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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old September 17th, 2019, 07:13   #16
gforce1108
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A power bleeder is probably the best way to do it. I've seen a how-to that looked a little scary, but apparently works well. They hooked a hose from the clutch slave bleeder to a front caliper bleeder - pumping fluid out the brake and into the clutch created a closed loop and purges out the air. Haven't tried it - but was very temped the last time I had to replace a slave!

The gap I measured was on a Luk setup - didn't catch if that's what you are running or a Sachs. Also - you may have a DMF problem. The second car that came into me with similar issues needed only a DMF (got a whole kit from idparts though). At first I figured 2 98 Beetles with the same symptoms would both have the same problem but nope... The second one would go into gear at a stop by pumping the clutch pedal a few times first. Took it all apart and nothing was worn besides the flywheel.
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Old September 19th, 2019, 21:29   #17
alaskax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gforce1108 View Post
A power bleeder is probably the best way to do it. I've seen a how-to that looked a little scary, but apparently works well. They hooked a hose from the clutch slave bleeder to a front caliper bleeder - pumping fluid out the brake and into the clutch created a closed loop and purges out the air. Haven't tried it - but was very temped the last time I had to replace a slave!
The gap I measured was on a Luk setup - didn't catch if that's what you are running or a Sachs. Also - you may have a DMF problem. The second car that came into me with similar issues needed only a DMF (got a whole kit from idparts though). At first I figured 2 98 Beetles with the same symptoms would both have the same problem but nope... The second one would go into gear at a stop by pumping the clutch pedal a few times first. Took it all apart and nothing was worn besides the flywheel.
I've been running a G60 flywheel/VR6 clutch for over 200,000 miles, so I have a SMF. When I pulled it apart I was amazed at how good it looked. Was hoping for an obvious problem, but did not see one. But purchased a ClutchExperts Stage 2 setup (https://www.ebay.com/itm/CLUTCHXPERT...L/172142358960) thinking I might as well put in a beefier clutch since it was apart. I polished the G60 with fine grit sandpaper/block, reusing it since it looked good and I do not want a lighter flywheel. The clutch geometry was wrong however, so I put the old one back in- it looked almost as good as the brand new one that didn't fit. But also used the new stiffer stage 2 pressure plate, so really that is the only new component, along with the new fork, bearing, bullet stud (which I put a spacer washer under). As mentioned, after trying it out, the system acted the same as before, barely releasing the clutch when all the way to the floor. Moreover, this behavior has been going on for at least a year while I've ignored it and just dealt with it. I guess the only hard data I have is the 3/4 inch gap to the fork. Sure wish I would have measured it before I took everything apart, but it makes sense for it to be the same since it's acting the same before/after.
I can't see how forcing brake fluid from the brake bleeder into the clutch slave bleeder is different from me forcing/pumping brake fluid directly into the slave bleeder from my oil can. Assuming I'm interpreting your power bleeding correctly. Would it have something to do with the sheer volume or RATE of fluid flow into the slave?
I feel like I either need to pull the tranny again and put a whole stack of washers under the bullet stud to reduce the 3/4 inch gap to about 1/2 or 1/4 (but this should not be necessary if all the parts are good!) or start installing master and slave cylinders until I get a combo that actually works, even though my current hydraulic system DOES work, just not good enough. And this option seems ridiculous as well.
It's very frustrating, and likely hard for anyone to comment since nothing seems obvious that I have not tried, at least I think. But I'm really bothered with the fact that the new slave is softer than the old one. Can't imagine there is air in it based on how I bled the system, and I did the same thing for both slaves multiple times.
Appreciate the help, still hoping someone has a suggestion I can try. I feel like I've tried the "power bleeding" in reverse pressure bleeding at the slave, and the clutch and brake system are separate in any case even though they use the same fluid. As long as the tube from the reservoir is supplying fluid to the master, the brake and clutch systems are completely independent.
Sigh...
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Old September 20th, 2019, 10:17   #18
BobnOH
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I've always thought of the hydraulic system as a single closed system. The object of whichever bleed method you use is to expel all the air.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 15:17   #19
alaskax
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I see how you can interpret the hydraulic system as a closed system, since fluid can flow from brake system to clutch system, and nothing from the outside world can enter/escape. But I would think it should be interpreted as a "passive" closed system, rather than "active" from the standpoint that you could completely block the brake fluid flow to/from the brake master and the clutch hydraulics would not know the difference, and vice versa. In that sense I consider them "independent"... one does not rely on the other.

But to your point BobnOH, "the objective is to expel all the air". Yes, but correct me if I'm wrong, but again based on the design, air in the brake system cannot enter the clutch system, and vice versa. The only "connection" they have is in the common fluid reservoir, and air from either system would only be able to get to the other system by bubbling up into the reservoir, and THAT unlikely air should just stay in the reservoir. Of course it goes without saying that everything needs to be purged.

Well I just ordered a Motive Products power bleeder so I will power bleed/flush the entire clutch/brake system again using that tool (linked below), then vacuum it again as well. I'm also going to block the slave (which I have already done) and try to carefully determine if there is any air in the system.

https://www.amazon.com/Motive-Produc...s%2C166&sr=8-2
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Last edited by alaskax; September 21st, 2019 at 15:29.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 16:48   #20
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Here is a pic of the housing to fork distance at the slave port. It looked like 3/4 inch when I measured it crudely earlier, but it's slightly less than 5/8ths, so it seems to me that this confirms that my basic good/new clutch components are not at fault. So at the moment I'm convinced that it has to be the hydraulic system. Wasn't looking forward to pulling the trans again in any case!

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Last edited by alaskax; September 21st, 2019 at 16:53.
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 13:02   #21
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I don't know if anyone is reading this thread anymore, but I got some data that is very helpful to me and might be to others as well. The main thing is that I've been a bit fixated on the distance from the housing where the clutch slave attaches and the release fork, and I now realize it's not critical. I was just assuming that the slave plunger essentially fully extends when the master plunger is activated from pressing the clutch to the floor, since then where the slave plunger starts would limit how much extra travel there is to release the clutch. Since my whole issue has been the clutch not releasing or barely releasing when I press the clutch to the floor, this seemed like a very pertinent matter.
Well, the slave plunger is able to extend a total of 2 inches. Almost exactly. BUT, full activation of my master, from full depression of the clutch, is half that, almost exactly 1 inch. In that sense, withing a certain range it does not matter where the slave plunger STARTS, ... in my case, it is starting at 5/8 inch, the distance the plunger extends before making contact with the release fork. If it starts at 1 inch or more, then the slave plunger will bottom out at 2 inches before the clutch pedal is all the way to the floor.
This is why no clutch adjustment is ever needed as the clutch wears out. Pressing the clutch will move the plunger 1 inch to hopefully release the clutch no matter where the plunger starts at (but less than 1 inch). Thus, putting that washer under the bullet stud to bring the other end of the fork closer to the housing/slave plunger was completely without purpose. It does nothing to improve the ability to release the clutch.
Having said all this, my problem is still there, so I'm not so sure that the 1 inch slave plunger travel is the correct spec. I blocked my slave and the clutch is hard as a rock, showing that IF there is any air in the new clutch master, it would only be a tiny amount or the clutch would still feel spongy with the slave blocked. If the slave plunger moved even 1 1/4 inch, then I believe my problem would be gone. 1 inch just does not seem like enough to fully release the clutch.
I would buy another new clutch master if I thought it would help, but since the old one and the new one have the same result, does not seem like a very logical plan.
So I still maintain that I just need more slave plunger movement than I'm getting, and I know the finger points to air in the system, but my hydraulics are rock hard with the slave blocked. Wondering if anyone knows if that 1 inch slave plunger movement is the correct spec? Or has any other suggestions?
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Last edited by alaskax; September 22nd, 2019 at 13:06.
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