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Can’t bleed 280z clutch. Send help

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Hello everyone. I’m at a loss with my clutch system at the moment. At this point I believe I have air in the lines but I’m either too dumb to correctly bleed it or there’s some other issue. Here’s the timeline. 

I parked the car (that drove fine for the most part) in 2015 when I went away to school. 

Fall of 2019 I got back to the car and started to get it going again. At this time I changed the thermostat, tore out interior that was falling apart, and did a temporary home paint job to stop some surface rust that had formed while the car sat. During this time I could move it around under its own power and had no issues with clutch. Wasn’t registered so wasn’t driving it much or very far. 

Car sat again from around Feb of 2020 until two weeks ago when I went to get it smogged. This is when the issue began. There was no resistance to the clutch at all. Straight to the floor. I replaced the clutch master and slave cylinders. Tried gravity bleeding, vacuum bleeding, and reverse pressure bleeding and have made 0 progress. The rod coming out of the slave cylinder hardly moves if it moves at all. 

When I last pressure bled it I made sure there was no air going into the bleeder screw and bled until no more air was coming up through the master cylinder and then some. Still nothing.


I don’t know what to do from here. About to take it to a shop but would rather spend the money on other things the car needs. Anyone else have a hard time with this? 


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I found that gravity bleeding works fine on the brakes but didn't work too well on the very small clutch line.


I put in a new master and slave clutch recently on my 280Z and bled it with vacuum. I wrapped a very small amount of plummer's tape on the nipple of the slave cylinder, screwed it in a little without tightening it all the way in, and then started to gently apply vacuum. It bled great.

I also feel the engagement is a little low on the pedal. Maybe I should have bench bled the clutch master? Not sure if that is needed on the clutch. I always have to bench bleed the brake master. If I do have air still, it is probably a tiny bit trapped in the clutch master.

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There should be 1 to 5mm of clearance or slack between the clevis pin and the push rod attached to the clutch pedal. The replacement master is almost certain to be different from the original one. If no clearance the piston onside the master is likely not returning to it's rest position and is blocking the port to the reservoir.  If it's blocked you won't be able to use a vacuum pump and it certainly won't gravity bleed.


I would put the old master back in and bleed normally. Parts are cheap and poor quality. The last slave I got was $9. What sort of quality will it be??? The seal inside wasn't rubber but soft like a contact lens. Shake my head.

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I did notice with the new master cylinder that the pedal wasn’t returning all the way. I put the old master back on but don’t think I tried vacuum or gravity bleeding it after that. I will try and bleed it normally this weekend with the old master. 

Anywhere reliable you would recommend getting parts from? The slave I got was $12 or so so I don’t imagine it’s great quality. 

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The last slave before this was a rebuild kit from the dealer... it was $10 and worked perfectly. Even gravity bled itself.


Try the Nissan dealer, you never know.


New slave is $60 master almost $80. Slave rebuild kit $6 master $20. Dealer gets the mark up so cut in half for a reasonably good quality after market one

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