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Non-Servicable Hydraulic Clutch Systems

Old 09-06-2015, 12:55 AM
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Post Non-Servicable Hydraulic Clutch Systems

I just replaced my 98's master and slave cylinders and wanted to share my experience and some handy tips for folks planning to do the same. It was not as intuitive as I thought it was going to be, and I ended up making some minor mistakes that required some field engineering fixes. What prompted me to do this? What did I overlook? What did I do wrong? All will be answered here for - hopefully - the benefit of others. No photos, as I forgot to take out my phone, plus I was hopping mad for roughly 99% of the job.

Note: this only applies to the "non serviceable" (what a joke) hydraulic systems with an external slave.

WHY:
Rewind to one year ago. Shifting from 1st to 2nd seemed more challenging and "grindy" than I remembered. Still drove well enough so I paid it no mind. Fast forward to two weeks ago. Things have progressed to the point where I am double clutching on up shifts and downshifts, trying to rev match to get smooth shifts. Finally dawns on me the clutch isn't disengaging as it grinds going into Reverse and 1st even with the clutch pedal on the floor. It's not making any squealing noises, so I assume it's not the throwout bearing and instead look at clutch hydraulics. No leaks, so the master cylinder must have internal blow-by. Confirmed by the fact that pumping the clutch helped get it into gear.

WHAT:
I bought an Omix-Ada pre-bled "drop in" system off Amazon for about $200.

HOW:
Unbuttoning the system is remarkably quick and simple. Taking it off the vehicle, though, sucks if you aren't mentally prepared! Pull the two nuts holding the external slave to the bellhousing, pull off slave cylinder. Under the dash, use a long flat head screwdriver to pry the push rod off of the clutch pedal. DON'T try to unplug the neutral safety switch from the wiring harness!! Just slide the plastic cover off of the switch unit and it will drop off of the clutch push rod. Remove the two nuts from the master cylinder studs. Pull the master cylinder and push rod off of the firewall. Easy, right?!? Now here is where I got really frustrated. You cannot remove the hydraulic line from the vehicle without separating it from one of the cylinders and snaking the hose from one end to the other:
1) It is a hard plastic line so it doesn't like to bend
2) The line is routed over and behind the brake booster, then down the firewall along a weld seam/flange. There is not enough gap between booster and flange to just remove the line as it arcs over the booster. Nope. You gotta snake it though, which means this nice fully assembled, pre-bled system you just bought has to be disassembled to install! Which means bleeding and burping. Yay! THANKS, JEEP!

After pressing out the retaining pin and pulling the line off one of the cylinders, you can now snake the line off of the vehicle. Phew! Halfway done! Now you just need put the new system IN.

Don't be dumb like me and snap the push rod into the master cylinder before 1) studying the original system installation and 2) looking at the bottom of the new box for parts that may be useful/necessary/make your life easier. I actually did this about 2 evenings before I tried to install it, just playing around with my new parts. I suspected I "made a oopsies" right when it snapped in and wouldn't come out! I was right!

Since Omix-Ada has no documentation on their complete hydraulic systems, I printed Crown's instructions from here (http://www.crownautomotive.net/asset...gProcedure.pdf) just in case. Good thing I did, as you have to pull either the master or slave cylinder off of the hydraulic line to install the new system, just as you had to do to get the old one out. That means bleeding a system without a bleeder valve!

After wasting a lot of time trying to install the system without disassembling, I elected to remove the slave cylinder, as I had instructions on how to bleed it, and I figured snaking the new line down in the direction of gravity would be easier than trying to stuff it up through the vehicle. So I pressed out the pin and removed the line, then dry installed the master cylinder on the firewall (was NOT bolted down, just loose in the holes). I then routed the new line over the brake booser (didn't snake through the "crack") and then down the firewall in original position. Took a couple tries to get everything right.

Then I filled the slave cylinder per directions, reconnected the lines...only to watch the joint leak and drip. Pulled it apart and realized that somewhere I had lost the rubber O-ring that is part of the joint, so I robbed one off of the old system. Filled the slave again, assembled, and all was good. Now to bleed the system. What you are actually doing is "burping" the system. Per directions, hold the slave cylinder vertical and slowly pump the until bubbles are no longer showing up in the master reservoir. It took a second set of eyes to accomplish this: one under the vehicle pumping, the other above watching for bubbles. Crown says it takes 10-15 cycles. I counted 30+.

The rest is easy, right!? NOT. Topped off the master reservoir, installed the nuts on the firewall, spent an eternity getting the retaining lid back on the neutral safety switch, then snapped the push rod onto the clutch pedal. Ready to go! Try to start the Jeep but it won't. Ahhhh....neutral safety switch isn't working right. If I pull it back ~1/4" the Jeep starts. So it needs to be shimmed. Cut some cardboard shims. Works. Then in the bottom of the Omix-Ada box I find a plastic shim and foam grommet. Look at the old system and, yup, there they are. So I cut the foam grommet and slide it over the push rod. Plastic shim gets notched with some nippers and installed over the push rod. Jeep works and is happy!!

RESOLUTION:
The initial problem was solved. Shifting is much easier and smoother, and the clutch now fully disengages every time!

SUMMARY:
- Don't be stupid and don't try to put things together without knowing how they go together.
- Removing the old hydraulics is easy if you undo one end of the lines
- You will have to disassemble and bleed/burp your new hydraulic system to get it installed
- It's a two person job at one point
- Install the foam grommet and plastic spacer before snapping the push rod into the master cylinder
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:25 PM
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Appreciated!
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:11 PM
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I have a 96 2.5l turbo diesel RHD. Pedal hit the floor and after looking the reservoir was empty. Topped up and limped home. After few days go to drive and pedal hits floor. Empty again. This time I hear hissing from slave cylinder. I go to tighten bleed nipple and it sheers off.
I have ordered a new clutch set. Pre blead.
Questions for you guys if you know,

1. The top bolt on master is hard 2 find as it is facing into cabin. How do you find that.
2. should I replace line and both cylinders even tho I think the slave is at fault.
3. retaining clip 4 clutch pedal is difficult 2 find. Do I need to remove anything 2 find it?

Thanks for your help

Last edited by DMCL; 05-31-2016 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:25 PM
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I do not know much about the diesel or export versions of the XJ. I'm assuming here that the pedal layout is mirrored across the firewall and cabin.

1) Top bolt on master requires contorting yourself so you are laying on your back looking up behind the dash. It will be above the pedal assembly and linkage going through the firewall.
2) Full system replacement is debatable. Personally, I would refresh the entire system. If you are looking to save a few bucks and you think the master is ok...it's ok to only do the slave. Just remember to properly bleed/burp the system.
3) Are you talking about the plastic retaining clip between the pedal and pushrod? It's a unit assembly that just snaps on and off and is permanently attached to the pushrod. You shouldn't have to take the pedal off of the vehicle to get the master cylinder off.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for getting back to me. Your advise worked. I spent hours trying to get the nut off for the MC in the foot well. Very hard to get to!
But I got the complete system out in one piece. Felt like it was a butcher job getting the SC and line out in one. I tried to see if I could remove the SC from the line but couldn't. Im sending a picture of it here. What do you think? Can it be detached and would you do that when it comes to fitting new system? I bought a new system as I couldn't locate a replacement. Damn expensive. It's 365.

Is there anything to look out for when putting the SC back to the bell housing? Does that rod on the end have to engage into something?
Sorry about all the questions but I'm learning and XJs have become very rare in Ireland. I don't want to hand over large sums of cash to a mechanic when I can learn myself.

Thanks dude
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:34 PM
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:26 PM
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Glad to help and glad you are interested in learning to do the work yourself. XJ's are pretty straightforward to work on, and I generally like working on them. To your questions:
- Yes, the slave can be detached. Punch out that hollow pin in the connector housing and the line should pull out. Make sure to not loose the pin or the O-ring on the nipple as it could come in handy later (I misplaced the new one on my system).
- The rod on the end engages the clutch fork in the bell housing. It will line itself up The plastic retainer on the end should be cut off just prior to install and burping.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:08 AM
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Thanks for your help. Just waiting for the clutch system to arrive. Probably next week. It has to come from Italy. So I think I might remove the SC before re installation. It might be easier. Instead of nearly breaking it and bending it.

What type of xj do you have? I always wanted a 4.0HO but tax is redicilous for that engine here and fuel is bad too
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:23 AM
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Sure thing! Feel free to ask more questions when your clutch system arrives.

I've got a '98 with the 4.0HO. It's fun. With the 5-speed I see 22-24mpg on highway. I can imagine tax and fuel might be crazy for that engine elsewhere...where are you located?
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:37 AM
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Based in Dublin, Ireland. Yea the 2.5td is good but lacks the comfort on the highway of a 4.0. The revs are higher and it is loud. But a good engine also economy wise. I remember seeing a picture of Bill Clinton hanging out the door of the 2 millionth XJ. It was in 96 and it was a RHD. Same green colour as mine. Be cool to try track it down. Don't think it is mind however. It doesn't say 2,000,000 or anything on the vin plate.
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:20 PM
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Non-Servicable Hydraulic Clutch Systems-20160615_223457.jpg

Hi. Can I ask, how do I bleed the new slave cylinder? The old one had an Alan key bleed nipple. The new one has a threaded nipple on it. I can't see how I can bleed it. The system was ment to be pre bled but it was empty.

Also the pin on the end of the slave cylinder that I took off has a plastic cap on it. When the new one came it had it too, but I took it off as I didn't think it needed it. It was only to keep the pin in place when not installed. Am I right or does it need to be on the end of the pin?

Thanks
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:55 PM
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There is no bleed valve on the "pre-bled" systems. Basically you have to fill the slave, hook up the line, then pull the piston in and out until bubbles no longer show up in your master cylinder. Follow these instructions, took me over 30 cycles. http://www.quadratec.com/jeep_knowle...rticle-117.htm

The plastic cap stays on, but the straps holding it to the slave cylinder body can go away.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:55 AM
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Thanks I'll try that. How do you know when the pin connects correctly into the gearbox? Should you feel it engaging?
Sorry about all these questions.
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:00 AM
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Also do I have to disconnect the clutch pedal from the master cylinder when I am hand pumping the slave cylinder? Does that make a difference?
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:17 PM
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I got it working. Followed the steps you gave me. On a test drive all going well. However when I have the clutch fully depressed I can feel pulsating and if I go further a kind of grinding noise. Is the clutch on the way out or have I misaligned something? Thanks
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