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No signs of leaks here. Yet. Just the clutch slipping from, we hope, some crud preventing that piston from going back in. I ordered the seals and washers. Fingers crossed the disassembly and cleaning does the trick.
With the slave cylinder removed, do you still have clutch slippage ???

To test, while on a center stand and rear wheel off the ground, start engine in gear and apply rear brake.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
It's been a long couple of months. Still working on this.

Posting a follow up out of politeness to all who helped (esp Greg) or asked, and for future reference for happy Googlers. I owe at least one more with the final verdict.

With slave cylinder removed, there was no clutch slippage. It took some sacking up to run through those tests.

Since I was going to be tearing into the clutch hydraulics, I just spent the whole $50 for the slave seals and master piston. It's straightforward enough to put them in. There was some crud in the slave cylinder -- not as bad as I expected, but perhaps at issue. The master piston was clean. I put all the new parts in anyway. A little overkill is OK. Just finished that.

I'm feeling good that this worked but I won't be able to test drive until I get my forks back in. I had them serviced while I was at it. Fingers crossed!
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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It's been a long couple of months. Still working on this.

Posting a follow up out of politeness to all who helped (esp Greg) or asked, and for future reference for happy Googlers. I owe at least one more with the final verdict.

With slave cylinder removed, there was no clutch slippage. It took some sacking up to run through those tests.

Since I was going to be tearing into the clutch hydraulics, I just spent the whole $50 for the slave seals and master piston. It's straightforward enough to put them in. There was some crud in the slave cylinder -- not as bad as I expected, but perhaps at issue. The master piston was clean. I put all the new parts in anyway. A little overkill is OK. Just finished that.

I'm feeling good that this worked but I won't be able to test drive until I get my forks back in. I had them serviced while I was at it. Fingers crossed!
Thanks for the update, if the slave piston was stuck in the pic you posted and not retracting, you fixed it. I have 100% faith in it at this point.👍🏻
 

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I'm feeling good that this worked but I won't be able to test drive until I get my forks back in. I had them serviced while I was at it. Fingers crossed!
You are welcome, and my fingers are crossed too.
 

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I wondered about that coincidence, too.

When I was diagnosing things fiddling around, I made sure to push the lever all the way out and still slip happened. There may be something else hanging up, but it's not the lever.



The pushrod I was talking about is the little one that the lever pushes against to activate the piston at the master cylinder.

----

I'll try the flush, port poke, and driveshaft diagnosis as soon as I get the time, then report back.

Thanks, all, for the info and ideas. It's comforting to know there are so many things that could be wrong. Ha ha, I mean short of a problem deep inside the case. I'll eventually trip over a solution with your help. Much appreciated.
"diagnosing things" / fiddling around - love it
 

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Discussion Starter #47
FAIL.

I'm hugely disappointed. I finally got everything back together (did a bench job fork service while fiddling the forks). The clutch is still slipping. If I give the throttle a good twist, the rpms rev up above the linear speed.

I'm pretty confident I cleaned up the hydraulics well. I'm not confident my testing of the driveshaft is fully on point. I'm having a tough time understanding how it could be bad at such low miles. The bike is a 2006 with <25k miles on it. I got it around 17k. I know from the 70k+ on my other Goldwing, with no similar issue, that I may not be perfect but I'm not THAT hard on a clutch or driveshaft. It seems well maintained by the prior owner who did not appear to be a psycho rider.

I posted another thread aiming to connect with a good mechanic in the mid-Atlantic. Here: Goldwing whisperer in mid-Atlantic, near DC?

I'll look back through here for DIY insights I may have missed. My main ask at this point is whether you think it's save to ride (conservatively!) to drop off the bike once I find a guru, or is trailering a must? It's fair that the degree of slip would matter in that assessment. IDK WTF I'm saying, but I'll guess it's a "medium" slip -- not on a hair trigger, I have to juice it to get a slip, but I don't have to open it up to 100% in a snap.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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FAIL.

I'm hugely disappointed. I finally got everything back together (did a bench job fork service while fiddling the forks). The clutch is still slipping. If I give the throttle a good twist, the rpms rev up above the linear speed.

I'm pretty confident I cleaned up the hydraulics well. I'm not confident my testing of the driveshaft is fully on point. I'm having a tough time understanding how it could be bad at such low miles. The bike is a 2006 with <25k miles on it. I got it around 17k. I know from the 70k+ on my other Goldwing, with no similar issue, that I may not be perfect but I'm not THAT hard on a clutch or driveshaft. It seems well maintained by the prior owner who did not appear to be a psycho rider.

I posted another thread aiming to connect with a good mechanic in the mid-Atlantic. Here: Goldwing whisperer in mid-Atlantic, near DC?

I'll look back through here for DIY insights I may have missed. My main ask at this point is whether you think it's save to ride (conservatively!) to drop off the bike once I find a guru, or is trailering a must? It's fair that the degree of slip would matter in that assessment. IDK WTF I'm saying, but I'll guess it's a "medium" slip -- not on a hair trigger, I have to juice it to get a slip, but I don't have to open it up to 100% in a snap.
Dang! If it’s really slipping, you should pull the slave cylinder away from the block and see if you can hold the rear brake and make it slip on the center stand. Did you bleed it good after reassembly and did you confirm the little flap is correctly installed on the return port in the bottom of the clutch reservoir?
 

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To test the drive shaft definitively, remove it enough to run three strands of tape across the inner and outer sleeves, install and retest (to the point of experiencing slipping), then remove the shaft for tape inspection (torn away). Or spend money on a replacement and not go back in. Either one will confirm driveshaft integrity, and eliminate that area.
The testing for slippage with the slave cylinder removed eliminates hydraulic anomalies.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Thanks, @techdude2000 . I checked the driveshaft before and after removing the slave cylinder. With the slave cylinder in place, I could make it slip but the drive shaft at the u joint was was moving with the wheel. With the slave cylinder removed, i could not make it slip. I thought that isolated it to the clutch hydraulics. I disassembled and cleaned slave and master. Replaced slave seal and master piston. Did the best bleed I could. Thought I nailed it. Damn.

Im not 100% sure about the little retainer clip being perfect but I did notice during the pump up prior to the real bleeding that there were bubbles coming from there so it doesn't seem to be blocked.

As dumb as I might be on this, I get the feeling thay y'all are pretty smart and I can follow most directions. I may have missed something but I think we've moved some dirt. I'm concerned about going back to the well with an average mech.

@GLblinded , I'm not following all that. It may become clear if I dig into the driveshaft. Brave new world for me. I'm ready to throw some money at the pro from Dover. Just need to find one.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Thanks, @techdude2000 . I checked the driveshaft before and after removing the slave cylinder. With the slave cylinder in place, I could make it slip but the drive shaft at the u joint was was moving with the wheel. With the slave cylinder removed, i could not make it slip. I thought that isolated it to the clutch hydraulics. I disassembled and cleaned slave and master. Replaced slave seal and master piston. Did the best bleed I could. Thought I nailed it. Damn.

Im not 100% sure about the little retainer clip being perfect but I did notice during the pump up prior to the real bleeding that there were bubbles coming from there so it doesn't seem to be blocked.

As dumb as I might be on this, I get the feeling thay y'all are pretty smart and I can follow most directions. I may have missed something but I think we've moved some dirt. I'm concerned about going back to the well with an average mech.

@GLblinded , I'm not following all that. It may become clear if I dig into the driveshaft. Brave new world for me. I'm ready to throw some money at the pro from Dover. Just need to find one.
When you rebuilt the slave, was there any crud on the inside of the piston bore? Any chance there’s a rough spot that’s making the piston stick? If it didn’t slip with the slave disconnected from the block, then it’s not the driveshaft’s rubber coupling.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
When you rebuilt the slave, was there any crud on the inside of the piston bore? Any chance there’s a rough spot that’s making the piston stick? If it didn’t slip with the slave disconnected from the block, then it’s not the driveshaft’s rubber coupling.
Yes, there was a little crud. in the slave. I should have taken a pic but I had brake fluid on my hands so didn't pick up the camera. I didn't think it would have been enough to stop the movement and didn't notice any rough spot. Before putting fluid back in, the piston seemed to move well but I don't have a point of reference as to what it should be.

The master cylinder was clean.

I'm thinking about popping out the little clip in the bottom of the master cylinder then going for a test drive. Just to rule out my misplacement of that.

I did what Waldo suggested back in post #25. Cleaned the little hole. I used a needle rather than a thin wire. It didn't go in real far. May re-attack with wire. But I saw some bubbles coming up from that area when refilling and pumping the level.

I figure it's more likely me screwing up something simple in what I've done (hydraulics "fix", driveshaft test) than the clutch itself going bad at such low miles. But can't rule anything out at this point.
 

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You seem to be pointing to the clutch plates or slave being the problem. I have another thought/experiment. If the clutch plates are worn,at that point the push rod from the clutch pack to the slave cylinder is forced out more. If it can not push the slave piston any further it will cause the slip. You say it does not slip with the slave removed.... As another test,could you fashion 3 small flat washers or a shim to space the slave just off it's base mount ? I am thinking .015/.020 thickness. Ahh even cut a shim from a heavy sheet of paper.Remount the slave with the shim/washer spacers. This way you can activate, engage/disengage the clutch. This may just prove the plates are worn.
 

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Yes, there was a little crud. in the slave. I should have taken a pic but I had brake fluid on my hands so didn't pick up the camera. I didn't think it would have been enough to stop the movement and didn't notice any rough spot. Before putting fluid back in, the piston seemed to move well but I don't have a point of reference as to what it should be.

The master cylinder was clean.

I'm thinking about popping out the little clip in the bottom of the master cylinder then going for a test drive. Just to rule out my misplacement of that.

I did what Waldo suggested back in post #25. Cleaned the little hole. I used a needle rather than a thin wire. It didn't go in real far. May re-attack with wire. But I saw some bubbles coming up from that area when refilling and pumping the level.

I figure it's more likely me screwing up something simple in what I've done (hydraulics "fix", driveshaft test) than the clutch itself going bad at such low miles. But can't rule anything out at this point.
If you have no clutch slipping with the slave cylinder out, then somehow there is something messed up with the hydraulics that engages/releases the clutch. Could your clutch m/c not be releasing due to a clutch lever issue. Are you using a properly inspected, lubed, and OEM clutch lever ??? See if you get the same results with the lever removed.

To test ... center stand the Wing, be sure the rear wheel is not touching the ground, start it, and put in 1st. Then remove the clutch lever. To do the following, the rear wheel must never touch the ground while it is spinning. Now sit on the Wing and while applying the rear brake while raving the engine, the engine should want to die.
 

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I mentioned this back on post #23 of this thread, but I'll repeat it again.

REMOVE YOUR CLUTCH LEVER. It may simply be installed improperly and the push rod for the master cylinder is not fully seated in the HOLE in the BRASS pivot bushing. Also, you never mentioned, but do you have aftermarket clutch levers installed.

Remove the 10mm bolt on the bottom of the pivot pin bolt, and then unscrew the pivot bolt. Remove the lever, and push the small brass insert out of it and CLEAN it off. You'll see a small hole in the brass insert. When reinstalled, the push rod for the master cylinder MUST fit into this hole. If it isn't in the hole, you will have the exact symptoms you are reporting. It takes 10 minutes to check.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Thanks for those comments.

OEM lever.

@Fred H. , yes, I duly noted your prior comment. I've checked play and the brass pivot and all that and paid attention to it during last reassembly. I will check it in again because nothing is idiot proof to a sufficiently talented idiot and, though aware, I may have gooned it up.

@GoldWingrGreg , another troubleshooting step requiring audacity! Well noted, I'll try re-poking the breather hole and brass fitting validation first but will keep that in my kit bag.

Headed out for a ride in a few! Which bike, TBD.
 

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Don't really know anything about the clutch setup on these bikes so take this with a grain of salt. Not to mention you've received info from some pretty knowledgeable folks already.


Am I correct in my assumption that the bike can be run without the clutch slave cylinder attached? I say that as it seems there are a few responses on how to test the bike without the slave installed.... Assuming that to be the case, jump on the bike and drive it down the road and see if the clutch slips as it's being driven. If it doesn't then the problem is in the hydraulics. If it slips, it's time for a clutch.

Again, another assumption that you have the skills to get the bike running in gear.
 

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Sorry. Didn't see this post early on. Here is the image of the relief hole that needs some cleaning especially on a bike that sat for awhile. If the hole under the baffle is plugged, the clutch will slip.

377891
 

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Thanks for those comments.

OEM lever.

@Fred H. , yes, I duly noted your prior comment. I've checked play and the brass pivot and all that and paid attention to it during last reassembly. I will check it in again because nothing is idiot proof to a sufficiently talented idiot and, though aware, I may have gooned it up.

@GoldWingrGreg , another troubleshooting step requiring audacity! Well noted, I'll try re-poking the breather hole and brass fitting validation first but will keep that in my kit bag.

Headed out for a ride in a few! Which bike, TBD.
I'm NOT talking about play in the primary clutch bushing. There is a second brass insert on the end of the clutch lever where it engages the push rod for the master cylinder. This brass insert has a hole in it that the push rod should fit into. If the brass insert is not turned (clocked) the right way, the push rod will not fit into the hole.
 

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This photo shows the small brass insert I'm talking about. It has to be clocked in the right position or else the push rod won't seat into the hole in it. You can't see it with it installed. You will need to remove the lever and inspect it.

377892
 
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