Hydraulic Clutch Slipping!!
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  1. #1
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    Hydraulic Clutch Slipping!!

    i have a '97 Kawasaki 1500 Vulcan Classic, about 4,000 miles (i know, i haven't ridden it much).

    i never did anything with the clutch until this year when i bled and put all new fluid in. Clutch worked great after i did it, but the next day the clutch was slipping a bit. After a short ride, the clutch would barely engage at all and i barely got home.

    So i bled it again. Clutch worked great, and went out for a short ride. No problems.

    Then i rode it again the next day with a bit of slippage at the start and slowly progressed to almost complete slippage. Almost didn't make it back home again.

    So, every time i bleed it, it acts as if it is great, but after some time, it fails on me.

    Am i just not getting all of the air out? Why would the clutch system work great right after the bleeding and then progressively get worse after a time period?

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator

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    Can-AM Spyder
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    There might be a slight leak somewhere letting some air in.
    Are you absolutely sure that you put in the right type of fluid ??
    You may need a shop visit.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  4. #3
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    It calls for DOT4, I put in fluid that claims it can be used for DOT3 and 4 applications.

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  6. #4
    Super Moderator

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    Quote Originally Posted by market View Post
    It calls for DOT4, I put in fluid that claims it can be used for DOT3 and 4 applications.
    Good then that likely is not the problem.

    Are you "bleeding" from all of the possible points in the line.....at the slave cylinder AND any banjo bolts that may be present along the line ??
    Was the fluid fresh from an un-opened container ?

    A clutch (or brake) that slowly operates as the bike heats up is usually a sign of moisture (water) in the brake fluid.
    You might have to start all over if that is the problem.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  7. #5
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    don't know of any "banjo bolts", but yes, i used fresh fluid from unopened container.

    I talked to a service shop and they said i should replace the slave cylinder and put in a new master cylinder kit. He thinks it is from the age of the bike and components and possible moisture effects on the components.

    I'd rather not spend the money. How about potential of old oil? Doesn't the clutch utilize the engine oil in some way?

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by market View Post
    Doesn't the clutch utilize the engine oil in some way?
    NO, at least not the mechanism that you are talking about.
    The plates themselves are "wet" with engine oil but if that was the problem, bleeding the hydraulic system wouldn't help any.......and the problem started after you changed the fluid.

    To be perfectly honest, THIS kind of a situation is why I have an "If it ain't broke don't F with it" policy......in general.

    A this point you are going to HAVE to spend some money.
    You can either continue to guess at the problem and tinker with it yourself OR take it to a shop and have them do it right.
    It might not need any new parts at all.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  9. #7
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    When you bleed the system do you pump the lever then release the bleed nipple at the slave cylinder? Also do you have a clear plastic line with the free end submerged in brake fluid in a jar? And finally do you fully nip up the bleed nipple before you release the clutch lever?. If you do this and make sure the level never falls too low in the MC then there must be a fault somewhere...or you are not getting all the air out.

    Try doing the above then tying the lever in the fully pulled position overnight. Before you release it, open the bleed nipple and let it drain....dont let the fluid stop draining before you do the nipple back up....either while you do the overnight thing or while you are bleeding the system....air can work its way backwards into the circuit if the tube is not a very tight fit on the nipple.

    good luck
    Smoke me a kipper I'll be home in time for breakfast

  10. #8
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    What did you find that fixed this issue? I am also having the same issue. I have replaced plates, slave and master. Bleed until I'm sick. its better but still slips when it has been running for about 30 min..

  11. #9
    Super Moderator

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    Last post in this thread was about 3 years ago.

    You aren't using "car" oil in the bike, are you ??
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  12. #10
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
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    As Er says if everything that operates the clutch was replaced then it has to be the clutch itself or the oil you're using. One other thing have you got aftermarket levers....some dont work properly...(long shot)
    Smoke me a kipper I'll be home in time for breakfast


 

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