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My new clutch master failed. The fluid seemed to be turning black so I flushed it a couple of times. Then I took it on a fairly big outing to Full Throttle Panteras open house. The fluid was perfectly clear when I started the trip. About halfway through the trip during some spirited driving the clutch master begin to fail.  When I held the clutch down, it would gradually release itself.  I was able to complete the trip and make it back home but maneuvering in parking lots was very difficult.

After arriving at Full Throttle, I inspected the fluid and it was very black. The next week I removed the failed master and showed it to Wilkinson and explain what happened. He asked which brake fluid I used and I said it was DOT3. He said it has to be DOT4 and set me up with a new one. I have that in the car now. So far so good, but time will tell.

I just installed a new clutch master cylinder and within a few days, the fluid began to turn dark and there is black grit in the fluid. I suspect that this could be caused by the brake fluid attacking the rubber seals. I am holding my breath and waiting for this master cylinder to fail. I have also limited my trips with the Pantera because I don't need a clutch master cylinder failure several hundred miles from home. I found a company in New York that can rebuild the original master cylinder and use modern seals. I am going to be shipping off my old master cylinder to them.


Any chance you can pop your old unit apart, lay it out and take some pictures???

I don't have any old ones to look at....!   See what the story is........

I can't imagine that these would need much more attention than perhaps a new seal/o-ring of brake fluid compatibility, and a light polish to the bore........


Well, that certainly looks a little more involved than a single o-ring.....but like everything I have encountered with the Goose......"your mileage may vary!"    I found 3-4 different slave seals used over time in the same cylinder.

OK!    So further, what are the markings on the umbrella seal and in the other rubber cup seal???  If known, these could be potentially sourced......

What needs to be known, is stuff like bore diameter, shaft diameter (ID of seal)....

Steve (the other one....)

@mangusta posted:

I can't imagine that these would need much more attention than perhaps a new seal/o-ring of brake fluid compatibility, and a light polish to the bore........


Or, and here is a radical idea for the Pantera community, our vendors could stop reproducing parts with 85% correctness, leaving 15% substandard and leading to discussions such as this.

For over 20 years, I have heard the mantra of we must support and respect our vendors.

Sadly, with a continuing series of substandard reproduction parts, I think what really should be happening is our vendors should start respecting us by providing reproduction parts that are accurate and functional, instead of “close, but no prize” failures.


Last edited by lf-tp2511

I have read this thread all the way through as I picked up a clutch slave cylinder and master cylinder a few days ago from PIM that is scheduled to be installed this week.  After reading how most of the new ones leak almost from the "getgo,"  I'm a bit nervous.  I had a new clutch put in two weeks ago, and my mechanic suggested that I replace the slave and master cylinder as well.  I will now monitor them both regularly to avoid any issues.  By the way, I replaced my clutch with a unit from Southland Clutch in San Diego.  I was in San Diego two weekends ago and had been recommended to give them a call.  Wonderful, knowledgeable people to deal with and extremely reasonably priced.  So far, so good.


Now why would someone want to replace a perfectly good master and slave cylinder just because you replace the clutch disc and pressure plate??????

That's the goofiest things I've heard in a few days..... 

What you COULD do, it take them apart and clean the cylinders out of any crud and crap...and actually INSPECT them for wear!   No wear, no replace!

ALWAYS use brake assembly snot/lube when putting these together for the first time or for any time for that matter if you take them apart.

I wouldn't risk replacing working parts with parts prone to failure according to this post!!!!

Gotta remember when hotrodding......induce only one failure point at at time!!!  It keeps the anxiety level lower......when shite does hit the fan!!!!!

Steve  (Used to drive a '58 that my dad had when I was a sr in HS!   283-3spd, total farmer car....   Car drove like a truck!   Cuz that is where Chevy borrowed the front suspension from!  His buddy's dad had a dealership and always gave him crap about that point!)


Call Southland Clutch in National City and ask for Kim.  He is quite familiar with Pantera clutches and can give you all of the information.  I did ask him about the clutch master cylinder and the slave, and he told me they do not carry them.  When I picked up the clutch on a Friday afternoon,  he asked me about which size bearing pack my clutch had to which I had no answer since I didn't know.  So I asked him to just give me both, and to charge me the little bit extra for it.  The clutch was $285.00.  With the bearing packs and tax, my bill was $340. and some change.  The owner of the company came out to talk to me and my wife, very friendly and quite knowledgeable.  It was an altogether, very pleasant transaction and the clutch is in and functioning.  Kim will tell you about how much torque and horsepower their clutch will handle.  (I believe it was around 650 ft. lbs for torque and even more horsepower.  My car is around 500/500 if I recall.  Kim races cars as well and has a 1000+ horsepower car with one of their clutches, and he'll be able to give you all of the specifications.  I just picked it up two weeks ago, so if you remind him that Ted picked up a clutch a couple of weeks ago for a Pantera, I'm sure he will know exactly what I got.

I am thrilled to report that the new/improved bottle to fitting joint leaks!! So - not only is the fluid turning dark from the o-rings dissolving, the bottle still leaks. Really? Who is making this garbage???

Getting ready to request a 4th replacement. What is that saying about the definition of insanity...... unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any alternatives.

Panterapatt - thank you, thank you, thank you for taking this on! The clutch slave cylinders would be next as they are garbage as well. My Pantera had an old ATE cylinder on it (see post above) - I'll see what dimensions I can pull from that one for comparison.

Mr. Fiat sell one for Alfas that looks like my ATE (and the OEM), I may have some dimensions on that when I investigated it with them a year or so ago.

Both of the below options look to be usable. They both have the correct 19.0mm or 3/4" bore. The first is an exact match and the second is only different in the shape and attachment of the reservoir.

Alfa Romeo GTV-6 - 1981-1985 Centric part# 136.02101 (Discontinued) (Exact Match)

Alfa Romeo Alfetta - 1975-1977 Centric part# 136.02100 (Reservoir is different)


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Last edited by tsolo

I just spoke with one of the Alfa parts suppliers.  He said ATE is German - good quality.  They sell a brand called "Interbrake" which is Italian.  He said they rarely have one of these returned due to leakage.  Still working on part numbers for both but the one above "looks" correct.  From the excel parts sheet, and the one on my car is a Benditialia 1409345.  That is the original OEM piece.  Bore measured 0.7465 inches (18.96 mm) and had a max stroke 1.25 inches (31.74 mm)

Here is what I believe to be replacements for both the clutch master and slave.  Manufacturers are ATE (German) and Interbrake (Italian).  We need dimensions from an original to dial this in but the dimensions I can get off the web and previous cross references other Pantera owners have done align to these Alfa Romeo parts:

Clutch Master ATE:;groups:234

Clutch Slave ATE:;groups:620

Clutch Master Interbrake:

Reservoir (is ATE):


Clutch Slave Interbrake:

Unfortunately the original Benditalia p/n 1409345 seems missing in action.  But I get references back to the Alfa GTV6 as the source which is what the above parts are for.

Hope it helps.  I was told by one of the leading Alfa parts suppliers here in the US that both ATE and Interbrake produce quality parts and they have NO issues with them.  I guess one of you guys need to take the plunge and buy one of these and experiment.  Anything is better than continuing to buy shit that leaks.

Thanks Panterapatt! I am waiting on next steps from my vendor (who has been very nice about this year long struggle) before I buy the ATE master.

The ATE master that was in my car as received appears to have a 17mm bore. It seemed to function fine on the 20 mile drive home after I bought the car, but it was leaking - this car had probably been driven less than 150 miles in 7+ years, so lots of sitting with old fluid in it.

Sometimes in fuel, brake and clutch flex lines, carbon extracted from the rubber can stain the fluid after awhile. This is not necessarily an indication of imminent failure, just soaking age.  The black plastic reservoir screw-cap may also fail along with its seal. There's a nice aluminum screw cap sold cheap by Pegasus Racing that fits Girling reservoirs. Mine's been on my aluminum Girling clutch master for many decades. This unit has no plastic reservoir but is cast with the body.

I've read on some Forum that certain iron castings are slightly attacked by some brake/clutch fluids. Their fix came from changing fluids. Some OEM Bendix-Italia (Benditalia) cylinders seem to be made of this stuff. All my cylinders are anodized aluminum, all the internals are stainless steel and all flex lines are teflon lined braided stainless.  I changed all possible o-rings in the car to Viton or teflon. No leaks but  my GM plastic brake reservoir still discolors tannish. I think its the plastic they use.

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