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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For the last few months I have been working with the company Clutch Masters to come up with a solution to the known issues the RA60/61 6-speed manual transmissions found in our rigs and Tacomas (among other international models) have. It's been well covered that the OE throwout bearing, fork, pivot ball, and slave cylinder was not the best engineered setup for longevity. If you have a 6 speed in your rig you've most likely dealt with a squeaking throwout bearing or are waiting for it to inevitably start happening, because most likely it will as detailed in this thread - https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/engine-performance/42991-throwout-bearing-chirp-squeak.html

Having used Clutch Masters hydraulic slave cylinders in other applications I knew one could be adapted to work with these transmissions. I am happy to say that I have been driving around with the Clutch Masters hydraulic slave cylinder in my rig for about a week now and am more then satisfied with how well it is performing. With the on and off road, regular street driving and slow speed crawling situations we find ourselves driving these trucks in, the slave cylinder has performed flawlessly during all of them. The pedal feel is slightly softer then OEM and the clutch is able to be very easily controlled and modulated depending on the driving style I am having to adapt to. This kit also gets rid of the fluid control valve that is synonymous with causing what I would call a "rev hang" when you are accelerating and shifting fast. I felt the the fluid control valve also deadens the feel of the clutch and while it's supposed to make the car easier to drive and operate the clutch, I feel it just doesn't really do anything beneficial and if anything for me always just made the clutch more difficult to feel where it was truly disengaging in the throw of the pedal.

I think this is a great option for anybody out there with the 6 speed manual and it is available now. I am sure some of you have not heard of Clutch Masters but they have been in the clutch game since late 70s. They have been making these hydraulic slave cylinders for many other applications for several years now so the design is proven. The internal slave cylinder is what most OE manufacturers have started to go with. This setup has less moving parts and really no parts that can wear out besides the throwout bearing. Since the throwout bearing isn't being preloaded against the diaphragm of the clutch like it is from the factory, there should be no reason the throwout bearing won't last for a very long time. The only other part is a proprietary o-ring that seals the hydraulic fluid in and a dust shield. The slave cylinder is machined to precise tolerances out of billet aluminum that has been Type 3 hard anodized so they are built to last and take abuse. There are many very high horsepower street, drift and drag cars out there using these slave cylinders and no failures to date. The kit will come with everything you need to install it including

Here is the link to the listing on Clutch Masters website and some pics of the install in my rig!

N16078-H (Tacoma/FJ RA60) - Clutch Masters






Installed a new Clutch Masters FX100 clutch while I had the transmission out since mine showed signs of serious wear to the diaphragm face from where the throwout bearing was riding against it constantly. This kit can be used with OEM or any other aftermarket replacement clutch.


Little video showing how the slave cylinder works as seen through the inspection hole.

If there is a lot of interest for this kit, I am sure I could get with Clutch Masters and organize some sort of group buy. Would like to hear everyone's thoughts on this though!
 

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Any other mods required or is the balance of the OEM system good to go?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any other mods required or is the balance of the OEM system good to go?
No other mods required. It really is as straight forward as you see in the pictures. Remove your factory slave cylinder, clutch fork, pivot ball and the hardlines on the transmission. Although the line setup might change to retain the hardlines on the side of the transmission and just have a stainless line that goes to the fitting that connects to the fluid control valve and then just a stainless hard line that replaces the factory soft line going from the transmission to the body. Beyond that it's just taking a few measurements to make sure the throwout bearing has the correct clearance needed with the clutch and then bolting the new slave cylinder up, running the lines and bleeding the system. I did have to adjust the master cylinder pedal throw slightly inside to get it perfect but that's easy too. Once the bracket and spacer was all measured, modeled and machined it was a simple bolt on system.
 

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I was curious about the differences in design between the URD fix-U Hydro and the Clutch Master and found the video below discusses the air gap setting.

Some other differences:

fix-U Hydro
  • Not reversable (cut off your quill)
  • No air gap adjustment needed
  • Single hard line cable
  • Solution if quill has been destroyed
  • Not available
Clutch Master
  • Reversible
  • Need to measure and calculate air gap during install
  • Dual braided lines - more opportunity for leakage
  • Available
 

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For the last few months I have been working with the company Clutch Masters to come up with a solution to the known issues the RA60/61 6-speed manual transmissions found in our rigs and Tacomas (among other international models) have. It's been well covered that the OE throwout bearing, fork, pivot ball, and slave cylinder was not the best engineered setup for longevity.

If there is a lot of interest for this kit, I am sure I could get with Clutch Masters and organize some sort of group buy. Would like to hear everyone's thoughts on this though!
I would be interested because my transmission is starting to make the dreaded squeaking sound, but for now it only happens when it is cold (<32 deg F). Do you think it is an easy installation for any transmission shop? So far dealing with local shops in Boise, Idaho, I do not feel confident that they can complete work they are not familiar with.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I was curious about the differences in design between the URD fix-U Hydro and the Clutch Master and found the video below discusses the air gap setting.

Some other differences:

fix-U Hydro
  • Not reversable (cut off your quill)
  • No air gap adjustment needed
  • Single hard line cable
  • Solution if quill has been destroyed
  • Not available
Clutch Master
  • Reversible
  • Need to measure and calculate air gap during install
  • Dual braided lines - more opportunity for leakage
  • Available
Hyrdraulic Throwout Bearing Air Gap Setting - Mantic Clutch USA
Well I think with either the URD fix-u hydro kit or the Clutch Master kit, you're never going to go back to the OEM setup, but I do think cutting the quill off of the bell housing would be rather tricky without damaging the input shaft. I haven't really been able to find any thorough instructions on how the URD kit was setup, but they haven't offered it for quite some time now as far as I understand, sooo that basically only leaves the Clutch Master's option as the only available solution. I did also see people were having issues with properly bleeding the URD kit but again no idea how they setup the bleeder to work with that system so I can't say if they were performing the job correctly or if it was just a tricky setup.

If your "snout" or "quill" has been destroyed, well that really sucks, but from my research that is a very rare issue. It is by far nowhere near as common as the premature wearing and squeaking of the throwout bearing, which is the main goal the kit from Clutch Masters has set out to solve (as well as improve on the overall driving experience with the manual transmission). When I took my throwout bearing and clutch fork off I noticed that my snout had a slight mushroomed end to it from the throwout bearing wiggling around while it's spinning with the clutch. The Clutch Masters kit uses a spacer that is a very tight fit and at first it would not fit over the end of my snout, but I was able to tap it on there. If the snout is damaged and if you have at least I'd say 2" of good material left then the Clutch Masters kit could probably still be used because the main thing that is centering the slave cylinder around the snout is that spacer that slides all the way to the inner face of the bell housing and registers nice and tight on there. Then the actually slave cylinder is just held in place by the bracket. Pic below stolen from Clutch Masters website, but you can see the spacer and how that fits inside the slave cylinder.



Unlike the PDM press on snout and new throwout bearing update which I have seen people have issues with still breaking off their snout, I feel this could never happen with the Clutch Masters kit due to the physics at play. Unlike the clutch fork that is pushing the throwout bearing at what I can only say is an awkward angle, the Clutch Masters slave cylinder is pushing forward only.

Measuring and calculating the air gap is 3 very easy measurements. that any one with a caliper and a straight edge can obtain. Also by setting up the throwout bearing with an air gap you will never run into the issue that is causing these bearings to prematurely wear in the first place. Of course as I mentioned that is the bearing having preload applied to it and being constantly pressed up against the clutch diaphragm which is also how the URD kit would work. The pedal feel would most likely be improved with the URD internal hydraulic slave cylinder but you'd still have issues with the throwout bearing down the road.

Here are the instructions to installing any of the internal slave cylinders and getting the air gap correct: HYDRO BEARING INSTALL - Clutch Masters

As far as the stainless braided lines leaking, I see that as a mute point and something that would never be an issue. Because Clutch Master's makes a ton of these internal hydraulic slave cylinders, I know that they have a DOT certified hose manufacturing setup, they aren't just throwing these stainless lines together and sending them out the door. Each line and slave cylinder is bench tested to ensure there are zero leaks when the end user gets them. If you were to have a leak it would be because of improper installation and that would probably be as simple as the line not being tightened down.

Hopefully that clears up any thoughts/questions you might have had but I definitely appreciated the pros and cons list you came up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would be interested because my transmission is starting to make the dreaded squeaking sound, but for now it only happens when it is cold (<32 deg F). Do you think it is an easy installation for any transmission shop? So far dealing with local shops in Boise, Idaho, I do not feel confident that they can complete work they are not familiar with.
Hey Zed, if you have a shop that is not able to properly install the internal hydraulic slave cylinder, then I feel like they should be considering another line of work. The install is absolutely straight forward and makes perfect sense. The only thing that takes a small bit of thought and some simple math is setting the air gap. Setting the air gap can all be accomplished with the transmission out of the rig the first time, you don't have to keep putting the transmission in and out to make sure your measurements are correct. In the post above I linked to the air gap instructions Clutch Master's provides on their website for all of their hydraulic slave cylinders, as setting them up is the exact same for every single application. I would understand the shop being a little bit wary of installing something like this without any instructions but that isn't the case and the instructions are crystal clear.
 

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Hey Zed, if you have a shop that is not able to properly install the internal hydraulic slave cylinder, then I feel like they should be considering another line of work. The install is absolutely straight forward and makes perfect sense. The only thing that takes a small bit of thought and some simple math is setting the air gap. Setting the air gap can all be accomplished with the transmission out of the rig the first time, you don't have to keep putting the transmission in and out to make sure your measurements are correct. In the post above I linked to the air gap instructions Clutch Master's provides on their website for all of their hydraulic slave cylinders, as setting them up is the exact same for every single application. I would understand the shop being a little bit wary of installing something like this without any instructions but that isn't the case and the instructions are crystal clear.
Thanks for the link :cheers:. I will probably be looking at getting this done next year.
 

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I would be interested because my transmission is starting to make the dreaded squeaking sound, but for now it only happens when it is cold (<32 deg F). Do you think it is an easy installation for any transmission shop? So far dealing with local shops in Boise, Idaho, I do not feel confident that they can complete work they are not familiar with.
I am interested as well as I needed a new clutch at about 60K miles. I need to get a better feeling for the specific benefits of this mod. I also have a problem with getting a shop that is both willing and able to do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am interested as well as I needed a new clutch at about 60K miles. I need to get a better feeling for the specific benefits of this mod. I also have a problem with getting a shop that is both willing and able to do the job.
I tried my best to cover all the benefits this kit will give you, but in short you delete the ill-thought out factory clutch fork, pivot ball, slave cylinder, and throwout bearing setup. By deleting the factory components you greatly reduce the possibility of the throwout bearing wearing out prematurely. Of course it's a bearing, they can't guarantee it will last forever, but since the bearing is not actually preloaded against the face of the clutch and constantly spinning in theory will last significantly longer. You also eliminate the chance of the pivot ball wearing down which will effect the operation of the clutch and also the aluminum snout wearing out and or completely shearing off.

Beyond the benefits of the original system and it's shortcomings of premature wear and possible catastrophic failure, the internal hydraulic slave cylinder allows for increased pedal feel and smoother operation. Because of their precise clutch control, internal slave cylinders are commonly found in sports car applications like the Camaro, Mustang, Nissan 350/370Z, Ford Focus RS to name a few. Coming from a background building and modifying high performance cars, installing something that enhances my experience actually driving the FJ and feeling more connected with the experience is a bug plus in my book.

If you find an off road or aftermarket performance shop, they should definitely be able to do the job. Really any shop that is capable of dropping the transmission, should be able install this kit (unless it's the Toyota dealership but of course they won't install anything aftermarket).

I opted to replace my clutch while I had the transmission out because when I pulled the trans I found that the TOB had worn pretty deep gouges into every finger of the clutch diaphragm. I don't think severe damage would have happened anytime soon but that's certainly not awesome to see knowing that the previous owner replaced the clutch in my rig 18k miles ago.

 

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I tried my best to cover all the benefits this kit will give you, but in short you delete the ill-thought out factory clutch fork, pivot ball, slave cylinder, and throwout bearing setup. By deleting the factory components you greatly reduce the possibility of the throwout bearing wearing out prematurely. Of course it's a bearing, they can't guarantee it will last forever, but since the bearing is not actually preloaded against the face of the clutch and constantly spinning in theory will last significantly longer. You also eliminate the chance of the pivot ball wearing down which will effect the operation of the clutch and also the aluminum snout wearing out and or completely shearing off.

Beyond the benefits of the original system and it's shortcomings of premature wear and possible catastrophic failure, the internal hydraulic slave cylinder allows for increased pedal feel and smoother operation. Because of their precise clutch control, internal slave cylinders are commonly found in sports car applications like the Camaro, Mustang, Nissan 350/370Z, Ford Focus RS to name a few. Coming from a background building and modifying high performance cars, installing something that enhances my experience actually driving the FJ and feeling more connected with the experience is a bug plus in my book.

If you find an off road or aftermarket performance shop, they should definitely be able to do the job. Really any shop that is capable of dropping the transmission, should be able install this kit (unless it's the Toyota dealership but of course they won't install anything aftermarket).

I opted to replace my clutch while I had the transmission out because when I pulled the trans I found that the TOB had worn pretty deep gouges into every finger of the clutch diaphragm. I don't think severe damage would have happened anytime soon but that's certainly not awesome to see knowing that the previous owner replaced the clutch in my rig 18k miles ago.

Thanks for reiterating this for me. I'm a little dense about the workings of the the clutch/transfer case/transmission. Of course the tranny went out soon after the clutch did so it behooves me to know more.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for reiterating this for me. I'm a little dense about the workings of the the clutch/transfer case/transmission. Of course the tranny went out soon after the clutch did so it behooves me to know more.
Of course! I just really want other FJ owners with manual transmission to experience this upgrade. To be honest after doing research into issues with the OE clutch fork, throwout bearing, and pivot ball and their potential weak points and what seems like a high possibility of failure, I am a little bit more at ease with this setup. Now I know it's an aftermarket part so it hasn't gone through the type of testing the OE setup has, but I do know that these Clutch Masters hydraulic slave cylinders are used in some serious applications and from what they have told me they have never had a critical failure of any of the parts that make up the cylinder. These are found in some of the top tier drag cars, drift cars, and circuit cars that put these internal slave cylinders through some serious beating. So if it can last for hundreds of passes in a 7 second drag car, or several thousand clutch kicks in a professional drift car, then I think it'll be more than fine in the FJ! I also know that the feeling of my clutch system has been vastly improved over the factory setup so that's a plus for my in itself.
 

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Of course! I just really want other FJ owners with manual transmission to experience this upgrade. To be honest after doing research into issues with the OE clutch fork, throwout bearing, and pivot ball and their potential weak points and what seems like a high possibility of failure, I am a little bit more at ease with this setup. Now I know it's an aftermarket part so it hasn't gone through the type of testing the OE setup has, but I do know that these Clutch Masters hydraulic slave cylinders are used in some serious applications and from what they have told me they have never had a critical failure of any of the parts that make up the cylinder. These are found in some of the top tier drag cars, drift cars, and circuit cars that put these internal slave cylinders through some serious beating. So if it can last for hundreds of passes in a 7 second drag car, or several thousand clutch kicks in a professional drift car, then I think it'll be more than fine in the FJ! I also know that the feeling of my clutch system has been vastly improved over the factory setup so that's a plus for my in itself.
The concentric hydraulic actuator appears to be a much better design than the original pivot-fork setup, and is being used in more OEM applications every year. However, I have a few questions about this specific Clutch Masters setup::

1. You stated: "I did have to adjust the master cylinder pedal throw slightly inside to get it perfect but that's easy too. Once the bracket and spacer was all measured, modeled and machined it was a simple bolt on system."

So you had to design and fab a new bracket for the clutch pedal? This sounds like it's beyond the scope of a typical transmission shop, who basically remove and replace parts, and don't design and fab structural components.

2. Please explain why there are TWO hydraulic lines to the Clutch Masters hydraulic actuator. The original Toyota system uses a single line from the master cylinder to the accumulator, and another single line from the accumulator to the slave cylinder. What are the two lines on the Clutch Master actuator connected to?

3. Is the original accumulator used with the Clutch Master actuator?

(You mentioned that setting the air gap requires a straightedge and a micrometer, I think you meant a straight edge and a caliper. Different measuring tools with different functions.)

EDIT: OK, finally found the reason for the TWO hydraulic lines. One is the "working" line to the accumulator/master cylinder, the second is simply a bleed line, since there is no way to access any bleeder fitting on the hydraulic actuator itself once its installed.
 

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From a technician's standpoint, I can tell you that internal slave cylinders are more prone to failure than any external setup, including the fork, the pivot ball, and hydraulics, period. Heat build up within the bell housing itself can prematurely wear out cylinder hydraulics. There's no way to cool this, other than the fluid itself, requiring more fluid flushes than an external system. It's also a major repair when the unit fails. You won't be swapping this out trail side on Engineer Pass.

The original external slave hydraulic design can be traced back to the early '70s, and with regular service, can last hundreds of thousands of miles. It aint broke, why fix it? Also, how often are people actually flushing their clutch hydraulics? From my point of view, it can be a hard sell to customers who seem to think green or black DOT3 is fine.

When such things start to fail, they tend to give the driver plenty of notice via discolored fluid, noise, clutch modulation problems, or weak hydraulics. If you know you have a problem, get it repaired before it's a problem, such as the TSB on repairing the input sleeve and/or clutch release bearing problem.

A few other practical points:

1) If I break down in another country or the middle of nowhere, I can probably get a replacement from a local auto parts store, as they also fit other platforms. This means supply and demand are good or ample.

2) Aftermarket systems do not go through millions of dollars of research and development prior to manufacture. Although it stinks, small businesses simply can't afford to do this like the OEMs. They also have to keep it relatively affordable in order to have profit, generally this means manufacturing with sub quality materials.

3) Use hard lines whenever possible. Eventually, the flexible lines will start to swell. It doesn't matter what they are made of, it will happen. There's a reason that OEs keep rubber brake and clutch hoses as short as possible.

4) Use of master cylinder with adequate hydraulic capability. Fluid volume of systems are designed around how much it will take to actually move the working component(slave cylinder). This means that the system was either created to use the amount of fluid that the master cylinder can provide or it was disregarded. Often times people upgrade their brake systems via larger calipers without regard to how much volume a brake master cylinder can actually provide to those larger pistons. For example, a good system will have both hydraulics engineered together and sell both together such as systems engineered and built by Wilwood for braking systems that include the master cylinder, proportioning valve, and calipers.

Aftermarket parts definitely have their place in the world and cannot be avoided to accomplish certain goals. I would like to see some long term data on this system before attempting to install in a personal vehicle. I know somebody has to be the Guinea pig. Many of us FJers drive them daily and even rely on them in very remote regions, sometimes across international borders.
 

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Cabin,
You make all valid points, but I think the main benefit of it is for someone with a recurring TOB noise issue / excessive wear of their housing, both of which have proven to be major weak points of the MT used in FJs. If this system is able to solve them, without requiring that person to have to buy a new transmission, for instance, then your concerns might fade in significance against that.


Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The concentric hydraulic actuator appears to be a much better design than the original pivot-fork setup, and is being used in more OEM applications every year. However, I have a few questions about this specific Clutch Masters setup::

1. You stated: "I did have to adjust the master cylinder pedal throw slightly inside to get it perfect but that's easy too. Once the bracket and spacer was all measured, modeled and machined it was a simple bolt on system."

So you had to design and fab a new bracket for the clutch pedal? This sounds like it's beyond the scope of a typical transmission shop, who basically remove and replace parts, and don't design and fab structural components.

2. Please explain why there are TWO hydraulic lines to the Clutch Masters hydraulic actuator. The original Toyota system uses a single line from the master cylinder to the accumulator, and another single line from the accumulator to the slave cylinder. What are the two lines on the Clutch Master actuator connected to?

3. Is the original accumulator used with the Clutch Master actuator?

(You mentioned that setting the air gap requires a straightedge and a micrometer, I think you meant a straight edge and a caliper. Different measuring tools with different functions.)

EDIT: OK, finally found the reason for the TWO hydraulic lines. One is the "working" line to the accumulator/master cylinder, the second is simply a bleed line, since there is no way to access any bleeder fitting on the hydraulic actuator itself once its installed.
1. For the master cylinder pedal adjustment, this was done inside the rig. Here is a picture just to clarify what I am talking about adjusting. This is pretty typical to need to adjust the rod depending on where the clutch is engaging and disengaging. Since it only takes a tiny bit of movement to engage and disengage the clutch I had to adjust the pedal so it wasn't disengaging right off the floor but more towards the middle of the clutch pedal stroke. Ha I can see how that was slightly confusing now the way I worded it that I had to fabricate a bracket of sorts but I was talking about the bracket that the cylinder is attached to inside the bellhousing. Sorry that was slightly confusing! There is NO fabrication needed by the end user to get this get to work.

You can see in this picture the rod that goes into the master cylinder and attaches to the clutch pedal. The smaller nut can be loosened and the rod can be threaded in or out to adjust where the clutch will engage or disengage.


2. Yes you are correct on the two lines. One is the working line, the other is solely used to bleed the system.

3. I suppose you could use the factory clutch fluid accumulator, but to be honest I see no need for the accumulator in the first place. My understanding is that it is a component that has gotten popular with manual transmission cars as of lately to help people who are either new to driving manuals and I suppose allows for some forgiveness when it comes to "popping" the clutch on accident if that happens. For anyone with even a hint of experience driving a manual car, the accumulator is not necessary IMO and in fact takes away from the experience of the feeling of driving a manual. In fact, chatting with Clutch Masters and the development of these slave cylinders, the port feeding fluid to the cylinder has been designed and sized to best control the rate of fluid leaving the cylinder when you let off the clutch.

You are correct, I did my calipers. I've edited the original post to reflect that so there is no confusion, thank you for pointing that out!

From a technician's standpoint, I can tell you that internal slave cylinders are more prone to failure than any external setup, including the fork, the pivot ball, and hydraulics, period. Heat build up within the bell housing itself can prematurely wear out cylinder hydraulics. There's no way to cool this, other than the fluid itself, requiring more fluid flushes than an external system. It's also a major repair when the unit fails. You won't be swapping this out trail side on Engineer Pass.

The original external slave hydraulic design can be traced back to the early '70s, and with regular service, can last hundreds of thousands of miles. It aint broke, why fix it? Also, how often are people actually flushing their clutch hydraulics? From my point of view, it can be a hard sell to customers who seem to think green or black DOT3 is fine.

When such things start to fail, they tend to give the driver plenty of notice via discolored fluid, noise, clutch modulation problems, or weak hydraulics. If you know you have a problem, get it repaired before it's a problem, such as the TSB on repairing the input sleeve and/or clutch release bearing problem.

A few other practical points:

1) If I break down in another country or the middle of nowhere, I can probably get a replacement from a local auto parts store, as they also fit other platforms. This means supply and demand are good or ample.

2) Aftermarket systems do not go through millions of dollars of research and development prior to manufacture. Although it stinks, small businesses simply can't afford to do this like the OEMs. They also have to keep it relatively affordable in order to have profit, generally this means manufacturing with sub quality materials.

3) Use hard lines whenever possible. Eventually, the flexible lines will start to swell. It doesn't matter what they are made of, it will happen. There's a reason that OEs keep rubber brake and clutch hoses as short as possible.

4) Use of master cylinder with adequate hydraulic capability. Fluid volume of systems are designed around how much it will take to actually move the working component(slave cylinder). This means that the system was either created to use the amount of fluid that the master cylinder can provide or it was disregarded. Often times people upgrade their brake systems via larger calipers without regard to how much volume a brake master cylinder can actually provide to those larger pistons. For example, a good system will have both hydraulics engineered together and sell both together such as systems engineered and built by Wilwood for braking systems that include the master cylinder, proportioning valve, and calipers.

Aftermarket parts definitely have their place in the world and cannot be avoided to accomplish certain goals. I would like to see some long term data on this system before attempting to install in a personal vehicle. I know somebody has to be the Guinea pig. Many of us FJers drive them daily and even rely on them in very remote regions, sometimes across international borders.
All valid points CabinCruiser, thanks for chiming in. I'll 100% agree with you that most OE internal slave cylinders have a lot to be desired when it comes to reliability. The thing I have noticed and what Clutch Masters has stepped up and offered as an upgraded aftermarket part, is that most OE internal slaves have parts that are made of plastic. The entire slave cylinder found in the Nissan 350/370Z is made of plastic (minus the rubber boot, some of the internals, and the throwout bearing of course). But what I've seen fail time and time again and what Clutch Master's reiterated to me of failures they see is the plastic components of the slave cylinders. We all know OE's will cut corners to save money where they can, and for some reason they thought it would be ok to make the entire mounting point and area where the hydraulic hose connects out of plastic.... Not sure if you are a tech at a dealership or just work on all makes and models, but maybe you've seen other failures? In my eyes the design is broken and outdated. Yes it can last for hundreds of thousands of miles but in my research that hasn't proven to be the case with the RA60/61 throwout bearings and pivot balls.

Fully understand that Clutch Masters is not an OE manufacturer with billions of dollars to develop their parts. I HIGHLY doubt OE manufacturers spend all that much money developing hydraulic clutch systems either, otherwise I feel Toyota would have made Aisin put a steel replaceable sleeve on the RA60/61 transmissions and not opted for an aluminum snout that was cast with the bellhousing. Like you said the external slave cylinder setup has been around for decades so engineers know they work, probably do some modeling in a CAD program to verify it will work with the transmission and clutch, and do some real world testing and call it a day. Oh yeah then the accountants chime in and tell them they have to be able to manufacture the whole system for $xxx total lol. Since you are a technician I am sure you know the accountants usually have the last word when it comes to OE's developing parts and many parts you are replacing probably reflect that.

Clutch Master's isn't a new kid on the block, they have been in the clutch business since the late 70s so I feel they do know a thing or two about the weaknesses found in lots of OE clutch setups and possibly how to improve on them when there isn't those accountants making the OE engineers cut corners. If you look at Clutch Masters' website, they offer these internal slave cylinders for several makes and models. This isn't just something they made for the FJ/Tacoma. They've taken a proven part they have made for several years now and adapted it to work with our rigs. These parts are made of billet 6061 aluminum that are then Type 3 hard anodized for the ultimate durability. They are all made right here in the US and not outsourced to China where the quality control would most likely suffer. There are two core pieces to the slave cylinders, a housing and a piston (both 6061 billet and hard anodized). Inside the housing there is a proprietary developed o-ring that the piston sits on top of and a dust shield to prevent any contamination from entering the housing. The fluid pushes on the bottom of the o-ring and thus pushes the piston forward into the clutch. The reason there is a gap that needs to be established is to make sure that the factory hydraulic system will work properly with the piston. As someone who has setup many aftermarket big brake kits I am right there with you in acknowledging that the master cylinder needs to be sized appropriately for it to all work as it should. I can assure you, this kit works as it should with the OE hydraulics.

If you are finding yourself using your FJ to travel to foreign countries, then that's awesome. If you really wanted to be prepared all you should need for this kit should something go wrong is a replacement throwout bearing, dust shield and the o-ring. Yes it would not be ideal to have to drop the transmission on the trail or in a foreign country but at that point we're splitting hairs of parts failing I feel. What if your rear end blows out which seems to be semi-common issue on the pre-2010 FJs? You're just shooting in the dark when you start talking about parts failing and when and where you might have to repair or replace them. Thankfully I don't see this slave cylinder having any sort of catastrophic failure that would leave me stranded. I'll fully admit that it is a mechanical system designed and manufactured by humans so the possibility for failure is there. For me though I feel the pros of this system outweigh the cons and if anything I feel more confident that my hydraulic clutch system is working better, and has less chance of failure than the OE system. I'll keep posting to this thread with updates as I get more mileage on my setup but right now I'm at 300 miles since install and the FJ is my daily driver. I realize that's nothing in the scheme of mileage and truly knowing the limitations of a component but everything has been working perfectly thus far and I have no hesitations that it will continue to work.

I agree that the use of hard lines for longevity and reliability is ideal and I've mentioned to Clutch Masters that it might be a better option to retain the hard lines on the side of the transmission and just remove the fluid accumulator and run the stainless braided line to the fitting that normally threads into the accumulator. Thankfully that can be an easy update to the kit.

Again great points CabinCruiser and I appreciate you taking the time to put them all out there!
 
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