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Last week, on my way home from work I was approaching a stop sign and engaged the clutch and the pedal went straight to the floor and stuck there. Stuck at a stop sign on an incline I drifted backwards and off the road so traffic could pass. Turned the car off, and put it in first and when traffic cleared I cranked and it started rolling. So I cranked it up all the way and rev match shifted without a use of a clutch the whole way home.

I figured it was the clutch master cylinder but could not for the life of me locate it. To my dismay I could not find anything online of issues of this kind for our 2nd gen xB. So I figured I would do some exploring and put together something here for others in trouble to locate.

Once I figured out the brake and clutch master cylinders MUST share a reservoir I found it to be empty. Put some type 3 synthetic brake fluid to top it off. Sure enough, my clutch came back after pumping it a few times. Relieved that it was simple and ashamed that I had let that reservoir dry out I started out of the driveway when it went out again. Upon inspection of the carpet under where the clutch master cylinder goes through the firewall, I found it quite damp (with fluid most likely.) I checked the reservoir and it was dry again.

I checked the clutch slave, located near the front of the engine and traced the lines where visible to ensure no other leaks were occurring. Nope. At this point I was certain it was the clutch master cylinder that is the culprit.

The brake and clutch master cylinders share a reservoir which is located on top of the brake master cylinder. If you cannot locate your brake master cylinder this repair is probably over your head. I tried to go about this repair in the quickest easiest manner possible so I did not remove anything that was not completely necessary or did not make it easier to get to the next part. This will be a general guide and not a complete tutorial of every single nut and bolt that needs to be removed.

Pictures at the end show the location of the clutch master cylinder.

Aside from a new clutch master cylinder and about a quart of type 3 synthetic brake fluid, you will need:
• 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm wrenches and sockets
• 10mm flare nut wrench
• Pliers, flat and Phillips screw driver.



1. I had to remove the wipers, the plastic cowl, the wiper motor, and the metal pan under the cowl.
2. Remove the airbox, I also disconnected the air intake so I could twist it out of the way.
3. Remove the brake master cylinder assembly.
4. Remove the brake actuator. Use the flare nut wrenches to disconnect all hoses.
5. Remove the brake booster.
6. Remove the clutch pedal spring
7. Remove clutch master cylinder push rod clevis with hole pin. Remove the clip and the hole pin.
8. Remove the clutch master cylinder.

You will notice your old clutch master cylinder is almost completely plastic and feels dry and brittle which is likely the reason for its failure. Your replacement should be almost entirely metal. I opted for the Beck Arnley Clutch Master Cylinder part number 072-9713 which can be found on Amazon for about $60.

The installation is the reversal of the removal except your very last step will be bleeding the clutch (pain in the butt) and bleeding the brakes (pain in the butt x4).

It could just be all in my head, but it the pedal push feels much more solid and fluid over stock.

Hope this helps somebody.

Location of the clutch master cylinder is behind the strut tower and next to the brake booster.


New clutch master cylinder nestled into it's new home.
 

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resident old fart
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Excellent write up! The 1st gens also have a reservoir common to the brakes and clutch, so this DIY will be helpful to anyone here with manual transmission. A little trick that may be helpful on bleedind the system is to raise the front of the vehicle.
 

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TheOtherGuys
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(Walks ouside to check fluids for the first time) LOL.

---------- Post added 03-22-2013 at 06:59 PM ----------

My coolant was a couple inches low, maybe a 1/2qt low on oil.
 

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My 2010 xB is in the shop for this problem right now. They said the slave cylinder is leaking. This must be a common problem because the transmission shop called all of their regular suppliers and they were all sold out so they have to go to the dealer. I have a little under 105,000 mostly long trip highway miles on the car.
 

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I'm so happy this write up exist. An hour of searching for that stupid master clutch cylinder then I couldn't find out how to get it around the brake booster. Thanks for the details even though this is 3 years old
 

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I am a newbe here and your post is the ONLY post anywhere on line I could find for XB clutch Master Cylinder. Throwing caution to the wind I decided to try and do this replacement myself... three days later, I am stuck I have questions that will sound very ignorant to a mechanic (can picture now rolling eyes clucking tongue about how I should have never done this and how limited my "smarts" may be and I'm ok with that you can't see me lol) But would anyone be willing to answer a couple questions so I don't have to buy and replace anymore parts than necessary to replace clutch master cylinder? would be appreciated. Thank you. Signed: dum' ol girl.
 
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