Replacing a Clutch Master Cylinder

  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 35-100
What You'll Need
Clutch master cylinder replacement
Screwdriver set
Ratchet set
Wrench set
Drip pan or plastic container
Car jack and jack stands
Lug wrench
Vice grips
Penetrating spray
Protective clothes
Working gloves
Brake Fluid

The clutch master cylinder is similar to the brake master cylinder in its function. The master clutch cylinder is usually located inside the engine area of your vehicle. Generally speaking, it is the component with the smaller cylindrical reservoir connected inside the car’s firewall and in front of the steering wheel. With the proper tools and materials, a clutch master cylinder can be replaced using the following steps.

Step 1 – Disconnect Hose

Jack up the vehicle, and then place it on jack stands. Raise the hood of the vehicle and position vise grips on the hose connected to the master cylinder. Grip the hose tightly as to prevent excess fluid from dripping. Disconnect the hose from the master cylinder to the reservoir and loosen the clamp using a screwdriver. Make sure to put a drip pan or plastic container beneath the cylinder to catch fluid.

Step 2 – Remove the Fluid from Reservoir

Remove the reservoir cap of the fluid container on the master cylinder. Use a syringe to remove brake fluid from the container and dispose it in a drip pan. Seal the top of the master cylinder fluid container with its cap to prevent fluid from spilling.

Step 3 – Remove Master Cylinder

Find the 2 screws holding the master cylinder to the car’s firewall. Apply some penetrating spray to ease removal of the nuts and bolts. Loosen and remove them using a the appropriate size ratchet or wrench. Lift the master cylinder from the frame and remove it from the car. Take care not to spill brake fluid (also used in clutch systems) on the car.

Step 4 – Prepare Master Cylinder

Rinse the inner parts of the new master cylinder with some fresh brake fluid. Soak the spring, cap, circular plastic lining and piston with fresh fluid as well. Position the cap on the flat end of the spring and insert it in the master cylinder. Connect the circular plastic lining and the piston to the master cylinder. Position the circular clip by pushing the piston with a screw driver and clipping the circular clip.

Step 5 – Install Master Cylinder

Position the thin lining back in the frame and mount the master cylinder back on the engine firewall. Install and secure the 2 screws that hold the master cylinder to the firewall using the right sized socket, socket extension and ratchet. Fix the connector screw and fasten it between the master cylinder and the clutch pipe lining using a wrench. Reconnect the fluid line as well.

Step 6 – Finish Up and Bleed Clutch

Pour in fresh brake fluid into the reservoir while taking care not to spill it on the car. Use water to clean all components where brake fluid might have spilled. To bleed the clutch effectively, jack up the front side of the car and loosen bleeder on slave cylinder. Slowly push the clutch pedal. Repeat the process until the clutch pedal feels tight and there are no bubbles coming from the air bleed valve. Refill reservoir and replace cap.