after is the correct part number, then i can shop around.
    17. joe27979
    18. braturomeo

      How did you separate the master form slave ? There is a quick release conector on the pipe.How can that be "unscrew" and put together again ?
      Thank you
    19. joe27979
      Howdy - i did not have to seperatet my master and slave (the garage did that bit for me)
      It is a quick coupling and needs seperating with a special tool...or some metal shaped to fit!
      see pic:

      Attached Files: