Thinking about purchasing a new car? Use our new Car Loan Calculator to estimate your monthly car payment!

How to Replace a Clutch Master Cylinder in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Early automobiles utilized mechanical clutch systems with multiple cable and linkage connections. These mechanical clutch systems had many problems, requiring frequent adjusting of the clutch assembly. It was also more difficult Vehicles the Vehicles operator to engage and disengage the clutch during Vehicles operation. The subsequent hydraulic clutch systems offered more reliability and ease of use, and required less maintenance to keep the Vehicles operational. The hydraulic clutch system operates similar to the hydraulic brake system; however, there are still mechanical components used on the transmission side of the hydraulic clutch system. Replacing the clutch master cylinder requires common tools and basic automotive repair knowledge.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Clutch Master Cylinder in a 1994 F150

Clutch Master Cylinder Removal

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the vehicle battery.

Pry off the clutch pedal push rod, retaining pin and bushing, using a flat-head screwdriver. The clutch pedal push rod, retaining pin and bushing are located inside the vehicle, at the top of the clutch pedal.

Locate the interlock switch connector inside the vehicle, at the top of the clutch pedal. Press in the two tabs on the side of the connector. Pull the connector apart.

Remove the two master cylinder bracket retaining nuts, using a socket wrench and socket. Remove the bracket. The retaining nuts and bracket are located at the top of the clutch pedal, inside the vehicle.

Locate the clutch master cylinder on the right side of the engine compartment, against the firewall.

Locate the clutch tube that runs from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder on the transmission. Remove the two retaining clips that secure the clutch tube to the master cylinder, using needle nose pliers. Pull the clutch tube off the master cylinder.

Pull the clutch master cylinder away from the engine compartment firewall until the mounting studs clear the firewall. Rotate the clutch master cylinder ΒΌ of a turn counter-clockwise to clear the interlock switch and pull the assembly out of the engine compartment.

Clutch Master Cylinder Installation

Insert the two retaining nut studs on the new clutch master cylinder through the firewall, in the engine compartment.

Place the master cylinder bracket onto the master cylinder studs inside the vehicle. Install the two retaining nuts onto the master cylinder studs. Tighten the nuts, using a socket wrench and socket.

Push the clutch tube onto the clutch master cylinder and install the two retaining clips, using needle-nose pliers.

Push the interlock switch into the connector at the top of the clutch pedal inside the vehicle.

Install the bushing into the clutch pedal push rod and secure the clutch pedal to the push rod with the retaining pin, using needle-nose pliers.

Items you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Socket wrench and sockets

  • Needle-nose pliers

 How to Replace the Clutch Master Cylinder in a Dodge 3500

Open the truck's hood and disconnect the negative cable from the battery using a socket wrench.

Raise the truck with a jack and remove the nuts attaching the slave cylinder to the bell housing. Remove the clip from the slave cylinder with a slotted screwdriver and remove the slave cylinder from the truck. Lower the truck.

Remove the clip from the clutch master cylinder mounting bracket at the rear of the engine compartment.

Use a slotted screwdriver to pry off the retaining ring, flat washer and wave washer that connect the clutch master cylinder push rod to the pedal. Carefully pull the push rod off of the pedal pin.

Remove the three screws securing the reservoir and bracket from the dash panel with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Pull off the clutch master cylinder seal from the dash panel. Twist the clutch master cylinder counterclockwise to remove it from the dash panel. Install a replacement master cylinder and reattach its components. Twist the clutch master cylinder clockwise to secure it.

Raise the truck and reinstall the slave cylinder and its components. Lower the truck to the ground when done. Reconnect the battery and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Jack

  • Slotted screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Replace the Clutch Master Cylinder in a Saturn SC2

Removal

Place a wooden block or other item behind the clutch pedal inside the passenger compartment to keep the clutch pedal from being depressed.

Remove the air filter and air duct by unclipping the filter assembly and using a screwdriver or wrench to remove the clamp on the air duct.

Loosen and remove the negative battery cable using either a box or socket wrench. After the negative cable is removed, loosen and remove the positive cable as well. Loosen the nuts on the battery hold-down clamp with a wrench and remove the clamp. Remove the battery and loosen the bolts on the battery tray with a wrench and remove it too. One of the battery tray bolts can only be accessed through the wheel well.

Locate the slave cylinder on the transaxle housing and rotate it about a quarter-turn counterclockwise while pushing it in towards the housing. The slave cylinder connector will disengage itself from the clutch housing. Loosen and remove the bolts on the slave cylinder bracket with a wrench and pull the assembly off the studs on the clutch housing.

Determine if your SC2 has ABS -- anti-lock braking. If it does, loosen and remove the master brake cylinder-to-power booster nuts with a wrench. The cylinder must be moved off its studs and moved towards the engine just slightly. Take care not to bend or damage the hydraulic lines while doing this.

Locate the push rod on the back of the master cylinder. It is attached with a retaining clip. Unclip it and disconnect the push rod from the clutch pedal. Rotate the master cylinder about an eighth of a turn clockwise and remove entire master/slave unit from the vehicle.

Installation

Push the new master cylinder into its opening so that the reservoir is leaning slightly towards the driver's fender. Rotate the cylinder an eighth of a turn counterclockwise until it locks into place.

Install the brake master cylinder if your SC-2 has ABS and you had removed it from its studs earlier. Put it on its studs and install and tighten the mounting bolts to 20 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Move the slave cylinder onto its studs and install and tighten its bolts to 18 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Install the slave cylinder in the clutch housing with the hydraulic lines facing down and rotate the cylinder a quarter-turn clockwise as you push it into the clutch housing. Apply silicone grease to the clutch pedal retaining pin and connect the push rod to the pedal. Install the retaining clip on the pedal.

Install the battery tray and tighten its bolts with a wrench. Put the battery on the tray, install the battery retaining bracket and tighten its nuts with a wrench. Attach the positive battery cable with a wrench and then the negative battery cable. Install the air duct and filter, tightening the clamps with a wrench or screwdriver and clipping the air filter into its housing.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Screwdriver set

  • Plastic container

  • Pliers

  • Jack and jack stand

  • Hydraulic fluid

  • Wooden block

  • Torque wrench

  • Silicone grease

 How to Replace a Clutch Master Cylinder on a Toyota Corolla

Removal

Use a wrench to disconnect the Corolla's battery at the negative cable and terminal.

Use a screwdriver to unscrew and remove the knee bolster below the steering column.

Disconnect the pushrod on the clutch pedal, removing the clip on the clevis pin and then removing the pin itself.

Unscrew and remove the cover from the air filter housing with your screwdriver and then disconnect the electrical connector to the brake fluid level switch.

Clamp the hose connecting the two cylinders with pliers and disconnect the hose from the brake fluid reservoir. Then use a flare-nut wrench to disconnect the brake lines from the brake master cylinder and the hydraulic line from the clutch master cylinder.

Use a wrench to remove the mounting nuts to the brake master cylinder from under the dash inside the car, then remove this cylinder. Remove the brake booster in a similar fashion.

Remove the clutch master cylinder's mounting nuts under the dash and remove the cylinder. Watch out for spilling fluid.

Installation

Place the clutch master cylinder on the firewall and install the nuts finger-tight within the car. Connect the hydraulic line to the cylinder and tighten its fitting and the cylinder mounting nuts with the wrench.

Use the clevis pin and clip to connect the pushrod to the clutch pedal.

Reconnect the brake booster and brake master cylinder using their mounting nuts on the firewall.

Connect the brake lines to the brake master cylinder, the hydraulic line to the clutch master cylinder and the fluid feed line to the clutch and brake cylinders.

Reinstall the brake fluid level electrical connector and the air filter housing.

Reconnect the knee bolster and the negative battery cable.

Bleeding

Fill the cylinders at the brake fluid reservoir.

Raise the car and support it on jack stands. Remove all four wheels.

Connect a clear tube to the bleeder valve on the clutch release cylinder (different from the master cylinder) and place the hose's other end into a clear bottle containing two inches of brake fluid.

Loosen the bleeder valve while a second person presses on the clutch pedal, then close it and release the pedal when fluid and air stop flowing out of the tube. Repeat until only fluid comes out of the tube.

Repeat the previous two steps using the tube and bottle on the bleeder screws for each of the brake calipers, having your assistant press the brake pedal this time. Start at the right rear wheel, then left rear, right front and left front.

Reconnect the wheels and lower the car.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Flare-nut wrench

  • Brake fluid

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Tire iron

  • Bottle

  • Vinyl tube

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

More Articles