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Stainless Clutch line, Little cost, BIG results

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Of all the small things you can do to improve the performance of your car, a new stainless steel braided clutch line is certainly one of them. As you apply pressure to the clutch pedal, fluid is forced from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder. This hydraulic pressure is what makes the slave cylinder force the clutch fork to disengage the clutch. The goal here is to transfer as much of that force from your foot to to the clutch pressure plate as quickly and smoothly as possible. One thing that really puts a damper on transferring that pressure is the OEM rubber clutch line. When pressure is applied to the clutch pedal, the line expands and thus does not transfer the force of the fluid to the slave cylinder for that amount of expansion. This is especially true when an upgraded clutch setup with a higher clamping force pressure plate has been installed. The higher pressure of an upgraded clutch can even over time make the OEM line fail.

To cure this problem on my '99 Civic, I chose to install a stainless steel braided clutch line which I got on-line from BoneHeadPerformance. Installation was simple, just remove the flare nuts from the steel hard line on either end of the rubber OEM line. Be careful when removing the flare nuts as they have a tendency to round off quite easy. If you are having trouble loosening them, do yourself a favor and buy a set of good line wrenches. DO NOT use vise grips, they may loosen the nut, but you will likely ruin it in the process. After the new line is installed, the system will need to bleed to remove all the air. I used a vacuum pump and bleeder canister to bleed mine, but a simple way to do it is just have someone pump the clutch while you crack open the bleeder valve. You have to be careful when bleeding lines this way though so that you do not suck air back into the system through the valve. Have someone sit int he car and apply pressure to the clutch, crack open the bleeder, the person in the car should feel the clutch go to the floor. At this point close the valve before the person releases the pressure on the clutch, this will avoid sucking air back in. You may have to pull the clutch back up with your hand. Watch the fluid level in the reservoir and keep it full. A clear tube on the end of the bleeder makes it easy to see when all the air is out.