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Discussion Starter #1
Just taking a drive to get some food, I put in the clutch, it popped and there was no resistance whatsoever. I managed to push the car in off the street and get a tow home. I've never really done any clutch work done before, and a few people told me the cluch is in good condition, what could have gone to cause this fluid loss? I'm guessing something is broken. I need this car back on the road as soon as possible, and a swift response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
 

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It sounds like the slave has burst a seal maybe? is there oil in your tank?

Has the weather been really hot? maybe the nipple is loose? give it a good look over and narrow the problem, it may not be the clutch as they wear down first, they dont normally pop.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Which tank exactly?

It has been hot here the past few days, temperatures were well above 90 yesterday.

A lot of fluid had come out and pooled under the car. I was just looking at the hydraulic line for sale up on eeuroparts.com, perhaps could it be that rubber section? I won't know until tomorrow when I can get my tools and take off the clutch cover to get a good look. Thanks for your input.
 

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First, make sure you have fluid in the master brake cylinder reservoir -- it also feeds the clutch system. See if you can build up pressure by pumping the clutch. You won't know for sure until you can get in there with the cover off, but here are your possible culprits.

1. Slave cylinder seal popped or is bad. With the plastic cover off the clutch housing, have someone pump the clutch and see if you can see it moving. If it's not moving, then the slave is the likely cause. Rebuildable, but they're not that expensive new. Can be quite a job to remove if you have no clutch pressure.

2. Clutch line is bad. Again, have someone pump and see where/if fluid is coming out. As you mentioned the likely location is at the rubber/metal juncture. Not very fun to replace as getting to the connection at the end of the master cylinder is a challenge (or it was for me).

3. Master cylinder is bad. Unlikely if you don't have fluid pooling inside your car but it may be a possibility.

On m '85 when I got it, alll three were bad. That was a loooong clutch job. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
After some anger, I went out to see if I can get a closer look at the car. I found that the joint where the flexible hose and line closest to the clutch housing itself had seperated. The entire system has to be bled, my "BRAKE FLUID" light came on, being alot of the fluid had been evacuated from the system. The fittings actually popped together, though I don't fully trust it. Would there be a way around actually replacing the entire line, just replacing the flex hose? From the looks of the hose end on the end it popped out, it looks like it was clamped shut before. I really cant spend that much money on a new line, being I owe for the tow and all, and the cell phone bill is due (everything happens at once :roll:) I use the car for work, so no car equals no work.
 

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Saab Mad
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You can buy the line between clutch slave and master cylinders. Part number was 89 35 124 but is marked as being superseded by 5331137. eEuroParts have them for US$79.90 :eek: :eek:

Alternatively, take that whole line out, and to a brake shop. They'll be able to replace just rubber hose section, and should cost less than a new one.

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And when you have it fixed, you should be able to bleed up just the clutch. The reservoir has a boundary wall around the clutch fluid outlet so this problem won't lose you your brakes.

OTOH, if you haven't changed the brake fluid more recently than 12 months, you might as well bleed up the entire system but only after you've got the clutch working properly...
 

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I though i could just let gravitity pull the fluid out, but am told i have to use a vacuum pump?

My car has ABS and i shouldnt ever let the fluid totally drain out the system or tank right?

I dont have a clutch leak SAABotaged900S but your pipe problem is not a difficult job, and it wont cost that much to repair to be honest.

I dont recommend you drive around with a problem that can affect your brakeing power, i did not know myself that the brakes and clutch share the same oil until Matthew told me on here.

My clutch is limp but my brakes are still okish, i think i have been feeling that the brakes are not great and wanted to upgrade but the real problem is the slave cylinder is on its way out and my brake fluid is acient!

Funny how i though one thing was bad (my brakes)and looked to replace them but the cause of the problem was something else which has a knock on affect.

Saabs, you go to lovem:cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I actually replaced the fluid in the braking system just last month.

Here is what is going on so far

I found the pipe had disconnected from the flex hose, and out of curiousity I just reconnected it. I actually do have pressure in the clutch, but just enough to get the car into gear so I can move it for alternate side parking days. It is not leaking, though my guess it is that even though it is holding, not to trust it.

That looks like a fun job to remove that entire line, especially by the firewall, my guess is that I would have to remove the coolant expansion tank to get to it.

I wouldn't really mind taking it out and having someone refit a piece of flex hose back on where it was, but here once you mention "SAAB", the typical response is "Oh, we don't have parts or work on parts to those cars" before you have time to explain yourself. I'm trying to think of what shop in the area would do it, alot of places here don't really fabricate stuff like this, they just buy it ready to install, but then again a majority of the cars on the road are Hondas and Dodge Caravans so parts are readily available.

Thank you everyone for your input and responses.
 

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Try hunting down a hydraulics shop and just bring them the pipe. Don't tell them it's off a Saab until they're done...
 

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It's not that bad to replace. When you pull the old one out, you can see how it threads up from the clutch to the clutch master.

The hardest part is getting it back onto the end of the master cylinder. I found that was easiest to do from under the car. Didn't remove the expansion tank at all. If you want to work from the top, remove the A/C compressor (if present) and loosen the alternator and it should be pretty simple.

I talked to some folks from a performance Saab shop a year ago about a braided steel clutch line, but they said they weren't ready to ship yet so I went with stock. Not that I think the braided offers a better clutch -- just easier to install and maybe less prone to failure in the long run.
 

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A braided line ought to give better clutch feel, as the current plain rubber section of pipe will swell slightly under pressure.

I was able to remove the clutch line from above without disturbing any other components. Looking back though, I can see how it would have been easy to accidently disturb some electrical connections - oil pressure sender and alternator connections for example. A few pictures here (you'll need to scroll down a way).

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Matthew, after coming 'round this forum for over a year, your clutch post with all the photos is still my favorite (favourite) for hands-down completeness, entertainment and usefulness.

That said, I will say that replacing the master (on a U.S. car, and Canadian as well, I assume) does not need the knee panel to be removed. Removing the driver's seat to get under the panel is much, much easier and this fat Yank has done it twice now. RHD cars may very well be different.

I do recall zapping some tool or another during some bout of clutch repair on one of my cars, so your warning should be heeded.

As for a braided line being that much superior -- considering the length of the run and the small section that is rubber, I think there are more than a few other things on the cars that can be upgraded before going to an all-braided clutch line. But ... I would definitely be willing to give one a try the next time I'm in the market to replace that line. And my worries about fitting the new clutch line were definitely not as bad as the reality. Wish I could say that about all the jobs I've done!
 

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Glad it entertained too :)

The knee panel on RHD drive cars doesn't need to be removed either. I removed it because the absence of various interior trim bit at the time made it easy, and did give better access. You're right though - master cylinder can be replaced without removing the panel, which is a relief.

I wouldn't suggest upgrading to a braided line unless the existing one was knackered and in need of replacement anyway. Like you say, there are higher priorities!

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ShadowWorks said:
I though i could just let gravitity pull the fluid out, but am told i have to use a vacuum pump?
You wont have any luck bleeding brakes/clutch using just gravity! - you need to push the air out. If you just loosen one end air will get in.

The easiest way to do it is with a pressure bleeder. I think Matthew's clutch epic :) covers this, if not then there are plenty of other mentions if you do a search.
A pressure bleeder wont cost you very much to buy and it makes brake and clutch bleeding so much more painless!
 

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Thanks Tomarse, i am going to buy a cap with a valve in it, all i have to do is get a pump and hey presoto i will be able to bleed the clutch and brakes.:D

I have to agree nor even Bentley ot Haines manuel are anyway close to Matthews clutch epic, i will be printing them out if you dont mind and using them as a guide line am just to chicken that deep inside the engine bay:cheesy:
 

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ShadowWorks said:
Thanks Tomarse, i am going to buy a cap with a valve in it, all i have to do is get a pump and hey presoto i will be able to bleed the clutch and brakes.:D
You would need a willing assistant with strong legs to do it this way ;) It takes me most of a tyres worth of air to do the complete brake system on a saab!
 

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Tomarse said:
You would need a willing assistant with strong legs to do it this way ;) It takes me most of a tyres worth of air to do the complete brake system on a saab!
I dont have a foot pump, and i just figured out from your post that a hand pump would be really silly, i will get one of those plug in cigarret lighter pumps that doubles up as a light i think, my sister has one which inflats tires really fast.

Or maybe i could just get a compressor for a day and use that? what PSI are we talking about? 20, 30 40 Psi? can there be to much Psi say 50? thats whats in my dolly wheel right now i think?
 

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ShadowWorks - a gunsons pressure bleeder (an 'eezibleed') only costs £13.70 from PFS!. For this sort of money i'd rather buy the tool than mess about making one! ;)

When i'm doing the complete brake system, i usually run mine off a tyre with 25psi or so in it. If i take too long over it I might have to pump the tyre up again slightly. A clutch takes a lot less pressure.
 
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