how to replace clutch master cylinder - Transmission Forum

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how to replace clutch master cylinder
Monday, October 24, 2016 6:17 AM

Could someone please post the instructions for doing this for a 2001 Cavalier?

Everything I have found so far is painfully inadequate and over simplistic. For example, how in the hell are you supposed to even get the big metal plate next to the clutch pedal off so that you can even start thinking about removing the cylinder from the pedal? And on the other side of the firewall, how are you supposed to get to the cylinder with the air filter housing totally in the way? Nothing mentions these two huge obstacles or how to removed them.

My clutch pedal engagement point has slowly dropped lower and lower and lower and soon it won't be able to get into or out of gears. There are no external leaks from anywhere and no loss of fluid. The entire clutch including the slave was replaced last year. I have been told to bleed the system and that will fix it, but others have said it has to be an internal leaking master cylinder.

Any information, instructions, advice, etc....would be greatly appreciated. Generic info not specific to my make and model has been worthless, fyi.


Re: how to replace clutch master cylinder
Monday, October 24, 2016 6:43 PM
You do not need to remove the pedal. All you have to do is take a screw driver and pry the shaft off the master to the pedal. it just snaps on. As for the air box I believe you just yank up on it. It is held in place by rubber bushings.

On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
Re: how to replace clutch master cylinder
Tuesday, November 01, 2016 1:53 PM
Have you actually bleed your system?

FU Tuning

Re: how to replace clutch master cylinder
Monday, February 18, 2019 9:17 AM

Remember this? I am back in the same situation. Had the master cylinder replaced (I could write a novel on what a mind-boggling disaster this turned out to be) - about 9 months ago. Right after that, the bite point was crazy high - like in the first 5% of pedal travel from the top. Over the past month or maybe even less time - it has dropped back down to where it was when I wrote this original question - pretty much at the last/bottom 5% of pedal travel. No clutch slipping at all - just worried that I am going to lose that last 5%. In fact, I already have a new "pedal-shaped indentation" mark in the flooring from having to press down all the way which has just started recently.

What has amazed me is that after hours of searching (again), I can't find any good step-by-step instructions or any videos for this procedure on my make and model.

2001 Cavalier 5-speed 2.2 manual 240K.
Re: how to replace clutch master cylinder
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8:01 AM

I was hoping that maybe I was just low on fluid - opened up the reservoir to find it so full it almost spills out as soon as the cap is removed. Can't add one more drop. Fluid is clean and clear amber like it was just poured in there. So my only other hope is that maybe there is a non-hydraulic way to adjust the actual pedal itself without messing with the line or cylinders? I stuck my head under there and see a giant spring on both sides but until I have more info don't want to start messing with it.

On a related note - holy crap I cannot believe I did not know that you basically had to tear the entire car apart to replace the slave cylinder. I just assumed - even though I knew that it comes as part of the clutch kit - that it was about as much trouble/labor as the master cylinder. So if one of them is leaking internally past the seals - it sure better be the 8 month old new master not the slave. No wonder none of the estimate sites or mobile mechanic sites would even mention the slave. Now I am more terrified than ever. No way I can afford that.
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