Clutch hydraulic system troubleshooting


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
Post Reply
JerseyBeck84
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:46 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA, USA
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard
&
1969 CL450K Scrambler
&
2003 VT750 Ace

Clutch hydraulic system troubleshooting

Post by JerseyBeck84 »



Hey Gwingers~
Supposed to take a trip next weekend and this clutch is holding me up.
Just got a 1984 gl1200 last year. I noticed that with the lever depressed my bike was inching forward, so i recently set into rebuilding the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder, eventually got bad enough it seemed like the hydraulic system was out altogether because id immediately launch into 1st gear. .. could use some help at this point please forgive my oversights and ignorance. I thought that it was the master cylinder seals and piston, etc. So, I rebuild and replaced the master cylinder with a rebuild kit. Didnt fix the issue. I looked into it further and suspected the slave cylinder, so today I took it off and apart and rebuilt it. I played with it after the rebuild testing for resistance and smoothness, and it wasnt exactly smoothly moving.. So I cleaned them both again but i did notice upon disassembly some nice warping marks. Cleaning seemed impossible for some of it but I did my best. I replaced the seals and spring in the slave cylinder, and reinstalled. I put it back on the bike and still, the hydraulic system doesnt seem to be kicking in or moving. I filled the system with a reverse bleed technique from the bleed nipple upward- because i hoped it would get all the air out of the system (not sure about that, found that as a tip somewhere). Any ideas what my issue could be here? Ive got a gut feeling its the cylinder itself and/or the piston. I should have measured them when i took them out... Ideas? Insights? Feedback?

Should I need to replace the slave cylinder piston?
Anything else I should try to replace?
Is the reverse bleed process a bad idea to fill the clutch system?



JerseyBeck84
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:46 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA, USA
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Standard
&
1969 CL450K Scrambler
&
2003 VT750 Ace

Re: Clutch hydraulic system troubleshooting

Post by JerseyBeck84 »

Turns out the bubbles were in the banjo bolt.

For anyone going through this same process it seems as though whether you use the traditional or reverse bleed method, bubbles get stuck int the banjo bolt at the master cylinder. You need to pop the banjo bolt twice while pressure is on the lever and your air bubbles are out. Check this link for the how to.

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/goldwingclutchbleeding.htm

User avatar
Mountain rider
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:03 pm
Location: Rigby, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing 1800

Re: Clutch hydraulic system troubleshooting

Post by Mountain rider »

Sorry, I'm a day late and a dollar short, otherwise I'd have told you that very thing. My bike was doing the same thing, but I had an additional stumbling block to overcome. The screws that hold the master cylinder cap on were stripped. I wound up drilling a hole in the cap and threading it. I added fluid through the hole and bled at the banjo bolt. Installed a screw with an O ring to seal the cap and,I'm back up and running. Soon I'll have to replace the cap and screws, but at least I'm mobile. Good luck and ride safe. :D
SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired
Now, fully retired

Beerlover
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:49 pm
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Clutch hydraulic system troubleshooting

Post by Beerlover »

Another thing worth checking is the brass bushing that holds the pushrod to the clutch lever. Mine was worn into an oval shape rather than round, allowing a little extra play in the pushrod that was enough to make the bike creep a little while stopped in gear. Easy to replace and it firmed up the lever feel quite a bit.

User avatar
geraldm
Posts: 231
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:07 pm
Location: pumphandle Saskatchewan ,Canada
Motorcycle: 86 gl1200 Aspencade

Re: Clutch hydraulic system troubleshooting

Post by geraldm »

let us know if jerseybeck84 suggestion works for you , good thing to know , i wonder if the hard to bleed foot brake issue might be solved by doing the same thing

User avatar
Rednaxs60
Posts: 2356
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 LTD
1995 GL1500 SE CDN Edition
2012 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom
2008 GL1800 (sold)
Ontario 1985 GL1200 LTD (sold)

Re: Clutch hydraulic system troubleshooting

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Have the same issue. The clutch MC is difficult to bleed. Last year rebuilt the MC, have a speed bleeder on the slave and replaced the clutch lever bushing. Bled the system as one would expect but the clutch was still soft and the clutch lever had a lot of free play. Thought it might have been the aftermarket rebuild kit so ordered parts from Honda, installed, but same issue. Researched this issue and found the information about bleeding the MC without the clutch line attached, then bleed at the banjo bolt, then at the slave. Changed it a bit, but not entirely.

Found a post from Ken in Abbotsford about how he bled the clutch on his 1200. He probably did all the above, but added that he would put the bike on the centre stand, turn the bars all the way to the right so the MC was at the highest postion, then bleed the clutch system. Tried this and it has returned the clutch system to where it is almost working 100%.

Another post after this recommended tilting the bike to the right side ever so slightly - a small shim under the left centre stand foot - so the clutch MC with the bars turned all the way to the right is still slightly higher, then bleed the clutch system. Haven't tried this yet, but when I get home from riding around BC with my friends and their HDs, I intend to bleed the clutch system once more with the bike tilted slightly to the right. I will ensure the bike is supported so it does not fall over.

Just a few additional thoughts.

Cheers


"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

Post Reply