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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My clutch pedal recently started be low (about 2/3 from the top) in the morning, then slowly work its way to a full pedal over the course of driving after a half hour or so (1999 Saab 9-3, base model). The replacement slave (the first one blew out) and master are very new. The slave was pre-bled before the tranny was put back in, and I pressure bled the replacement master (the first one was defective). I am not losing any fluid, at all. These were purchased through eeuroparts.com, so they are quality brand name parts. Any ideas anybody?
 

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Most likely it is the o-rings on the piston rod inside the slave cylinder. Replace the slave cylinder and you should be fine. You can always try bleeding it first to make sure no air is in the system and it would also be a good way to check the fluid quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Most likely it is the o-rings on the piston rod inside the slave cylinder. Replace the slave cylinder and you should be fine. You can always try bleeding it first to make sure no air is in the system and it would also be a good way to check the fluid quality.
The slave is new, in fact it replaced a defective knock-off brand, that I got as a package clutch plate kit. It worked for quite a while, before it blew out on me. This new one is an FTE brand from Eeuroparts.com. High quality slave. The master is new as well, to replace a defective one. This was replaced by eeuroparts, under warrantee. I have a pressure bleeder purchased from them also. I took the adaptor off, that normally attaches to the fluid reservoir, and clamped a rubber hose on the end that fits the bleed screw. I sucked out the fluid from the reservoir with a turkey baster before using the pressure bleeder. I then pressurized it and forced fluid into the reservoir from the bleed screw (it filled the reservoir, ever sooooo slowly), which makes me wonder if the reservoir orafice to the master is somehow slightly restriced. It would seem to me that fluid would flow a little faster into the reservoir, unless there's some sort of check valve in the reservoir that I don't know about. Well, after doing this, I had a nice full, stiff pedal for about a few days to a week. I checked the reservoir this morning, and it is full. It hasn't budged. Any ideas? I dread changing the slave again, since it is not a fun job! This slave is only 6 months old. I purchased it at the end of January. I find it hard to believe this is bad.
 

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It's possible to have some sort of restriction however, every time I have seen your issue it's the slave cylinder. To my knowledge, if you remove the reservoir cap and then the bleeder nipple it should be able to flow out as there should be no restrictions then. How does the clutch feel when you press it in, too easy, not enough, hard, spongy, does it start harder then get softer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
low clutch pedal

It's possible to have some sort of restriction however, every time I have seen your issue it's the slave cylinder. To my knowledge, if you remove the reservoir cap and then the bleeder nipple it should be able to flow out as there should be no restrictions then. How does the clutch feel when you press it in, too easy, not enough, hard, spongy, does it start harder then get softer?
I really can't believe this would be bad in 6 months from brand new. Late this afternoon, it was a full pedal, like it should be.
 

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sounds like air in the system to me. make sure the res. is full. have a friend help bleed the system... pump the pedal many times, hold it to the floor crack the bleeder, close the bleeder with the pedal still down, pull the pedal back up, repeat 10 times adding fluid each time. the clutch only draws half way up the res. to prevent the brakes from being starved in a clutch failure situation
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Low clutch pedal

sounds like air in the system to me. make sure the res. is full. have a friend help bleed the system... pump the pedal many times, hold it to the floor crack the bleeder, close the bleeder with the pedal still down, pull the pedal back up, repeat 10 times adding fluid each time. the clutch only draws half way up the res. to prevent the brakes from being starved in a clutch failure situation
Well, last night, full pedal. This morning, full pedal, and that is unheard of lately! I have been a believer of the air in the system theory all along, since both the slave and master are practically brand new. I just wonder if there was some kind of restriction in the reservoir orifice that prevented the fluid from equalizing with the rest of the system, or the master piston seal was slightly positioned ahead of the fluid inlet so the fluid couldn't equalize, but pulled air from the back of the seal? As in, when it cools off at night, and the fluid contracts, it doesn't pull enough fluid from the reservoir to equalize the fluid contracting, but instead, offers a minute quantity of air from somewhere instead. Remember, air can blow by any seal where fluid can't, in some cases, which is why we wet the seal on an oil filter at oil changes. It doesn't take much air to make the pedal dive to a 1/4 padal. After all, air can be compressed, fluid can't. The way the master seal is designed, I can see how air could be pulled one way around the seal, but not the other What do you think of that theory?
 

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Had this exact same problem started about a month ago. Just dropped it off at the mechanic on monday. I don't have the time, energy, or skills to do clutch work myself. If you want to see in the future, eventually my clutch pedal would be at almost dead zero upon cold start, have to somehow baby it into gear (reverse is impossible). After about 20 minutes of driving though, it still builds pressure and feels fine. Have fun :l
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
No more low clutch

Had this exact same problem started about a month ago. Just dropped it off at the mechanic on Monday. I don't have the time, energy, or skills to do clutch work myself. If you want to see in the future, eventually my clutch pedal would be at almost dead zero upon cold start, have to somehow baby it into gear (reverse is impossible). After about 20 minutes of driving though, it still builds pressure and feels fine. Have fun :l
Well, It seems to have fixed itself. I have had a full pedal for 2 days now (morning and night, hot and cool temps), and I can tell you that every morning, it would be low, before this. I don't know what happened, but it is great to have it normal once again! Self adjusting on its own terms, I guess? Must have been a "glitch in the giddy-up"!! We'll see how it goes from here. With the master and slave only about 6 months old, I just couldn't accept that they could be bad. They are FTE brand. I went to there website once,and they claim to make there components fresh (not re-manufactured. They are milled from scratch. If these were remanufactired parts, I'd be suspicious. If anybody reading this is doing a Saab 9-3 slave, especially, Spend the money for a high quality FTE brand, or equivalent. That is one job that I don't look forward too. Dropping the tranny is not my idea of fun, just for a slave cylinder! so, having quality components in there will give you peace of mind, for sure!
 
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