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Thread: Clutch Master Cylinder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    22

    Default Clutch Master Cylinder

    Hello,
    I don't post much but read this forum regularly, this and occasionally blatchat. If I have a question about something or just looking for general info it is usually found within these two sites.
    I have a question that I've not seen.
    The other day, driving the 7 to work, I thought I heard an unusual noise. There are so many noises driving this car that I'm not absolutely certain. Regardless, I lost the clutch. No grinding noises, no thumping sounds, nothing seemed out of order, just no clutch. If I remember correctly I was downshifting to 3rd. I was able to rev match it to get to my office, then towed home.
    A visual inspection showed some oil on the shelf next to the clutch master cylinder and with pushing the pedal a small amount of fluid squirts out of of the vent hole on the top. With the engine off it runs through the gears fine, but running it will no go into any gear.
    My thought is the master cylinder is bad, a PO had it rebuilt but not knowing the shop I have limited trust.
    I want to relplace the master cylinder first as the slave cylinder resides within the bell house and requires an engine pull. I don't typically like to just throw parts(money) at a problem until solved but this is what makes sense at this point.
    Does my assessment make sense?
    Real question, is there a difference in quality between the the original Girling unit and the equivilant Wilwood unit? The original is a Girling 70.

    Thanks,
    Bill
    Last edited by Chopd65; 06-14-2020 at 08:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    119

    Default

    It definitely sounds like the master cylinder seal is gone and that fluid is squirting past the piston when you press the clutch pedal.
    1987 Caterham 1700 Supersprint
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Midland, TX
    Posts
    481

    Default

    Chop: You haven't said what the pedal feels like. Presumably, it has about the same or less resistance than it normally had. My Westfield has an AP Racing clutch master and it really doesn't like American brake fluid. The English seals started to dissolve into the brake fluid and the only remedy was to switch to DOT 5.1 brake fluid. (Brakes and clutches use the same hydraulic fluid) I'm not sure about Girling, but this is true of AP Racing. If this is the case, you need an overhaul of the master, and possibly the slave cylinder, for new seals.
    Dan
    Westfield SEiW
    Done building, now grinning

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Thanks guys.
    The peddle goes right to the floor with limited resistance. At first it offered some resistance but not now.
    Interesting about the seals, I'll look at that as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    CT
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    Default

    Anyone have any feedback regarding the Girling unit versus the Wilwood?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    CT
    Posts
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    Default

    So, I changed the clutch master cylinder with the Wilwood unit, bled it thoroughly and nothing. No or little resistance right to the floor.
    I'm pulling the motor this weekend, should be fun...
    I have a Zetec with a 5 speed, according to the order sheet from Sevens and Elans it was ordered with the upgraded 5 speed, whatever that is.
    Is the clutch slave cylinder a common piece for these or is it a matter of pulling it and matching it up? I understand it should be a stock Ford cylinder but doing research it seems like there could be some variation.
    I plan on inspecting everything to be sure it's all good. I haven't had any issues with the clutch until this happened, no chatter, slippage or anything so I hopeful all is well.
    Any input is appreciated.
    Bill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Seattle-ish
    Posts
    1,416

    Default

    See the first three posts on this page of my build thread for pics and part numbers. It's not clear if the Zetec uses the Contour 4 cylinder or V6 version used in the Duratec, but once it's out, you'll know. Both are easy to source in the US.

    -John
    '95 Westfield SEiW w/2.0L Duratec
    '68 Lotus Elan FHC
    '91 Miata w/Flyin Miata suspension & brakes
    '95 Porsche 993 C2
    '86 Porsche 944 turbo (neglected project car)
    Throttle Steer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    CT
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks John.
    That's a big help. I've read your build thread since the beginning but didn't remember you covering it, old brain.
    Bill

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Seattle-ish
    Posts
    1,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chopd65 View Post
    I've read your build thread since the beginning
    My condolences Let us know what you learn when you pull out the old one. BTW I have both versions in boxes, so if there is any confusion or hard to read part numbers on yours, I can provide measurements.

    Thanks,
    John
    '95 Westfield SEiW w/2.0L Duratec
    '68 Lotus Elan FHC
    '91 Miata w/Flyin Miata suspension & brakes
    '95 Porsche 993 C2
    '86 Porsche 944 turbo (neglected project car)
    Throttle Steer

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    22

    Default

    John,
    Condolences, that's funny. I actually just ordered both from Rock Auto for delivery tomorrow afternoon, I'll just return the unused one. I want to get through it this weekend if possible so unless there is an issue with the clutch I should be all set.
    I will update once I'm into it.
    Bill

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