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Author Topic: Hydraulic Clutch Issue  (Read 4513 times)

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Skwatch

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Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« on: July 15, 2022, 04:55:52 PM »

Good Day!

Bike is a 2011 FLTRUSE

Issue...intermittent "no pressure" on hydraulic clutch (won't disengage)

I change/bleed the hydraulic clutch every year, even though HD recommends every 2 years, with DOT4. It's a simple task and in theory should eliminate any possible failure due to moisture contamination, boiling, air in system etc etc

Not once has the master cylinder been low on fluid, nor have I ever seen a drop or even seepage anywhere in the system.

For some reason...out of the blue I will experience zero pressure at the lever, and the clutch will not disengage. When I remove the master cyl cover, it's full...I bleed the system and immediately the problem is solved. Can ride for a day or several thousand miles without issue and then, for no reason...no pressure/won't disengage.

Last September while on a 10 day trip it failed...found an indy who bled it for me and down the road I went (all good)...rode bike until mid October with no issues...when putting bike away for season end of October, it was all I could do to ride it 3 blocks to storage. Bike sat for the winter...along comes spring so I figured to bleed the system at same time as I change the other fluids...clutch performs normal again (WTF?) I didn't do anything yet :nixweiss:

Talked to HD and they say bring it in and we will throw parts at it and...oh by the way...you can't rebuild the master and it's $500(Canadian) for a new one.

Have talked to others and appears no way to diagnose other than changing parts (master and slave)

I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar issue, or if anyone has a suggestion which way to go with this?

I did purchase the slave cylinder rebuild kit for $80 but...not certain I want to tear half the bike apart to change it if it's not the problem.

I welcome any thoughts, comments, suggestions on this dilemma.

TIA!
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Joel

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2022, 08:48:12 PM »

What happens when the clutch hydraulics don't work?
Clutch lever pulls to the stop and stays there or returns to rest position?
If you're not losing fluid and all you do is bleed the system and then it works?
I think the master cylinder is internally allowing pressure to leak past the seals on the piston.
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Skwatch

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2022, 10:19:57 PM »

What happens when the clutch hydraulics don't work?
Clutch lever pulls to the stop and stays there or returns to rest position?
If you're not losing fluid and all you do is bleed the system and then it works?
I think the master cylinder is internally allowing pressure to leak past the seals on the piston.

Lever pulls in with zero effort and stays there.

Correct...I bleed/flush the system and clutch works as it should for an inconsistent amount of time.

If master was rebuildable I'd buy the kit, but...at $500 for a new master, I had planned on rebuilding the slave first, for $80.
If still an issue then buy the new master.

I was just starting to do that when buddy shows up and got me all discombobulated, offering his opinion which was, that he wouldn't do anything until it was diagnosed/proven which part was faulty. I've talked to a few shops with no clear diagnosis.
Hence my post here today...


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Skwatch

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2022, 11:00:11 PM »

My first thought is a sticky slave cylinder.

Lets say it is....does it make sense that when I flush/bleed the system, it will work OK for awhile?

I still don't understand how air is getting into the system :nixweiss:

I'm beginning to think Joel may be correct...mc is leaking internally...
« Last Edit: July 15, 2022, 11:03:26 PM by Skwatch »
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fastfreddy

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2022, 10:15:08 AM »

my 13 RG had the same symptoms, except bleeding did nothing to correct the issue. master cyl was replaced/rebuilt under warranty. no problem after that. my 2 cents is the master cyl. needs attention
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CVODON

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2022, 05:39:59 PM »

Cycle Pro has (had?)a rebuild kit for this Clutch Master cylinder for about $40.00. I bought one for my 09 CVO RG awhile back, cleaned the bore, flushed the system and installed kit. Road it for another couple years after that without a problem. Mine would just ever once in awhile bypass and I would have no clutch. Never a problem after installing the kit. I think I bought the kit from Ebay but it may have been Drag Specialties, can't remember. WAY cheaper than new chrome master from HD.
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screaminCVO

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2022, 11:01:25 AM »

Just had the same issue on my '14 ultra. Went to the closest dealer along the way there clutch returned. I found this interesting though, they had no one to help - he thinks maybe it could elevation and heat....WTF??!! As it was working again, he said just carry on, it should be fine. I rode another 4 hrs around 100F on the hiway and no issues.
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KGB

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2022, 12:19:49 PM »

I would try an aftermarket rebuild kit before replacing the master cylinder providing the bore is ok after you get it apart.

https://www.jpcycles.com/product/220-0157/v-twin-manufacturing-clutch-master-cylinder-rebuild-kit
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Rimjam

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2022, 09:59:39 AM »

My clutch m/c began leaking on a trip, small leak, made it home OK.  Bought a rebuild kit from Drag & OK ever since.

  Hint: Do not try to use a brake m/c rebuild kit even tho the bores are the same - ruined two cup washers trying but failing. Had to fab a PVC insertion tool to get the new correct cup washer to install.
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Joel

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Re: Hydraulic Clutch Issue
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2022, 09:36:35 AM »

There was a recall on the Rushmore bike for clutch hydraulic system.
Check to see if it the bike was part of the recall.
I think you can go to H-D site and input your vin # to find recall information.
Recalls follow the bike, not the owner so even if you didn't buy it new it is stil covered.
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