Write-up: installing a separate clutch fluid reservoir

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Gabe9195

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Separating the clutch fluid from the brake fluid, a quick and fairly easy "mod", mostly a good idea for cars that get autocrossed, raced on road courses, or just driven hard especially in hot weather.
Separating the fluids means the clutch fluid will no longer get hot from the brake fluid working through it, and vice-a-versa.

There are a couple of ways to do this, I chose the more complex way.
Most people will re-use the stock manual-trans brake fluid reservoir and just cap off the "nipple" that normally feeds fluid to the clutch.
That would require a certain type of cap that won't be eaten away by the corrosive brake fluid, and personally I thought it wouldn't look as clean as using the auto-trans cars' brake fluid reservoir, which doesn't have the nipple on it.

The parts I used:

- Pontiac GTO clutch fluid reservoir, about $17 shipped off eBay.
Part # 92065790 LINK

20160229_clutch_reservoir.jpg



- Automatic cars OEM brake fluid reservoir, I ordered it from Autonation Ford (formerly Tousley) for about $43 + shipping. Part # 9R3Z-2K478-B LINK

20160307_auto-reservoir.jpg



- Amsoil DOT4 brake fluid. I have a Preferred Customer account with Amsoil so I buy direct from them for almost wholesale prices, shipped right to the house. I recommend this for anybody that wants Amsoil products, it's only $20/yr to sign up.


The itself swap is pretty simple, you remove the clutch fluid hose from the back of the stock brake fluid reservoir and install it onto the new clutch fluid small reservoir, then find a place for the reservoir.
I happened to see a pic on facebook where a guy made up his own bracket that allowed the mounting of the reservoir to the holes normally used for the sound tube bracket, so I copied that idea and made up my own bracket for that spot.
Here's the clutch fluid reservoir installed:

20160306_reservoirs1.jpg



And the stock reservoir with the clutch fluid line still attached :

20160306_reservoirs2.jpg



The hardest part of the job is swapping out the brake fluid reservoirs, and this is actually an optional item, since most guys just use some EPDM caps to cap off the nipple on the reservoir.

A pic of the stock reservoir with the clutch fluid nipple:

20160307_man-reservoir1.jpg



When you remove the clutch fluid line from the stock brake fluid reservoir, leave the reservoir cap fully tightened, since the vacuum with the cap on keeps the leakage from the clutch fluid nipple to a minimum. Once you remove the cap, fluid pours out.

Removing the stock brake fluid reservoir was a bit tricky, especially since it's the first time I did one.
I used a cheap Harbor Freight fluid transfer pump to suck out as much brake fluid out of the reservoir as possible.
Some fluid stayed in, so I put a bunch of rags under the reservoir, removed the stud that goes through/under the reservoir, and pried it up out of the master cylinder and out of the 2 o-rings that seal it in.
It popped out, me prying up front and rear under it, the o-rings stayed in their holes, then I removed them since the new reservoir came with 2 new ones.

The stock reservoir with the o-rings I'm mentioning:

20160307_man-reservoir3.jpg



I had to install the new o-rings in the master cylinder holes first, and then push down the new reservoir.
Trying to push down the reservoir with the o-rings pre-installed on it, the o-rings were getting deformed and not popping into their holes in the master cylinder.
So I got the reservoir in, re-installed the stud/bolt under it, re-connected the sensor wiring, and topped off the fluid.
Done.

I put about 150 miles on the car today after the work above, and no issues.

The final set-up:

20160306_reservoirs4.jpg


20160306_reservoirs5.jpg
 

Zandura99

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Awesome writeup, I have wanted to do this for a while. Doing a BBK swap this spring so perfect time to make the change since I will likely be swapping fluid at that time.

What has anyone used as a cap instead of changing out the whole reservoir? I am sure there are caps out there that are sufficient.... authough not as complete of a solution as a complete reservoir swap. Any direction from those that have done it would be helpful!
 

noldevin

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Great write up! I like how you used the sound tube holes, I'll definitely have to go that route. I might swap the auto reservoir like you did too. Last thing I want is for the fluid to eat through a plug or just have it pop off and dump all my fluid (with my luck it would happen at 130 coming into turn 1).
 

Gabe9195

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Thanks guys.
Search for EPDM caps, that's what I've seen other people use.
 

User1049

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I want to do this along with swapping out to DOT4, but I was told that you need to somehow completely empty the previous fluid. Any of the more experienced members have knowledge regarding that? It's possible the guy was incorrect but I don't know any better.
 

Gabe9195

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I didn't have to bleed either system, drove it 150 miles with no issues after I did the work.

As far as I know DOT3 and DOT 4 fluids can be mixed, but to get the full benefit of the DOT4 you should flush out the other stuff
 

thegraystang

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what did you use to make the bracket? i rather that then drill into the shock tower.
 

Gabe9195

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what did you use to make the bracket? i rather that then drill into the shock tower.

I actually cut up an old license plate I had lying around, test-fitted it a bunch of times, drilled it and bent it.
It's a bit flimsy, but it's doing the job just fine
 
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