How to Bleed the Clutch on a 1988 Dodge Dakota

The 1988 Dodge Dakota is equipped with a manual transmission and a hydraulically operated clutch. The clutch system uses a master cylinder connected to the clutch pedal to compress the hydraulic fluid. The hydraulic fluid is used to activate the slave cylinder to compress the clutch pressure plate. This engages and disengages the clutch from the transmission for changing gears with the manual transmission. When air enters the hydraulic system, the clutch will not work, and you will need to bleed the clutch to return it to normal operation.

Tools Used: Wheel chocks, Brake fluid, Clear plastic tubing, Empty bottle, 3/8" line wrench, Assistant

Bleed Clutch

Place wheel chocks in front and behind the rear wheels to secure the Dakota from moving.

Locate the clutch slave cylinder on the driver's side of the transmission, near the bell housing.

Slide one end of a two-foot section of clear plastic tubing over the bleeder valve on the clutch slave cylinder. Insert the other end of the clear tubing into an empty bottle to capture the fluid pumped out of the system.

Remove the cap from the reservoir on the clutch master cylinder and top off the reservoir with new brake fluid.

Instruct your assistant in the Dakota to push the clutch pedal to the floor and hold it in the depressed position. Use the 3/8-inch line wrench to loosen the bleeder valve on the slave cylinder, allowing brake fluid to exit through the clear tubing into the bottle. Tighten the bleeder valve when the flow of fluid tapers off.

Instruct your assistant in the truck to release the clutch pedal. Inspect the clutch fluid reservoir level and add fluid until it reaches the maximum mark on the reservoir. Repeat Step 5 until the fluid flowing through the clear tubing does not contain air bubbles.

Tighten the bleeder valve on the slave cylinder with the line wrench. Remove the tubing from the slave cylinder and retrieve the tubing and bottle from under the Dakota. Dispose of the used hydraulic fluid in the bottle at a proper disposal facility.

Add brake fluid to the clutch master cylinder reservoir, if the fluid level is below the maximum mark. Replace and tighten the reservoir cap on the clutch master cylinder.

Remove the wheel chocks from around the rear wheels.

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