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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read a few informative threads on similar issues so am now expecting to have to pull the gearbox/transfer box from the engine to renew the slave cylinder and complete clutch/dual mass flywheel.

Problem manifested itself by sudden drop to floor of clutch pedal and it needing a few pumps and pre-engaging gear prior to restarting car to get some clutch pressure at the pedal and get back to a rental holiday home prior to using Green Flag for onward delivery of car to home. No nasty noises from the clutch and no indication of clutch wear or other issues prior to pedal disappearing into the footwell.

However, as the brakes and clutch share the same fluid reservoir I maybe should mention that I did renew the two front brake calipers and flush through to renew the brake fluid, although I didn't do the clutch line at the time.

Last night I stripped out the battery and battery box etc to access the clutch bleed nipple thingy on top of the bellhousing. Used a power bleeder on the brake master cylinder and pushed out a quantity of black brake fluid. Pumped up the pedal until it returned to its normal position, and took it for a drive. All ok I thought.

This morning on trying the pedal it was back to misbehaving and sitting much lower than it should have been. Back to square one.

Before I go to the lengths of dismantling the gearbox/driveshafts and any suspension that is required for access to this poorly situated slave cylinder within the bellhousing, I'd appreciate some advice on sensible checks. From what I can see of the master cylinder, it appears to be dry and leak free, but I'd still like to check it in case this is the unlikely culprit.

So some questions to those in the know please:

1. Would clamping the flexi-hose under the battery box (to isolate the slave cylinder) and pressing on the pedal indicate a good master cylinder if the pedal remains firm, there's no leaks and the pedal doesn't drop?
2. Where's the best disconnect for the clutch hose at the bell housing and are there any schematics available to show how things work in that area?
3. Which source and which make of parts out with of VW parts would people recommend?
4. I've never done a dual mass replacement clutch and have no wish to have to have to repeat the job over missing out on a part that I should've replaced while
in there. Can anyone whose done this before list the components I will need to buy?
5. Any and all tips on this job gratefully received!
 

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Your problems sound very similar to what I experienced on my Tiguan 2.0Tdi 4M last year. Happened while towing caravan.
I had clutch start to bit very low then go to the floor the following day. Bled clutch and it all seemed to be OK for a few months but then happened again, thi time while towing the boat. Again bled clutch and all OK for a few months untill wife borrowed car, clutch packed in completely.
Had to remove gearbox to replace slave cylinder, cost abut £40 (used LUK they make the original equipment for many makes). I didn't change the clutch or flywheel, no problems showing and 70,000miles.
Removing gearbox is a big job, remove undertray, nearside wheel arch liner, both drive shafts, subframe, lower whisbones, battery & box, air box.
Video I watched said seperate the 4-motion box from the main box, on my car this was not possible the cat was in the way of one of the bolts, wasted several hours trying this.
I had to remove both gearboxes as a single unit. They are heavy, I fabricated an engine support bar to hold the engine and blocks of wood on car ramps under neath to be sure ti stayed put.
Neighbour lent me an engine hoist to lift the gearbox in/out, doubt I could have done it without.
New slave cylinder had specifc instructions on priming the slave with fluid, including to use only a vacuum bleeder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Ian, thanks for the reply. I’m just wondering whether to try to bleed it again in the hope that it may delay the inevitable. Bit busy at the moment and need two cars as the two of us work.
I’ve just watched a Russian on YouTube doing the job and separating the transfer box from the gearbox which I’d prefer not to do. Glad to see it’s possible to take it out as one. Did you actually ‘lift the transmission(s) out through the bonnet or lower them to the ground from the underside which I assumed was the way to do it?
My car has done 75,000 miles too, but gave no hint of an issue prior to the pedal dropping.
Looks like a nightmare of a job and it’s a shame that the best video of the entire process has explanations in a foreign language.
I’m still grasping at the hope it may be the master rather than the slave cylinder, but having seen the colour of the fluid that I bled out last night suspect it’s the slave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
An update:

I was dreading the job of removing the transmission and transfer box with associated suspension etc, so thought I’d try and bleed the clutch line once again.
I had previously used a pressure bleeder and taken out about 150 ml of black fluid and the pedal stayed up for a day and after it reverted to sticking down could be re-energised by pumping.
However, it was obvious that with the bleed nipple upstream of the slave cylinder that there was no way that using a pressure bleeding system would or could remove all the rubbish held downstream in the slave cylinder. All that needed removed was the air cleaner assembly to access the bleed nipple, so just one large clip, an electrical connection, a small pipe and an Allen type screw.
I then used a vacuum bleeder which is what I should’ve used in the first place, and got out another similar amount of black rubbish.
the pedal has now remained up for two weeks.
I did the wife’s newer car with the same success.
Maybe worthwhile mentioning this in the technical section?
 

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Yes if it’s never been fine it’s highly suggest you flush it a few times to totally clean the system. Should be flushed every 2 years or 15-20k miles. Same with brakes.
 

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Aa you have noticed the bleed nipple is not at the lowest point of the clutch system, so its difficult to get all the old fluid out.
I bled my clutch severl times after thr firs titme the pedal went to the floor. Each time it seemed to be successful only for it to recoccur several months later. The final time filure was worse and fluid leaked out of the slave cylinder.
I hope bleeding does work for you, gearbox out to replace the slave is a big job.
AS Iggy suggests above, rebleeding seveal times to get all the dirt and water out is a good idea.
The black seems to come form the housing of the slave cylinder (black plastic), water gets absorbed into the fluid over time, I took my old slave apart and there was rust & wtaer inside.
 

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I recently had the same kind of problem when the clutch pedal went to the floor and of course no gears, the AA came and bled the system but no joy, local mechanic took the car and found the clutch plate spring retainer had snapped and destroyed the slave cylinder inside the gear box, so a new slave cylinder, clutch, gear box oil and brake fluid, £1,128 pounds later, the car is a 2012 Tiguan TDI with 70,000 miles and I had no indication prior to the sudden failure, I have included a photo of the Clutch .
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