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Author Topic: Cutch lever losing pressure  (Read 9856 times)

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cvoDoug

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Cutch lever losing pressure
« on: June 22, 2014, 09:49:56 AM »

I have a 2004 CVO ElectraGlide.  Whenever I ride I need to pump the clutch to get it to engage and sometimes that doesn't work.  I've changes the fluid, bleed the line and put a new cap on the reservoir.  I thought I read somewhere on here that someone else had a similar issue but couldn't find it.  Is the unit that my clutch line attaches to bad at the lever?  Or is there any other fix that maybe I'm looking passed?
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Twolanerider

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 01:00:39 PM »

Take a look at the parts marked as item #30 in the attached image.  HD part 37963-02.  That's the actuating piston, spring and seal that moves in and out as the clutch lever is pulled and released.  In the surface area where that piston slides in and out inside the transmission side cover it can get gummed up and cause the piston not to actuate or return easily.  If that's going on it can behave as you're describing.

The parts kit isn't terribly expensive.  Those parts are often just removed, everything cleaned, and then put back together and used again though.  For the cost of the parts kit I'd replace it if I went to the trouble of pulling the exhaust and side cover.  But you do have options.
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cvoDoug

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 08:11:40 AM »

Thanks.  That'll be this weeks project.  Do I need a any special tools?
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sadunbar

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2014, 08:18:51 AM »

Thanks.  That'll be this weeks project.  Do I need a any special tools?

No special tools required...
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cvoDoug

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 04:23:44 PM »

OK, replaced the slave cylinder, trans fluid and new dot 5 fluid int the line.  Still creeping and finnicky.  Clutch? Plates? Diaphram spring?  I hate that there's no adjustment with this thing.  Did I do something wrong or do I replace the lever side now? :furious3:
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grc

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2014, 04:52:50 PM »

OK, replaced the slave cylinder, trans fluid and new dot 5 fluid int the line.  Still creeping and finnicky.  Clutch? Plates? Diaphram spring?  I hate that there's no adjustment with this thing.  Did I do something wrong or do I replace the lever side now? :furious3:

Don't use DOT 5 fluid.  Consult the manual or the cap on the master cylinder; the correct fluid is DOT 4.  DOT 5 is silicone based and it entrains air, making it extremely hard to get the air out of the system.  Before looking any further I'd suggest flushing that stuff out and start over with fresh DOT 4.

Once you are sure you have ALL the air out of the system (you may need to bleed any air out at the banjo fitting for the line at the M/C as well), you can measure the travel of the clutch release rod to make sure you're getting the proper amount of travel.  The minimum is 1.65mm (0.065"), and more is better.  If you are getting the proper amount of travel it's a good indication the hydraulics are OK and you need to then look at the clutch itself.

Jerry
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sadunbar

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 05:58:29 PM »

OK, replaced the slave cylinder, trans fluid and new dot 5 fluid int the line.  Still creeping and finnicky.  Clutch? Plates? Diaphram spring?  I hate that there's no adjustment with this thing.  Did I do something wrong or do I replace the lever side now? :furious3:

Make sure you completely flush the Dot 5 fluid out of the system if you replace it with Dot 4 as Jerry suggests.  You don't want a mixture of Dot 4 and Dot 5.

After you check your clutch travel with a dial indicator as Jerry suggested - if your clutch travel is correct but you still have drag, check your primary lubricant level.

Have you recently replaced the primary fluid?  If your fluid level is even slightly to high (to full) it will cause drag/stick on the clutch plates.  I generally run approx. 32 to 34 oz. in the primary.  If you suspect this is the problem, pull your clutch plates and spacers and wipe them clean, then reassemble with a bit less primary fluid.  You want the level to be at the bottom of the clutch, but not so high that the clutch plates are sitting in lubricant.

If you have the correct push rod travel and still have drag, there's only a couple things that are likely wrong.  Either to high of lubricant level in the primary, or warped (out of flat) clutch plates or clutch spacers.   If you don't have the correct push rod travel, you likely still have air it the system (and most likely at the master cylinder).  It's very difficult to get all the air out and bleed the system with Dot 5, and is easier to bleed the system with Dot 4.  Still, it's harder to get rid of all the air at the master cylinder and is easier to get rid of the air at the slave cylinder.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 06:07:28 PM by sadunbar »
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Twolanerider

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 06:01:00 PM »

Don't use DOT 5 fluid.  Consult the manual or the cap on the master cylinder; the correct fluid is DOT 4. 

On the 2004 SEEG the OE spec was still DOT5.  It was in that few year stretch MoCo used it out of the box.

That doesn't mean you have to use DOT5 though.  It is an absolute bitch to work with.  There is no difference in the brake components from (for example) 2004 to 2005 even though the fluid spec changed.  So, yes, flush the DOT5 and push a good (probably synthetic) DOT4 fluid in its place. 

The fluid will be much less trouble to work with, will bleed easier and will make you so say many many less bad words.  Only downside to running away from DOT5 is that DOT5 won't damage paint where previous fluids can if not wiped off in short order.  So while it's worthwhile for the sake of personal sanity to not use DOT5 just be sure and wipe any other fluid off right away if you get it on the painted parts.
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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 06:39:08 PM »

On the 2004 SEEG the OE spec was still DOT5.  It was in that few year stretch MoCo used it out of the box.

That doesn't mean you have to use DOT5 though.  It is an absolute bitch to work with.  There is no difference in the brake components from (for example) 2004 to 2005 even though the fluid spec changed.  So, yes, flush the DOT5 and push a good (probably synthetic) DOT4 fluid in its place. 

The fluid will be much less trouble to work with, will bleed easier and will make you so say many many less bad words.  Only downside to running away from DOT5 is that DOT5 won't damage paint where previous fluids can if not wiped off in short order.  So while it's worthwhile for the sake of personal sanity to not use DOT5 just be sure and wipe any other fluid off right away if you get it on the painted parts.

For what it's worth, I ran Dot 4 in both my 2004 SEEG's back in the day....   :2vrolijk_21:
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cvoDoug

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 11:25:17 PM »

Thanks all.  Looks like I'm draining the DOT 5 tomorrow and changing my primary fluid.  I'll keep y'all posted.
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twinotter

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 12:26:20 PM »

When you check the primary level do it with the bike standing VERTICAL.
If you don't have at least .065 of clutchpack travel, you need to find the reason. Check the return holes in the master, make sure they are both open and that the cylinder travel all the way back to rest every time.fwiw Buffalo
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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2014, 08:12:58 PM »

Good string here.  Yesterday we had our bike transported to Jim at Metal Dragon due to a similar issue. 

After riding nearly 3,500 miles on a trip from San Jose to Glacier Park Montana and back, the hydraulic clutch failed twice.  First time we were able to get compression again and it seemed to hold and got us another 40 miles down the road.  But yesterday, we were on the coast between Mendocino and Bodega Bay and it failed again.  Those are some very curvy roads and it takes a lot of shifting to traverse the switchbacks and such.  Up to the day before the bike had functioned flawlessly except for a new oil leak. :-[  I figured to keep oil in it and troubleshoot at home.  No such luck.  After getting dumped twice, my wife would not get back on and I don't blame her.  The second time I tried to pump up the pressure to at least get it into neutral before stopping, but no such luck.  Good thing for us there were some great folks nearby to help us get the bike into a parking lot, so we could wait for a transporter. 

I have good faith Jim will figure it out and get it fixed, but I'm still struggling with why it started acting up when it did.  We headed south on a very curvy section of Hwy 1, just south of Guernyville, CA, near where Hwy 1 joins Hwy 101.  After maybe ten minutes of twisties, I noticed the lever begin to get loose in my hand.  I was still able to change gears, but it was pretty clunky at this point.  I kept it in third and fourth gears as much as possible, except on the tightest curves where it was necessary to shift into second.  We were very fortunate to be close enough to home at this point we could get the bike to Metal Dragon and a ride home. 

Is this the same issue?  Could it be just old fluid or perhaps the master cylinder?  It held pressure, until it got hot again, then started acting up.  Not looking for clairvoyants, just perhaps someone who has had similar problems and found a solution.  The second time, it would not hold compression on the clutch and would just slowly get weaker as the clutch leaver was pulled.  :nixweiss:

Considering we had been up to Sawtooth, ID, Grand Tetons, WY, Yellowstone and Road to the Sun at Glacier in MT, we were very lucky to make it to a reasonable distance from home.  We'd really have preferred to roll into our garage unscathed, but still feel pretty lucky.  Such as it is.   :bananarock:

 

 
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Twolanerider

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2014, 11:33:31 AM »


It held pressure, until it got hot again, then started acting up.  Not looking for clairvoyants, just perhaps someone who has had similar problems and found a solution. 


Fortunately these hydraulic clutches are nice simple systems.  So whatever is, and being in the hands of a great shop, you'll be sorted quickly.  Can share one bit of potential curiosity based on your description though.

While it may end up being a cylinder problem your mention that it began after it got "hot again" would make me look close around the hydraulic line where it enters the tranny side cover.  If for some reason that long nipple got bent a little or somehow any other part of the line was closer than normal to the exhaust pipe perhaps after it got good and hot the fluid reached boiling point inside the hydraulic line.  That would account for come-and-go loss of the clutch and it showing up only after the system got got.

Just an idea.  Hope you get it all sorted quickly.  Good luck.
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Eagle Eye

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2014, 11:50:44 AM »

Thanks. I'll take a look at it.
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hawkeye4jw

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2014, 12:43:56 PM »

Good string here.  Yesterday we had our bike transported to Jim at Metal Dragon due to a similar issue. 

After riding nearly 3,500 miles on a trip from San Jose to Glacier Park Montana and back, the hydraulic clutch failed twice.  First time we were able to get compression again and it seemed to hold and got us another 40 miles down the road.  But yesterday, we were on the coast between Mendocino and Bodega Bay and it failed again.  Those are some very curvy roads and it takes a lot of shifting to traverse the switchbacks and such.  Up to the day before the bike had functioned flawlessly except for a new oil leak. :-[  I figured to keep oil in it and troubleshoot at home.  No such luck.  After getting dumped twice, my wife would not get back on and I don't blame her.  The second time I tried to pump up the pressure to at least get it into neutral before stopping, but no such luck.  Good thing for us there were some great folks nearby to help us get the bike into a parking lot, so we could wait for a transporter. 

I have good faith Jim will figure it out and get it fixed, but I'm still struggling with why it started acting up when it did.  We headed south on a very curvy section of Hwy 1, just south of Guernyville, CA, near where Hwy 1 joins Hwy 101.  After maybe ten minutes of twisties, I noticed the lever begin to get loose in my hand.  I was still able to change gears, but it was pretty clunky at this point.  I kept it in third and fourth gears as much as possible, except on the tightest curves where it was necessary to shift into second.  We were very fortunate to be close enough to home at this point we could get the bike to Metal Dragon and a ride home. 

Is this the same issue?  Could it be just old fluid or perhaps the master cylinder?  It held pressure, until it got hot again, then started acting up.  Not looking for clairvoyants, just perhaps someone who has had similar problems and found a solution.  The second time, it would not hold compression on the clutch and would just slowly get weaker as the clutch leaver was pulled.  :nixweiss:

Considering we had been up to Sawtooth, ID, Grand Tetons, WY, Yellowstone and Road to the Sun at Glacier in MT, we were very lucky to make it to a reasonable distance from home.  We'd really have preferred to roll into our garage unscathed, but still feel pretty lucky.  Such as it is.   :bananarock:

I had to have the master cylinder rebuilt on my 2013 last month. It would shift but when I stopped it would start engaging until it stalled the bike.

Jack
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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2014, 04:15:27 PM »

I had to have the master cylinder rebuilt on my 2013 last month. It would shift but when I stopped it would start engaging until it stalled the bike.

Jack

Pretty much what I was thinking Jack.  Wow!  One year and a rebuild?????  That's not good.  I'd assume warranty took care of that?  :2vrolijk_21:
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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2014, 08:27:55 PM »

Pretty much what I was thinking Jack.  Wow!  One year and a rebuild?????  That's not good.  I'd assume warranty took care of that?  :2vrolijk_21:

Yea. It was fixed under warranty. Luckily I was only a couple blocks from my wife's work. It went without much warning.

Ride Safe
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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2014, 08:57:26 PM »

Fortunately these hydraulic clutches are nice simple systems.  So whatever is, and being in the hands of a great shop, you'll be sorted quickly.  Can share one bit of potential curiosity based on your description though.

While it may end up being a cylinder problem your mention that it began after it got "hot again" would make me look close around the hydraulic line where it enters the tranny side cover.  If for some reason that long nipple got bent a little or somehow any other part of the line was closer than normal to the exhaust pipe perhaps after it got good and hot the fluid reached boiling point inside the hydraulic line.  That would account for come-and-go loss of the clutch and it showing up only after the system got got.

Just an idea.  Hope you get it all sorted quickly.  Good luck.

Mine has overheated twice causing lack of pressure, the first time (two years ago) I found the hydraulic like touching the exhaust just like Twolane describes, I moved it away from the exhaust and let it cool and all was well.

Last week we were riding rt. 14 between Cody and Sheridan WY, very twisty and uphill, and it happened again, however this time the line was not touching the exhaust. I could pump the lever five or six times and get enough clutch to shift. Once we got back to flat roads and the engine wasn't working as hard the clutch was fine, my guess it that the engine/exhaust got so hot that the fluid boiled where the line comes out of the tranny...wondering if there is a way to shield the line from the heat.....
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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2014, 10:47:41 PM »

wondering if there is a way to shield the line from the heat.....

My hydraulic clutch line is inside a 3/4" piece of heat shield tubing...


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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 06:40:29 PM »

Looks like just the solution I had in mind, thanks :2vrolijk_21:

I use it on the hydraulic line for both the clutch and rear brake....    :2vrolijk_21:
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Dose any one have this cluch fault
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2015, 06:29:30 PM »

This has happened to me twice now, having all of a sudden no clutch. ( 07 ultra classic )  A bit of back ground, when it has happened both times I was in stop/go traffic and a hot day. When I first notice it the clutch lever  has no back pressure (like there's no hydraulic oil) when I go to pull the lever. With in a few minutes the full action of the lever there is nothing. At one point it stalled the motor. In order to get going again I had to short stroke (pump) the lever to disengage the clutch once the pressure is up it holds when I let the lever back out I'm back to pumping it again to get the pressure back up.
Now I know it's hot motor related. What I don't understand is how a hot motor can disable the hydraulics of the clutch. By the way once I'm out of the stop and go and rolling all is back to normal.
This is not a good thing to be losing my clutch in city traffic. Any input to resolve this with out having to go to HD would sure be appreciated.           
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Re: Dose any one have this cluch fault
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2015, 06:37:03 PM »

This has happened to me twice now, having all of a sudden no clutch. ( 07 ultra classic )  A bit of back ground, when it has happened both times I was in stop/go traffic and a hot day. When I first notice it the clutch lever  has no back pressure (like there's no hydraulic oil) when I go to pull the lever. With in a few minutes the full action of the lever there is nothing. At one point it stalled the motor. In order to get going again I had to short stroke (pump) the lever to disengage the clutch once the pressure is up it holds when I let the lever back out I'm back to pumping it again to get the pressure back up.
Now I know it's hot motor related. What I don't understand is how a hot motor can disable the hydraulics of the clutch. By the way once I'm out of the stop and go and rolling all is back to normal.
This is not a good thing to be losing my clutch in city traffic. Any input to resolve this with out having to go to HD would sure be appreciated.         
Moved/merged your post/thread w/this existing thread... sounds like your exhaust is overheating the hydraulic clutch fluid... read some of the posts previously (especially "sadunbar" post).

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Re: Dose any one have this cluch fault
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2015, 06:48:39 PM »

This has happened to me twice now, having all of a sudden no clutch. ( 07 ultra classic )  A bit of back ground, when it has happened both times I was in stop/go traffic and a hot day. When I first notice it the clutch lever  has no back pressure (like there's no hydraulic oil) when I go to pull the lever. With in a few minutes the full action of the lever there is nothing. At one point it stalled the motor. In order to get going again I had to short stroke (pump) the lever to disengage the clutch once the pressure is up it holds when I let the lever back out I'm back to pumping it again to get the pressure back up.
Now I know it's hot motor related. What I don't understand is how a hot motor can disable the hydraulics of the clutch. By the way once I'm out of the stop and go and rolling all is back to normal.
This is not a good thing to be losing my clutch in city traffic. Any input to resolve this with out having to go to HD would sure be appreciated.         

The hydraulic clutch line runs along the exhaust header.  The heat from the exhaust header is what's causing your problem.  The fluid is reaching a boiling point.  If their is any moisture in your clutch brake fluid, it will boil even quicker.  This occurs faster with old fluid, as the older the fluid, the lower the boiling point.  And it happens sooner at high altitude, because the boiling point is lower at altitude.  This has happened to me.  I have insulated my brake and clutch line with heat protective sleeve where it is near the exhaust.  I'd suggest flushing the line with fresh fluid, and install some heat protection... 

http://www.jegs.com/

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2007 Screamin Eagle Ultra Classic - Light Candy Cherry and Black Ice
Screamin Eagle 120r
Revolution Performance EMS
Fuel Moto Jackpot headpipes and 4.5" Pro Touring Mufflers
HPI 55mm Throttle Body w/5.3 injectors
BDL clutch w/VPC92T
Traxxion AK-20
Legend Air Suspension
Brembo Brake Calipers/Rotors
Garmin Zumo
575 Chubby's
Bushtec Quantum

longlast

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Re: Dose any one have this cluch fault
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2015, 07:56:52 PM »

The hydraulic clutch line runs along the exhaust header.  The heat from the exhaust header is what's causing your problem.  The fluid is reaching a boiling point.  If their is any moisture in your clutch brake fluid, it will boil even quicker.  This occurs faster with old fluid, as the older the fluid, the lower the boiling point.  And it happens sooner at high altitude, because the boiling point is lower at altitude.  This has happened to me.  I have insulated my brake and clutch line with heat protective sleeve where it is near the exhaust.  I'd suggest flushing the line with fresh fluid, and install some heat protection... 

http://www.jegs.com/

Thanks sadunbar and Fierd00d I'll be getting on it straight  away. Man Harley must know of this but don't redesign it in order to keep their shops busy  for those that can't DIY them selves. For a 30k+ bike for what I consider to be a dangerous fault has there not been any kind of recall 
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sadunbar

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Re: Dose any one have this cluch fault
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2015, 08:06:40 PM »

Thanks sadunbar and Fierd00d I'll be getting on it straight  away. Man Harley must know of this but don't redesign it in order to keep their shops busy  for those that can't DIY them selves. For a 30k+ bike for what I consider to be a dangerous fault has there not been any kind of recall

hehehe....  good one!   :2vrolijk_21:

Oh wait a minute, you were being serious...   ???

Sorry - but nope, no kind of recall...    :(
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2007 Screamin Eagle Ultra Classic - Light Candy Cherry and Black Ice
Screamin Eagle 120r
Revolution Performance EMS
Fuel Moto Jackpot headpipes and 4.5" Pro Touring Mufflers
HPI 55mm Throttle Body w/5.3 injectors
BDL clutch w/VPC92T
Traxxion AK-20
Legend Air Suspension
Brembo Brake Calipers/Rotors
Garmin Zumo
575 Chubby's
Bushtec Quantum

longlast

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Re: Dose any one have this cluch fault
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2015, 10:08:09 PM »

hehehe....  good one!   :2vrolijk_21:

Oh wait a minute, you were being serious...   ???

Sorry - but nope, no kind of recall...    :(

hehe..... ya your right! that was a good one  :P
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04cvoron

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Re: Cutch lever losing pressure
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2021, 11:29:35 AM »

If anyone sees this I have the same bike same problem
Anyone ever find a solution?
I’m going to be looking into the transmission for any issues there since the pushrod goes through there
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