Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Jan 10th, 2011, 2:13 pm Thread Starter
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Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

A couple days ago I suddenly found that my clutch would engage with just a little motion from the bar. Fluid level looks good in the window. Anyone know a likely cause of this problem? Bike has 35k on it, likely the original clutch.

Carlos Alvarez
Gilbert, AZ
2000 K1200LT-I
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post #2 of 22 Old Jan 10th, 2011, 3:24 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Sounds like air in the system .. did you drop the bike recently? when was last "flush"?

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post #3 of 22 Old Jan 10th, 2011, 3:32 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

My first thought goes to flushing too. Had a similar problem with hyd. brakes, in that the return port, to bleed off pressure, was plugged. That allowed the system to build pressure over time until the brakes were locked. I'm only guessing that a clutch system could work the same. Just a thought.
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post #4 of 22 Old Jan 10th, 2011, 4:05 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Clutch slave cylinder. Surprised it lasted so long - Beemer knows there is a problem but dont seem to want to cover under warranty or policy if u are out of warranty. Just cost me $2000 cdn to get it done on an 06 model with 8000miles.
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post #5 of 22 Old Jan 10th, 2011, 4:17 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Clutch slave cylinder. Had it happen to me, went into a corner and "POW" nothing.
Dont play with the clutch you maybe as lucky as i was, no clutch damage. Change out about 4 hours. Not too bad once you get the swingarm off.
Good Luck.

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post #6 of 22 Old Jan 11th, 2011, 7:36 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Well, I may be extra boned. More on that in a moment.

Symptoms:

Normal application of the clutch only causes it to disengage right by the bar. Re-engages with the tiniest movement off the bar. Doesn't matter if I turn up the lever position setting. Seems to be getting worse. Today I noticed that if I pump up the lever a few times, it will return to nearly normal. It will stay that way until I release the lever fully.

So on top of all that, I opened the master cylinder and found brown fluid that smells like gear oil. I know the slave is in the tranny, could it be sucking up gear oil? It's not the typical old fluid color, but oil brown with that distinct gear oil stink to it.

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post #7 of 22 Old Jan 11th, 2011, 8:58 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

The smell is just old BF, normal color is dark brown to black depending on age and water content. There is no way (that I am aware of) it could suck any gear oil all the way up there. I would just flush it out really well and see how it plays out. If there was that much gear oil at the slave your clutch is toast (as well as the slave).

John
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post #8 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 7:46 am Thread Starter
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

I hope you are right about the gear oil, that would be a disaster. I'm running a sample by Quality Cycle today (local BMW indie guy) and see what he thinks. I may also send some out to a test lab, depending on what they say. Now the question is what will it take to get my bike on the road. I was hoping to ride this weekend, but clearly that's not likely.

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Gilbert, AZ
2000 K1200LT-I
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post #9 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 3:50 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

I would do as John has suggested above and give it a good flush. See how it is after that & go from there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by calvarez
I hope you are right about the gear oil, that would be a disaster. I'm running a sample by Quality Cycle today (local BMW indie guy) and see what he thinks. I may also send some out to a test lab, depending on what they say. Now the question is what will it take to get my bike on the road. I was hoping to ride this weekend, but clearly that's not likely.

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(Purchased 2008, 7,350 mls) Trade in on 2016 RT at 80,600miles
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post #10 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 4:03 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Stop riding till you flush.
http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/show...&sb=5&o=0&vc=1
If flush does not do it then changing the slave is next and might as well change the clutch while it's apart.
Beemerboneyard is your friend.
http://beemerboneyard.com/21522333433n.html
Good Luck

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post #11 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 5:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Took a sample of the fluid by the shop. Mechanic sniffs it, says, "gear oil!" Walks over to a customer and says, what does this smell like to you? Customer says, "gear oil!" It's off to the lab right now.

I just took a sample of fluid from my truck which has 100k on it. Nothing at all like what I took out of the bike, much thinner in both the way it sticks to the bottle and the color. The stuff from the bike is completely opaque in a 1" round bottle, and it sticks to the sides when inverted.

Carlos Alvarez
Gilbert, AZ
2000 K1200LT-I
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post #12 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 5:57 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

How long did you say you've had this bike ???

Where did you get it from ????

If it's really gear oil, There's only two reasons, Stupidity ? Or Fraud.


John

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post #13 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 6:23 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

[QUOTE=calvarez] It's off to the lab right now.
QUOTE]

you have a lab?

Boy color me jealous...

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post #14 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 8:36 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

I suppose it is possible for the PO to have used gear oil. If that is the case I am sure the slave is shot. I would be surprized if the release rod is dry, but if it is then all you need to do is replace the slave.

John
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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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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #15 of 22 Old Jan 12th, 2011, 11:45 pm
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Thumbs down Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Quote:
Originally Posted by calvarez
Took a sample of the fluid by the shop. Mechanic sniffs it, says, "gear oil!" Walks over to a customer and says, what does this smell like to you? Customer says, "gear oil!" It's off to the lab right now.

I just took a sample of fluid from my truck which has 100k on it. Nothing at all like what I took out of the bike, much thinner in both the way it sticks to the bottle and the color. The stuff from the bike is completely opaque in a 1" round bottle, and it sticks to the sides when inverted.

If you need tools to remove the swing arm I have them here Carlos. If you need help changing the fluid I can do that this weekend I have Friday and Monday off as well. If the slave is shot it may be leaking so look up under the center stand with a flashlight to look for any fluid dripping from the area of the slave. If you do not want to do it yourself ping me and I will give you info where it can be done in Phx or to Tucson at Ironhorse, who does excellent work for reasonable price.

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post #16 of 22 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 12:31 am
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Personally I would give it a good flush with mineral spirits paint thinner, carefully (and gently) blow it out with the air hose, and refill her with fresh DOT4. Nothing to lose at this point except maybe some clutch contamination. You never know, maybe you'll get lucky.


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post #17 of 22 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 10:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Quote:
you have a lab?

Boy color me jealous...
Haha, no, not MY lab, I use Blackstone Labs for oil analysis on all my vehicles. It gives you a good picture of what is going on inside the motor (gearcase/transmission/outdrive/etc) and they tell you whether you can go longer between oil changes or shorter. But anyway, they found no gear oil, and zero water. Contamination levels were very low except for a lot of boron. It was interesting that the fluid was so ugly, so thick, and yet there was no water or other things in it (the stuff they test for).

Quote:
If you need tools to remove the swing arm I have them here Carlos.
I appreciate that, thanks! It would be a job I don't have time for right now, so I was going to have Quality Cycles do it for me. I have an appointment with Dave to have a major service (36k) done this week, he would have done this instead.

So yesterday I finally had some time to pull the plastics and flush/bleed it. I went through almost a full bottle of fluid before it came out clean and free of air bubbles. Then I screwed up and let the master suck air again. (Insert "you moron" comments here.) Had to go buy more, went through a full bottle plus more before I got no air coming out. Closed it up, and it feels perfectly normal. Rode about 30 miles, stayed that way.

So now I'm confused. Nothing happened to the bike to cause it to suck air. Not dropped, there was plenty of fluid in the master. So I have no idea what happened, or if/when it will happen again. Today I'm heading off for a 60 mile ride and the return ride will be Sunday. I guess if it stays this way after those miles, I'll just chalk this up as one of life's mysteries.

Carlos Alvarez
Gilbert, AZ
2000 K1200LT-I
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post #18 of 22 Old Jan 17th, 2011, 11:57 am Thread Starter
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Rode a little over 100 miles with no issues. Lever travel is perfectly normal. Then on the highway, I suddenly noticed it slips under heavy acceleration. Motherf!*$er.

Carlos Alvarez
Gilbert, AZ
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post #19 of 22 Old Jan 17th, 2011, 6:06 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

Dam!

I recently noticed the same thing with mine. I've just changed the clutch fluid as part of normal winter fluid change and the "soft", short travel is still there.

I'm not brave enough to try a slave and clutch replace.

Best from Tucson
Bob

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post #20 of 22 Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 6:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

To close the circle on this one...

The bike is apart now, the slave cylinder failed and leaked. It contaminated the clutch plate so that's gotta be replaced too. $2k later...

Carlos Alvarez
Gilbert, AZ
2000 K1200LT-I
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post #21 of 22 Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 8:26 pm
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

While it's apart have them drill a hole so that if the slave fails again the fluid drains thru the hole and not onto the clutch!

Consider replacing the trany seal with the newer version.

Bob

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post #22 of 22 Old Jan 24th, 2011, 11:00 am Thread Starter
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Re: Suddenly lost clutch lever travel before engagement

They are going to make the standard weep hole, but it wouldn't have helped for this. He said the fluid traveled along the pushrod onto the plate. It didn't fill the space and flow in.

Carlos Alvarez
Gilbert, AZ
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