Many vehicles have hydraulic clutch system. These clutches are self-adjusting. There is a friction material on the clutch and as this material wears down, the hydraulic clutch adjusts itself to this. However, some of you might not be satisfied with this self adjustment, and will want to make some changes and adjustments yourself. For this, you must know how to adjust a hydraulic clutch.
The hydraulic clutch adjustment has to be done in two parts. First is adjusting the clutch and second is adjusting the bleeding of the clutch. After any replacement or any sort of adjustment the clutch bleeding has to be adjusted to complete the adjustment procedure of the hydraulic clutch.
How to adjust a hydraulic clutch?
- The main part of the hydraulic clutch that helps in its adjustment is the ’slave cylinder pushrod’. You have to first locate this pushrod. The hydraulic clutch can be adjusted only by adjusting this pushrod’s length.
- You need to find out whether your vehicle’s pushrod is adjustable, and if it is not adjustable, you will have to look for a replacement of this pushrod
- To locate the pushrod, first locate the cylinder body of the clutch master. From the hind side of the cylinder body you can see a metal tubing.
- At the point where the metal tube connects the engine’s slave cylinder, it looks like a flexible hosing.
- Inside this engine’s slave cylinder is the rubber boot, piston, seal locking nut, push rod and an adjustable nut.
- Using the wrench, adjust the pushrod adjustable nut. Turn the nut and increase the length of the pushrod if you wish to lengthen the engaging time of the clutch. Turning it to decrease the length of the rod will reduce the engaging time of the clutch.
This completes the adjustment of the pushrod of the hydraulic clutch. However, the hydraulic clutch adjustment completes with adjusting the bleeding of the clutch.
Why is hydraulic clutch bleeding adjustment necessary?
Bleeding the vehicle’s hydraulic clutch is essential to ensure the proper working of the engine and the entire system of the hydraulic clutch. It helps in avoiding any problems likely with the vehicle’s braking system. Any time when you change or adjust any part of the engine or clutch of the vehicle, the hydraulic clutch has to be bled. Even when the fluid levels in the engine parts falls below the mark, air settles in the engine’s master cylinder. Bleeding of the engine’s hydraulic clutch will help remove all the air from the cylinder and other parts, to ensure safe clutch operation. When the car’s brake pedal on being pressurized feels very soft, it indicates that there is air in the system. This indicates that the engine’s hydraulic clutch needs bleeding.
Unlike the pushrod adjustment, the bleeding adjustment needs some equipments.
You need a:
- Floor Jack
- Plastic Container
- Hydraulic fluid
- Plastic Hose
- Adjustable Wrench
- Jack Stand
How to adjust hydraulic clutch bleeding?
- Choose a place to work, which is flat. Put the car on parking brake.
- Open the hood of the car, and pour DOT 4 or DOT 3, a new fluid for the brake in the master cylinder.
- Using the jack stands, lift your vehicle up. Lock the jack stands and the jack, so that the car stays stationary in that position.
- On the left hand side at the top of the bleeder housing is the bleeder valve. Remove its dust cap.
- Connect one end of the bleeder hose to this bleeder valve, and put the other end in the plastic container. On releasing the valve, brake fluid in the hydraulic line and the master cylinder of the clutch runs out in the release cylinder coming out through the tube in the container. At first, you will see bubbles in this liquid, and when it is bubble free, it closes the valve of the bleeder.
- Now taking help from your friend or assistant, again open the valve of the bleeder, while the other person pressurizes the pedal of the clutch downwards.
- As your partner tells you about the clutch touching the floor, close this valve and release the pedal.
- As soon as you close the valve, quickly releasing the pedal will let the engine fluids flow downwards and reduce the air bubbles. After two seconds of releasing the pedal, again repeat the steps 6 and 7, until there are no bubbles in the entire line.
- Pour the extracted fluid up to the required level in the tank. Place back the dust cap on the valve of the bleeder, and get the vehicle off the jack.
- Test the clutch before you go out on a drive on the main road.
Adjusting the pushrod, followed by the bleeding adjustment, completes the procedure of adjusting the hydraulic clutch.