Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 8:30 am Thread Starter
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Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

If this post twice...it is because I typed it once and got a message it would not go thru, so now I not only do I have bike problems, I have message board problems.

I have searched the site for information on this issue, but have these questions.

The issue...I have an 09 LT with 78K miles. I just got the bike back from a 12K service ( I know, a little out of sequence) and while on this past weekend's ride the clutch began slipping with any aggressive roll on of power.

My question...is there something that could have been done incorrectly in the 12K service to lead to this problem?

Or, is this just "normal" wear at this mileage?

I never hear my Gold Wing rider friends talk about the need for these expensive repairs that seem to be common to the LT. I would love to see the math of extra cost of fuel for the low MPG of a GW vs the expensive service/repair work for the LT.

This fix will not only be expensive, but will put me without a bike for an extended period of time when I have other trips planned.

I just want to ride. Any thoughts/answers will be appreciated

John F
Cincinnati, OH
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post #2 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 9:45 am
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Do not see how doing any regular maintenance service would effect clutch slippage. If you are mechanicaly inclined, it should take you a w/e, or less to replace the clutch and get back on the road.

As far as comparing the LT to with the GW... well, lets not go there.

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post #3 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 10:18 am
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Is this correct, or a type'o?

2009 bike, with 78,000 miles, and you just did the 12,000 mile service?
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post #4 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 10:31 am Thread Starter
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Did "a" 12K service. If I was totally anal that should have been done at 72K...but over the 16 month life of the bike, there are times when I am out on a trip when the "exact" mileage for a service is reached.

The bike has been regularly serviced at 6 and 12K intervals.

Better?

JEF
Cincinnati, OH

John F
Cincinnati, OH
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post #5 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 10:34 am
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
Is this correct, or a type'o?

2009 bike, with 78,000 miles, and you just did the 12,000 mile service?
I am sure he meant a 12K as opposed to a 6K service interval maintenance.

My 05 had the same symptoms at 46K and the clutch was nearly worn out but there was evidence of engine oil contamination. Not severe as a drip but just enogh to make all the clutch "powder" sticky in the bell housing. The O-ring on the main shaft was hard and brittle and I suspect that was the source. Oh and I agressively pulled a trailer cross country the year before.

But to answer the question, No there is nothing done on a 12K service that would cause a clutch to slip, even if done improperly.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
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post #6 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 10:38 am
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

johnf i bought an 03 lt in 07 with 4k on it. jump through all required bmw service hoops,(very expensive). i now have 35k on the bike and have no clutch slipage, how ever the final drive just dumped. go figure!
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post #7 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 1:14 pm
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

I've read several posts on this clutch thing, and it seems to be a prevalent opinion that these clutches are sensitive to the manner in which they're engaged. I just replaced mine at about the same mileage as yours. It wasn't slipping, but I had a main seal leak. When I tore into it, the friction plate was nearly gone, and both pressure plates were fried. The PO towed a trailer, and I'm pretty sure he kept his revs up while engaging. Not complaining, just an observation. I tend to keep the r's down low, engage, then throttle up. Guess we'll just have to wait and see if that lasts longer.

My long winded point here is that you may want to re-evaluate how you take off. Not saying you're doing it wrong, but it might be worth considering. This is why I really like a wet clutch.

Keep us posted on what you find. And replacing the clutch was much easier than I anticipated.
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post #8 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 4:59 pm
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

I agree with you Frank. It is all in the engagement technique. Try to get it locked up at less than 1,500 rpm and then hammer it. I know I slipped her quite a bit on that 6,000 mile trip with the heavey trailer.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #9 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 5:19 pm
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

A very high number of slave cylinders have failed way before the mileage you have on your LT. It would not be an uncommon failure at all.

Yes, it is a pretty expensive fix, because of the labor involved. When it is fixed, be sure ALL transmission seals and the engine output shaft seal and O-ring are replaced.

If you cannot do the work yourself, as most cannot, it will be pretty costly. I would insist that the drain hole in the slave cylinder mount boss on the rear of the transmission be drilled. If the dealer won't do it, have him set the transmission aside when it is removed and do it yourself. That little drain hole can prevent a 2 hour labor, $150 part cost repair from turning into an 8-12 hour labor and several hundred dollars in parts job.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
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post #10 of 17 Old Aug 1st, 2010, 10:07 pm
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
A very high number of slave cylinders have failed way before the mileage you have on your LT. It would not be an uncommon failure at all.

Yes, it is a pretty expensive fix, because of the labor involved. When it is fixed, be sure ALL transmission seals and the engine output shaft seal and O-ring are replaced.

If you cannot do the work yourself, as most cannot, it will be pretty costly. I would insist that the drain hole in the slave cylinder mount boss on the rear of the transmission be drilled. If the dealer won't do it, have him set the transmission aside when it is removed and do it yourself. That little drain hole can prevent a 2 hour labor, $150 part cost repair from turning into an 8-12 hour labor and several hundred dollars in parts job.
+1 on what dshealy has written. I had 58,000 on my 99 LT, I was having starter problems and tore her all the way down--I accidentally discovered that my slave cylinder was leaking. I got to it before it contaminated my clutch. I wouldn't think it would be uncommon that you are looking at the same thing with your mileage. I wish you the best on your fix and getting back to your planned rides.

Wade
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post #11 of 17 Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 1:34 am
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Yes indeed,

I did my (what turned out to be just pre-emptive) clutch job last winter and the friction plate
had worn from 6,06 mm down to 5,29 mm during 100.000 km (60 kmiles).
I don't ride deliberately "in clutch saving mode", it must just be a lucky coincidence.

Regards
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Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

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2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

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post #12 of 17 Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 7:07 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
. That little drain hole can prevent a 2 hour labor, $150 part cost repair from turning into an 8-12 hour labor and several hundred dollars in parts job.
David (or others)...explain how the weep hole works, and how one uses it to catch an early problem with the slave cylinder. It is so buried in the bike, how is it observed or checked?

I watched the weep hole video...great stuff, and it made the task look time consuming but basic. I have no apptitude for mechanic skills, so would be intimidated by the task. As usual those with mech skills have special tools, and design jigs to help with specific tasks (kind of like watching, This Ole House...the jigs he builds are more complicated that what I could build as a finished product!!)

Bike goes in tomorrow.

JEF

John F
Cincinnati, OH
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post #13 of 17 Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 7:34 pm
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

With out the hole the first indication you have is a slipping clutch since the fluid has no where to go but down the release shaft and into the clutch. What the hole does is provide you the ability to catch it BEFORE it gets to the clutch. But you have to lie down and look up at the hole from time to time. It does not guarantee a slip free clutch but it does help. My leak was the o-ring on the main shaft and it never dripped out of the bell housing.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #14 of 17 Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 8:33 pm
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNF
David (or others)...explain how the weep hole works, and how one uses it to catch an early problem with the slave cylinder. It is so buried in the bike, how is it observed or checked?

I watched the weep hole video...great stuff, and it made the task look time consuming but basic. I have no apptitude for mechanic skills, so would be intimidated by the task. As usual those with mech skills have special tools, and design jigs to help with specific tasks (kind of like watching, This Ole House...the jigs he builds are more complicated that what I could build as a finished product!!)

Bike goes in tomorrow.

JEF
It is not used as an indicator, but a DRAIN to let the brake fluid drain out when the cylinder fails, and not get into the clutch.

I was the first one to do this to an LT, and knowing what the hole does refuse to call it a "WEEP" hole. Often when the slave fails it is pretty fast, and fluid does not just "weep" out of the cylinder, but pretty much gushes out past the failed piston seal. Without the hole drilled, there is absolutely no where for the fluid to go but down the actuation rod bore in the transmission input shaft and right into the clutch. The fluid is actually PUMPED into the clutch by the action of the piston moving back and forth as you pull the clutch lever in and release it. The space in front of the cylinder is SEALED to the back of the transmission, and even has a gasket there to insure it is sealed. A very poor and unfortunate design by BMW. So, this is not a nice, slow, weeping of fluid, but pumped slugs of fluid. Therefore, I drilled a DRAIN hole to allow it to go out through the hole easily, before it gets into the clutch.

The fluid has to get high enough in the mount bore to reach the area of the hole in the shaft where the actuation rod passes through, so with the hole in place, the fluid will likely drain out before it reaches this level.

Even with this hole in place you will not likely ever see outside evidence of the failed cylinder before you know it has failed completely. Remember, there is not all that much fluid in the clutch circuit in the first place. By the time any of us knew the cylinder had failed, pretty much all the fluid that was in the clutch circuit had disappeared, either into the clutch, or out the drain hole if one was lucky enough to have drilled it before hand.

Everyone who insists in calling this a "weep" hole just does not understand what is going on here at all. Weep holes have been used for decades in automotive and industrial areas to allow SMALL leaks to get out, and in many cases indicate that there is a looming problem. That is NOT the failure mode here.

I know that one of my cylinder failures was caused by the little "throwout" bearing in the end of the slave cylinder piston tightening or freezing, causing the piston to spin in the cylinder, which wipes it out practically instantly. I posted pictures of the piston and cylinder bore once, very evident that the piston spun, causing heavy scoring of the cylinder, then pretty instant failure of the piston cup seal. It is my opinion that many of the failures are caused by the failure of the tiny ball thrust bearing, which is spinning all the time the engine is running. Again, a very poor design.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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post #15 of 17 Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 7:28 pm
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

OK David,

It is a drain hole for brake fluid and a weep hole for transmission fluid - fair enough?

You have to agree the tranny fluid is not going to be pouring out like the brake fluid will.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #16 of 17 Old Aug 4th, 2010, 5:04 am
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

OK, but the rear tranny input shaft seal does not fail nearly as often, so one is far more likely to have a slave failure.

If either fail, replace both, because the brake fluid can damage the rear seal, the transmission fluid can damage the slave, probably because it dilutes the grease in the bearing in the piston, causing it to fail later.

My first seal failure was at 400 miles! Dealer replace it, and at just under 4000 miles the slave failed. Dealer said "We should have replaced that too." That time they replaced both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
OK David,

It is a drain hole for brake fluid and a weep hole for transmission fluid - fair enough?

You have to agree the tranny fluid is not going to be pouring out like the brake fluid will.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #17 of 17 Old Aug 4th, 2010, 5:27 am
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Re: Slave Cylinder/slipping clutch issue

Hi John,
Well now you know odds are the slave cylinder or the rear main seal O ring is leaking causing the clutch to slip. Parts will be at least $550 plus .
Has the clutch fluid volume changed ?
Go trade it in at Hermies in pa, word has it there are atleast 10 LT's in the wearhouse..
Good Luck

Pete Murray
IBA # 359 and
2014 RT
1973 R75/5
2002 LT 171 K Gone
2008 FJR 36 K Gone
Stroudsburg, PA
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