94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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hacksawdog
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:29 pm
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL 1500 SE

94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding

Postby hacksawdog » Tue May 12, 2015 9:58 am



Hi Guys. I'm fairly new to the site and bike riding. My father and brother and been at it for years and I'm just now getting into it. I've come into possession of a 94 GL1500 with about 43,000 miles on it that I'm working on getting everything back up to speed. I've read a lot of helpful articles so far. It had been sitting for years before I got a hold of it. I've performed some general maintenance items and got the engine running and sounding great. The bike is in pretty good shape but has some minor issues...clutch, brakes and reverse are all I've identified so far. It used to have a trike kit on it but it was removed and put on another bike and my bike was left with the after effects of that. I've got a clutch issue I can't seem to nail down. When I first started with it, the bike would just go dead when I held the clutch and tried to put it in gear. I could pump the clutch handle several times and get it to go into gear but when I got ready to go to the next gear it would go dead again unless I pumped. I flushed the fluid and cleaned out the reservoir and now it works and will shift through all the gears BUT begins creeping in every gear after about a second after depressing the clutch. I've got it on the centerstand and I can put it into gear and the wheel begins turning, I then depress the clutch and put my foot against the tire and it will come to a stop for literally about a second or so and then it starts turning again. I can let off the clutch and depress it again with the same results....I can't get it hold. My immediate thought is a) a leak or b)an air bubble. I haven't seen any fluid anywhere so I'm kinda ruling out the leak unless its just something I'm not thinking about or seeing. I'm fairly confident I've gotten all the air bubbles out after I used the mityvac bleeder yesterday, but it was the first time I've used that. I actually changed the fluid the conventional way but decided to get the mityvac anyway and redo it but its still doing the same thing.

Any suggestions guys? Should I try to change the fluid again? I read an article about the bushing but at only 43,000 miles it seems that it wouldn't wear down that quick
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WingAdmin
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Re: 94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding

Postby WingAdmin » Tue May 12, 2015 10:08 am

From what you're describing, it definitely sounds like a leak in the clutch, most likely in the clutch slave cylinder. You can confirm this by checking to see if the clutch fluid level in the reservoir is going down.

You will normally not see external evidence of leak when the slave cylinder is leaking. The reason for this is that it leaks into the engine crankcase, where it contaminates the oil. This is VERY BAD, because it will destroy the lubricating qualities of the oil, and can cause the main crankshaft bearings to fail - which basically turns the engine to scrap.

The solution is to remove and rebuild the clutch slave cylinder, which is not that huge a deal to do.

It's possible (but much less common) for the clutch master cylinder (where the lever is) to develop a leak, so that it cannot hold pressure.

Lastly, being that your bike sat without being run for some time, it's very important that you change the timing belts. They will take a "set" after sitting so long, which will weaken them considerably. Having a timing belt fail will cause major engine damage, and can completely destroy an engine in the worst case.

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hacksawdog
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Location: Mississippi
Motorcycle: 1994 GL 1500 SE

Re: 94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding

Postby hacksawdog » Tue May 12, 2015 10:31 am

I've kept an eye on it and the fluid level seems to be holding through everything I've tried. I've questioned the seal I'm getting on the master cylinder at the handle when I put the cover, set plate and rubber diaphragm back on but as long as the line stays within fluid limits it would be okay I'm assuming but that may not be the case.

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Mh434
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Re: 94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding

Postby Mh434 » Tue May 12, 2015 12:11 pm

I'd suggest rebuilding the clutch master cylinder. Once the seals start to wear, fluid creeps past them & the bike will start to move. Pumping-up builds pressure momentarily, then bleeds down, and the bike starts to move. The fact that the bike isn't losing any fluid pretty much confirms the seals are gone.

The kits are fairly cheap ($20 to $25), and quite easy to do. I've done several, and had 100% success with fixing this exact problem.

Just my $.02....

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hacksawdog
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Motorcycle: 1994 GL 1500 SE

Re: 94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding

Postby hacksawdog » Tue May 12, 2015 1:04 pm

Thank you both very much. I think I'll try the master cylinder rebuild as it seems like the easiest before moving to the slave.

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redial
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Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: 94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding

Postby redial » Tue May 12, 2015 6:28 pm

Do both. You can then rule out these two as the problem.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: 94 GL1500 SE-Clutch not holding

Postby OldZX11Rider » Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:56 pm

Good looking bike! Looks like mine. :lol:
Good luck and let us know if rebuilding the master cylinders fixes it.


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