How to Install a Slave Cylinder

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-85
What You'll Need
Clutch slave cylinder replacement
Ratchet or wrench set
Floor jack and jack stands
Plastic drip pan
Can of brake fluid
Old rags or towels

The clutch slave cylinder in a vehicle is designed to take the place of a clutch cable. A clutch slave cylinder is used to enable the clutch release mechanism and is generally much more reliable than a clutch system that uses a cable. However, from time to time they do fail or become defective and will need to be replaced. This handy step-by-step guide will show just what you need to do to fix a clutch slave cylinder.

Step 1 - Prepare the Vehicle

Park your vehicle on a flat piece of ground, or under a carport. Also, disconnect the negative battery cable from the terminal post on your car's battery.

Step 2 - Jack Up the Car

yellow car up on jacks

Use a car jack to jack up your vehicle and then place jack stands under it.

Step 3 - Remove Hydraulic Line

Locate the slave clutch cylinder, and then remove the hydraulic line or hose that runs into it. You may need to use some penetrating spray on the nut that is used to secure the hose to the slave cylinder. Be extra careful not to bend the hydraulic line too much as it may crack or snap.

Step 4 - Drain Cylinder Fluid

Once you have disconnected the hose, place your drip pan underneath the slave cylinder and allow the fluid to drain into it. Once you have drained the fluid, set the drip pan aside, and remember to take the fluid to the recycling center so that it can be properly disposed of.

Step 5 - Remove Clutch Slave Cylinder

clutch slave cylinder on a jeep

Remove the clutch slave cylinder by loosening the bolts using a wrench or socket. Then, remove the slave cylinder and set aside.

Step 6 - Install New Slave Cylinder

Using the bolts you removed from the old slave cylinder, install the new one. When bolting on the new slave cylinder, be sure to push the clutch release arm forward while inserting the cylinder.

Step 7 - Connect Hydraulic Line

Reconnect the hydraulic fluid line to the new slave cylinder.

Step 8 - Fill with Brake Fluid

Fill the clutch master cylinder reservoir with brake fluid, and then replace the cover.

Step 9 - Bleed the Clutch Slave Cylinder

Open the bleeder valve on the new slave cylinder with a wrench. Turn the valve only until fluid and air start to escape from it. Be sure to put your drip pan back in place before you do this. After you bleed the cylinder, close the bleeder valve.

Step 10 - Top-Off Reservoir with Fluid

Add additional brake fluid to top off the master cylinder reservoir.

Step 11 - Bleed Cylinder Again

In order to make sure you get all the air out of the system, you need to bleed the slave cylinder again.

Step 12 - Refill Reservoir as Needed

After you've bled the slave cylinder for a second time, refill the reservoir with brake fluid as needed.

Step 13 - Finish Up

Make sure all connections are tight. Lower the vehicle and reconnect the negative battery cable.