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Old 08-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #1
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Clutch Slave Cylinder WTF

I only have about 27k miles on my VStrom and the clutch slave cylinder started leaking about two weeks ago. Ordered a rebuild kit, and when I took the cylinder apart, the cylinder wall was black/brown and the piston looked the same. I assume this was from the leaking oil getting hot and more or less varnishing the wall and piston. I took some 2k grit sandpaper and got rid of the varnish, and once the cylinder wall was clean I noticed scoring. I couldn't feel it when I rubbed my finger across it, but my eyes told me it was there. I put it back together with new parts and lubricated the wall with brake fluid prior to assembly, but the piston doesn't move freely which tells me the cylinder really is scored.

I ordered an OEM slave cylinder assembly from Ron Ayers today, and the guy on the phone told me they sell a ton of hydraulic slave cylinders but has no idea why they fail so often. If they do have a high failure rate, why use them in the first place?
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Cuz they dont snap or fray like cable clutches....some clutches require heavy springs which would kill ur hand if not for hydraulic asstd slave cylinders
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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Cuz they dont snap or fray like cable clutches....some clutches require heavy springs which would kill ur hand if not for hydraulic asstd slave cylinders
If the failure rate of a slave cylinder is the same as a clutch cable, the cable is cheaper to replace. My Sabre had a cable clutch. 28k on the clock when I sold it and I never even had to lube the cable. As for spring tension...couldn't that be overcome with pull angle or other designs that improve leverage?
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
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If the failure rate of a slave cylinder is the same as a clutch cable, the cable is cheaper to replace. My Sabre had a cable clutch. 28k on the clock when I sold it and I never even had to lube the cable. As for spring tension...couldn't that be overcome with pull angle or other designs that improve leverage?
Probably.....
Those were the only two excuses I thought about why though....my Aprilia is hydraulic and its a hard pull....so I guess I blew my own theory pit of the water


Also remember this is just a comment made by a guy at Ron Ayers.....Im not sure what the reliability rate of either...
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:05 PM   #5
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True. It did strike me as odd that he knew that off the top of his head. I didn't ask if it was manufacturer/year range-specific. I'll just have to see how long the new one lasts. Supposedly it's fairly simple to convert my bike to a cable clutch. If the new slave cylinder fails while I still have the bike I might just consider it.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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What did the folks on the wee strom forums have to say about it?
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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Hydraulics was for ease of adjustment (no need to adjust anything) and feel. On my TL (similar bike/setup) clutch effort is great, but clutch feel isn't favorable, at least for our bikes. It's more like an on and off switch but HD springs have helped that out a little bit. I'm floating at 50K ish miles (lost count) and still going on factory unit.

Cable Conversion from a TLS is an option, many have done it with good results. Might as well order barnett HD clutch springs while your there, only another 20 bux.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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What did the folks on the wee strom forums have to say about it?
That it's not uncommon for the seal to go, but that it's usually fixed with a rebuild. Only one forum blurb I can find about a rebuild on the Vee not working. No mention of the scoring I found in mine.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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Hydraulics was for ease of adjustment (no need to adjust anything) and feel. On my TL (similar bike/setup) clutch effort is great, but clutch feel isn't favorable, at least for our bikes. It's more like an on and off switch but HD springs have helped that out a little bit. I'm floating at 50K ish miles (lost count) and still going on factory unit.

Cable Conversion from a TLS is an option, many have done it with good results. Might as well order barnett HD clutch springs while your there, only another 20 bux.
Will strongly consider it if/when this one fails.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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I wonder if flushing the system regularly would prevent that from happening?
I keep telling myself I should flush the clutch on my Duc but I keep finding other things to do. Maybe I need to stop being so lazy.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
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I flushed it about 3 months before I noticed the leak. Fluid in the reservoir was clear-ish before the change but turned black within two days. My statement about the leak starting two weeks ago is not accurate. I just noticed it two weeks ago when I took my lower fairing off for an oil change. Looks like it's been leaking since I swapped fluid. I changed my oil at the same time I changed my clutch fluid about 3 months ago, and there was no sign of a leak at that time.
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:08 PM   #12
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Yeah, my clutch fluid (in the reservoir) turned dark some time ago, brake fluid still looks good in the reservoir but I know it needs to be changed too.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #13
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You could always do a cable clutch conversion.
I did it on my SV1000 and several SV1000 race bikes and never looked back.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
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You could always do a cable clutch conversion.
I did it on my SV1000 and several SV1000 race bikes and never looked back.
I'll probably be doing this the next time the slave cylinder goes out. When I searched for "slave cylinder leaking," I found a few threads about rebuilds, but not much else. When I searched for "DL1000 cable clutch conversion," I found multiple threads talking about frequent slave cylinder failure. Apparently the slave cylinder is too close to the front sprocket and constantly gets packed full of grit and grime. Guess that explains the scoring I saw on the cylinder wall.
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