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Author Topic: Changing clutch fluid.  (Read 887 times)

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Ironhorse

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Changing clutch fluid.
« on: April 13, 2019, 10:37:55 AM »

Last weekend I lost my clutch on my way to the Three Rivers MITM.

Trapperdog led us on a winding path over a mountain range, and somewhere along the way my clutch went out. It had way too much play in the lever, and I had to pump it several times to bring up pressure. The last time this happened was a year ago coming over Sonora Pass during the Yosemite run. By the time we made it to the valley floor the clutch had recovered. Speaking with WrongWay he said the same thing happened to him at Sonora Pass a while ago, and suggested a fluid change.

Two days ago I changed out the clutch fluid. The first thing I noticed is that the clutch releases closer to the grip. I also have better command and control in slow speed maneuvers. Whereas the bike used to be difficult when slipping the clutch, it is now easier to control.

Little things like changing the clutch fluid can make a big difference.
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Yellow09SERG

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 11:16:48 AM »

Glad you posted that. Changed the fluid recently in mine while replacing the cups in the slave cylinder and sure seemed to me that the clutch was easier to control. I had just about convenienced myself it was my imagination till you posted this.
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dayne66

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2019, 12:16:46 PM »

Next time she's up on the lift for fluids.....I'll do that!

No issues ...yet....but, don't want any!
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iski

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 07:13:29 AM »

Very good advice. Had a similar experience after the clutch recall that included a fluid change.  Clutch was smoother, released closer to the grip.  Little things can make a big difference.
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DCFIREMANN

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 09:00:24 AM »

I changed my clutch and installed a Barnett Scorpion clutch. After that I flushed the fluid and replaced it with Red Line RM 600. As far as I am concerned it's the best fluid out there.

Be Safe

THE DAWG
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TraumaSlave

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 10:15:55 PM »

The day Prince died, I was returning from the Keys. I hit Miami for rush hour. Sitting in the high speed lane of 5, my clutch went out and the bike stalled. I had to lug/going start it and get across all 5 lanes for the exit. Pulled into a McD's and sat for awhile.  Tried it after letting it cool down for a couple hours and all was well. And I got the hell outta Dodge. Rode fine till I got to Rossmyers for a check in the morning. They flushed the system and all was mutch better. They told me that cluth fluid is hydrophillic and humidity is absorbed thru the vent. Over heating, the water expanded and there went my clutch.
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chaos901

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2019, 11:03:37 AM »

Went to CO several years ago and had the same issue.  Now I change my fluid every two years and have never had it repeated.  The problem seems to be caused when the fluid absorbs too much moisture, getting hot then cooling down.  Electronic Testers for the moisture content of brake fluid are available and are not expensive at all.   
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skratch

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 11:05:44 AM »

it makes sense.  the clutch fluid is the same brake fluid that they recommend be changed every 2 years.
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longlast

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2019, 05:14:50 PM »

Clutch and brake fluids are/can be taken for granted and over looked by most (those of you that drive cars, trucks or vans or even work vehicles) have you ever checked or changed the hydraulic fluid?
I for one have never changed my vehicles hydraulic fluids in any of the vehicles I've owned over the years but I have on my bike (head scratched)  wonder why that is?  :nixweiss:
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SIKBIRD

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2019, 05:58:17 PM »

Is it just the DOT 4 fluid that absorbs moisture or does DOT 5 do it as well?  My bike is an 04 (DOT 5) and it only says to inspect the fluid in the service manual all the way through 50k service.
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CVODON

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2019, 07:51:50 PM »

When I worked for the chemical company in my youth we made Brake Fluid, all grades and shipped it in rail cars. From the time you started a batch with the chemical blending, thru the heating process and seperation it is ALWAYS being heavily purged with pure Nitrogen, both the top and lower ports of the reactor. If you ever lost nitrogen pressure the blend could be saved by controlled heating and vacuum stripping of the water it absorbed, but it was a slow process. Now once the product has all it's additives and is bottled the absorbortion rate slows down a little but it still is sucking in water every time it is exposed to the air. And the bike has a vent so it is pretty much always exposed to air. You should, I do, change it regularly. At least every two years and in my opinion the brake fluid as well.
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SIKBIRD

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2019, 08:04:11 PM »

Thanks for the detailed explanation.  I changed it about 3 years ago, guess i’ll Add that to my ever-growing list of annual maintenance.
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Ironhorse

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2019, 08:36:55 AM »

The bike has a vent so it is pretty much always exposed to air.

So as the fluid absorbs air, it becomes more spongy?
Why does altitude affect it more? Is that because the air is thinner at elevation including the air that has been absorbed into the fluid?

Mark
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ultrafxr

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Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2019, 11:13:15 AM »

So as the fluid absorbs air, it becomes more spongy?
Why does altitude affect it more? Is that because the air is thinner at elevation including the air that has been absorbed into the fluid?

Mark
Air infiltration will include moisture.  High Altitude lowers the boiling point of water thereby allowing it to vaporize more easily.


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dayne66

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Re: Changing clutch fluid.
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2019, 11:21:26 AM »

Just 'cause it has not been mentioned in this thread........be very careful about getting brake fluid on paint!!!!!!!
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