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TR2/3/3A TR3 Clutch Bleeding Problem


Freshman Member
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I have a 1962 TR3B and I’m having problems bleeding the slave cylinder. This is the third time I have bled it it and I don’t remember any problems with bleeding it before. I’ve read most of the threads so I realize this is a much discussed issue. I keep getting air in the system and I’m thinking it may be coming in at the bleed screw. Some have mentioned switching to an EZ bleed screw and I want to try it. The bleed screw is 3/8-24x1 1/4”. The EZ or quick bleed screws I found on-line are either 1 3/16” or 1.283” in length. Lots of regular bleed screws are 1 1/4” but I haven’t found a quick bleed screw of that length. Is it better to go slightly shorter or slightly longer? I can imagine problems with each so all comments are appreciated.


Jedi Trainee
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From my (non-Triumph) experience, I would vote for the longer one. In my case, the bleed screws were just a fraction shorter than the originals and I had to really torque them to get them to seat. The hexes wanted to hit the caliper before the tapered seat would seal.

When you remove the original bleed screw, check the condition of that tapered seat. If you can, try to get a look inside the port as well. That is where the seal is. If the seat in the slave is damaged (e.g., if a piece of grit got trapped and is now embedded in the sealing surface), a new bleeder won't fix it. But if the bleed screw shows damage there and the slave is good, then it's a cheap fix.


Freshman Member
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Thanks for your thoughts. I’m still pondering what to do. I was hoping to hear that someone had successfully used EZ bleeder and wheat they used and where they got them.


Jedi Trainee
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The company I work for sells the Goodridge brand "Speed Bleeders". That's what I used and (aside from the too-deep ports) I never had any issues with them. The 3/8-24 version is 1.3" long overall, so you'll get a little extra reach.

Some brands look like a modified bleeder screw, where the seat is a separate moving part and you can see the spring connecting it to the rest of the screw. The trouble with that design is that you now have two sealing surfaces to worry about -- the one at the seat, and the one between the moving tip and the rest of the screw. In the unlikely event of failure, the screw could fail to hold pressure. (On the plus side, that's almost certain to show up while bleeding, not while driving.)

The Goodridge design starts with a standard bleeder screw, then adds a one-way valve inside. In the unlikely event of failure (let's say the valve sticks open), it will still operate just like a regular bleeder screw. Worst-case scenario, if the valve sticks closed, you just won't be able to bleed the system. Neither failure mode has the potential to make the system fail.

I did find that it's worth cleaning the screws after bleeding. Just a quick blast of brake cleaner aimed inside the screw will flush out remaining fluid, which in turn will help to ward off corrosion. I replaced my bleeders after 4 racing seasons, just because they were looking grubby. They still worked just fine, I just figured that if they looked that bad on the outside then surely the insides weren't any better.

And just in case anyone wants to jump in and say they don't trust EZ bleeders at all, there's another one-person option: We also carry a bleeder bottle which has a one-way valve in the hose. Works the same as the fancy bleeder screws but you don't have to give up the old-fashioned bleeders. The only thing to be aware of is that the Goodridge Speed Bleeders have a sealant pre-applied to the threads, to prevent air from sneaking in around the threads when the screw is opened. With the one-way bleeder bottle, there's a chance of getting air in around the threads. Still, it's good for doing at least 90% of the job. You can easily get it to the point where your helper only has to push the pedal once or twice. (Again, I've used this solution and had no issues at all, didn't even need to follow up with a helper.)

3/8-24 Speed Bleeder Screw

One-Man Bleeder Bottle


Jedi Knight
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Just bled a clutch system using a borrowed ( from a friend) vacuum pump that he bought from Harbor Freight. Quick and sure. I was amazed.


Freshman Member
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Thanks for the detailed information on the Goodridge Speed Bleeder. I’m going to try one for the slave cylinder.

Graham H

Jedi Warrior
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It is quite difficult to bleed the clutch on your own because the fluid self-drains from the master cylinder and you only get one pump before it's empty so you are probably getting air from the master cylinder. Make sure the pedal has free play at the master cylinder, pump it a few times to get fluid into the line open the bleed screw and let the air and fluid drain out. Give it a try and repeat if you still have air in the system.
I don't see a need for a pressure bleeder for the TR clutch.



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I have never had the pleasure of using any special bleeder rigs. I was taught the pumping method in shop class, but never had a helper for most of my life to do the pumping for me. I learned to bleed brakes and clutches using nothing more than gravity. Here is a list of the cars I have bled using gravity, with no problems at all:

TR2, TR3A, Range Rover, Cadilacs of all years and models, Olds of many years and models, Jaguar XJS, HMWVV's, VW's of all years, Vettes of all years, Dodges, Plymouths, Toyotas. From another angle, I have yet to find a car that will not gravity bleed the clutch or brake system.

If you pump bleed and the helper lifts the pedal even a tad before you close the bleeder, a bubble is sucked back in. With gravity there is a consistent bleed, so no chance of sucking air. Another tip...never open the bleeder more than one turn, or it will suck air in between the threads.

Reading this thread, though, I have to question whether this is a bleeding issue or a leak in one of the clutch system seals??


Luke Skywalker
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Plus 1 on the gravity bleed.
Loosen the cap on the master. Open the bleeder screw. Use a hose to a container if you like but I just let mine drip.
Have your favorite libation while you wait for the bleeder to drip.
Close the bleeder.
(If the cylinder was dry, you might have to loosen the pipe nut at the master and give the pedal a pump.)
Works for me.
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