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2010 Clutch Master Replacement / Bench Bleeding

the dude man

New Member
Jan 25, 2020
Reaction score
New Brunswick
Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Ranger XL Sport
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0L V6
2WD / 4WD
Figured I needed to change my clutch master cylinder the other week, the truck had issues going into gear. Not gonna act like I had any clue what I was doing- I still don't. Thought I'd post about it here see if I can't save anyone some trouble. You're gonna wanna bring a friend. Disclaimer, I'm just an idiot with a Ranger, I just watched a couple of youtube videos and dicked around in my garage for a couple of hours. The videos I used are down below. This is just how I fixed my issue, it might not fix yours.

This method can fix soft clutch pedal, truck won't go into gear even with the clutch depressed, or gears grinding even with clutch depressed.

On a scale from 1-10 I'd say maybe a 2 or 3? If I could do it anyone could really.
You'll need:
-DOT-3 Brake Fluid, I used like maybe 3/4 a bottle?
-A handful of wrenches depending on the year. 5/16ths, a large thin one for the quick connect.

1 - What you're gonna wanna do is crawl underneath and pull your bleeder screw on the driver's side of the transmission, depending on what year your truck is the bleeder screw will be right above a brass colored quick connect. Yank the rubber cover off, grab a 5/16ths, get in there and unscrew it- what threw me off was that it wasn't just a screw, it was a screw on a rubber plug, unbolt then give that plug a slow pull and brake fluid'll start pouring on out.

2- Don't let the reservoir run empty, (Unless you're replacing a part of the line anyway) have your friend pouring DOT-3 brake fluid in there to keep it topped up. This isn't crucial, but it can save a little bit of pain later on. Once the fluid runs clean underneath, put the cap back on the reservoir, and detach it. Might be a bolt, mine was kind of hooked to the fuse box. Gonna want to get a flathead screwdriver and just get that fusebox out of there, doesn't need to come out but you'll want it out of the way.

3 - Disconnect that quick-connect mentioned earlier off of the transmission, there should be a video down below on how that works. I used a very thin wrench.

4 - Now the fun part, push your driver seat AALLL the way back and climb under so you can see up above the clutch pedal. Disconnect the actuator for the starter, I used a screwdriver to pop both sides of it, came clean off pretty easily. That plunger clicks onto the arm of the clutch pedal, I gave it a hard tap and it came clean off. The way it connects is a round hole at the top of the master cylinder plunger, and a black basket looking thing clicks on- it is a pain in the ass to get off. I had to snap it off, but that was no issue for me as I had a new one with the master cylinder assembly.

5 - The master cylinder itself fits through 2 holes, one round through the firewall, and a second square hole on a steel bracket, the cylinder itself has molded square plastic around it to hold itself in place. It should be as easy as a twist, then a pull through. Should come clean out, I pulled the whole assembly out the engine bay, in hindsight I'd try to let it fall onto the floor, that brake fluid eats paint pretty bad, would have killed me to spill any. Careful with the hose to the quick connect, make sure not to bend or kink it.

6 - The reason I bench bled the lines, was the master cylinder sits uphill, and is quite fond of getting air bubbles caught in the top of it (So I've been told). Anyway, tie the reservoir above everything else, use wood or something not sharp to push in the ball on the quick connect, make sure the master cylinder sits downhill. Bleed those lines, filling from the top until there are no bubbles. Make sure all of the air is out of the system, and the brake fluid coming out is clean. Once you're sure the air is all out, put the cap on the reservoir and get ready to reinstall it.

6 1/2 - For those replacing the master cylinder as I was, when it came from NAPA the plunger was separate- it took the full bodyweight of the two of us pushing it into the top of the master cylinder until it popped in, did not feel like the right way to do it at all, but it worked.

7 - Reinstallation should be as easy as reading these steps backward, make sure the line to the quick connect sits the way it was taken out, or at least sits in a comfortable position, should push right back in. The master cylinder is a fucking pain to get in- had one guy outside prying it in with a plank up against the wheel well, the other inside twisting it with a pair of channel locks.

8 - I didn't have to but I was told to then bleed with the bleeder screw underneath and pump the clutch, making sure the reservoir stays half full until the bubbles stop. I figured if I still had to do this, what was the point of bench bleeding the lines.

Videos I found very useful.

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