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Fear The Reaper
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had a front master cylinder leak yet? I was driving from the dealership last Saturday and I noticed some fluid around the seal of the reservoir. I touched the fluid and smelled it... nothing, and then rubbed it between my fingers. Thats when I knew what it was. Got back to the garage and took the cover off. First thought was broken seal from previous service... nope, everything seemed good there. Next was over or under torque of the screws on cover... retorqued and rode for awhile and it came back, but not as bad. Next step is call my service manager have him do something with it ( and I do trust this person). It looks like it is seeping through the screw head , but I do see some coming from around the cover seal. Any one else seeing this?
 

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Greg/Moderator
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18,951 Posts
The master cylinders have a vent on the caps so if the cylinders are over filled they will leak a little. Check the level and clean them up and you should be alright.
 

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----->
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Is this on a stock cover?

The seal has to set on there just right. You can feel the seal sit into position on there if done right.
Note also that the "window" is just a plastic deal that is just pressed into the rubber seal.
 

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Don't think, ride.
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752 Posts
RAZ said:
Has anyone had a front master cylinder leak yet? I was driving from the dealership last Saturday and I noticed some fluid around the seal of the reservoir. I touched the fluid and smelled it... nothing, and then rubbed it between my fingers. Thats when I knew what it was. Got back to the garage and took the cover off. First thought was broken seal from previous service... nope, everything seemed good there. Next was over or under torque of the screws on cover... retorqued and rode for awhile and it came back, but not as bad. Next step is call my service manager have him do something with it ( and I do trust this person). It looks like it is seeping through the screw head , but I do see some coming from around the cover seal. Any one else seeing this?
I had the same problem as you describe, eventually it got so bad the fluid started eating away at the reservoir. It is under warranty so the dealer is replacing both sides. Problem is it took literally six months until the parts came in to change them out. I go in this Friday to finally get this problem taken care of.
 

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I too have the same problem. Both sides leak on my D. Took it to the dealship under warranty and had them replace the cover and gasket, still leaks a little. I noticed the covers are always on back order so it must be a common problem.
 

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Don't think, ride.
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Night Rodder said:
I had the same problem as you describe, eventually it got so bad the fluid started eating away at the reservoir. It is under warranty so the dealer is replacing both sides. Problem is it took literally six months until the parts came in to change them out. I go in this Friday to finally get this problem taken care of.
They are replacing the whole reservoir for me since the paint has bubbled down near the levers. I will have to watch this in the future and clean them very well after every ride.
 

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Paintless Rider
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1,326 Posts
Same issue here. I lowered the level a little, and tried to only tighten the screws until they were gently seated. Seems to be better. Making the screws tighter didn't seem to stop it, probably just distorts the gasket.
 

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same here,both leak real bad.It comes out around the screw on the brake side and around gasket on clutch.I took it in to the dealer worried about wrecking custom paint.I sure hope they don't keep it 6 months.
 

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whats up with that!! Same problem here on a 06 D. Great braking system but got to deal with dot 4 splashing all over your air box , frame, or leaking all over the reservoir. Whats the cure, running at the dealership to replace the gaskets and covers?? Same thing, back order. WHATS THE PROBLEM. IT BUGS ME TO SEE PEOPLE PAY BIG MONEY FOR BIKES AND SEE COMPANY S GET AWAY WITH IT. AH !!WE DON T WANT TO SEE THIS PROBLEM AH!! AND EVERY DEALERSHIP HAS A DIFFERENT STORY ON THE PROBLEM!! WHEN THE WARRANTY S GONE WHAT HAPPENS THEN!! FORGOT THIS WAS A QUICK REPLY!! You s know what i mean!! NIGHTROD06:diablo: :banghead: :banghead:
 

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SNAFU
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The parts are probably back ordered because this effects ALL Harley's, not just the V-Rod. The screws are not meant to be tightened to the point of distorting the gasket. Once you over tighten them you risk deforming the top cover and when that happens even the best gasket will leak.

Tighten them in a cross pattern and only "finger" tight then a 1/4 turn. That means you simply want the cover to engage the gasket, not crush it. Using a cross pattern will reduce the distortion of the gasket.
 

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See, it really is a Harley. It leaks fluid!

I have the same problem. The fluid from the clutch reservoir bubbled and then peeled the paint. The brake side hasn't affected the paint yet.

If you sand the edges of the paint "chip", use a filler type primer (liquid) applied with a small brush and touch up with lacquer (liquid), it cleans up nicely.
 

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durata membro
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17,603 Posts
The Brembo master cylinders for the front brake and the clutch leak at the cap seals and the sight glasses.I've been told there is an incompatability w the dot4 fluid and a new and improved set of cylinders are available.The last letter in the part # is different,suggesting a different part.
I had mine both replaced,so far so good.
Now I have completly lost my rear brake.The pedal goes to the floor w minimum or no rear braking at all.
Please,don't anyone suggest bleeding the rear system,I don't buy this as a fix.It's most likely the seals on the piston or the plastic bore already worn and letting air in on the release stroke of the piston.
Anyone know the reason an abrasive assembly lube is used on the piston seals for assembly? I believe it's similar to the lube that's used to break in new cam shafts.



Elrod on the V-Rod
 

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Just burns,like to keep my bike clean and in top shape, you know!!

SORRY ABOUT THE DELAY! THANKS FOR THE REPLIES, VERY HELPFUL!
The brake reservoir just started leaking about 2800 miles, may be i didnt notice it.So do they replace the whole clutch and brake reservoir or just the components inside? like the cover , screws etc.. thanks again. i think i rather blow my motor than have dot 4 leaking when ever were ever( just kidding) i had bikes all my life this is a first!! Hope we find a cure! ah,i mean hope they find a cure and fast! Is this unsafe???? Would this be a safety issue??

THanks again.:angeldev: :chair: :blahblah:
 

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Dot 4 will eat the paint. I replaced the caps with chrome a while back, and now the resevoir paint is starting to bubble. My chrome ones should be in tomorrow. Just have to pay the difference in price from stock.
 

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Ban This!
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Brake Woes

Has anyone tried Brake Kleen to remove spilled DOT4 fluid? I know it works on cars. Last night I took the master cylinder cap off my '06D to blot up what appeared to be fluid seeping from around the gasket area. Big mistake: fluid seeped out everywhere. Good thing I had set a drip cloth underneath to catch any spills. Will the dealer replace this master cyl. with an updated one under warranty? I can bring this up when I go for my 1000 mile service.
 

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Greg/Moderator
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18,951 Posts
ElrodontheV-Rod said:
The Brembo master cylinders for the front brake and the clutch leak at the cap seals and the sight glasses.I've been told there is an incompatability w the dot4 fluid and a new and improved set of cylinders are available.The last letter in the part # is different,suggesting a different part.Elrod on the V-Rod

VERY INTERESTING.....


You guys know where I'm coming from with all the discussion over dot 4 and dot 5....:)


BINGO.............
 

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Had problems with my '03 when I changed to chrome cylinders... The torque of the screws is critical. spec'd at 6 in lbs I think.. Anyways, what works most of the time for me is 1/4 turn past contact - then another 1/8 turn.

I carry a screwdriver with me now- it will go for thousands of miles and then start seeping again.
 

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Brake Kleen will remove paint! Be careful. It is fine for cleaning rotors and caliper parts, or for cleaning out a master cylinder when replacing the piston and seals, but do no use it on anything with a cosmetic finish, it will ruin the appearance.
Water on a soft cloth is best for cleaning up spilled brake fluid.
 

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Had the same problem on my D. Brake fluid is very thin and will spread very easily so it looks like there is alot more than there really is. I pulled the covers, cleaned the gaskets and the inside of the covers with a lint-free cloth and reinstalled. As others have said, snug the covers down and then tighten just a bit more. Have not had anymore problems in over 10K miles.
 

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i had the dame problem. i beleive after a service to much fluid or not tight enought. i just tighten up the screws a bit
and the leak stopped. both sides
 
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