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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm stumped.

While I was changing the brakes lines, I figured I'd change the clutch fluid at the same time--something I've done a few times.

Every Spring I change the brake and clutch fluid while I'm at it. I figured if I changed both fluids now, I might convert to changing them again in the Fall next year.

I backed out of the garage and grabbed the clutch lever and it went straight to the handle bar!

I pulled her back in completely puzzled on how I could have gotten air bubbles into the system.

When I pulled the clutch cover and pumped the handle a few times, no resistance. I did it a few more times, and a couple of large bubbles floated up.

I open the speedbleeder and pumped clear fluid into the drain fluid bag, no bubbles; added more fluid, pumped more clear fluid thru, no bubbles; closed the speedbleeder, kept pumping the handle and got it to spit fluid into the air, but no resistance--it just won't develop any pressure.

The only difference from when the clutch was working when I pulled her into the garage is changing the brakes lines, and drilling a weep hole in the clutch bell housing to drain away the leaking trany fluid. I did remove the battery.

I can't think of any place where I could have pinched the clutch line? Can't imagine how if i was able to pinch the line, it would loose all pressure.

No clutch fluid on the floor from pumping the clutch.

ANy suggestions?

TKS
Bob
 

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2005 K1200LT
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When you drilled the weep hole did you remove the clutch push rod? If so did you put it back in? I know dumb question but I had to ask.

I guess the second question is did you remove the slave when you drilled the hole?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I didn't drill a hole for the clutch slave cylinder, just one in the bell housing to let the trany fluid drain out.

I've been looking at the lines for the clutch and wonder if I might have pinched the clutch line putting the front nose cone back on? re-installing the left side upper fairing?

But, my limited experience guess that if I pinched a line, I'd still get some pressure build up.

Bob
 

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2005 K1200LT
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You are correct Bob you would feel a pinched line.

I hate to say it but your slave cylinder may be shot or you just have some air in there still.

Try placing the handle bars such that the clutch reservoir is at a high point and wrap some wire on the lever to hold it in about an inch and leave it over night. It may burp out the air.
 

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I just went through the same thing this last weekend. I closed the bleed line and kept pumping the clutch handle. It eventually built back up again. Then did the bleed again and the air came out. Good luck.
 

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Same here.. You've still got some air in her....

Keep pumping....Or look for fluid... It's gotta be going somewhere.

When the system is closed and you are pumping it.. Are you losing fluid ?

John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I seem to be getting micro bubbles when I pull the lever in many times in a row about 1/4 of the way in. I feel a little pressure about 1/4 of a pull. Past that point, it feels as if it gets easier? I've got to shine a flash lite into the fluid to see the pin head size bubbles.

I've pumped a lot of clear new fluid thru the system without any bubbles coming out.

The other unusual thing I've noticed wall very fine black sludge in the corners and two troughs within the reservoir. I used some paper towels to suck out brake fluid left in there, and then used a screw driver for eye glass screws to gently scrape the sludge away from nooks and paper toweled it out--it took quite a while to remove it. I found similar sludge in the holes for the 4 screws on the top plate and in the female threads inside the reservoir.

My best guess is that the sludge is very fine paint particles or oxidized aluminum?

I tried treating the SpeedBleeder like it was regular bleeder.

I don't seem to be pushing fluid any where when the speed bleeder is closed.
When I had a leak in the brake line, I was still able to pump the brake and get back pressure--it would slowly go down.

I'm guessing that if the slave cylinder is leaking, that I would still get some pressure in the system and be able to push some fluid through it?

My only guess is that the sludge was stirred up when I poured new fluid into the reservoir and wound up pumping some of it into the handle bar plunger, scoring it so that it fluid leaks past it??

Just an uneducated wild quess that doesn't account for micro bubbles.

RIght now, the handle it wired all the way to the handle bar for the night.

Bob, 00LT
 

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Hi ,...I kind of ran our K1200LT/Hannigan over with our motorhome a few years ago ... I was backing up the motorhome , and caught the bike by the clutch handle . I drug the bike backwards around 15 foot or so, by the clutch handle . It only bent the clutch handle up , and broke the part that the handle is attached to ...It didn't do any thing else to the bike .

Anyway , I had to put a new clutch master cylinder on . I ended up getting the air out of the line by pulling the clutch in and letting it snap back out . A little air would come out into the reservoir ever time I let it go . It took a long long time , but it worked . Hope this is of some help .
 

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Now if you suspect the slave cylinder is leaking you probably want to stop adding fluid and pumping it through the system as you may be pushing it toward the clutch via the pushrod...:wow:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looks as if it was a problem with the amateur mechanic.

I started it up and with great apprehension slip her into first gear--no problem. Out of first with ease.

My best guess is that I had forgotten how easy it is to pull the clutch lever, and forgotten that it pulls all the way to the handle bar. Part of the error may have been created by how much PRESSURE I can create with the new stainless steel flex line on my front brake. By contrast, pulling on the clutch lever is like pulling on, well, nothing.

I went for a short ride, testing my theory that nothing was wrong with it after I got a couple of large bubbles to pop up in the reservoir, and it worked flawlessly.

For some reason, I had just decided that it should work similar to the front brake cylinder and should have a lot more resistance--may be I was remembering the pressure I had to use on the "Mouse-Trap" clutch in my 59 HD chopper?

Many thanks for all of the suggestions.

Bob, Leaky 00LT
 

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Hi, I may not be totally part of the LT community since I have an RS, but this is the only forum that I've found that may help me.
I've had the same problem with the left clutch line, I thought it was missing oil since the clutch was losing power more and more, and it would return when I pumped the lever multiple times.
I filled the line system with Dot4 oil, but still, the same problem. All I hear when I press the lever is within the engine system (maybe where the line ends) a hissing sound as if air was coming out. The lever is very easy to pull as described before in this post.
May I be having air in the system? No visible oil leaks around.
I am extremely new on the motorcycle world, and this is my first problem on this 26,000 mile bike from 2003 I just bought with no documentation whatsoever. I know! Wish me luck.
 

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Here's something you may want to try:

When you bleed a clutch via the lever, all you are really doing is moving the air bubbles around, because as the fluid tries to compress, the clutch slave cylinder presses outward against the clutch disc, which moves (unlike a set of brake pads - once they contact the rotor, that's it.) Eventually, you may get all the air out, but it can take a looooong time.

Two options: vacuum bleeding or reverse bleeding.

Vacuum bleeding - you'll need a Mity-Vac with some hose hookups. Keep the master filled, open the bleeder on the slave and use the Mity-Vac to draw the fluid through the system. That way, the clutch slave cylinder never moves and you draw the air out much more quickly.

Reverse bleeding - this one requires a bit of ingenuity to put together. Basically, you use a hand pressure pump (some Mity-Vacs will reverse) to a sealed jar filled with brake fluid. The pump hose goes into the lid, another hose runs down to the bottom of the jar and out to the bleeder on the slave cylinder. You pump fluid up from the slave to the master, and when the master is full, close the bleeder, cap the master, and give it a try.
 

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schenko said:
Hi, I may not be totally part of the LT community since I have an RS, but this is the only forum that I've found that may help me.
I've had the same problem with the left clutch line, I thought it was missing oil since the clutch was losing power more and more, and it would return when I pumped the lever multiple times.
I filled the line system with Dot4 oil, but still, the same problem. All I hear when I press the lever is within the engine system (maybe where the line ends) a hissing sound as if air was coming out. The lever is very easy to pull as described before in this post.
May I be having air in the system? No visible oil leaks around.
I am extremely new on the motorcycle world, and this is my first problem on this 26,000 mile bike from 2003 I just bought with no documentation whatsoever. I know! Wish me luck.

Has the fluid level in the reservoir been getting lower and lower, causing you to need to add fluid, or was that something that you simply did to try and correct the problem?
 

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I've used it for less than 50 miles I think since I bought it in March.
The only problem that I found originally was that when in first gear at a red light for example, the clutch would not work very well and the motorcycle would go forward, which freaked me out sometimes.
Finally I fix the rear wheel at the shop and new tires, start riding it and during the course of two days the problem worsened, so I took a look at the oil reservoir which was kind of empty.
I filled it and since no oil has been lost but still the problem has not been fixed. I can only go to first gear when the I pump the clutch in the handle multiple times and get some resistance which within seconds I again lose resistance and cannot go into first gear.
Thanks so much for the quick reply, you don't know how much I appreciate it.
 

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Your situation sounds exactly like what I had when my slave Cylinder failed me last year. I tried bleeding the clutch, to no avail. The only way I could get her to go into 1st was to pump the clutch.

I would suggest taking it to the shop or tearing into the Bike yourself before you waste the clutch if it is the slave Cylinder.

Good Luck!

John
schenko said:
I've used it for less than 50 miles I think since I bought it in March.
The only problem that I found originally was that when in first gear at a red light for example, the clutch would not work very well and the motorcycle would go forward, which freaked me out sometimes.
Finally I fix the rear wheel at the shop and new tires, start riding it and during the course of two days the problem worsened, so I took a look at the oil reservoir which was kind of empty.
I filled it and since no oil has been lost but still the problem has not been fixed. I can only go to first gear when the I pump the clutch in the handle multiple times and get some resistance which within seconds I again lose resistance and cannot go into first gear.
Thanks so much for the quick reply, you don't know how much I appreciate it.
 
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