Clutch Failure - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2008, 8:22 am Thread Starter
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Clutch Failure

Hi All,
Got back on the bike for the first time a few weeks ago after an accident which left me with a broken ankle and drove my bike back from Argentina to Brazil - it had been in Argentina for over 6 months but fortunately I had no problems with the border control. Anyway, bike was flawless until I was within 10km of destination. I pulled into a garage for fuel and as I was pulling away after filling up I lost most of the "bite" in my clutch - anyway, managed to just make it to the drop off point where my bike was to be transported back home. The bike only has done about 15,000 miles although it is a 1998 model - engine is like new. Is this unusual - I am trying to figure out what it could be before my mechanic gives me the bad news. I have been told that a new clutch for this bike will cost $$$$$.
Any thoughts - I cannot believe it can be the clutch after only 15,000 miles.
Thanks
James
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2008, 3:56 pm
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Just had mine replaced at 23k, although not for the same reason. My clutch slave cylinder failed causing hydraulic fluid to leak all over the place...

.....Mike
'10 K1300GT
Royal Blue Metallic
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2008, 8:39 pm
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Lost the "bite"...I take that to mean your clutch is slipping, kind of like the motor revs up but there's little increase in speed? If so, sounds to me like oil from either the engine (rear engine seal failure) or the transmission (input shaft seal failure) has contaminated the clutch. But, you should also see some black marks at the seam of the either where the bell housing mates with the engine, or where the transmission mates with the bell housing, indicating an oil leak inside.

Can't think of another scenario where the clutch isn't engaging properly, and yeah, it's not a cheap process to replace an oil-soaked clutch. Check the clutch master cylinder level as well. It uses brake fluid to opertate the hydraulic clutch, and if that leaks in the clutch area, it will cause the previously mentioned seals to fail.

Hope there's a better explanation, though.



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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 2008, 3:19 pm
 
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I just did this job last summer. My Dad's K1200 had 40K on it and the $.78 o-ring that goes around the engine output shaft gave out causing about a 1/4 qt of oil to leak all over the clutch. However, I have heard that a clutch slave cyl. failure causes this same problem and is probably more common. The local BMW shop quoted my dad a price of about $1500 for parts and labor. I offered to do the job for about a 1/3 the labor rate of the BMW shop. I'm always looking for odd jobs to help pay tuition. I've done a lot of mechanical work, but this was still a very complicated job. The cost of the parts was about $400 and that included a new clutch, and slave cyl (since I had to take it off anyway I might as well put on a new one).
I kept track of my hours and it took me 26hrs from start to finish. I also had to make a couple of tools to do the job. I did it largely by myself but there are some things that you really need an extra set of hands for.

I have since drilled a couple of small "weep holes" in the clutch bell housing of my and two of my friends K1200RS. That way if this happens to us, the oil will run out the bottom of the housing and (hopefully) not get on the clutch.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 2008, 3:47 pm
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The symptoms I experienced during my slave failure was that the clutch would not disengage properly. Particularly after filling up after a decent ride. In one instance I was trying to start the bike with the clutch lever pulled completely in and the bike lurched forward. Also, while at a stop light and the clutch lever pulled completely in the bike would inch forward. You will also notice that the level in your reservoir will slowly go down.... I brought the bike in to one shop and they said that they wouldn't be able to diagnose the problem unless they tore the whole thing down.

.....Mike
'10 K1300GT
Royal Blue Metallic
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2008, 10:42 am
 
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bugman, Do you have any pics and any instructions for drilling the two weep holes?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2008, 8:24 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlajoie
The symptoms I experienced during my slave failure was that the clutch would not disengage properly. Particularly after filling up after a decent ride. In one instance I was trying to start the bike with the clutch lever pulled completely in and the bike lurched forward. Also, while at a stop light and the clutch lever pulled completely in the bike would inch forward. You will also notice that the level in your reservoir will slowly go down.... I brought the bike in to one shop and they said that they wouldn't be able to diagnose the problem unless they tore the whole thing down.
That's what happened to mine. Mostly the creeping forward when the clutch lever was fully pulled in. Couple of times I just decided it was time to go, and away I went. Service department was also pretty much the same...gotta tear it all the way down, and if it's not the slave cylinder, it may cost for pulling the whole assembly apart. In my case, I asked him "What else could it be?" without getting an answer. But, it took another week while the fluid, which had been topped off by the dealer, showed that it was indeed dropping. By then, though, the brake fluid manage to get on the engine seal, and about 6 months later, the leaky seal needed replacement.



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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 7:07 am
 
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Lightbulb

If your NOT having any fluid "show up" on the floor or on the bike dont count out the Drive shaft. Thought it was my slave too...took it the shop and they thought the same as me...gotta be the slave. NOPE the did the ENTIRE break down then realized it wasnt the problem. 900 bucks for the drive shaft service. 450 just for the damn shaft itself....
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 7:36 am
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Before you do anything is your res. down or do you see any sign of leaking at the leaver. If its low refill and watch to see if the level goes down it could be the slave leaking and thats all most as big a pain. If your clutch has failed it's usually felt on the hyway in 5th or 6th gear you can tell something is not right, it will feal like its slipping if thats not happening its probably your master or your slave. good luck
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2008, 9:03 am Thread Starter
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thanks everyone. I am still waiting to hear from my mechanic but will let you all know the diagnosis.
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