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Discussion Starter #1
So i was looking at my reservoir fluid today and it looked grey milky, so I took the top off to see whats going on. I dunno if the grey milky color is normal for the DOT4 that is supposed to go in it, but anyway, when I took the top off, the rubber diaphram came off with it.

That was fine, so when I put it back on, I decided to place the rubber diaphram first, when I took it from the cover, it was full of what looked like silica jell or maybe vasoline that was gone bad. Anyway, it didn't look like it was supposed to be there cus it was actually clogging the vent slits that the top cover has for the diaphram to flex freely.

BTW, don't operate the clutch lever with the top off... haha, I did and it squirted fluid up and out of the reservoir.

Anyway, here is the pic. Anybody know if this is normal. I purchased this bike used. its an 09 muscle. and Im the third owner.

So anyway, i cleaned it all out, and oiled it up. After I cleaned the top cover with hot soapy water and dried it, it started turning white and corroding right away. hence the oil I added.

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Throttle Happy!
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So i was looking at my reservoir fluid today and it looked grey milky, so I took the top off to see whats going on. I dunno if the grey milky color is normal for the DOT4 that is supposed to go in it, but anyway, when I took the top off, the rubber diaphram came off with it.

That was fine, so when I put it back on, I decided to place the rubber diaphram first, when I took it from the cover, it was full of what looked like silica jell or maybe vasoline that was gone bad. Anyway, it didn't look like it was supposed to be there cus it was actually clogging the vent slits that the top cover has for the diaphram to flex freely.

BTW, don't operate the clutch lever with the top off... haha, I did and it squirted fluid up and out of the reservoir.

Anyway, here is the pic. Anybody know if this is normal. I purchased this bike used. its an 09 muscle. and Im the third owner.

So anyway, i cleaned it all out, and oiled it up. After I cleaned the top cover with hot soapy water and dried it, it started turning white and corroding right away. hence the oil I added.

Mine looks the same way and I'm actually on my second cover because the "corrosion" started it's way to the outside of the cover and the black coating was flaking off and looked obviously horrible.

I wash my bike a lot and it appears to be condensation on the raw cast aluminum that gets under the outside black coating and lifts it eventually.

I might actually order two new ones (both sides) and have them stripped at completely powder coated inside and out like Harley should have.
 

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Flat Broke
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Mine is the same way. I have replaced fluid a couple times and it comes back
 

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Discussion Starter #5
that white shit is not corrosion, its like a gel. Donn't think its corrosion. Anyway, about the fluid color, do you think it should be clear or is the milky grey normal? thanks.
 

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Noel
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4,605 Posts
The milky Gray is common, moisture, & Assembly lube or inner line from the hoses & seals on the Master Cylinder piston, it's probably time to give it a good flushing.

I use a suction bulb to remove most of the fluid in the reservoir, wipe out any sludge at the bottom, use a needle to ensure the ports are clear.

Pour in new fluid.

loose fit the cover.
remove Slave on clutch cover, push in piston by hand hold in place with c clamp (light pressure) in to purge any possible air intrusion while the reservoir was empty.

The proceed to bleed the fresh fluid through the system, using a Mitty-VAC kit helps draw the fresh fluid down, make sure the res always has fluid or you'll draw in air!

When the fluid coming out of the SLAVE starts to run clean, your good, top off the Res. only to the fill line (too much is not good), tighten the cover.

Check the lever for a good feel, while the bike is off pup into gear, the pull in clutch there may be a little drag put the bike should move forward when you push.

If all appears well, carefully test ride the bike, and feel the difference in clutch grab/release
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The milky Gray is common, moisture, & Assembly lube or inner line from the hoses & seals on the Master Cylinder piston, it's probably time to give it a good flushing.

I use a suction bulb to remove most of the fluid in the reservoir, wipe out any sludge at the bottom, use a needle to ensure the ports are clear.

Pour in new fluid.

loose fit the cover.
rock the pads to push the pistons at the caliper in to purge any possible air intrusion while the reservoir was empty.

The proceed to bleed the fresh fluid through the system, using a Mitty-VAC kit helps draw the fresh fluid down, make sure the res always has fluid or you'll draw in air!

When the fluid coming out of the calipers starts to run clean, your good, top off the Res. only to the fill line (too much is not good), tighten the cover.

Check the lever for a good feel, then carefully test ride the bike!
Um, thanks for the reply, but im talking about the clutch lever and reservoir, not the brake.
 

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Noel
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Um, thanks for the reply, but im talking about the clutch lever and reservoir, not the brake.
My BAD, (what the hell was I thinking) :spank:

But the same issues. :deal:

Pull the Slave from the clutch cover to push the piston in during the back-flush step.

Use a C-Clamp to keep the piston from popping out, while bleeding.

When all done remount & top-off, the same goes for NOT over filling the clutch reservoir.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
is there a how to on here anywhere, I searched but cannot find. Pics would be nice. I thought I could just take the cable off the engine side and bleed, then top up and reinstall. Now your talking about slaves and clamps. now im scared.
 

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Premium Member
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is there a how to on here anywhere, I searched but cannot find. Pics would be nice. I thought I could just take the cable off the engine side and bleed, then top up and reinstall. Now your talking about slaves and clamps. now im scared.
No reason to not just gravity bleed. Mop out the master with a few paper towels then fill with fresh fluid. Crack the bleeder on the slave and let gravity do its thing until clean fluid runs out. Tighten everything up, clean a bit, and you're done.
 

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K.I.A. '07 AW
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the grey shit swirling around in the reservoir is the assembly lube. The white shit is moisture residue NOT corrosion. DOT 4 is infamous for wicking moisture from the air, and for that reason if you live in a humid and or wet climate you should drain and flush your DOT4 fluids at least every two years or risk brake failure (ask me how I know)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
the grey shit swirling around in the reservoir is the assembly lube. The white shit is moisture residue NOT corrosion. DOT 4 is infamous for wicking moisture from the air, and for that reason if you live in a humid and or wet climate you should drain and flush your DOT4 fluids at least every two years or risk brake failure (ask me how I know)
Grey Stuff swirling around in the reservoir is teh assembly lube? The whole reservoir is all milky grey/silver. Not just some of it.

The White stuff is not moisture, cus its like a jell. Moister would be wet and watery.

I wont' get brake failure as this is the CLUTCH reservoir. But anyway, I'll try to drain it and refill.

BTW, all I could find was DOT4 synthetic brake fluid at my auto store. Is that what we put in the clutch reservoir. Or is there DOT4 clutch fluid? Like when a woman brings in her car to the dealership and they tell her her headlight fluid is low and charge her for a top up. hehe.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No reason to not just gravity bleed. Mop out the master with a few paper towels then fill with fresh fluid. Crack the bleeder on the slave and let gravity do its thing until clean fluid runs out. Tighten everything up, clean a bit, and you're done.
Theres a bleed on the clutch? or are you talking about the brake.

This thread is not about the BRAKE! its about the CLUTCH!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The milky Gray is common, moisture, & Assembly lube or inner line from the hoses & seals on the Master Cylinder piston, it's probably time to give it a good flushing.

I use a suction bulb to remove most of the fluid in the reservoir, wipe out any sludge at the bottom, use a needle to ensure the ports are clear.

Pour in new fluid.

loose fit the cover.
remove Slave on clutch cover, push in piston by hand hold in place with c clamp (light pressure) in to purge any possible air intrusion while the reservoir was empty.

The proceed to bleed the fresh fluid through the system, using a Mitty-VAC kit helps draw the fresh fluid down, make sure the res always has fluid or you'll draw in air!

When the fluid coming out of the SLAVE starts to run clean, your good, top off the Res. only to the fill line (too much is not good), tighten the cover.

Check the lever for a good feel, while the bike is off pup into gear, the pull in clutch there may be a little drag put the bike should move forward when you push.

If all appears well, carefully test ride the bike, and feel the difference in clutch grab/release

Thanks for the How Too. I'll give it a try, hopefully you didn't leave anything out. I hate starting a job and then theres unexpected surprises. Also I found that the DOT4 is brake fluid and used for the clutch.

haha, found this on HD's website, its almost as good as a how too...
http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Media/downloads/Service/isheets/-J04292.pdf
 

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K.I.A. '07 AW
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Grey Stuff swirling around in the reservoir is teh assembly lube? The whole reservoir is all milky grey/silver. Not just some of it.

The White stuff is not moisture, cus its like a jell. Moister would be wet and watery.

I wont' get brake failure as this is the CLUTCH reservoir. But anyway, I'll try to drain it and refill.

BTW, all I could find was DOT4 synthetic brake fluid at my auto store. Is that what we put in the clutch reservoir. Or is there DOT4 clutch fluid? Like when a woman brings in her car to the dealership and they tell her her headlight fluid is low and charge her for a top up. hehe.
Theres a bleed on the clutch? or are you talking about the brake.

This thread is not about the BRAKE! its about the CLUTCH!
yes, we ALL KNOW it's for the CLUTCH, but your clutch and the brakes both use DOT 4 fluid. So it is safe to say that if you have that deterioration of the DOT 4 in your clutch reservoir, it will also be in your brake reservoirs and should be changed out as well.
That is why so many of us keep harping on the brakes
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The milky Gray is common, moisture, & Assembly lube or inner line from the hoses & seals on the Master Cylinder piston, it's probably time to give it a good flushing.

I use a suction bulb to remove most of the fluid in the reservoir, wipe out any sludge at the bottom, use a needle to ensure the ports are clear.

Pour in new fluid.

loose fit the cover.
remove Slave on clutch cover, push in piston by hand hold in place with c clamp (light pressure) in to purge any possible air intrusion while the reservoir was empty.

The proceed to bleed the fresh fluid through the system, using a Mitty-VAC kit helps draw the fresh fluid down, make sure the res always has fluid or you'll draw in air!

When the fluid coming out of the SLAVE starts to run clean, your good, top off the Res. only to the fill line (too much is not good), tighten the cover.

Check the lever for a good feel, while the bike is off pup into gear, the pull in clutch there may be a little drag put the bike should move forward when you push.

If all appears well, carefully test ride the bike, and feel the difference in clutch grab/release

I tackled the job today. I did it a little different than your suggestion. Probably will regret it but anyway.

I took off the reservoir cover, then got a garbage bag and pressed it over the bleed nipple till it poked through. This was the idea I had to keep the oil from getting on the bike and thus run down the bag into the drain pan.

The bag thing worked I guess, but when I was done, there was a thin trail of DOT4 running down the engine and onto the floor. Oh well, I cleaned that up upon finishing.

But what concerns me is the approach I took to drain and bleed. Like I said I took the Reservoir Master Cylinder Cover off, then cracked the bleed on the clutch. The oil started free flowing out of the bleed and draining from the Reservoir.

I couldn't leave well enough alone so I pumped the clutch lever and thus the nipple sucked in air as I let out the lever. I did this over and over until the reservoir was almost empty. I then cleaned it out with paper towels and small flat top screwdriver. There was like grey/silver grease or sludge in the bottom creases of the reservoir.

Once I cleand it all up, I filled the reservoir with new DOT4. I operated the clutch lever slowly over and over and watched bubbles comming out of the two small pinholes. The level in the reservoir went down slowly, as it drained out of the Bleed.

I operated the lever until a squirt of oil came up and out of the reservoir from the piston. I topped up the reservoir again and then pulled in the lever while I tightened off the bleed.

I hope there is no air locked in there anywhere.

I took this approach because I wanted the oil out of the line as well as the reservoir. I assumed the oil was just as dirty in the line as in the reservoir. But from what I see come out of the bleed first, it looked chean. Then the grey shit came out after, the oil from the reservoir.

Anyway, All in all it went OK. I made sure I cleaned everything with windex afterwards due to the damage brake fluid can do to metal and paint.

I have yet to test drive the bike to see if it throws me over the handlebars or not, but Ive got my fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I tried the bike out today, first day after the clutch fluid flush.

I still have trouble shifting form 1st to 2nd. I think it might be my technique though. I usually don't let off on the throttle when i shift. When I actually roll the throttle back when I shift from 1st to 2nd, I can usually get a clean shift, without the N light even flicking on.

But to make sure I had not air bubbles left in the cable, I decided to drain the fluid some more via the bleeder on the slave.

When i took the cap of the reservoir off, the oil was starting to get milky again! WTF!

So I took the whole slave out of the engine side this time and cracked the bleed so it would drain directly into a bucket and not down the side of the bike. I let the reservoir drain slowly on its own and I topped it up before it reached the pinholes of the master cylinder.

Put it back together and cleaned everything up again. I found no air bubbles, so again. Im thinking the rough shifting from 1st to 2nd is my technique.

But to my own defence, I have never had a rough shift past 2nd gear, so is it my technique?

I half blam it on the large ratio difference from 1st to 2nd

Any thoughts or imput on this?
 

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K.I.A. '07 AW
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10,908 Posts
I opened up the bleeder, took cap off of clutch reservoir & front brake res, and flushed about a pint of clean DOT 4 through both until it ran out clean and clear.
 
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