RWD - A clutch bleeding technique

Volvo RWD 120-130 Forum

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A clutch bleeding technique 120-130

After a curious experience with clutch bleeding, and after doing a search of the archives for a technique for bleeding the clutch system, I developed the following process which seems to have worked and which can a one person operation. First some background…

1. Betty had been sitting idle with the engine bay completely bare for refinishing for about 10 months. During this time the entire clutch hydraulics system was out, dismantled and inspected. I found that both the master and slave cylinders appeared to have been rebuilt by the PO. When Betty was running previously the clutch system had worked well with no leaks or shifting issues.
2. In the process of putting everything back together I installed a new clutch hose. I then bled the system using the bleed nipple only and I had all the air out in a couple of minutes. The slave piston travel was about 7/8”, which IIRC is about right.
3. I then discovered that I had managed to get the gas line on the wrong side of the clutch hard line, so I removed the clutch hard line, with all the fluid draining out, and moved the gas line adjacent to the frame, where it belonged.
4. I then reconnected the clutch lines, filled the reservoir and then spent the next hour trying to bleed the system via the nipple. I even waited a couple of hours and tried again for another ½ hour before giving up and doing an BB archive search.
5. Not find anything that clearly solved my problem, I sat down, scratched my head for a bit and then wrote down the following set of steps, which thankfully worked.

1. Start with slave cylinder not bolted to the clutch housing, but otherwise with the system completely assembled.
2. Fill reservoir.
3. Loosen bleed nipple until fluid runs out.
4. Close nipple.
5. Note fluid level in reservoir. If less than ½ full, top up to ½ way point.
6. Gently push the rod into the slave cylinder, watching (and listening) for bubbles in the reservoir and/or potential overflow of fluid.
7. With rod fully pushed in, top up reservoir to ¾ full point.
8. Withdraw rod and left the slave piston return to its normal extended position. Watch the reservoir level and ensure it doesn’t go dry (unlikely).
9. Push rod all the way in again and again watch/listen for bubbles. Repeat the process, starting at step 6, until there are few bubbles.
10. Mount the slave cylinder and then bleed in normal fashion.

Barry -- 1967 122S 'Betty'


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New A clutch bleeding technique [120-130]
posted by  uncle_bagley  on Thu May 15 05:30 CST 2008 >

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