INCLUDE_DATA Blog for the Alken D2 and Sonett 3

Day 6 – Thursday February 19

Posted in Sonett III by Administrator on the February 20th, 2009

Karen and I drove up to Northfield to register the Sonett and transfer the title. We got hit for about $300 in tax. I asked if Obama’s stimulus package included tax relief for transfering old cars and the teller just laughed. I took that as a NO.

When we went to get license plates (something that is really needed for a car that doesn’t move yet) we decided on a vanity plate that would represent the car well. We chose “WAWAZAT” as we’re sure this will be the common response from other motorists.

Well, somebody had to do it. Even with my 6 ft, 210 lb frame, I decided to tackle taking out the clutch master cylinder. On-line it sounded like it wasn’t for the timid. First, I started with two cups of coffee. It is only about 20 degrees outside right now. Our garage is not heated.

I was going to lift all of the carpet out but I was able to get is off over the clutch pedal enough to remove the clevis pin. The plunger for the master cylinder stays in the unit (not like Karamann Ghias where it just pulls out). I was also able to take off the the top nut which holds the master cylinder on. I didn’t even have to put a stubby wrench on the other side to hold it. Note: “Something easy is always followed by something hard”.

I went on the other side of the firewall to locate the unit and wrench it free from 35 years of hiding. Since I couldn’t get the cap off, or get the hose off the cap, I took the reservoir off. This left the hose attached to the master but that was OK.

Next, I took the line of the slave cylinder. I use a line wrench which is like a boxed wrench with a slot on the end. The slot lets the line pass through it and you get most of the leverage of a boxed wrench (don’t want to round anything off). But first (like in MASH when they were going to cut the wires to a bomb) put some penetrating oil on the hard lines. This will allow the nuts to slip on the pipe without twisting it off. I could not get the line on the master free so I left it on. The other day we removed the hard line to the left front brake so it gave us 2 mm more of freedom (well, a little more than that but you get the picture).

What remains? It sure looked like the brake master cylinder and/or brake light switch would prevent the clutch master cylinder from coming out. All I did was remove the signal wires. The lower mounting bolt is acutally a stud which stays on the body. I used my 3/8 ratchet with two short extensions and a 13 mm socket. The long extension was too long. After about 10 minutes I had it off but I couldn’t get the lock washer off. If you don’t get it off it will hold the master cylinder on when it falls into one of the bolt threads. This was the hardest part, I guess if I had a magnet on a coathanger with 42 precision bends it might have been easier. Finally, my two hour wresting match was over.

With the clutch master out, I put my cleaning gloves on. Now I could remove the slave cylinder line. I never freed the nut. It was seized on and I didn’t want to twist it off so I rotated the whole pipe around, the pipe was pointing at 10:00 when viewed from the side. The filler hose clamp came off even though the clamp was rusty. Now for the cap…… Not wanting to damage the finish I tried all kinds of stuff. Finally, I used a small screw driver to dig out the red seal. Then, I put the unit in a vice, wrapped it and used some large channel locks to open it. Nasty, some black remnants of brake fluid went everywhere. The good part was there wasn’t any corrosion inside the cup. The cap is a solid piece of machined aluminum, not your typical thin cap.

For the next 4 hours I opened up the unit and cleaned it. I had to use some compressed air to force out the piston after I removed the white corrosion from the opening. The circlip ring channel was great and the bore looked nice so I ordered two rebuild kits (one was a spare….) from the PartsGeek. These parts should be in on Friday based upon their last next day service.

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