The clutch master cylinder, also known as the slave cylinder, provides the needed pressure in the hydraulic system to operate the clutch on your Toyota vehicle. Internal components in the cylinder wear out over time and begin to leak pressure, failing to properly operate the clutch. You can remove the master cylinder body at home and replace it with a new or rebuilt unit.
Removing the Clutch Master Cylinder
Before removing the clutch master cylinder, drain as much fluid as you can from the master cylinder reservoir into an appropriate container using a turkey baster. This will prevent some of the fluid from spilling and damaging the paint on your car.
Start removing the cylinder by disconnecting the brake fluid line form the cylinder using a line wrench to avoid damaging the line tube fitting.
Working from inside your car, disconnect the master cylinder push rod from the clutch pedal. Some 1983 to 1986 Toyota models have a pedal return spring; on some 1986 to 1991 models, similarly to later models, you may need to remove the lower instrument panel and disconnect the air duct from the panel to gain complete access to the clutch pedal. The pedal comes equipped with a clip, a clevis pin and a spring washer that you need to remove to detach the master cylinder pushrod.
Finally, working from the engine compartment, unfasten the two master cylinder mounting nuts or bolts, depending on your particular model, and remove the cylinder body from your vehicle.
Bleeding the Clutch Hydraulic System
When installing the new or rebuilt clutch master cylinder, you will need to bleed the cylinder to remove air from the system, says Robert Maddox in "Haynes Toyota Camry Automotive Repair Manual." To do this, attach a clear vinyl tube of the appropriate inside diameter to the bleeder plug or screw located on the master cylinder and submerge the other end of the tube into a glass container with brake fluid.
When ready, ask an assistant to slowly pump the clutch pedal several times and then completely depress and hold the pedal down. Then you can momentarily loosen and tighten the bleeding plug or screw. You will see a stream of brake fluid flowing through the clear vinyl tube.
Repeat this process until you see only brake fluid flowing through the tube without air bubbles. Refill the master cylinder reservoir with new brake fluid as needed and replace the lid on the reservoir.