Has anyone bled the clutch on a 1500 without removing the cover etc. as the book says. I was simply going to do this while the car was on the axle stands. From under the car I can see the slave cylinder and the bleed nipple. But it is not very accessable. I was simply wanting to drain and renew the fluid as I don't know the age of the fluid or type (probably DOT3).
Yes. It's not easy and it's not a neat job (odds are you WILL get some sort of grime all over your hand and arm or shirt). But from underneath I've been able to reach up with a relatively short 7/16" box or flare wrench and loosen the bleeder screw and even fit a hose for drainage and damage control. Of course, this means that your car is safely up on jackstands, or a ramp, or a lift, or over (heaven forbid) a pit!
It's much, much easier from the interior with the gearbox cover off, but that involves a lot of labor, especially on a stock 1500 (less so on Mk.3 and earlier Spitfires, and relatively little on Heralds).
I bought a 1/4" drive socket set and universal joint at Sears and proceeded with those. What actually worked both for loosening and tightening the bleed screw was the straight handle socket wrench (looks like a screw driver handle), the 3" extension, the universal joint, and 7/16" socket. The higher you can get the car off the ground the easier it is to do this. There is also a heavy steel cable attached to the front of the bell housing on one end and the frame on the other. If you remove this it provides you with a little more freedom of movement in that area.
Do what I did.
Go ahead and pull the tunnel.
Do the clutch thing.
Before you put it all back together, on the tunnel, mark the area of the clutch slave cyl, and cut yourself an access hole through the tunnel. (mine is roughly 5" x 7" ) For a door, I used a 'bodywork repair sheet' metal panel about 8"x10" I bought from a from the generic local auto parts store. I use four of those slip on speed nuts and four trim screws to hold the panel in place. You can glue the insulation back onto the back of the panel. (wrap the insulation in plastic to keep it neat)
Next time you need to work on it, you can peel back the carpet and remove the panel without having to take out the whole damn radio tower.
This works great on both the original carboard and even better on the aftermarket ABS tunnels.
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