Gene Brown (Simi Valley, California)
After many hours of trying to get my clutch bled and the free play adjusted properly I found a very simple easy way to do both:
1. Unbolt the slave cylinder support from the bell housing and let the slave cylinder dangle on the hose with the piston side down. This puts the bleed screw at the highest point of the slave cylinder.
2. Remove the rubber boot and the push rod.
3. Using two of the mounting holes in the slave cylinder support and some long bolts fasten a piece of angle iron across the front (piston side) of the slave cylinder.
4. Slowly press the clutch pedal until the piston stops against the angle iron.
5. Bleed the system using a power bleeder, suction bleeder, or by pushing the clutch pedal. Since the bleed screw is pointing upward it is easy to get all of the air out. Be careful to not push too hard on the clutch pedal - since the piston cannot move you might break something.
6. From inside the car, press lightly on the clutch pedal to check the free play. Since the piston cannot move, the pedal will come to a firm stop when the free play is taken up.
7. If the free play is incorrect it can be altered by adjusting the length of the master cylinder push rod.
8. Once the bleeding is done and the free play adjusted, carefully remove the angle iron and push the piston back down the slave cylinder.
9. Reinstall the push rod and the boot and bolt the slave cylinder back on to the bell housing.
I found this method to be a lot easier than trying to keep the slave cylinder rotated so that the bleed screw is on top and trying to get a wrench on the bleed screw and loosen it in the small space that there is when the slave cylinder in fastened to the bell housing.
By doing this the movement of the clutch will be as good as it can be. It takes only a few minutes to unbolt and rebolt the slave cylinder from the bell housing but it can save a lot of time in the bleeding and free play adjustment.
Minimizing the free play is especially important if you are using the 17.46 mm or 19.05 mm bore master cylinder. The clutch slave piston should move 17 to 19 mm if you are using the 22.23 mm master cylinder. If you have the 17.46 mm master cylinder the piston will only move 10 to 11 mm, so it may be necessary to remove almost all of the free play. Leave a little free play in the clutch pedal otherwise you may cause extra wear to the throwout bearing or the clutch disk.
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