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Brake Fluid Change, Need To Bleed Clutch?

brake clutch fluid bleed valve

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#1 BigD

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:20 AM

Just done some work on the back brakes (discs) and changed the brake fluid while I was at it. The stuff that came out was nasty so I'm glad I did.

Now, the Haynes bible claims that I now need to bleed the clutch as well - it does feel a little "loose" now - so all well and good, except the picture in the Haynes manual looks nothing like what's on my car. It says the bleed valve is on top of the bellhousing. Took out the battery, airbox etc for a look, and I see nothing that looks remotely like the book! It shows a round rubber grommit with the valve poking through the top. I don't see that anywhere.

The only bleed valve I can see in that area (I assume that's what it is), is on the end of a long thin pipe (similar gauge to the metal brake pipes) and points towards the front of the car, just below the top radiator hose. It was gone 11pm by the time I got to this point, so I've now downed tools for the night as I'm sick of the sight of it.

Can anybody confirm that this is indeed the clutch bleed valve? Or not? The car is a 2005 2.0 TDCi (Euro IV).

Much googling has not enlightened me.

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#2 ppeter7

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:39 AM

i have just checkedmy bible now where you said that pipe comes out just behind that theres a little bleed nipple sitting lower in the centre of the rubber seal regards pete

#3 BigD

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:13 AM

Thanks, but mine looks nothing like the manual. The pics below show what mine looks like (taken from just above where the battery lives).

2012-12-05 09.02.29.jpg

I can see no other bleed valve anywhere. A close-up (it didn't have a cap on it).

2012-12-05 09.03.53.jpg

2012-12-05 09.01.41.jpg

#4 Stoney871

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

Surely just removing the reservoir cap and pumping the clutch should clear the system.

#5 flying clutchman

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

The difference is in the 5-speed and the 6-speed. Bleeding the brakes shouldn't really affect the clutch as although the two share the same resevoir there are seperate chambers inside. (this is a legal requirement for safety reasons)

#6 BigD

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:36 PM

The difference is in the 5-speed and the 6-speed. Bleeding the brakes shouldn't really affect the clutch as although the two share the same resevoir there are seperate chambers inside. (this is a legal requirement for safety reasons)

So I don't need to bother bleeding the clutch on a 6-speed? Makes sense. The clutch felt fine anyway and I have no problem getting any gears - I only started out doing it because that's what the Haynes manual said I should do.

I do have another question regarding the Haynes manuals, though. If I use the Mondeo one in conjunction with the one I got for my Focus, would they be suitably thick enough to chock the front wheels? Or should I just put them in the bin where they belong and stick to using bricks? I'm beginning to see little other use for Haynes manuals.

#7 stef123

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

So I don't need to bother bleeding the clutch on a 6-speed? Makes sense. The clutch felt fine anyway and I have no problem getting any gears - I only started out doing it because that's what the Haynes manual said I should do.

I do have another question regarding the Haynes manuals, though. If I use the Mondeo one in conjunction with the one I got for my Focus, would they be suitably thick enough to chock the front wheels? Or should I just put them in the bin where they belong and stick to using bricks? I'm beginning to see little other use for Haynes manuals.


Bleeding the brakes will have had no effect on the clutch but if you want to replace the fluid entirely then I would do the clutch too.

#8 flying clutchman

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:17 PM

You don't need to bleed the clutch on either. In fact the 5-speed has a floating ball valve which enables it to self-bleed as long as you've got fluid through the cylinder. I'm afraid Haynes manuals don't seem to up to the job these days.

#9 BigD

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:02 PM

You don't need to bleed the clutch on either. In fact the 5-speed has a floating ball valve which enables it to self-bleed as long as you've got fluid through the cylinder. I'm afraid Haynes manuals don't seem to up to the job these days.

thanks! Pretty much confirms what i already thought of haynes. Knew something was up when the handbrake bracket adjustment diagram was in the book upside down! (And i'm not even joking - it really is).

#10 BigD

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:20 PM

Well, finally got to the bottom of my brake problem. The o/s rear was binding badly and the inner pad was worn into a wedge shape. Changed the caliper, discs and pads, adjusted the handbrake, it was better but still not right, still binding. Changed the flexi hoses and changed the brake fluid but that didn't help (didn't think it would but ran out of other ideas!). MPG was down to 46. :(

Then I noted that the disc turned easier backwards than it did forwards. Odd! Could the carrier itself be faulty?? Removed each of the guide pins, put them in a drill and spun it, one was fine, the other was properly bent, so the caliper was not releasing properly at one end. Just replaced them both and done a test run. Rear brakes now cool as a cucumber, and MPG after a 14-mile a-road test is back up to 59.7!

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