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Library Home Page > 1st Generation (1983 to 1993) > Drivetrain
Refreshing the '83-'85 clutch slave cylinder
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Refreshing the '83-'85 clutch slave cylinder

From: Cal Woodward
Here's the blow-by-blow I gave someone else with poor clutch pressure. Mine is an 84 Venture. Advice pulls together what I was told from many quarters and my experience fixing it. --  Assuming you tried bleeding the line with fresh fluid of the right type (DOT 3) and that you can't see any leak in your clutch line, the problem is likely with either the slave cylinder or the master cylinder. You'll have to decide which one to work on. My dealer told me the slave cylinder usually has problems before the master cylinder does, so you may want to go after that one first. I did it the other way around. When the master cylinder rebuild didn't fix the squish, I replaced the slave seals, and now the clutch is as good as new.
I'll give you the step-by-step for the slave cylinder. If you want me to walk you through the master rebuild instead, let me know. The two rubber seals for the slave cost me $17. The master rebuild kit cost about $20, plus I replaced the rubber diaphragm under the cap for another $10.

Slave cylinder removal: (the shop manual calls this a clutch release assembly):
1. With bike on center stand, remove two bolts on the left footrest-shift mechanism and dangle it out of the way.
2. Remove the circle of 6 allen bolts on the middle-gear cover and take off the cover. NOTE: Some residual oil will spill. ALSO note the bottom bolt has a washer and should be put back in the same hole during reassembly.
3. Now you can see the slave cylinder but some wires may be in the way. Work the wires out of their harness and move them aside. The forward clip can be gently pried apart.
4. With a socket and extension, remove the bolt that attaches the clutch line to the slave cylinder. CAREFUL not to lose the copper washers on each side of the fitting.
5. Remove the kickstand switch (2 screws)
6. Remove the two allen bolts holding the cylinder to the engine. For this, I had to buy an allen socket to put on a ratchet extension.  Wiggle the cylinder free. It's a tight fit and tricky, but it will come out.
7. Pull off the rubber dust seal and pull the piston out of the cylinder. Clean with brake cleaner and check the condition of the cylinder. Mine was somewhat scored but works fine.
8. Replace the piston seal. Pay attention to the position of the old one before you take it off. The new seal will look too small to go on, but it will. Once it is on, coat the seal with some fresh brake fluid and reinsert the piston. Put on the new dust seal. Push the piston in a few times to make sure it works OK without binding.

Reattaching cylinder:
1. Wiggle that slave assembly back in place on the engine and bolt it on. Getting it into that tight space was frustrating but it finally went.  Reattach the clutch line (don't forget the two copper washers, one on each side of the fitting.).
2. Replenish the brake fluid at the master cylinder and bleed. I gave the lever 5-10 pulls and the pressure was back.
3. Complete the reassembly of wires, cover and footrest.

Good luck. Like I said, let me know if you need the master cylinder info. And remember this is amateur advice; what worked for me might not for you. But it does sound like the same problem. Let me know how it turns out.


Last update: 08:24 PM Tuesday, March 15, 2005

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