is it my clutch or something else?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by bobinaustin, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. bobinaustin

    bobinaustin planning for the adv

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    212
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    so i put the bike in the garage two days ago without noticing anything amiss. today i take her out and immediately i notice that shifting seems odd. shifting seems to start at much less of the lever. it seems as though through the day it might even be getting narrower and narrower. as i was stopping at a light, i had the clutch pulled in further than i usually do and it stalled the bike. i usually dont have to have the lever pulled all the way back to the grip.

    i am feeling like its the clutch? would like to hear some input from others. if it is the clutch, i am hoping it is something i can wrench n my own. i would like to reserve paying for the work until thats the only option. i have some amateur ability and space in the garage to work and of course if someone wanted to lend a hand... :beer

    the bike is a '04 with 120k miles, i am unsure of the age of the clutch.

    let me know!
    #1
  2. Girthy Knobkers

    Girthy Knobkers Running on reserve

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    Sounds like you need a clutch cable.
    #2
  3. Multiplicity

    Multiplicity Been here awhile

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    Sounds like the slave cylinder might be leaking. I doubt the clutch itself is the problem. The master and slave cylinders
    control clutch engagement and disengagement.
    How long has it been since you changed the fluid ? Has the fluid level dropped in the master cylinder ? Most failures are with the slave cylinder. They get hot, the seals leak, they start to short stroke the clutch pressure plate.

    When a CLUTCH/PRESSURE PLATE fails, the engine RPM's will rev (clutch slip) when accelerating hard in a higher gear.It can't handle the load and the disc slips between the flywheel and pressure plate. This allows the motor to spin up with a loss of output to the rear wheel. The clutch disc actually slips under heavy load without propelling the bike forwards when the throttle is opened.

    Take a look at the slave and see if it's wet. Or if anything is leaking from that area. A collection of dirt/dust will form around it, if it's wet, Don't be fooled by that. IT should be clean and dry.
    #3
  4. bobinaustin

    bobinaustin planning for the adv

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Austin Texas
    my bike is an '04 r1150gs with a hydraulic brake and clutch.

    #4
  5. bobinaustin

    bobinaustin planning for the adv

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    i did not notice any fluid leaking but i havent checked the level yet. i will do that as soon as i get home!

    #5
  6. vintagerider

    vintagerider Long timer

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    Most likely you will need a clutch slave.

    It's all about the bearing inside the slave plus both the input haft rear seal and the slave seal going bad. Hopefully you catch it before clutch or gear fluid runs down the push rod and contaminates the clutch.

    It's not at all difficult if you read the showthreads.
    Easier to first free the slave from back of gear box, otherwise it is pita to get at banjo bolt on slave:

    -remove clutch hose from the the handlebar and free the bleed hose from the frame

    -use ball head hex bit to remove slave flange bolts, not on tight, sae size hand ball driver works fine

    - reattaching hose: the right angle banjo fitting wants to turn in as you tighten it. Hold it so it feeds the hose more towards the frame otherwise it won't seal. Observe the low torque force. The banjo bolt are special, and costly so try not to mangle them. Must use new seal washers on both sides of each banjo.

    -pull back to pull back the slave cyl until it hits the cross bar the tip the top forward and rotate to clear the cavity

    other tips:
    prefer to drill the seal w/ 3/16" then drive in long sheet metal screw and use slide hammer. Hard to find a pick that is strong enough to pull the seal. Devised a slide hammer with 5# weight. Came right out.

    replaced hose w/ 2" over from Spiegler. Carefully check fitting on slave side for corrosion. Note the routing of the oem hose before removal. If reusing hose clean well .

    don't re-use lower shock bolt - replace w/oem only

    when withdrawing slave from cavity tip the top forward before rotating- it's a tight fit just enough room to clear the crossbar

    flushed and refilled w/ 1 qt cheap dot3 before final fill of expensive dot4, used old hose to flush master really well. (check filler cap for type of fluid yours may not be dot4)

    applied moly paste to tip of push-rod, did not remove push rod,

    edit:
    - clarify slave withdrawal: "tip it forward" = withdraw as far as it will come. Won't clear the cavity until you lift the bottom. Most of the other threads on hear have you trying to remove the slave banjos with the slave still attached. Most will find this easier. There is a gap at the LR corner of the air box that you can take advantage of for working the banjo bolts once the slave pulls back.

    - Flushing: Most of the time the bearing fails then fluid leaks in to the cavity. The rear input shaft seal then fails (especially if brake fluid system and the original grey seal is still present. The slave whips up the fluids and they work up to the handlebar. Very dark fluid in reservoir indicative. Was able to salvage master by pumping lots of dot 3 through the dangling hose (not for systems w/mineral oil). Must get every bit of crap out or you will have to replace the slave again in no time at all. Systems using DOT4: final fill should be with high temp/high grade which is expensive. If DOT 4 then strongly recommend cheap DOT 3 at first not only for flushing but to make sure you have no leaks and master is ok (DOT 4 clutch release systems only).

    - Upgrading from grey to brown seal: don't even think of not replacing the rear input shaft seal

    - Might want to clean up the shock and inspect while its off, measure, take down spring numbers ect
    #6
  7. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud

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    Bad clutch release/throwout bearing in the slave cylinder gets my vote; I've been there a couple of times. As noted above, replacing the whole slave cylinder should take care of the problem.
    #7
  8. Multiplicity

    Multiplicity Been here awhile

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    Always make sure you use the correct fluid. No need to buy DOT 3 if your is DOT 4. The amount needed to flush the line will not be much.
    Buying DOT 3 will cost more than using the little bit extra DOT 4 it takes to properly flush the line.
    My GSA uses Mineral oil only. Don't mix in anything not suitable. The master cylinder cap will tell you what to use.

    Also know that brake fluid will eat paint, so be careful with it, if that's what you're using. Brake cleaner will damage paint too.
    #8
  9. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    no cable
    #9
  10. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    You are describing a slave cylinder failure.

    You might be describing something else, but if somebody asked me what happens when the slave cylinder dies I would tell them to read post #1.

    HERE is the HOW on replacing it. Take a look then decide if it's something you want to tackle in your garage.
    #10
  11. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Open your clutch master cylinder reservoir. Is the fluid cloudy and disgusting? If so, slave cylinder failure. Don't wait around to fix it. The leaking fluid will migrate up the clutch pushrod eventually and foul your clutch disk.

    The slave cylinder is prety easy to replace,. You may want to buy a set of ball-end hex sockets. They make the job a little easier.
    #11
  12. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Though it may not be the case, it's bit quite a few owners over the years:

    Make sure that your handguard didn't get turned down, and is pushing on the end of your clutch lever. It will cause your symptoms.

    You'd be amazed at how many times this is the case.
    #12
  13. bobinaustin

    bobinaustin planning for the adv

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Austin Texas
    i checked the master cylinder. plenty of fluid but its pretty dark and cloudy. i am thinking it sounds like the slave cylinder is the culprit according to what i am reading.

    i will price em out and assess the instructions here:
    http://advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom/1150GS Clutch slave replace.html

    but that page is missing all links to pics. i have my clymer too but of course having never done it, i am a little apprehensive.
    #13
  14. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    Bob,

    Check your PMs.
    #14
  15. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    You have gotten a myriad of responses here, some good, some of no value (cable???).

    First, I would remove the clutch reservoir cover and determine that your reservoir is not overfilled. As the clutch wears, the fluid level increases, the opposite of a cable system where the free play increases with age and use.

    Next, as you have posted, your fluid seems to be adulterated. A flush and fill is in order. If you still have problems, the slave is likely the culprit.
    #15
  16. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    Truth nugget here. It's a amazing the difference fresh fluid and a thorough bleed makes assuming no other mechanical issues.
    #16
  17. vintagerider

    vintagerider Long timer

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    If the fluid has bad odor that's confirmation of bad input shaft rear seal and bad seal and bearing in slave. If you aren't yet convinced of need to replace slave then pull it off for inspection. Quite easy really as long as you don't try to take off banjo bolts while slave still mounted. This is one of the rare jobs that I'd leave the clymer on the shelf except for torque values.

    You do not need to take the hoses off the slave to withdraw it from cavity to inspect the cavity for leaking oil. The only thing that is remotely challenging is removing the rear shock and muffler.

    BBY has the best deal on the slave kit. Comes with gasket and crush rings. Stop riding the mc until you inspect the cavity or you may loose your clutch disk.
    #17
  18. Multiplicity

    Multiplicity Been here awhile

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    I agree. A cavity search is in order :lol3
    #18
  19. bobinaustin

    bobinaustin planning for the adv

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    212
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    thats the plan for tomorrow. i am just trying to determine if i need anything special to do the drain? i see some posts where people use a vacuum system? and one reply here mentioned using a simple bottle to catch the fluid? unsure how to proceed. i am not sure where on my bike specifically where to bleed the fluid from?? i have seen one pictorial that others have linked to that seems to not be for my bike and most of the pics are broken links.

    the service manual is great for description but has no pics at all. ugh.


    #19
  20. Multiplicity

    Multiplicity Been here awhile

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    I always empty the master cylinder first, but I use a vacuum bleeder. You can buy the Mighty Vac at your local auto parts or Wal-Mart. You should have one anyways if you're a DIY guy.

    The bottle is a simple plastic bottle with a hole in the cap. You just get some small vacuum hose and run it into the bottle and leave enough to attach it to the bleeder. Then open the bleeder and the fluid runs into the bottle. Nothing could be simpler.
    The system should be capable of gravity bleeding if you can find a Mighty Vac., but you should have one to bleed it after repairs. After it's been drained, remove the slave cylinder from the case. Just make sure you use the proper fluid for your application.
    #20