The Cheap Route: Switching from a Hydraulic T/O bearing, to a External Slave Cylinder. For Olds.

jetsetw31

jetsetw31

G-Body Guru
Sep 9, 2010
677
28
Petersburg, VA
Hello all. I run a Olds motor with a T-5 trans in a 88 Cutlass Supreme. My clutch system uses a stock 88 F-body clutch master cylinder and a Howe Racing hydraulic Throw-Out bearing. I did this set up in 2013. I have pictures of the install in my photo albums and in my post "Hydraulic clutch set up T-5 swap. Wish me luck".
As far as operation, the Howe TOB was great. The car is a daily driver and the only issues I had with it was a bearing change after I drove through a flood and the bearing seized in early 2016 and again in late 2017. Also i had to change O rings 3 times through the years. The first in 2015.
The rebuilding process was pretty easy and parts were reasonable. The problem was pulling the transmission out every time to fix the unit.
Out of the 5 times I fixed the TOB, only during 2 of them did I change the clutch. (The clutch was changed 3 times since 2013)
The last O-ring change was in Feb of this years during whitch, I found a burr in the surface of the piston that I had to polish out. Now it's leaking again.
I'm done because the Howe unit needs to be replaced. It's $149.99, which isn't bad compared to other units. (Most around $250)

I am switching to a 88 Camaro external slave cylinder. All the parts cost me under 100 bucks.
The only snag was the Cylinder bracket. I had to make one for my Oldsmobile Bell Housing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: fleming442
jetsetw31

jetsetw31

G-Body Guru
Sep 9, 2010
677
28
Petersburg, VA
The parts I had to buy were a 1/4th inch thick steel sheet (12 x12 inch) for the bracket, Clutch fork, Adjustable clutch fork pivot ball, 88 Camaro slave cylinder (I painted it gold), -3 AN adapter fittings, and -3 AN braided steel line. The only piece I didn't have to buy was the manual T/O bearing. (It came with the Clutch kits. Got 3 of them)

DSC_1202.JPG
DSC_1201.JPG

DSC_1220.JPG
DSC_1222.JPG
DSC_1224.JPG
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Rktpwrd and DRIVEN
pontiacgp

pontiacgp

Canadian Prime Minister
Mar 31, 2006
25,395
113
Kitchener, Ontario
Nice work and you have more patience than I have, my Howe blew once and took out a new performance clutch disk and that was enough for me. They were ok in our race cars but not for daily use IMO. I am going back to a hydraulic throw out but it won't be Howe. When you get the slave cylinder hooked up you won't need to use the bleeder on it, just put the fluid in and pump the pedal a couple of time every few minutes and the air will make it way up to the resevoir, it will bleed itself.
 
jetsetw31

jetsetw31

G-Body Guru
Sep 9, 2010
677
28
Petersburg, VA
Making the bracket. I used a Sawzaw, a 4 inch cut off wheel, a 4 inch grinding wheel, titanium step drill bits, a 1 1/2 inch Milwalkee steel hole saw, and drill sized barrel sanders.
I made a paper template, traced it on the metal plate, and started cutting.
It was not fun. It took me 3 days. (Taking my time of course.) Also sparks were everywhere, My safety goggles were a site saver.
I did a quick test fit without the housing, seems to clear ok.
I'm doing the install today. Pics are coming.
DSC_1236.JPG
DSC_1227a.JPG
DSC_1228.JPG
DSC_1230.JPG
DSC_1231.JPG
DSC_1239.JPG
DSC_1241.JPG
DSC_1242.JPG
DSC_1243.JPG
DSC_1246.JPG
DSC_1247.JPG
DSC_1248.JPG
DSC_1249.JPG
DSC_1250.JPG
 
jetsetw31

jetsetw31

G-Body Guru
Sep 9, 2010
677
28
Petersburg, VA
This is the chevy version I saw before I started. That bracket is the difference.
Chevy guys have it sooo easy.
External hydraulic clutch kit.png
side_view.jpg
hcrc_quarter_slide.jpg
 
Ribbedroof

Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
2,900
113
Wellston, OK
Great info!

Now has me rethinking the auto in the Malibu coupe. Never really liked the mechanical linkage (design or cost for G body parts), and have read similar experiences about the hydro t/o bearings that have kept me from seriously considering a manual swap.
 
MTP-Madmat

MTP-Madmat

Apprentice
Feb 27, 2018
81
33
I tried to do a similar setup using 89-97 camero hydraulics. I ended up not having enough stroke distance on the slave cylinder. I used adapters for -3AN fittings and ended up using a 90 Toyota v6 truck slave cylinder. I have a thread on this site. I did make a custom bracket and need to refine it since it flexes a bit.
5C414382-11BD-4A31-887F-87085E5C0F6B.jpeg
 
jetsetw31

jetsetw31

G-Body Guru
Sep 9, 2010
677
28
Petersburg, VA
jetsetw31

jetsetw31

G-Body Guru
Sep 9, 2010
677
28
Petersburg, VA
I tried to do a similar setup using 89-97 camero hydraulics. I ended up not having enough stroke distance on the slave cylinder. I used adapters for -3AN fittings and ended up using a 90 Toyota v6 truck slave cylinder. I have a thread on this site. I did make a custom bracket and need to refine it since it flexes a bit.View attachment 97940
I thought about the japanese style slave. I like the simple mounting. I too was worried about the stroke. That's why I used a adjustable pivot ball. There is barely any free play.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pontiacgp

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

contact[email protected]for info on becoming a sponsor