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      03-22-2017, 04:52 PM   #1
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Trouble bleeding clutch after CDV removal?

Today I removed my CDV. Before pulling it off I used a pair of vicegrips to seal the line right before the CDV, so I lost minimal fluid/introduced very little air into the system. Only a few drops of air came out.

So I started a two person clutch bleed. I cracked the valve open with a 7mm wrench the first time, but after that I was able to open/close it finger tight for each bleed. My procedure was as follows:

1. Open valve
2. Tell helper to push down the clutch.
3. Helper tells me the clutch is down. I close the valve in response.
4. Helper lets clutch back up. Go to step 1 after the helper tells me the clutch is up.

The first 5-8 repetitions of this process yielded a steady stream of fluid. After that there has been either no fluid or a little dribble. Having the helper press the clutch harder/faster seems to make more fluid dribble out. I've gone through the steps listed above probably 25 times now, however the diy's I read on this suggested only 5 or so repetitions should be necessary. There is still plenty of brake fluid in the reservoir. It takes almost no pressure to press the clutch down now, where it used to take a bit of effort.

What am I doing wrong? I've tried to be as explicit in listing my steps as possible because I'm sure I'm going wrong somewhere.

Last edited by Manual Transmission; 03-22-2017 at 04:58 PM.
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      03-22-2017, 05:06 PM   #2
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The reservoir contains both a section for the brakes and for the clutch. The clutch portion is probably empty.

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      03-22-2017, 05:14 PM   #3
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I had to use a Motive power bleeder to get my clutch bled. I tried two-person (pump) method. I tried pulling a vacuum. Nothing worked. The Motive power bleeder bled the clutch in about a minute. Get a power bleeder.
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      03-22-2017, 05:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RossTheBoss View Post
The reservoir contains both a section for the brakes and for the clutch. The clutch portion is probably empty.

Yup, this is the reservoir I checked. I'm pretty terrible at working on cars so I spent all last night researching this to the point I feel I know entirely too much about this system, yet I'm still having trouble. I even recognize that picture from another thread. There's definitely still over minimum fluid in the reservoir located on the rear right side of the engine bay under the black plastic cover.

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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I had to use a Motive power bleeder to get my clutch bled. I tried two-person (pump) method. I tried pulling a vacuum. Nothing worked. The Motive power bleeder bled the clutch in about a minute. Get a power bleeder.
I think you're right, I'm going to try doing the procedure described in this video, it seems like a better method.

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      03-22-2017, 06:55 PM   #5
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You have to power bleed the clutch. Get a movitve bleeder and it'll bleed pretty easily.
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      03-23-2017, 01:37 AM   #6
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I ended up being able to manually bleed the clutch, though it feels perhaps a little spongy still. I can't really tell, I'm too critical of it now. It feels like far less travel of the clutch pedals is required before it engages, this should just be because I removed the CDV, right?
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      03-23-2017, 01:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I had to use a Motive power bleeder to get my clutch bled. I tried two-person (pump) method. I tried pulling a vacuum. Nothing worked. The Motive power bleeder bled the clutch in about a minute. Get a power bleeder.
Pretty much inspired me to add this to my List o' Things to do!
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      03-23-2017, 02:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
I had to use a Motive power bleeder to get my clutch bled. I tried two-person (pump) method. I tried pulling a vacuum. Nothing worked. The Motive power bleeder bled the clutch in about a minute. Get a power bleeder.
I just noticed this part. I need a power bleeder.

Does Motive come with the same cap at an e90? Do all brake reservoirs have a standardized cap size? How would one know the bleeder will work with your car?
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      03-23-2017, 02:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manual Transmission View Post
I just noticed this part. I need a power bleeder.

Does Motive come with the same cap at an e90? Do all brake reservoirs have a standardized cap size? How would one know the bleeder will work with your car?
https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-3...european-cars/

Same price as on Amazon
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      03-23-2017, 06:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manual Transmission View Post
I just noticed this part. I need a power bleeder.

Does Motive come with the same cap at an e90? Do all brake reservoirs have a standardized cap size? How would one know the bleeder will work with your car?
I've been bleeding brakes on cars for 30 years or so now. I always used a helper for the manual pump method. I never had a power bleeder until a few years ago when I couldn't bleed the clutch on my E90. Once I used the power bleeder I'll never go back to the manual method.... ever. The power bleeder saves so much time and I don't need to get my wife out to help bleed brakes or clutches anymore.

The Motive power bleeder comes as a kit set up for BMWs if you order it for BMWs. My advice is get the plastic reservoir cap fitting and skip the anodized aluminum one; they look cool but are easier to cross-thread the reservoir. Motive has reservoir cap fittings for practically every make of automobile. Most manufacturers was the same reservoir cap for most all their vehicle models. I have a BMW fitting and a GM fitting for my power bleeder.
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      03-23-2017, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
The first 5-8 repetitions of this process yielded a steady stream of fluid. After that there has been either no fluid or a little dribble.
Others already mentioned above but just in case, the brake fluid reservoir has a separate small partition for the clutch only. On those 5-8 repetitions you may have ran down the clutch section completely dry. The brake partition which is the major one will still show full. I usually overfill above max when bleeding the clutch and keep eye on the clutch partition.

Quote:
I ended up being able to manually bleed the clutch, though it feels perhaps a little spongy still. I can't really tell, I'm too critical of it now. It feels like far less travel of the clutch pedals is required before it engages, this should just be because I removed the CDV, right?
I don't think it is CDV. You probably have some air left in the clutch system.
But in my experience with my car, the clutch system auto bleeds itself when it has some air left with usage. If you are able to change gears without problem now, just drive the car and use the clutch and see if it is getting firmer and with more firm travel as you drive more. Most likely it will.
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