You are here:

MG Car Repair/67 sprite clutch bleeding


Hi Barrie
I have a 67 Austin Healey Sprite with a new master clutch slave and slave cylinder. We have tryed bleeding the clutch by gravity, pressure bleeding, back bleeding and vaccume, all with no result.The clutch line was previously replaced and routed up and around the top of the fire wall and we rerouted it to infront of the heater box thinking that this might help but still do not have any built up pressure in the pedal.Do you have any suggestions, guesses, or experiences?

Hi Konrad.  I think it was a mistake to re-route the pipe over the firewall.  There must be no loops where a large bubble of air can collect.  If possible the pipe should be a continuous rise from the slave cylinder to the master cylinder.  Sometimes there is a big upward loop as the line enters the master cylinder, and this can be reduced by careful bending of the pipe.

I often find that you can force the bubbles out of the line as follows:

1) Remove the filler cap from the master cylinder and make sure it is almost full.  Top it up if necessary.

2) Disconnect the slave cylinder from the engine, pull it off the operating rod and allow the cylinder to dangle vertically downwards.  This is difficult on an early Sprite with a solid line, easier on the later ones with a flexible hose.  

3) Holding the slave cylinder with one hand, use a large Phillips screwdriver and push it quickly upwards into the slave cylinder with the other hand, so that all the fluid is forced upwards into the clutch line.  Bubbles of air should now appear inside the master cylinder.  

4) Lower the screwdriver and allow the slave cylinder to refill itself.  

5) Repeat the operation until no more bubbles of air appear inside the slave cylinder.  You can usually hear them when you are pumping the screwdriver.

That usually solves the problem.  

MG Car Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Barrie Jones


MG Sports Cars from 1949 to 1980 - Including MGB, MGBGT V8, TF1500, TF, TD and modern Midgets. I also specialise in SU carburettors, Lucas wiring, suspension, steering & brakes.


I have owned my 1955 TF1500 since 1966. Technical specialist for the TD and TF with the MG Car Club T Register. Also owned 20 MGBs and currently own an MGBGT V8. Written 3 books on MGs and produced a DVD on how to strip and rebuild the TD/TF gearbox.

MG Car Club.

Barrie's Notes on the 1953-55 MG TF (author). /=====/ Barrie's Notes on the MGB (author). /=====/ Barrie's Notes on the MGB GT V8 (author). /=====/ The Essential Buyer's Guide to the MG TD, TF and TF1500. (author)

M Phil, C Eng, BSc (Eng).

©2016 All rights reserved.