How to Replace the Clutch Slave Cylinder

by Don Bowman

A clutch slave cylinder is a common hydraulic cylinder with a rod that extends returns under pressure from an outside spring pressure. When pressure is applied to the slave, the rod will extend and push on the throw-out bearing arm, forcing the bearing to push in on the fingers of the pressure plate, thereby disengaging the clutch. The spring pressure from the pressure plate fingers pushes the bearing out, causing the throw-out bearing arm to push the rod in the slave back in.

Step 1

Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jack stands. Remove the hydraulic line on the clutch slave cylinder using a wrench. Turn the line cap counterclockwise.

Step 2

Remove the slave cylinder by removing the two bolts, one on either end of the slave cylinder. Use the appropriate socket and a ratchet to remove the bolts.

Step 3

Install the new slave cylinder. It will come with a plastic band around the slave cylinder to hold the rod into the slave. Do not remove this band. Screw in the bolts and tighten. Attach the hydraulic line, then turn the cap clockwise with the wrench and tighten securely.

Step 4

Fill the clutch master cylinder with brake fluid. Loosen the slave cylinder bleeder screw on the side of the slave with a wrench. Leave the bleeder open until the cylinder fills with fluid and the bleeder has a steady drip. At this point, close the bleeder screw. Check the clutch master cylinder again and fill as necessary.

Step 5

Use a helper to bleed the air out of the slave cylinder. Open the bleeder screw once again at the slave cylinder. Have the helper slowly push the clutch pedal to the floor, but do not let the pedal up again until told to do so. Once the pedal is to the floor, close the bleeder screw and tighten it snugly. Have the helper let the clutch pedal up and then have him pump the clutch pedal. The rod in the slave cylinder should immediately break the plastic band. Check for good movement in the rod in the slave. If there is little movement, repeat Step 5 again.

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