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Old 06-07-2008, 11:40 PM   #1
acupuncture4u
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R1150 GSA 2004 Clutch Slave Cylinder replacement- PICs

I let my GS sit for about a month because it had no clutch and I was afraid the slave cylinder was tough to replace. Oh and not to mention I was pinching pennies to get the 141$ for a new one. I did a 4k mile trip last summer and the fluid went bad. Bled it and went about another 500 miles and no clutch again. Another bleed lasted a bit longer and then finally gave up. So got some tips here on how to tear into it and new parts and gave it a go. About a 4 hour job for me that may have been done quicker had I had a thread with pics that could have helped a bit. So I took pics in the process for those out there like me that didn't exactly know where the slave even was.

Ok so first off get the new slave, a new green mickey mouse gasket, and a 2 new crush washers.

Take off the tire and support the bike-


Take off the rear shock and pull the hosing down so you can let it rest on the ground. One big alan bolt on the lower lefthand side and another on the top will allow it to drop down so you can get behind it to the slave.


The slave is behind a support for the frame with 3 alans that are hard to get to. What I did is use the stock alan tool that comes in the BMW kit It's the longest one with the tip that looks like a mushroom. I put that long end into the slave alans and then used the breaker bar in the kit to carefully loosen these bolts. Take your time, breath and don't f*ck up these alans.


Next you'll have to clip a few zip ties to remove your clutch bleed hose. Pull it down and under the frame you don't need to remove it yet.


Remove the other end of the slave's connection which is the one coming from the clutch's master cylinder. This connection was a difficult one for me to remove but hopefully not for you. Be ready for fluid to come out of this connection! NOTE- The pic shows AFTER I loosened the bolt with the other end of the alan wrench. Then I flipped it around to get it out quickly


What you can see from mine is a mess left inside from the breakdown of the fluid causing a fail to the clutch.
Slide the slave to the left of the bike and it will easily come out of the bike without having to remove the swingarm.


Here is what mine looked like. I took it over Medano pass and dug it deep in the Great Sand Dunes area, rode it 45k miles and then took it back to Oregon on the beach and also dug it in the sand a few times there too. So I guess that's a good reason why mine would have been so gunked up. Could it have also been due to heat?



Here is what a new one looks like.
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Last edited by acupuncture4u : 06-07-2008 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:58 PM   #2
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Next step is to remove the bleed hose off of the old slave and put it onto the new slave. Don't forget to use the new crush washer. As a side note, make sure to check the hoses for corrosion as was suggested to me by Steptoe with his pic-


Clean out the housing for the slave, I used brake cleaner and a rag. Took a bit of aggrivation but was able to get the gunk out. Next I had to take a "SCOTCH BRITE" scouring pad to the clutch housing to clean that up for a flush mount. A bit of compressed air to dry up everything was a recommendation I got (firstworks)


Time for the new one to go in. Here is where you have 2 options. You could put the new gasket on before you put the slave behind the frame. Or, you could wait until you have both the hose connections to the slave made and then slip it on by turning the slave to the left and sliding the gasket into position. I chose the latter and took a few tries but was able to get it. The banjo bolt was hard enough to get back onto the new slave that I chose to wait to put the gasket on for fear of dropping it behind the swingarm.
-Again don't forget the crush washer on this connection as well. I was able to get the alan wrench into the bolt and then get it started in the position shown.


Once the hoses are back on, make sure your gasket is on and slide it into the housing and put the 3 bolts in. MAKE COMPLETELY SURE YOU DON'T PINCH THE GASKET! Re-route your bleed tube up over the frame and to the right side of the bike


To finish this job your going to need someone to help you bleed the system. Make sure to have someone take your pic at your most frustruated moment.


Button things up and now it's time to bleed. Leave your shock and tire off so you can check easily for leaks. Open your master cylinder on your handlebars and make sure your fluids are topped off. This is where your going to need someone to help you bleed the system. Have them pump on the clutch about 5 times and then hold the clutch in. Then you will be on the other side of the bike and open the bleed screw just a turn to allow the air and eventually the new dot 4 fluid to come out. *Be careful if you leave the master cylinder cover off. Sometimes when you pump the fluid may squirt back out at you. I left a rag on the handlebar just in squirt range. We found it helpful to bleed by squeezing the clutch in and releasing it, and then pulling it out to it's full extension position. This seemed to really help speed the process up.

In case you have done the bleed several times and wind up stripping the alan bolt out you don't have to buy a new one. Just loosen these 2 connections shown when you do the bleed. Messy but works when your out on highway 50 and there is nothing but highway.



As long as there are no leaks, your good to go. Put the shock and tire back on and your done. To get the shock back into position with the swingarm I used my jack underneath the swingarm to lift it correctly into position. Ready to ride again with a solid lefthanded handfull of good clutch.

Hope you enjoyed the pics and saved you some time.

Dustin
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:52 AM   #3
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Great post!! Thanks for posting pics as well.

I have a 2003 GSA and I saw that the little bit of bent tube near the bango bolt has started to corrode on mine. I haven't looked at a later model s/s hose but am thinking of changing over to one if it's cost effective.
Not sure either if the s/s hose has the bent tube. Any ideas?

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Old 06-08-2008, 12:54 AM   #4
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A tip: get a manual, because once you've learnt how to tilt the rear subframe up out of the way, working on the bike is a lot easier



About 4hrs to get the gearbox out, taking my time and lots of reference to the manual. I reckon I could do it in well under 3 hours next time, maybe closer to 2 if I'm keen. Taking the swingarm out would've made your job easier, and with the subframe up out of the way, the airbox is easy to remove too.

There's a few things to disconnect to be able to do it, and it looks like a train wreck afterwards, but it's really not that hard to do. The hardest part is the swingarm pivot bolts when the heat gun doesn't work
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peka

A tip: get a manual, working on the bike is a lot easier

Taking the swingarm out would've made your job easier,
There's a few things to disconnect to be able to do it, and it looks like a train wreck afterwards, but it's really not that hard to do.

Yes taking the swingarm off and the tank and the subframe and airbox may not be that hard to do, esp. with a manual. But where I come from I'm not sure if that would have made my job easier! 4 hours was my total time, not just my teardown time. Cheers!
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:12 AM   #6
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Yeah but the 4hrs was to get the gearbox out. You could get the subframe tilted up out of the way in under an hour.

I did like the improvisation with the breaker bar in the stock tool kit
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peka
Yeah but the 4hrs was to get the gearbox out. You could get the subframe tilted up out of the way in under an hour.

I did like the improvisation with the breaker bar in the stock tool kit

To remove the clutch slave cylinder takes me 15 minutes. To put it back and bleed it 20 minutes ( admittedly i have an advantage of "thats what i do for a living") .
Absolutely pointless suggestion of taking all the other parts off just because you can.

Good picture write up acupuncture.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:08 AM   #8
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To help prevent further corrosion on the slave cylinder lines, trim the protective rubber sheath back off the metal fitting so moisture can escape. Did this 2 years ago when I replaced my line and still no rust.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe
To remove the clutch slave cylinder takes me 15 minutes. To put it back and bleed it 20 minutes ( admittedly i have an advantage of "thats what i do for a living") .
Ok, I'll pull my head in then...
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemiiten
To help prevent further corrosion on the slave cylinder lines, trim the protective rubber sheath back off the metal fitting so moisture can escape. Did this 2 years ago when I replaced my line and still no rust.

A pic would be great if you have one.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:03 PM   #11
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You can see where the rubber overlaps the metal fitting. This is just tubing slipped over the actual hydraulic line to protect it. Seems to do more harm then good. Cut and peel it off the metal fitting to allow water to escape and prevent corrosion. See how the fitting is only rusted where the rubber overlapped.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:05 PM   #12
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Thank you

What a great how-to. Should be in FAQ.
My clutch fluid is always very dark. I think that I will be doing this job very soon.
Thanks for taking the time to share your work. This has resolved some of my fears of doing the slave cylinder replacement.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:06 PM   #13
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Nice job!!!

Jim
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:38 AM   #14
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I forgot to ask if the old one can be rebuilt??
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:02 PM   #15
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Good to see someone else using gloves to work on their bikes!
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:05 PM   #16
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Nice helpful article ! My bikes been having weird symptoms for the last couple of weeks and it finally took a dump last night after 73K and the symptoms were exactly same as yours. Couldn't have happened at a better time either as my wife and I just pulled in on the pig a couple of weeks ago from an 8000 mile, 6 week adventure.

Changed out the Slave cylinder today and the bike is shifting better than I can ever remember.

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Old 07-18-2008, 08:53 AM   #17
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Wink '03 1150GS Adv. soaked clutch at 17k miles

I had the complete back end disassembled for what I thought was a rear main seal leak, the brown gook leaking from the bell housing turned out to be the clutch fluid. I had replaced the fluids 4 months earlier during the Annual, the fluid clutch fluid turn brown again very quickly and I figured I'd change it over the winter again. I had bought all the stuff to do the rear main engine seal ($600 more than I need to spend), but I now have a new dry clutch, new slave cylinder, inspected and properly lubed splines and a little more understanding of how the battle pig works. Lesson learned: as soon as I see contaminated fluid in the clutch reservoir, even slightly. The slave cylinder is getting replaced.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:07 AM   #18
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Hi guys, i'm a newbie here...
So can i say that once u see the clutch fliud is contaminated in the reservior...the clutch slave cylinder should be replace? Thanks :)
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ong
Hi guys, i'm a newbie here...
So can i say that once u see the clutch fliud is contaminated in the reservior...the clutch slave cylinder should be replace? Thanks :)

I wouldn't say that at all. The fluid can turn dark for multiple reasons. Don't assume that once the fluid turns dark your slave is shot.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:25 PM   #20
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Nice pictorial. I can almost hear you cursing that brace that was in the way! Mine went out shortly after I got it, fortunately it was still in the last three months of the warranty, and they replaced it, but had to do the whole clutch as it had gotten slimed by the leaking fluid. Didn't yours get slimed? Did you look into getting a rebuild kit for it? Looks like you should be able to take it apart with a good set of snap-ring pliers, the first thing I'd do if pnching pennies...
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:38 PM   #21
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Great write up. If the acupuncture4u is OK with this, I'll add this to the HoW after this thread gets quiet.

JJ
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ong
Hi guys, i'm a newbie here...
So can i say that once u see the clutch fliud is contaminated in the reservior...the clutch slave cylinder should be replace? Thanks :)

Not 100%, if it happens again after a total flush, then very likely. Also make sure the line to the slave isn't badly rusted.

Jim
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walrond
I wouldn't say that at all. The fluid can turn dark for multiple reasons. Don't assume that once the fluid turns dark your slave is shot.
Yes. If it's merely dark but not cloudy you could change the fluid and see how it goes, but if it looks muddy you need to replace the slave cylinder. It's a closed system and that mud only comes from one place.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ong
Hi guys, i'm a newbie here...
So can i say that once u see the clutch fliud is contaminated in the reservior...the clutch slave cylinder should be replace? Thanks :)

On a R1200GS class bike, the clutch reservoir holds a dark mineral oil. Dark is normal. On the R1150GS class bike, the clutch uses Dot4 which should be clear.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjen
Great write up. If the acupuncture4u is OK with this, I'll add this to the HoW after this thread gets quiet.

JJ


If it's quiet enough your welcome to add this to the How to section.

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Old 11-10-2008, 09:08 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogmolly
On a R1200GS class bike, the clutch reservoir holds a dark mineral oil. Dark is normal.

Unfortunately that is not always true. Mine, and many that I am familiar with are a clear fluid.

Jim
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:40 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden
Unfortunately that is not always true. Mine, and many that I am familiar with are a clear fluid.

Jim

I didn't know that. Interesting.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:37 AM   #28
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Hello,

Did anyone tried to repair the old slave cylinder??
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:30 AM   #29
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Very nice write up.

My slave was replaced at 97,000 miles but the clutch pull has been getting stiffer here of late, so I'm thinking this is that bearing beginning to go tits up.

Your write up bouys my resolve to attack this sooner rather than out there somewhere on the road...

I bought a bleeder nipple to replace that stupid fitting BMW use when they build the bike. That makes bleeding the clutch a one-man operation. My local dealer had the part in-stock.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #30
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I have a similar problem with clutch line fluid disappearing with no sign of external leakage. It appears best to replace the slave unit just to be safe. Since the clutch is not yet slipping and there has not been a significant loss of fluid, while replacing the slave unit, would it be possible to spray brake cleaner onto the clutches and then drill a weep hole for draining whatever has accumulated?
Thanks
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:32 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
I have a similar problem with clutch line fluid disappearing with no sign of external leakage. It appears best to replace the slave unit just to be safe. Since the clutch is not yet slipping and there has not been a significant loss of fluid, while replacing the slave unit, would it be possible to spray brake cleaner onto the clutches and then drill a weep hole for draining whatever has accumulated?
There's a felt 'collar' on the push rod, p/n 23 21 1 230 440. As well as an amount of empty area between the push rod OD and the input shaft ID. Since there hasn't been much fluid loss, it may have collected around the push rod and collected in the felt. Maybe you can clean the fluid out with cotton batting and rifle cleaning tools, or cotton balls and a coat hanger. Either way, the clutch friction surface isn't in the centrifugal 'sling path' from the end of the input shaft. And another caveat, hydraulic fluid on organic friction components makes them grabbier. At least that's what happened to every drum brake with a blown slave cylinder I've driven. The wheel locks right up.

- Jim


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Old 07-08-2009, 06:13 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poolside

There's a felt 'collar' on the push rod, p/n 23 21 1 230 440. As well as an amount of empty area between the push rod OD and the input shaft ID. Since there hasn't been much fluid loss, it may have collected around the push rod and collected in the felt. Maybe you can clean the fluid out with cotton batting and rifle cleaning tools, or cotton balls and a coat hanger. Either way, the clutch friction surface isn't in the centrifugal 'sling path' from the end of the input shaft. And another caveat, hydraulic fluid on organic friction components makes them grabbier. At least that's what happened to every drum brake with a blown slave cylinder I've driven. The wheel locks right up.

- Jim


So what causes the clutch to start slipping then? According to posters here and on other threads, brake fluid seeping past worn slave units eventually made their clutches fail.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking

So what causes the clutch to start slipping then? According to posters here and on other threads, brake fluid seeping past worn slave units eventually made their clutches fail.

Sorry for the late reply. I thought I already had.

Clutches can be operated wet, or dry. In lubricating oil, or hydraulic fluid. There are different clutch friction materials, but all can used wet or dry.

'Modern' materials are sometimes used for clutch friction surfaces. Carbon fiber, Kevlar, etc. But clutches have been operated wet, and dry, long before material science was born. The new materials can also be used wet or dry. Some work a little better dry, others a little better wet.

Uneven oil distribution can cause uneven clutch wear. Say just a spot or two of a clutch surface gets wet, while the remaining surface stays dry. That area will become a 'high spot'. If a clutch becomes partially wet, the solution is to fully wet it.


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Old 07-14-2009, 06:39 AM   #34
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Thanks again. I just now returned from Mexico and have the part in hand for replacement. Trouble is though, the clutch has started slipping and I sure don't want to have to replace that. I'll try the above cleanup as suggested, install a new slave cylinder and see what happens. Maybe that fluid will boil of the plates and all will be well? Or are they permanently shot? The bike only has 39,000 miles of on-road riding so there shouldn't be much wear.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:25 PM   #35
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:34 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
Thanks again. I just now returned from Mexico and have the part in hand for replacement. Trouble is though, the clutch has started slipping and I sure don't want to have to replace that. I'll try the above cleanup as suggested, install a new slave cylinder and see what happens. Maybe that fluid will boil of the plates and all will be well? Or are they permanently shot? The bike only has 39,000 miles of on-road riding so there shouldn't be much wear.
'Install the slave cylinder and see what happens' seems like the only available path at this point. Without removing the gearbox that is.

A wet clutch runs in some type of operating fluid. The operating fluid which can be motor oil, ATF, etc., soaks into the clutch and swells the fibers a tiny bit, this is normal. But if you started with a dry disk, and only wet a portion of the friction surface, that makes a high spot. The small high spots carry more of the load.

I guess if I were stranded in BFE (literally), and had tools but no clutch disk, I'd pull the clutch disk and soak it in clutch fluid. But hey, your the daring adventurer, in that situation I may just wet my pants.

Here's some wishful thinking. Maybe detritus from the worn out seal packs in behind the slave cylinder piston? Or... The slave cylinder has a throw out bearing built into it, maybe bits and pieces from a nerfed throw out bearing get under the clutch rod cup and won't let the clutch rod retract fully. It's a guess, but it's a hopeful guess.


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Old 07-15-2009, 07:12 AM   #37
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would it be possible to spray brake cleaner onto the clutches and then drill a weep hole for draining whatever has accumulated?

Recently a friend with an R1150R had his slave cylinder replaced by Hank (formerly of Rhinewest). That is exactly what Hank does in most situations, not the brake cleaner, but the weep hole.

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Old 07-15-2009, 07:22 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEECKB
would it be possible to spray brake cleaner onto the clutches and then drill a weep hole for draining whatever has accumulated?

Recently a friend with an R1150R had his slave cylinder replaced by Hank (formerly of Rhinewest). That is exactly what Hank does in most situations, not the brake cleaner, but the weep hole.

NEECKB

Thanks--two questions:
1. Where exactly to drill the weep hole?
2. If draining the excess fluid will the residue boil off while intentionally "riding the clutch?" I have accidentally contaminate brake pads before and then just got on a long steep hill to overheat them and bingo, all fluid boiled off.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:43 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEECKB
would it be possible to spray brake cleaner onto the clutches and then drill a weep hole for draining whatever has accumulated?

Recently a friend with an R1150R had his slave cylinder replaced by Hank (formerly of Rhinewest). That is exactly what Hank does in most situations, not the brake cleaner, but the weep hole.

NEECKB

After reading this thread... It was worth every penny Hank took from me!

The weep hole is a great idea to prevent further damage (as Hank described as Clutch slippage, Striking V.)... according to Hank that little piece of felt will only buy a little time, but once the slippage is present the problem is a bit more complex. Hopefully your seals aren't toast!
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:46 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
Thanks--two questions:
1. Where exactly to drill the weep hole?
2. If draining the excess fluid will the residue boil off while intentionally "riding the clutch?" I have accidentally contaminate brake pads before and then just got on a long steep hill to overheat them and bingo, all fluid boiled off.

Call Hank for the exact drill location:

http://www.motohank.com/BMW%20MC%20Service.html

I hear he makes "house calls" to Mexico!
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:28 PM   #41
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Added this to the GSpot FAQ, Section 3.

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