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Discussion Starter #1
We're doing a week long track event from New York to Wisconsin and are experiencing some clutch problems after a day and a half at Watkins Glen.

The car is a 2000 FRC with 55000 miles and I believe it has a stock clutch setup. The transmission was rebuilt just before I bought the car in Feb. of 2005, but I'm not sure if the clutch was replaced that time or not.

The problem is that the clutch is not engaging well. In other words if you depress the pedal all the way to the floor, it isn't enough to engage the clutch enough to select a gear at idle.

When I bought the car, the fluid in the clutch cylinder was so dark I doubt it had ever been changed before. I cleaned as much of the old fluid out and replaced it with fresh fluid and that seemed to improve the clutch feel significantly.

Today, during a track session, it became noticably harder to shift, and coming off of the track the clutch was not engaging very well.

We again cleaned out as much fluid as possible and replaced it with fresh fluid. After idling around the paddock and depressing the pedal a lot, it seemed to improve somewhat, but I am concerned that the problem will continue to worsen throughout the rest of the week if we don't bleed the clutch system.

I be interesting in any recommendations anyone has for resolving this problem as well as any information on what is involved in bleeding the system.

We talked with someone at the track who had a similar problem and he said his clutch master cylinder had failed.

Also, is anyone aware of any repair shops in the Great Lakes region that might be able to bleed the system for me or possibly replace the cylinders and install a new clutch on short notice?

Thanks,

Alan
 

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Alan,
Seems you didn't get any responses.
It could the master, slave, bad tranny work just prior to you buying it, crap in the fluid or even no fluid in the tranny!
You started with the simple stuff and it seems to make a difference so we'll go with the theory that it's the fluid that's causing your ailments.
The bleeder is on the top of the torque tub towards the driver's side, right behind the bell housing. It's 7/16 hex.
Getting to it with a wrench will be next to impossible. You might get lucky by simply bending a 7/16 open/box end wrench into a compound angle. Getting it over the bleeder is one thing, getting enough torque on the bleeder to open it is another.
Assuming you have the patience to stick with it and the luck of getting it to bleed then put in ATE blue or amber. It's not the ulitmate fluid but in my experience it keeps up with harsh conditions very well for a several years. Unless you're talking about a racing engine that regularly sees the drag strip.
If you need more clearance to fit the wrench you will need to patiently take down part of the exhaust and then some to get you hand in there properly.

Let us know how you make out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,

Thanks for the response.

We ended up putting the car on a lift and dropping the exhaust and tunnel plate to gain access to the bleeder.

As you might expect there was a lot of gunky fluid in there. We flushed the line out until we had relatively clean fluid coming out of the bleeder. We used Wilwood 570 brake fluid.

The next morning when we put the car back on the track, we still had problems, although it seemed slightly better. We elected to drive the car and keep shifting to a minimum.

As the day wore on, the clutch eventually came back to the point where it seems to have completely resolved the problem. The fluid in the master cylinder is now somewhat darker than fresh fluid, so our theory is that either there was some air in the line after we bled it and it eventually self bled, or that the slave still had some gunk in it that needed to be excercised in order for the fresh fluid to work.

I have a couple more events this season and at this point I am leaning towards limping the clutch along and replacing the whole clutch system when I freshen the engine this winter. I've also ordered a remote bleeder setup from LAPD so I may try to throw that on there.

Thanks for the help!

Alan
 

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Your welcome.

Sounds like you might have actually had bad fluid as well as air in the slave. It's not easy to get the fluid out of our slaves or masters. One way that works very well is to leave the lid off the filler res. and rapidly push the clutch pedal till all bubbles seize appearing.

When you do open it up, make sure your bench bleed the master and slave, so when you disconnect/reconnect the two you have a minimum of air to deal with.

Regards,
John
 
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