Author Topic: Clutch fluid  (Read 4121 times)

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Offline Mike

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Clutch fluid
« on: September 15, 2015, 08:42:05 am »
What does the clutch fluid do,and how often should it changed? Iam a confused I thought the engine oil worked with the clutch somehow. Thanks mike l

Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 09:49:13 am »
The engine oil lubricates the actual clutch unit encased in the engine. (That is why engine oil has to be compatible for wet clutch usage)

The actuator of the clutch on the C10 is hydraulic. The master cylinder on the handlebar pushes hydraulic fluid to the slave cylinder (somewhat like a brake caliper) mounted on the left side of the engine which in turn pushes a rod that actuates the clutch.

Some other bikes have a mechanical actuated clutch that uses a cable at the handlebar that actuates the clutch.

To your question of how often, every year or two I bleed the hydraulic fluid in the clutch and the brakes.

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Offline who me?

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 11:05:46 am »
Use DOT4 fluid I dont know why but its what is required
I have no idea about anything.
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Offline Solomookie

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 11:09:25 am »
I believe my brother told me that DOT4 fluid is used because of its heat handling capabilities.
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Offline jettawreck

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 01:33:24 pm »
Brake fluid has high heat properties to keep it from boiling under heavy brake use (and/or locked brakes). The clutch system doesn't really need that, but it uses the same fluid being a hydraulic system.
Don't mix convention brake fluid with the high end silicone stuff (DOT 5??).
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Offline Bob H

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2015, 02:41:12 pm »
I agree, don't mix or use silicone fluid unless the system is specifically designed for it.  I did that once on a Goldwing, it swelled up the seals in both the master cyl. and caliper and I had to replace them all.  Wasn't a pleasant experiment!
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Offline Mike

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2015, 03:06:56 pm »
Thanks guys for the info. I might need to service it.

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2015, 09:18:41 pm »
Iffn you don't know when it was changed,, change it and the brake fluids, also. Have fun.
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Offline Mike

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2015, 09:21:08 pm »
Good point.history unknown?

Offline TimR

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2015, 09:34:36 pm »
If the fluid in the reservoirs is dark and not clear, it needs to be changed. A handy tool is a Mity Vac. The handoperated one is available at Sears. I got mine on sale for $27.00.
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Offline Jorge

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2015, 01:07:41 am »
All right on except for one thing... Clutch fluid can get pretty hot. The C10 is fortunately built with a clutch slave cylinder that's exposed to fresh air. We get caught in traffic, heat builds up, and clutch slave gets pretty hot.
Other bikes have slaves buried under decorative panels, and get really hot. A couple of years ago our CMA chapter participated in the local Independence Day parade, one bike had a complete clutch failure, and another had serious issues. An hour later they were both OK after the clutches cooled, but the clutch fluid boiled on both.
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Bottom line, clutches can get toasty.
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Offline Thud300

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2015, 01:34:21 am »
DOT4 fluid has a higher boiling point than DOT3, which is found in about 99% of cars on the road.

If your clutch and brake fluid looks like chocolate milk, change it.
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Offline Mike

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2015, 09:35:26 am »
Thanks for all the info going to get it changed.

Offline Duderonomy

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 12:50:46 pm »
I bought a low mileage 2000 c10 last fall. Changed clutch and brake fluid right away. After about 2500 miles I was experiencing shift trouble. Clutch fluid was like camp coffee. Changed and bled system, now it shifts like buttah! My question is why so soon? Seems like 2500 miles is a short interval to change this fluid. I used Valvoline DOT 3&4 from auto store, is that a poor choice maybe a higher quality fluid would last longer?

Offline Jim

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2016, 02:05:31 pm »
Did you remove and clean the master and slave cylinder and thoroughly flush the line or just bleed the system? 

Offline Duderonomy

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2016, 02:29:04 pm »
Alas, no I did not! I figure next bleed I will especially if it seems to be another short interval. I had the same thought!

Offline Jim

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2016, 02:41:00 pm »
Once you get everything cleaned and bled, the clutch should be good for 6 months to a year.  The brakes can go longer.  If you start with a clean system and bleed when the fluid in the master cylinder just starts to discolor, bleeding alone should be sufficient for the clutch for several years.

Offline strum

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2016, 07:07:31 pm »
I cleaned my master cylinder and flushed the fluid but the clutch still didnt feel so great. Then i took the slave a apart. It was not a pretty sight.
I guess all the grunge goes to the lowest point and gathers.
 Cleaned that and flushed the fluids again now it works properly.
 point is , if your going to clean it  then go ahead and pull it all apart. its not rocket science  and youll be glad you did it.
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Offline HSVScott

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 09:51:02 pm »
I just received rebuild kits for my clutch master and slave cylinders.  My bike is new to me and Those Who Know Such Things advise to replace all fluids when you get a used Connie.  This will be my first fluid change.  Reading through the forum I've found several folks (like summa you guys) who found major gunkage in the system.  I figured, if I'm gonna have to take everything apart and clean it, I might as well do a rebuild while I'm at it and hopefully get another 50k miles out of the deal.

The parts I bought are K&L brand.  Anyone have experience with them?

Offline GKreamer

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2016, 10:02:09 pm »
That's the manufacturer of the rebuild kits I bought from Murph.  Did the clutch master and slave cylinders as well as the brake master cylinder and all three calipers.  There was no kit for the rear brake master cylinder.

My clutch SC was toast, sounds you picking up a used unit off eBay.  Worked great!

Offline Jim

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2016, 10:21:33 am »
If it's your first time trying a flush and rebuild on this bike, the clutch, especially, can be difficult to purge all the air out of the master cylinder.  When bleeding be sure the reservoir cap is in place (doesn't have to be screwed down) and after you close the bleed nipple, let the lever, or pedal, "snap" back into resting position.  This works very well for purging the master cylinder and will save you a lot of time, frustration and brake fluid.  Once you have the clutch system clean, bleed when the reservoir fluid begins to discolor (about 6 to 8 month for me).  It's been 4 years since I cleaned my slave and the color of the first squirt of fluid during periodic bleeding has matched the slightly discolored fluid in the reservoir with no coffee-like substances emerging from the slave cylinder.

Offline Duderonomy

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2016, 12:11:16 pm »
Whats good to use for cleaning the MC/SC, Brakleen or similar spray?

Offline strum

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2016, 12:24:19 pm »
Whats good to use for cleaning the MC/SC, Brakleen or similar spray?

once you dissemble  the MC and /or the SC you can use brake cleaner  and compressed air. I know ill get some slack from this but i have no problem cleaning the parts in my sink using hot water.
 the thing is you must make sure you get all the water removed before assembly. water does not play well with brake fluid.
 
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Offline GKreamer

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2016, 02:20:07 pm »
If it's your first time trying a flush and rebuild on this bike, the clutch, especially, can be difficult to purge all the air out of the master cylinder.  When bleeding be sure the reservoir cap is in place (doesn't have to be screwed down) and after you close the bleed nipple, let the lever, or pedal, "snap" back into resting position.  This works very well for purging the master cylinder and will save you a lot of time, frustration and brake fluid.  Once you have the clutch system clean, bleed when the reservoir fluid begins to discolor (about 6 to 8 month for me).  It's been 4 years since I cleaned my slave and the color of the first squirt of fluid during periodic bleeding has matched the slightly discolored fluid in the reservoir with no coffee-like substances emerging from the slave cylinder.

I used my MityVac and cleared it out pretty good, then pulled the clutch MC apart as well as the clutch SC.  I made sure to get all the old fluid out and used a bit of BrakeCleen with compressed air.  I replaced the clutch line with Speigler braided line from Murphs.

Offline Scattered-Smothered

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Re: Clutch fluid
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2016, 11:49:47 am »
After my rebuild of the master and slave cylinder I fought getting the air out the system for a long time. Months. The lever would get tight, but it just never felt right. I tried using the mityvac, shop manual procedure, zip tying the lever over night , doing the snap to the lever trick and even witchcraft.. Lol. Nothing I tried would get that last little bit of air out. What I found out was happening was the bleeder screw was letting a small amount back into the system by the threads of the screw itself. I'm sure there are things you can do to put on them to keep that from happening. But I ended up getting speed bleeder acrews from NAPA. I put one in there and within 3 pumps of the clutch lever my clutch was working like it never had before.
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