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Pelican Technical Article:
Clutch Master and Slave Cylinder Replacement

Jared Fenton
 

 
Time: 2 hours
Tab: $65
Talent:  
Tools:
Socket set, screwdrivers, steering wheel puller
Applicable Models:
R50 MINI Cooper (2002-06)
R53 MINI Cooper S (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
R55/R56/R57 Cooper/Cooper S (2007-12)
Parts Required:
Clutch master and slave cylinder
Hot Tip:
Use a two arm steering wheel puller to compress the slave.
Performance Gain:
Reliable shifting and clutch operation
Complementary Modification:
Bleed brake system
 
   

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is expected to be released in 2015. See The Official Book Website for more details.

Check out some other sample projects from the book: 

Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
   
        The MINI Cooper and Cooper S use a hydraulic clutch engagement system - there are no cables involved with the actuation of the clutch. When you press on the clutch, pressurized brake fluid moves from the master cylinder through either a metal or rubber line to the slave cylinder mounted on the transmission. This results in a system that takes less physical effort to move.

     Although this actually creates a more reliable clutch system, over time, there can be a failure or break-down of the system if the slave or master cylinder get old and begin to leak or fail.  A spongy feel to the clutch pedal, grinding of gears when shifting, long pedal travel, and hydraulic leaks under the car are all signs that one or more components of the system have failed.  The first place I like to start is the clutch slave cylinder, as it is easy to replace.

     Replacement of the slave cylinder on the Cooper S is a snap.  Its location is easy to get to from underneath the car. Start by jacking up the car (Pelican Technical Article: Jacking Up Your MINI) and removing the front splash shield.  The slave cylinder is located on the right side of the transmission on the front.

     The slave cylinder is a bit more difficult to replace on the R50 Cooper models. This requires removal of the airbox, battery and the battery box as the slave cylinder sits on the top of the transmission. (See
Pelican Technical Article: Engine and Transmission Mount Replacement for more info). Once you have removed all of these components, the slave cylinder is accessible from the top of the transmission.

     Disconnect the hydraulic line from the cylinder by pushing back the retaining clip where the feed line fits into the cylinder. Now carefully pry the fitting out of the top of the slave cylinder. Make sure that you have a drip pan to catch the fluid that will leak out. Keep in mind that there is a small rubber nipple that fits over the end of the feed line that can get stuck inside the slave cylinder. You will want to carefully pick this out of the cylinder and re-fit it back on to the feed line. Remove the two 10mm nuts that hold the cylinder to the transmission.  The slave cylinder will come right off.

     Installing the new slave cylinder is a bit tricky. In order to bleed the system, you will need to compress the slave cylinder fully prior to hooking up the hydraulic line. The slave cylinder is normally compressed by the huge amount of force on the clutch pressure plate. The pressure plate exerts force on the throwout arm, which in turn presses against the slave cylinder’s piston. Now, when you press the clutch pedal, the hydraulic pressure exerted against the throwout arm is greater than the force of the pressure plate holding it back. Thus, the pressure plate moves, disengages the clutch plate from the flywheel of the engine and allows you to shift the gears.

     With the slave cylinder arm fully extended, there is an air pocket in the circuit that cannot be bled out. With the arm compressed, it eliminates the pocket and allows bleeding. BMW specifies a special tool for fully compressing the slave cylinder. I was able to construct a suitable tool using a 2 arm General Motors steering wheel puller available at any auto parts store. The key is to use two long 10mm bolts with nuts on the backside. It will take a bit of effort to compress the cylinder while threading the nuts on.

     Reconnect the hydraulic line the new slave cylinder. It simply pops in. Again, make sure that you have the small rubber nipple fitted to the end of the hydraulic line, or you will have a huge puddle of brake fluid all over the garage floor the first time you step on the pedal. (Ask me how I know this, grr…) Let the slave cylinder hang for while we move on to the master cylinder. When the slave cylinder is detached from the transmission, you should not press the clutch pedal. This could cause damage to the slave cylinder.

     Now move up to the brake fluid reservoir, unscrew the cap and remove the electrical connection going to the brake fluid level sensor on the right hand side. Just underneath is a feed line that sits higher than the lines going to the brakes. This is the feed line for the master cylinder. Now, removing the slave cylinder first should have drained the reservoir to just underneath the feed line. If not, use a turkey baster or a syringe to remove enough fluid from under the feed line. This leaves enough fluid in the system so that air does not enter the brake lines, but prevents fluid from leaking out once you remove the clutch master cylinder.

     Move into the driver’s side footwell and remove the lower bolster panel by prying it off along the top edge and carefully remove it. Disconnect the switch to the Aux. driving lights if they are installed on your car.

     Removing the master cylinder is a pretty straightforward procedure, although it is a pretty tight fit under the dash. The first step is to locate the clutch pedal arm. The master cylinder is held to this arm with a black plastic pivot bolt. On the right side of this bolt are two ‘ears’ that lock it in place. You will need to compress the ears to push the bolt out. The problem is that you can’t get a regular pair of needle-nose pliers in between the clutch arm and the side of the car. I used a pair of 90 degree offset pliers to compress them, and then pushed the bolt out enough to grab it with a pair of pliers.

     Now remove the clutch safety switch from the master cylinder. This is the switch that prevents you from starting the car unless you push the clutch pedal in. Push it slightly towards the front and it will release. (See Figure 14).

     There are two 10mm bolts that hold the master cylinder to the mounting bracket with two nuts on the other side. These can be a bit of a challenge to remove. You can do it one of two ways. One way is to pull the bolts to the left while loosening them. This will keep the nuts from turning as they will be locked in place by the grooves in both the bracket on the top and the casting on the bottom. The other method is to loosen the bolts enough to where the nuts emerge from the grooves. Then you would just need to counterhold the nut while you remove the bolt.

     At this point, slide the master cylinder out of the clutch arm and pull it down from underneath the dash. The pressurized line going to the slave cylinder allows the connection to be rotated; however the black plastic feed line coming from the reservoir will seem too short to allow this. The feed line itself is longer than it appears. What you need to do is carefully pull the feed line out from the firewall. If you look up near the brake fluid reservoir, you’ll see the extra length of line. Be careful when doing this and DO NOT pull it from the connection on the cylinder.

     Next, place a towel under the cylinder to catch any brake fluid. Rotate the cylinder so you can access the retaining clip where the metal line goes in. Pry back the clip and detach the line. Remove the reservoir feed line by pulling it off the cylinder. Take note that there is a small o-ring on the inlet pipe. Make sure that the o-ring is not stuck inside the feed hose. If it is, remove it. On the back of the old cylinder is a 90 degree fitting. Remove this by prying back the retaining clip and pull it off, making sure that the o-rings are in good shape.

     Now remove the plastic protective plugs from the new cylinder. Take the 90 degree fitting and pop the retaining clip back into the closed position. Pop the male connection into the new cylinder and pop the other end into the metal line under the dash. Now take the feed line and press it onto the feed inlet until it stops.

     Rotate the master cylinder back into position up under the dash. You may want to have a helper pull the feed line back through the firewall up near the reservoir to prevent it from getting kinked. Also, don’t forget to plug the connection for the fluid level sensor back in

     Now bolt the master cylinder back into place. Getting the nuts started on the back of these bolts can be a little difficult due to the space in there, but make sure that they seat correctly in the grooves in both the casting and the bracket. Next, reattach the clutch safety switch, and line up the clutch arm with the cylinder and drive the pivot bolt back in. Put the bolster panel back on and move on to the fluid reservoir. Fill it to between the MAX and MIN marks.

     The system now needs to be bled.  I like to use the Motive Products Power Bleeder (available from PelicanParts.com) for this task.  For more information on using the Power Bleeder, see Project 50 on Bleeding Brakes.  Attach the power bleeder to the top of the master cylinder reservoir and pump up the pressure in the bleeder. NOTE: DO NOT exceed 1 bar (14psi) doing so can damage the seals in the clutch hydraulic system. When the slave cylinder is detached from the transmission, you should not press the clutch pedal. This could damage the slave cylinder. Move to underneath the car and attach your bleeder hose to the bleed nipple on the slave cylinder. Let the system bleed out until no more bubbles appear.

     Now remove the steering wheel puller from the clutch slave cylinder. As you remove the puller, the piston will move outward, which will also draw more fluid into the cylinder. Check the reservoir level and add fluid as needed. The end of the clutch cylinder piston has a domed end which fits into the throwout arm coming out of the transmission. Carefully fit the slave cylinder into the mounting bracket on the transmission and make sure the domed end fits into the dished end on the arm. Once in place, thread the mounting bolts back in and torque them to 24Nm (18ft/lbs.)

     R50 Cooper: The slave cylinder is a bit more difficult to replace on the R50 Cooper models. This requires removal of the airbox, battery and the battery box as the slave cylinder sits on the top of the transmission. (Please refer to our article on Transmission mount removal for more info). Once you have removed all of these components, the slave cylinder is accessible from the top of the transmission. Bleeding the slave cylinder uses the same procedure as on the Cooper S.

     When finished, remove the bleeder system, lower the car, and try the clutch again.  The pedal should have a good feel to it, and the clutch should engage normally.  If you are still having problems, recheck that the system is completely bled of air.

     Replacing the clutch slave cylinder on the R55/R56/R57 cars is similar to the R50/R52/R53 models, except that you do not need to pre-bleed the unit by compressing the cylinder. Also, the bleeder port has been changed to a plastic valve that is much easier to open and close. When pressure bleeding, open the bleeder valve and keep it open until all air bubbles have been bled from the system. Once the fluid coming out of the cylinder is free of air, close the bleeder valve.

     Now disconnect the power bleeder and slowly press the clutch pedal down fully 10 times. Check the fluid reservoir and add fluid as needed. If the clutch pedal still seems spongy at this point, reconnect the power bleeder and open the clutch bleeder valve again, allowing any additional air to escape.
Shown here are a new clutch master and slave cylinder for the MINI Cooper S.
Figure 1
Shown here are a new clutch master and slave cylinder for the MINI Cooper S. It's recommended that you replace both at the same time as replacing just one tends to increase wear on the other, causing it to fail. As always, Pelican parts can supply you with both.
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Remove the splash shield under the front of the engine and locate the clutch slave cylinder.
Figure 2
Remove the splash shield under the front of the engine and locate the clutch slave cylinder. It is mounted on the front of the transmission.   
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Figure 3
Use a flat head screwdriver to push the clutch hydraulic line retaining clip back
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Carefully remove the clutch hydraulic line from the slave cylinder.
Figure 4
Carefully remove the clutch hydraulic line from the slave cylinder.
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Place a drain pan under the line as all of the brake fluid drains out of the hydraulic circuit.
Figure 5
Place a drain pan under the line as all of the brake fluid drains out of the hydraulic circuit.   
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Installing the new slave cylinder is a bit tricky.
Figure 6
Installing the new slave cylinder is a bit tricky. In order to bleed the system, you will need to compress the slave cylinder fully. BMW specifies a special tool for this job, however I was able to construct a tool using a two arm GM steering wheel puller and some extra long nuts and bolts from the local hardware store.   
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Unscrew the cap for the brake fluid reservoir and disconnect the plug going to the brake fluid level sensor.
Figure 7
Unscrew the cap for the brake fluid reservoir and disconnect the plug going to the brake fluid level sensor.
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You will want to use either a turkey baster or a syringe to remove enough brake fluid so that the level is just below the green line drawn on the brake fluid reservoir in thePicture.
Figure 8
You will want to use either a turkey baster or a syringe to remove enough brake fluid so that the level is just below the green line drawn on the brake fluid reservoir in the picture. This leaves enough fluid in the system so that air does not enter the brake lines, but prevents fluid from leaking out once you remove the clutch master cylinder.    
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Remove the driver's side lower bolster panel by prying it off along the top edge and carefully remove it.
Figure 9
Remove the driver's side lower bolster panel by prying it off along the top edge and carefully remove it. Disconnect the switch to the Aux. driving lights if they are installed on your car.    
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ThisPicture shows the various connections that hold the clutch master cylinder in place.
Figure 10
This picture shows the various connections that hold the clutch master cylinder in place. 1. the two 10mm bolts securing the master cylinder in place (green arrows), the clutch safety switch (red arrow), the pressure line to the slave cylinder (purple arrow), and the plastic pivot bolt that mechanically connects the master cylinder to the clutch pedal (yellow arrow)
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Remove the plastic pivot bolt by pressing the two ears together on the left hand side of the clutch pedal arm as shown by the green arrow then press it out in the direction shown by the yellow arrow.
Figure 11
Remove the plastic pivot bolt by pressing the two ears together on the left hand side of the clutch pedal arm as shown by the green arrow then press it out in the direction shown by the yellow arrow.
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Shown here is the plastic pivot bolt coming out the other side of the clutch pedal arm.
Figure 12
Shown here is the plastic pivot bolt coming out the other side of the clutch pedal arm. (green arrow) This bolt can be a bit difficult to remove as there isn't a lot of room to work with.
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Once the bolt starts to emerge from the other side, grab it with a pair of pliers and pull it all the way out.
Figure 13
Once the bolt starts to emerge from the other side, grab it with a pair of pliers and pull it all the way out.
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Next, remove the clutch safety switch from the side of the master cylinder.
Figure 14
Next, remove the clutch safety switch from the side of the master cylinder.
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Remove the two 10mm bolts securing the master cylinder to the car.
Figure 15
Remove the two 10mm bolts securing the master cylinder to the car. Keep in mind that the bolts in the picture have nuts attached to the rear that will spin freely once loose, so you will need to reach up and manually remove them.
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Here is a shot of the clutch master cylinder viewed from the other side.
Figure 16
Here is a shot of the clutch master cylinder viewed from the other side. You can see the nuts on the back of each mounting bolt (green arrows) remove the nuts from the bolts and set both aside.
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With both bolts removed, maneuver the master cylinder down from under the dash.
Figure 17
With both bolts removed, maneuver the master cylinder down from under the dash. The black plastic clutch feed line is longer than it appears. Most of it is on the other side of the firewall near the brake fluid reservoir. You can gently pull this extra length of line through the firewall to help lower the cylinder down and out.
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Place a towel under the clutch master cylinder to catch any brake fluid still in the system.
Figure 18
Place a towel under the clutch master cylinder to catch any brake fluid still in the system. Remove the clutch feed line by simply pulling it off the cylinder. Be sure to check the o-ring on the inlet is in good shape. Then, press back the retaining clip on the pressure line going to the slave cylinder and pull out the line. Also, if you haven't already, transfer the 90 degree fitting from the old cylinder onto the new cylinder. (green arrow)
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You may find it helpful to have a helper pull the feed line back out through the firewall while you place the clutch master cylinder back up in place underneath the dash.
Figure 19
You may find it helpful to have a helper pull the feed line back out through the firewall while you place the clutch master cylinder back up in place underneath the dash.
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With the clutch master cylinder re-installed, attach a power bleeder to the brake reservoir and pressurize the system.
Figure 20
With the clutch master cylinder re-installed, attach a power bleeder to the brake reservoir and pressurize the system. It is important not to exceed 1 bar or 14psi as this can damage the seals in the clutch hydraulics while bleeding.   
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With the steering wheel puller still compressing the slave cylinder, attach a hose to the bleeder valve.
Figure 21
With the steering wheel puller still compressing the slave cylinder, attach a hose to the bleeder valve. Open the bleeder screw and let the system bleed until there are no more air bubbles coming out. It's also important to keep an eye on the reservoir level. If the level drops below the clutch feed line, you'll have to start bleeding all over again. You may also need to have a helper quickly push down and pull back on the clutch pedal to remove all the air from the circuit. Just remember NOT to push the clutch pedal without the slave cylinder compressed or not installed on the transmission. You risk blowing the seals on the cylinder.
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Now remove the steering wheel puller from the clutch slave cylinder.
Figure 22
Now remove the steering wheel puller from the clutch slave cylinder. As you remove the puller, the piston will move outward, which will also draw more fluid into the cylinder. Check the reservoir level and add fluid as needed. The end of the clutch cylinder piston has a domed end which fits into the throwout arm coming out of the transmission. Carefully fit the slave cylinder into the mounting bracket on the transmission and make sure the domed end fits into the dished end on the arm. Once in place, thread the mounting bolts back in and torque them to 24Nm (18ft/lbs.)
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Shown here is the clutch slave cylinder for the R50 Cooper models with a 5 speed transmission.
Figure 23
Shown here is the clutch slave cylinder for the R50 Cooper models with a 5 speed transmission. The procedure for bleeding the cylinder is the same as on the Cooper S. The difference here is that the slave cylinder is mounted on top of the transmission. Once you have access to the cylinder, remove the two 10mm bolts holding it in place (green arrows) and disconnect the fluid lines.
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Here is the same steering wheel puller rigged up to compress the slave cylinder on the R50 MINI Cooper.
Figure 24
Here is the same steering wheel puller rigged up to compress the slave cylinder on the R50 MINI Cooper.
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ThisPicture shows the clutch slave cylinder on the later R55/R56/R57 models.
Figure 25
This picture shows the clutch slave cylinder on the later R55/R56/R57 models. The procedure for changing the cylinder is the same as the R50/R52/R53 cars, the only difference being that the bleeder valve on the cylinder is a plastic valve that is much easier to open and close (green arrow).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
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Comments and Suggestions:
Princess allie Comments: 2005 mimi cooper s r50 super charged, the clutch is push completly to the floor. and i get nothting what would cause this problem
November 23, 2014
zamfield Comments: Changed to Valero clutch kit, replaced with used transmission and added new slave & master. Slave doesn't push arm enough to be able to change gears... bled it multiple times. Any ideas?
November 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Double check the part number of the clutch you installed. It may be wrong. Also check if it looks like the slave is not extending far enough, You may have a faulty master or slave cylinder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yann Comments: Just had a new clutch fitted on my 54 plate mcs convertible and now the pedal is firm initially then soft. It engages at the top of the pedal travel where the spring is strongest making it very hard to pull away smoothly. I tend to wheel spin or stall. The garage reckoned they did not need to bleed the assembly when fittin the clutch. Any ideas to smoothen out the pedal travel?
November 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would try to bleed the system, it does sound like air is trapped. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: Are these symptom of a bad clutch cylinder?
1. Difficulty to engage and disengage into gear which results to screeching noise of gears.
2. Engine off, gears go in as nothing is wrong.
3. Clutch pedal needs to be depressed completely to the floor in order to gain a slight entry to engage or disengage a gear.

Which of the two , slave or master, is the culprit and how can it be identified one or both are bad? Vehicle is an R50.

Thank you for any insight provided and God bless.
October 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It does sound like bad hydraulics. Check the fluid level. Then check if there are signs of fluid leaking at the master or slave cylinders. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jay Comments: Just some clarification. The car shifts and drives fine. You wouldn't know there was issue until I step on the clutch pedal. That's the only time you hear the loud screeching noise. I'm thinking bad throw out bearing. Any thoughts? Thanks.
October 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Noise only there when you step on the clutch, likely the throwout bearing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jay Comments: i was at a light waiting for the light to change. Car all of a sudden wouldnt go into car. Car rolled forward a little and i was finally able to get car in gear. Was able to drive car to get home a few blocks away but now clutch makes loud screeching noise. Bad TO bearing? Car seems to shift and go into gear fine sitting at idle in parking space.
October 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Shift fine running engine but not moving, noise only while driving? If the noise is always present, you could have a bad throw-out bearing or mechanical clutch component, disc or pressure plate failure.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
CaptRick Comments: If you can't get a good pedal after properly bleeding the clutch, like happened to me, try leaving it over night with the clutch pedal depressed with a stick. It works! Do it!
October 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up and sharing your experience
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
lilo Comments: I have a 51 plate mini cooper which wont go into flirst gear. It has had a new clutch and I've cleaned and oiled the linkage cables. Theres no hydrolic leaks on the clutch and it has been bled. What else could it be?
September 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What happens when you try to shift it into gear? Have yo tried to shift it at the transmission with the linkage off? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mu Comments: I have a 02 Mini Cooper s
September 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: got it, thanks - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mu Comments: I did everything u guys said do with changing the slave and master!!! My car goes into gear while jacked up but will not go into gear while on the ground!!! What can still be the issue??? I bleed the system
September 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The wheels turn in the air, but not on the ground? Could be a worn clutch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pak man Comments: I have a question guys, yesterday i try to get my car is a mini cooper s 2005 and the mechanics change the dual mass flywheel and all the clutch kit brand luk, i put it everything new, so yesteday when supose to pick it up i Look the shifter and move it and is so Washy is not somoth at all and the cables are not damage it all is that normal? O they make something bad.?
August 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the connections to the transmission. The feeling of the shifter should not have changed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bruce Comments: Where can I find a replacement nipple for the slave cylinder hydraulic line? I managed to crimp the OEM one on the car; subsequently it developed a slow yet steady fluid leak...I can't find a parts diagram/supplier that illustrates the nipple.
August 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If we can't get it for you, try a local brake caliper rebuilder, they may have assorted sizes you can try. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Elementary Penguin Comments: I have an 04 S model with a leaky slave cylinder and a pedal that does not come up. More importantly, it went from making a low humming sound to a loud screeching sound. I can also smell something burning when I engage a gear. QUESTION: Are these symptoms indicative of a bad clutch as well as a slave cylinder? Or could the failure of the slave cylinder be the main culprit for the noises?
August 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The leak ha to remedied, so this is faulty part. The noise and pedal issue could be a faulty clutch pressure plate. You can try to start with repairing the hydraulic issue and seeing if the clutch function returns. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
scotty Comments: Would a weak master or slave cylinder give a short throw to the clutch arm? I only get about 14.5mm of throw at the end of the arm. Is that enough to disengage the clutch completely? Shifting is notchy and clutch engages close to floor.
August 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, if the slave or master cannot hold the pressure needed to relieve the pressure plate, the clutch will not disengage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rocky Comments: OK... Just replaced slave cyl... as i figured, the instructions here were spot on. Thanks for that! Bleeding was the hard part, i drew a blank. As I thought about it I figured that if if you remove the lines from the new unit, fill the resevoir cap it, push the pedal and fluid squirts out. Hold the the end of the line covering the hole with your thumb as a friend works the pedal. Repeat several times as you remove your thumb during depression and replace it during pull back. Immeadiately after depressing a 4th time insert the tube into the unit and clamp. Release the piston and then bleed as you would a brake caliper 2 person operation. Refill res as necessary depending on how many times you had to bleed. This worked great for me!
July 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JB Comments: 02 MCS. I'm new to Minis, the clutch is very firm and I have to push the pedal to the floor to change gears. I'm used to a feather clutch VW Jetta where I barely touch the pedal to shift. Is this normal for Coopers or is it a sign of a hydraulic or clutch issue?
July 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Depends, it could your perception of a hard pedal. I would have a shop look at it, they can offer some insight. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pgalla Comments: Not sure if it is bad or not. Have an 03 Mini non S, it has been sitting un-driven for maybe 5 months. Had no problems with the clutch before parking. Now when I press in the clutch I here a whine. This is while running. It shifts just fine but the pedal feels spongy, more so than I remember. Any thoughts on problem?
July 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If it sounds like bearing whine, it could the pilot or throwout bearing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
KAM Comments: is it possible there is air in the system, needs bleeding?
June 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If there is, it may have been introduced from a bad seal, which would require a part being replaced This would be evident from a low fluid reservoir. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
KAM Comments: 06 Mini Cooper S, it can be very difficult to ship into 1st gear. This is inconsistent but if i pump the clutch pedal it shifts easier. The pedal is never soft. My fluid is topped off, no additional was needed. Could i have air in the lines? could it be a master cylinder or slave problem? I thought those would have a soft pedal.
June 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a master cylinder problem, I would check for signs of leaks at the master and slave. If the fluid is full, I don't think you will find a leak, you may have worn or weak part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dizzyxclown Comments: I just replaced the clutch master on my R50 and now it is leaking from the feeder line. Have I reconnected it wrong or can something be wrong with the little rubber grommet?
May 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The line may be damaged or the seal. I would disassemble it and inspect each. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mr. FixIt Comments: I replaced the slave cylinderfrom Pelican Partsand properly bled it. Now the clutch fork moves when the clutch pedal is pressed but the clutch does not disengage. I suspect my next move is inside the transmission. Seeking assurance before going further.
April 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the clutch hydraulic system is properly bled and still not disengaging, the clutch may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mr. FixIt Comments: I have a 2002 Mini with 5 speed manual transmission. The clutch pedal went flat to the floor. Suspecting the problem to be the master cylinder, I have replaced it. Still no pedal. I have removed everything to get to the slave cylinder. I will be replacing the slave cylinder next. My question is how far should the clutch fork move? Mine does not seem to move much when I manually try to move it. Is this normal?
April 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not much. I would replace the slave and go from there. if the clutch was fine before, it is likely a hydraulic problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cmstackx Comments: What I mean is, is it possible to bleed it using the peddle with the slave cylinder still attached? And if it can't be bled with it still attached, do I have to remove the hydraulic line before I can compress the piston in or can I leave the hydraulic line attached while I compress the piston in with my Steering wheel tool?
February 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can bleed the slave using the clutch pedal. As long as it is held all the way down, you can do it however you want. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cmstackx Comments: I have installed new clutch master and slave cylinders, I bought the Motive Power Bleeder and I'm still not getting the peddle I want. Is it possible to bleed the system with the slave cylinder attached? Also Can I compress the slaves piston in with it connected to the hydraulic line?
February 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, I have compressed slave cylinders before when they would not bleed. As pressure builds, it will become difficult to gold the slave compressed, allow it to push out onto the clutch fork. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
josh m Comments: my lines refuse to bleed. i replaced the slave and the feed line to it, my slave seal was shot. first i tried vacuum bleeding with no luck, then gave up and ordered the pressure bleeder. no luck, then i tried to use both at the same time, still nothing. im giving up and ordering the master cylinder. there has to be a mechanical issue going on. not loving it
February 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The master may be faulty, I would assume that if it will not build pressure to bleed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
josh m Comments: in your instruction on connecting the slave cylinder you mention to make sure there is a small rubber nipple on the end of the hydraulic line. do you have a picture of this? i am almost positive there was not one on any of my old or new parts i replaced the slave and the line going to it
February 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The nipple may have been left off your vehicle during a prior repair. I believe you are referring to the dust cap. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
knguyen Comments: So the instructions on when you can press clutch when compressed is not valid?
February 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not following the question. Can you restate it? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PeteHuws Comments: Love your site, you have the most useful & user friendly information on the Web. Just a thought on the clutch bleeding. I was thinking of reverse bleeding by loosening the bleed nipple on the slave cylinder, filling a plastic hand-help pump action oil can with brake fluid, connect the oil can hose to some tubing washer jet tubing and then over the clutch slave cylinder nipple then start pumping the fluid in this should then start flooding the slave cylinder body, brake line and thus chasing the air up the line into and out off the reservoir. I'll give this a try & report back.
January 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. let us know how it works out.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: Hi, the main seal of my 2005 Mini Cooper S was just replaced by the local Mini dealer. Initially, they diagnosed the oil leak car has 16,000 miles on it as coming from the oil pan and it was replaced twice. I did a little research and urged the dealer to inspect the main seal, but they promised me that it was not the ms and finally after the second oil pan gasket replacement didn't fix the problem, they identified it as the ms leak. Needless to say that I have lost confidence in this dealer, but since it was a Mini dealer, I figured they were the experts. After a week at the shop, i went to pick up the car and the clutch had little resistance when pressed, very spongy I've owned six manual transmission cars before, so I notice the difference and nothing like it was when I dropped it off. I insisted that they fix it before I would come back to pick it up. They now are telling me that it is normal and that it will gain pressure over time. I think it's a bunch of b.s. and I have not picked up the car. I am not a mechanic, but I would think that the clutch should perform as it did prior to the main seal replacement. Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Mike
January 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have to agree, the clutch change should not change. If they replaced the rear main seal, the transmission has to be removed. I would have them look into it, or maybe a different shop. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ted Comments: I have an '06 non-S and the slave cylinder looks nothing like the one in the pictures and is mounted into the transmission housing on the front of the car. Do you still need to compress the slave cylinder when bleeding? Thanks
November 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does is look like the one in the attached photo? You don't have to compress it, you can also pressure bleed the system which works quite well.- Nick at Pelican Parts
tex kid Comments: 30year certified tech done clutch in all 4 days all ways can be done still no pedal conclusion this car is a joke no good with clutch pedal if owned it id burn it make a good bar bq pit wouldnt give a 1000.01 for junk
October 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What is the vehicle? Did you replace the clutch master and slave? Is the system bled? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chad Comments: Can you not use a vacuum bleeder on the slave cylinder?
I ain't seem to suck fluid out from the line.
July 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, you can use a vacuum bleeder.

I like to fill the reservoir, then open the bleeder and let it gravity bleed for a while. Then bleed the normally. If it gives me trouble bleeding I will usually pressure bleed it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jcain Comments: After learning the hard way, the clutch pedal should not be pressed under the following conditions.

When the slave cylinder is not attached to the transmission and movement is not damped by the clutch release arm. If the pedal is pressed under this condition the seals on the slave cylinder will be blown.

The clutch pedal should also not be pressed when the slave cylinder is compressed. If the clutch pedal is depressed under this condition the seals on the slave cylinder will be blown and or possibly the seals on the clutch master cylinder will be blown or the seals on the hydraulic lines connecting the master cylinder to the slave cylinder will be blown.

So when is it okay to press the clutch pedal? Only when the clutch slave cylinder is attached to the transmission and not compressed. In other words, only press the clutch pedal when the slave cylinder is in it's normal operating position.

May 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. The only time you should press the clutch pedal is when the slave cylinder is installed inthe vehicle. Otherwise you can damage the slave cylinder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jcain Comments: In the top part of the instructions you state " Also DO NOT press the clutch pedal with the slave cylinder compressed"

In the second part with pictures you state "Just remember NOT to push the clutch pedal without the slave cylinder compressed or not installed on the transmission."

These instructions are contradictory. Which one is it?

THanks,
May 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When the salve cylinder is detached from the transmission, you should not press the clutch pedal. This could cause damage to the salve cylinder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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  Applies to: R50 MINI Cooper (2002-06) - R53 MINI Cooper S (2002-06) - R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08) - R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08) - R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08) - R56 MINI Cooper (2007-) - R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2007-)
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