Author Topic: Eureka!!!  (Read 2823 times)

Offline HunterTodd

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Eureka!!!
« on: August 03, 2014, 06:34:50 PM »
After having been off the road since 5th of May. Having pulled the slave off twice. Having stripped and  rebuilt the master 6 times. Having read countless articles and viewed dozens of You tube clips on bleeding clutches  and brakes. Having endured countless barbs from my Harley riding mates. Having sought out and consulted every bike guru I could find. Having cursed every god known to man and invented new ones just so I could curse them too I did it.  At 4:30 today I  finally bled that damn clutch.

And the frustrating thing is I have no idea why this time out of all of the hundreds of times I tried, it worked.

I tried manual bleeding, vacuum bleeding and reverse pressure bleeding, fast bleeding, slow bleeding, bleeding with the engine running, bleeding with the bike laid over.  I tapped and downright bashed every part of the system I could reach to dislodge bubbles, tied the handle down, let it stand for a week, let it stand for a week with the handle tied down.

Up until this morning I had spent more than twenty fruitless hours over three weekends trying to get the system bled. And today was D day. Such was my level of frustration with this stinking bike that if it didn't bleed today I was going to sell it. Indeed if I had won lotto at any time in the last week my first action would have been to put the bloody thing through the car shredder at Hexham.

I had some advice last night which saved the day.

Try as I might I could not get pressure up, the handle would feel vaguely hard but nothing more which lead me to suspect the seals were bypassing. (Ok all you guys with dirty minds I get what I just wrote!)  The bore of the cylinder was like a mirror no scoring to worry about. The seals were fine and not nicked.

I had been using clean brake fluid to lubricate the seals.  A guy on some forum somewhere said this is often not good enough. He suggested assembling the master cylinder using PBR Red grease which  ironically is blue. At the same time I decided to prime the master cylinder before I reattached the line because I read that somewhere too.

Bingo, it worked first time......Pressure up.... for five pulls and then nothing.  I continued bleeding for another hour without a single bubble coming out but still no pressure so I pulled the master cylinder apart again repeated the process and bingo pressure up again....for five pulls and then nothing.  I bled for another hour still no bubbles so I pulled the master cylinder apart for the third time today and I examined everything with a magnifying glass. There was nothing I could see which would cause the problem so I went inside for a late lunch and wrote the add to sell the bike.

The bike must have figured out I was serious because when I reassembled the master cylinder and primed it. The pressure came up and stayed up.  Why it did that time I have no idea. Theoretically there should be a bubble of air in the banjo bolt but the pressure stayed up. I went for a 40 kay ride and the pressure stayed up with no sign of the previously slipping clutch.

So what I have learned. (In addition to the stuff I posted before)

There is a small bleed hole which is is positioned in between the two seals. It's function is to modulate the return stroke of the clutch. If you let your system get full of crap little pieces of it float up and potentially block that hole. The pressure can't escape so the clutch gets held on and slips.  I was scrupulously clean when I rebuilt the cylinder the first time but as a bike guru pointed out the lines are still full of crap so as you work the clutch little pieces of crap find their way back into the master cylinder.

My bike was fine for about forty kays and then one of these pieces obviously blocked the port and the clutch starting slipping. Bike guru had the same problem on a Blackbird and kept a piece of fuse wire to unblock the hole. The only way to ensure the problem is completely gone is to replace the lines.

If you can't get pressure up suspect a bubble of air is trapped in the master cylinder. Even if you are not getting any bubbles out suspect the master cylinder and prime it. It worked three times for me.

Use PBR Red grease when you reassemble the master cylinder.

I probably know heaps of other stuff which I can't remember so if you are having problems I would be happy share what I know.

Maybe now I can get some riding done!!!


 

Offline Abe

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 06:47:24 PM »
 :runyay :clap :clap :clap

Great news and write up thanks.

So you may have invented the right god for the job then   :rofl
At my age " getting lucky" is remembering what I came in the room for ;)

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Offline Shiney

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 07:14:24 PM »
Congratulations on finally getting it fixed :clap :clap :clap
And thanks for sharing the fix :thumbsup
My Ride: 2015 (Model) ST1300  :wht13
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Offline HunterTodd

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 07:35:31 PM »
:runyay :clap :clap :clap

Great news and write up thanks.

So you may have invented the right god for the job then   :rofl

Thanks fellas, It was a relief to say the least. My first ride this afternoon was quite exilerating if not a little too fast. Ok a lot too fast!

 Yes it is the God of motorcycles,  Fork.   I don't know how many times  I said "For Forks sake!" and "What tha Fork!!"  but I guess the invocations worked in the end,
 

Offline tj189

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 05:21:58 AM »
good to know you are now our expert on this subject matter  ;-*
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Offline HunterTodd

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2014, 06:16:21 PM »
The Eureka turned out premature.  The original over pressure problem has returned in spades. I can only ride the bike 10 or 15 kays before the clutch starts slipping.

I take out my trusty 12mm spanner, crack the banjo bolt to relieve the pressure and the clutch starts working properly again. I go another 10 or 15 kays and repeat the process.

 I looked in the reservoir and saw a couple of floaters in there and so assume that it is the problem of crap floating up from the lines that bike guru warned about which is causing it and I am going to order a full set of lines.

I am over wasting money on this stinking bike so before I do that,  can anyone think of any other reason why the clutch hydraulics would over pressurize after a few uses of the clutch?

I have an nearly full 4 litre container of used brake fluid which has been flushed through the lines but the flow when you bleed it must not be enough to clear the lines.  It is probably just enough to dislodge pieces of crap from the lines is my guess.

Anyway any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

Online Brock

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 06:45:07 PM »
Definitely trapped air, I had a similar problem with the front brakes. Park in the hot sun and the brakes would lock on. Crack the bleed valve, and the air bubble would pop out. took ages to clear.
Brock
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Offline HunterTodd

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2014, 08:06:29 PM »
Thanks Brock,

I am reasonably confident it is a pressure blockage because I have the baffle which covers the bleed back port removed inside the master cylinder and you are supposed to see a squirt of fluid on the return stroke of the clutch. I get nothing out of mine.  This is an enormous amount of pressure in the system and it is difficult to operate my new shorter VFR lever against it.   I am just checking if there is any other reason other than the obvious which could cause it. 

Just a general question though.

How the hell does Honda bleed these bloody things on the production line? Surely they don't have some Jap sitting around on the for thirty hours trying to bleed a difficult system like mine.  They must have some technique for doing it.

 Perhaps they have a ninety year old Zen Master bleeder with a black belt in bleeding who studied the art of bleeding hydraulic systems in a ancient Shinto temple.

Er Sorry I did warn you this thing has done my head in.
 

Online Brock

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2014, 08:44:24 PM »
they may do some thing like a reverse fill. A special fitting over the bleed nipple and push the fluid up, or evacuate the resevoir and allow the fluid to be drawn up
Brock
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Offline alans1100

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 10:40:44 PM »
My 1100 manual gives three possible causes for a the clutch lever being to hard

Clogged hydraulic lines,
Sticking master cylinder piston
Sticking slave cylinder piston

If there is air in the system you should get a spongy feeling rather than a lever that is hard to move.

As for brake/clutch braking they would use an automated bleeding system on a production line.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 10:49:20 PM by alans1100 »
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Offline HunterTodd

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 01:11:31 PM »
My 1100 manual gives three possible causes for a the clutch lever being to hard

Clogged hydraulic lines,
Sticking master cylinder piston
Sticking slave cylinder piston

If there is air in the system you should get a spongy feeling rather than a lever that is hard to move.

As for brake/clutch braking they would use an automated bleeding system on a production line.

I think the first one, clogged hydraulic lines is what my problem is, The system was full of a brown gel like material. The master cylinder has had a kit through it and the slave is new.   When I bled the system sometimes fluid would squirt out and other times it would only be a drop or two which leads me to think clogging. A lot of crap came out the bleed line as well..

I thought about trying to pressure flush the crap out of the lines but I don't think could ever be sure I got it all.

 A full set of lines, bleeder tube and all the fittings is going to cost $210.00 delivered.  After that the clutch hydraulic system will  be completely new from one end to the other.  With parts, bits and pieces plus the obilgatory tool buying opportunity and what will end up being 6 bottles of brake fluid, I will have spent around $450 chasing this problem down. 

So anyone who has followed this sad and sorry tale and does not regularly flush their hydraulic lines is a complete and utter fool in my book.

Just one last thought for those of you who get your bikes serviced by others. My bike has a complete service history which would indicate the lines would have been flushed at least at 18000 kays by the Honda dealer which did that service, Clearly by the state of them they haven't. It would be dead easy for a mechanic to syringe out the master cylinders and top them up with new fluid and you would be none the wiser.  It is an easy way to make money. Just sayin'

 

Offline Abe

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 04:23:02 PM »
You could remove your hoses and use a "pull through" (piece of cotton t shirt tied in the middle of a piece of string and pull through)
I use a compressor to push the cotton plug through first.

Just a thought before spending more money??

At my age " getting lucky" is remembering what I came in the room for ;)

:dred11     :wht13      Cheers Dave
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Offline Turtle

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 04:56:43 PM »
I notice at times with my bike it's been sitting for a few days with full lock on sidestand if I go and pull the clutch in its hard to pull in a little and then I get a click like it frees up  from under the bike like it's sticking or something no issues riding and changing gears fingers crossed it not a sign of impending issue
Maybe sticking clutch plates ?
Only happens now and then cold only been not ridden for a few days
Clutch flush done a few months ago now

Turtle
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Offline HunterTodd

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Re: Eureka!!!
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 07:37:41 PM »
Hi Turtle,

If the fluid came out clearish when you flushed it I wouldn't worry.   Mine was thick brown and gluggy with heaps of particles in it. My clutch pressure builds up with each use of the clutch. Once I crack the bolt and relieve the pressure the clutch works normally for a few strokes before the pressure builds again.

My plates stick a little sometimes but I haven't been concerned about it.  And I also had an undiagnosed strange noise coming from the clutch pack area but  I am really not up for pulling the clutch pack apart right now so it is pretty much a case of sticking my fingers in my ears and going la la la la la.  It's quite difficult to ride like that though!

Another thing I noticed about the slave cylinder on the ST1300.  It looks like it was intended to have a bleed port on the bottom of the cylinder by the looks of the casting.
Or is that where the bleed is on the 1100. and they use a common casting?

The design of the 1300 slave cylinder  is crap in my view because any rubbish is always going to accumulate in the slave cylinder with no hope of flushing it out. But I guess if you maintain your system the crap will be minimal.