Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

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Delanoso
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Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby Delanoso » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:20 am

For the first task in resurrecting my e30, basically refreshed the whole hydraulics system--rebuilt the all calipers, new stainless steel lines, both master cylinders and the clutch slave. The Bentley manual was dead on except when it came to the clutch master. Replacing my clutch master cylinder *actually* only took about half an hour once I figured out the beta (rock climbing term derived from the ‘70’s video format, which really just means “the trick” or “the best sequence”, etc.). Before that I spent a couple hours on the first step from the Bentley manual spewing words you can’t say on NBC. Hoping I can save someone else the censorship by posting this “How To.”

Here’s what you need:

Tools and Parts.jpg
Tools and Parts.jpg (194.31 KiB) Viewed 19136 times


In addition to the part (old version pictured here):
15mm Wrench
13mm Wrench
11mm Line Wrench (not shown because I don’t have one)
10mm Socket
Socket Extension (might be better with a shorter one but this is the only one I have)
Socket Wrench

The short version of the Bentley process was something like this:
1. Remove the hydraulic line to the transmission. To find the fitting, follow the hydraulic line from the transmission to where the master cylinder passes through the firewall.
2. Remove the peddle attachment bolt
3. Remove the cylinder mounting bolts
4. Pull the cylinder through a few inches and remove the line to the reservoir.
5. Remove the cylinder completely.

My process was a little bit different because getting to the fitting on the transmission line side of the cylinder turned out to be easier said than done. See the image below—it’s buried below the fuel filter which is underneath the brake master.

Trans Side.jpg
Trans Side.jpg (253.92 KiB) Viewed 19136 times


What I did was separate the hard line from the flex line and the bulkhead shown above. Then I went into the cabin to work. Here’s what it looks like if you can get your head in there:

CM Whole.jpg
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Delanoso
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby Delanoso » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:24 am

You can move the peddles around to get at the mounting bolts a little better, specifically the accelerator peddle was most helpful. The peddle bolt will require the two wrenches--they’re not too hard to manage even in these tight spaces. Moving the clutch peddle to the floor allows you to get at them better. Getting at the mounting bolts is a little more difficult. Pushing the accelerator peddle all the way down allowed me to get behind the linkage and get to the bottom bolt with the ratchet and extension, like so:

Access.jpg
Access.jpg (182.01 KiB) Viewed 19135 times


Once I got those out, I slipped the cylinder out a little to pop the reservoir line out, which is just a snap in fitting. At this point *CAREFULLY* slide the master cylinder out of the fire wall, remembering that the hard line is still attached to the other end. You’ll have to pull it some, turn the whole thing a little, pull a few inches more, wiggle--all without any jerking or muscle involved or you’ll bend and possibly break the hard line. I actually got under the car a few times to help the line travel through the crowded area properly.
I actually had to put the old master cylinder in my bench vise to get the line free after I got it out. The fitting was seized—probably couldn’t have gotten it out in the car even if I’d had a line wrench as it turns out.

As always, installation is the opposite steps. I just made sure I didn’t tighten anything down until everything was properly threaded.

Hope this helps *someone* out there but maybe I'm the only one who had trouble with this!
Last edited by Delanoso on Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby Yoshi » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:19 am

yep. looks as much of a pain in the ass as I remember.
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby M20_fever » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:16 am

well done! Sticky.

PM me for a free set of window vinyls.
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby Delanoso » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:40 pm

Sweet!!

Yoshi wrote:yep. looks as much of a pain in the ass as I remember.


Not exactly fun but I'm glad I did it.
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby M20_fever » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:19 am

Your vinyl's will go out this week, thanks for the great writeup!
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby Delanoso » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:34 pm

-grin-

I'll be looking for them! Glad to do it--Hope to contribute some here even though most of y'all are light years beyond my capability.
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby 87e30 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:23 am

Delanoso wrote:My process was a little bit different because getting to the fitting on the transmission line side of the cylinder turned out to be easier said than done. See the image below—it’s buried below the fuel filter which is underneath the brake master.


Which year(s)/model(s) does your process cover? If I were to follow your guide on my 87 325is I would be lost because my fuel filter is in front of my drivers side rear tire.
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325is (newest project)
Arktisblau 5-speed 86 325e (current DD)
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325e (parts car/LS1 swap?)
Gazellenbeige automatic 85 318i (70,000 miles)
Alpine white 5-speed 87 325is (my first e30, possibly for sale)
99 Suburban
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby M20_fever » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:51 am

Filter location is pretty much the only difference.
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Re: Clutch Master Cylinder DIY Walkthrough

Postby 87e30 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:05 pm

M20_fever wrote:Filter location is pretty much the only difference.


I was only suggesting that the post be edited to say which years would have the filter there in case a noob tried doing the job and freaked out when they couldn't find their fuel filter.
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325is (newest project)
Arktisblau 5-speed 86 325e (current DD)
Schwarz 5-speed 87 325e (parts car/LS1 swap?)
Gazellenbeige automatic 85 318i (70,000 miles)
Alpine white 5-speed 87 325is (my first e30, possibly for sale)
99 Suburban

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