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I have a 1987 Suzuki Intruder VS700 with a hydraulic clutch. The clutch gradually got to where it would not fully disengage much of the time and I took the reservoir cover off and added fluid. Afterward it would not disengage at all. I have bled at the master cylinder and at the bleed valve on the slave cylinder but cannot get the clutch to work. I used the same procedure that I used for the front brake once before and it worked perfect for the brake. When I cover the master cylinder outlet with my thumb, the lever pumps more pressure than I can hold with my thumb. I then bleed some more fluid off after installing the hose bolt. I get no air at the master cylinder or at the bleed valve on the slave cylinder. Is there something else I should be doing? Am I missing something? Should I reverse flow bleed as the Clymer manual describes? Could the clutch hose or slave cylinder have gone bad? I really hate to by a new $180 hose or $75 slave cylinder if I don’t need to. Thanks in advance.
 

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Here's a little more info. I tried the reverse flow bleeding, working the lever, and tapping on the line to get all the air out. I cannot get any more bubbles and I now have better lever pressure but my clutch still won't disengage. It will disengage VERY slightly and I can move the bike about 1 foot with VERY strong resistance (vs. not moving it at all when releasing the clutch lever), but the bike will not roll freely. Master cylinder is full of fluid. Any suggestions? Could the slave cylinder have just gone bad? Could it be the master cylinder even though it's pumping up some pressure? Could something be like the diengaging push rod be in a bind in some way? Could the hose just be bad and not be holding enough pressure? Again, thanks in advance.
 

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I have spent the whole friggin day dealing with the same **** problem!! I swear I wrote your story in my sleep or something. I have checked master cylinder, bled in both directions and gone through unspeakable amounts of DOT 3 fluid. I am not a master mechanic, but I'm not stupid. Still, I cannot achieve ANY pressure on that line. I too have bled many a clutch, and many a brake on bikes and cars alike. I have to send my bike to the shop because I cant bleed the clutch and it is humiliating. Not to mention expensive. If you hear anything I would love to know. I will of course do the same. Glad to hear its not just me.
 

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The most difficult part of bleeding the clutch is the banjo fitting at the master cylinder, mostly because it is higher than any other part of the system. The easiest thing to try is loosen the master cylinder enough to shift it on the bars, turn the bars hard right, and see if you can get the fitting lower than the rest. You may need a helper to lean the bike some. Then, very slowly pull the clutch lever, wait a few seconds, then release. Repeat several times, or until you feel the pressure build up.
 

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banjo fitting

Just came across a useful website (they wont let me post the url, cause i just signed up but it is by bobhenneman) that details the bleeding process on the Intruder. In which he says to loosen the banjo fitting slightly, then fully pull in the clutch lever, tighten the banjo fitting while holding in the lever, then release the lever. Repeat several times if necessary. Hope it helps
 

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Yeah, that works, too; very messy, so make sure everything is covered. Brake fluid will soften and stain paint, and discolors polished aluminum, if you don't wash it off quickly.
 

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When dealing with the banjo bolt wrap a rag around the hose just under the banjo to catch the fluid.
If you've tried everything mentioned above you are down to two possibilities.

1) The hydraulic hose is expanding so much that not enough pressure is applied to work the clutch.
(Possible on a bike from 1987).

2) The master cylinder and second cylinder are due for a good cleaning and overhaul.
Along with cleaning an overhaul consists of replacing all of the internal rubbers.

Unfortunately both of the above possibilities could be happening at the same time.

If you find pitting in the bore of the master cylinder it will need to be replaced or it will never 'pressure up'.
 
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