Failed clutch master cylinder or clutch slave cylinder?

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Today on my way home something went wrong with my clutch system. Shifted down from 4th to 3rd and the peddle suddenly went soft, and the clutch wouldn't disengage. Ended up limping it to my parents place which was a task on its own. 
I popped the hood when I got there, but cant see any visible fluid around the slave where it meets the trans (internal slave). I've had my dad watch the fluid reservoir as I pumped the peddle and the fluid level doesn't move at all. I cant see any puddles on the ground where it might be leaking.
So my question is: Is it the the master cylinder that's  gone bad, or the slave cylinder? The slave was bought brand new, has about 3,000 miles on it right now. The master was used, unknown mileage. 

car is a 1998 V70R with an M58 swap.

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Refill the system and try popping the bleeder while someone holds the pedal down or use a power bleeder to ensure you are still getting fluid to bleed out the line. Do this a few times to ensure you have fully bled the line. If all that checks out I would be inclined to believe you have a problem with your master since you do not know the history of that.

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I think that's your best bet. It sounds more likely that your master cylinder is the issue since it's used, but the best way to find out will be to try and get fluid at the bleed valve. If you're still getting a good amount of fluid there, it may be the slave.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Turns it it was neither. Did a reverse bleed on the system, everything pressurized for a minute while I drove it around the lot, then the clutch started feeling soft again. Popped the hood, and saw some mist spraying out under the battery tray. Pulled it all apart and found this line had been worn down by the shift linkage.  
Fortunately an easy enough fix. Thanks for all the help!

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