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Hyundai Sonata Clutch Master Cylinder Upgrade


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#1 obsolete

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 01:53 AM

My car shifts pretty notchy, and is hard to get into 3rd gear above 3000RPM, so I suspected the clutch might not be disengaging as much as it should. I stuck my head under the dash and checked out the clutch pedal, and saw how much flex there was in the rubber isolator in the clutch pushrod. That was definitely robbing me of some clutch travel. I've seen people replace the rubber donut with steel washers, like kev's excellent example here, but JohnnyWadd's idea to completely replace the Mitsubishi rubber-isolated clevis with a solid Nissan one seemed like an even better solution. He used Nissan part number 30631-3s501 which is off a '98-'04 Nissan Frontier, and is now discontinued. I didn't want to buy a whole aftermarket Nissan master cylinder just for the clevis, so I started looking around for other solutions, and I think I found a really good one.

As a lot of Mitsubishi guys know, Mitsubishis and Hyundais share a lot of parts. When Hyundai was just getting started in the '80s, they licensed a lot of designs from Mitsubishi. Well, one of them was the clutch master cylinder from the Starquest; if you look up the interchange, you'll see that the '89-'93 Hyundai Sonata uses the exact same part as a Starquest. Unlike Mitsubishi, Hyundai kept the same design well into the '90s, and made improvements; the '98 Sonata version has a solid clevis. So, you can get a brand new master cylinder and a solid clevis at the same time, for cheap! The Hyundai part has a directly-attached reservoir though, so you need to swap the reservoir to work with the Starquest's remote setup. Everything else: the pushrod+clevis length, the clevis pin diameter, the flare and thread for the hydraulic line, and the size and spacing of the mounting holes, is the same.

Here are the two of them side-by-side:
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To remove the reservoir, just loosen the clamp, warm the plastic with a heat gun, and pull it off (while wearing a glove!):
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I took this picture before removing the reservoir from my Starquest master, so I could get the orientation right on the new one, using that seam in the plastic to line it up:
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A look inside my original master and reservoir: SLUDGE. I had just changed the slave and bled the system with clean fluid a couple months ago, so I figured it would be clean inside. Man, was I wrong!
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I flushed the OEM reservoir out with brake cleaner, warmed it with the heat gun again, pressed it on, tightened the clamp, and boom, a new Starquest master cylinder with a solid clevis. Ready to go another 32 years!
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Update: I got paranoid thinking about the possibility of the reservoir leaking, so I pulled it off again and added some Permatex Anaerobic Gasket Maker to the master cylinder surface before pressing the reservoir back on and tightening down the clamp. I'm not sure it's exactly the right sealant to use for this, but it's what I had on hand, and y'know, quarantine. I noticed Mikie at MKS Motorsport includes a tube of Seal-All with his kits--that's probably the best choice. Anyway, everything is back in the car now and working great! It's been filled with brake fluid for several days now with no leaks, but I'll be keeping an eye on it.

Edited by obsolete, 29 March 2020 - 10:31 PM.

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#2 obsolete

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 02:13 AM

As I am writing this, RockAuto has the AUTOSPECIALTY/KELSEY-HAYES Q52015 for $2.93 on Wholesaler Closeout. I bought one; it's the one in the pictures above, so I can tell you it's legit. They have two more left, so hurry up and grab one before they're gone ;)

If you miss the deal, don't worry, there are still 5 other options under $20. '90s Hyundai parts are cheap!
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#3 Preludedude

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 04:55 AM

Wow. $3 for a master cylinder.  Good detective work.  This needs to be in the FAQs/How-To.....

I even did the steel washer mod myself, but didnít know you could get a solid Clevis for $3.

#4 scott87star

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 09:07 AM

Well done!
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ECU Vendor link:  http://www.starquest...howtopic=137426

#5 Crazy Quest

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 10:48 AM

Got one!

Thanks obsolete!
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#6 obsolete

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 11:16 AM

Thanks guys! A couple footnotes:

If you search for an '89 Hyundai Sonata, there are some aftermarket master cylinders that come with a solid clevis and a Starquest-style lower reservoir. I hesitate to recommend this, since most of them come with the rubber-isolated clevis, and because the companies putting the parts in the boxes are usually not the manufacturers, there's no guarantee that what you receive will match a picture on a website, and you will probably end up paying a restocking fee since you technically received the correct part.

If you buy the '98 version, you are guaranteed to get a solid clevis, but you will have to swap the reservoir. The lower reservoir on the '89 version is at the wrong angle for the Starquest anyway, so you'll have to loosen it and heat it to turn it to the correct angle, at which point you've done most of the work of just swapping the reservoir. But, you do get a new lower reservoir out of the deal.

If you want to try the '89 option, I found two part numbers that I think will work. One is Autospecialty/Kelsey-Hayes Q52012. I bought the last one at RockAuto, and I can't find it anywhere else, but I can confirm that it comes with a solid clevis. See picture at the bottom of this post; when I took the picture, I had already rotated the reservoir to match the Starquest angle.

The other is Beck/Arnley 0728997. I haven't bought this one to verify, but I found an eBay auction with a picture of the actual part, and it looks correct. Good luck!

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#7 obsolete

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 11:21 AM

Another thought: if you convert the brake master cylinder to directly-attached reservoirs (like the ones Mikie @ MKS Motorsport sells), then the Starquest remote brake fluid reservoir will be out of the way, and the directly-attached Hyundai clutch master reservoir will probably work just fine. Might have to rotate it counterclockwise a little bit. I didn't test fit it that way, so I'm not sure, but it seems like it ought to work.

Edited by obsolete, 29 March 2020 - 10:22 PM.

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#8 obsolete

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 02:15 AM

Just put up another thread on rebuilding the clutch pedal, also using Hyundai parts: Clutch Pedal Rebuild with Hyundai Parts
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#9 obsolete

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 02:04 PM

Update: it's been over a month and this is still working great. The reservoir with the anaerobic gasket maker is not leaking. I think it's time to get this moved over to the FAQ and How To section.
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#10 importwarrior

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:53 AM

i would like to move this to the FAQ either this one or the other one.

let me know.
once moved you will not be able to edit it anymore...

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