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First truly nice day here in coastal Maine. Got my 2003 V11 Lemans out of the garage. It started right up. That’s the good news. I have absolutely no clutch. Hydraulic fluid looks full and clean but there’s no resistance on the lever and the clutch is not operating. Please let me know where to look to diagnose the problem. Eager to ride. 

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8 minutes ago, bridge said:

First truly nice day here in coastal Maine. Got my 2003 V11 Lemans out of the garage. It started right up. That’s the good news. I have absolutely no clutch. Hydraulic fluid looks full and clean but there’s no resistance on the lever and the clutch is not operating. Please let me know where to look to diagnose the problem. Eager to ride. 

Similar to what my '04 did when I last rode it. Except that the lever would return slowly and the clutch would drag, almost killing the engine at a stop. So, as it warms up, I guess some slave cylinder bleeding is in order. I just hope that I do not have to remove the motorcycle from the engine in order to do so. 

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Hopefully someone who knows what they're talking about will be along shortly, but for now examine the whole lever plunger assembly and make sure it is moving and releasing freely. Iirc there is a plunger that can stick and the fluid goes through some type of bypass.

If it's never been bled, that may be worth considering.

ps I think there is a special place in h*ll for the guy that dreamed up the hydraulic clutch idea and thought he was fixing a problem, jmo

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When I checked, the reservoir was filled - no air space. So, I drew some fluid off and ran through a few cycles. Nope.  Surely, replacing the entire hydraulic system and clutch will fix it but...

Here is the parts schematic from This Old Tractor: https://www.thisoldtractor.com/mg_manuals/spare_parts_catalog_v11-sport_v11-lemans_v11-rosso-corsa_2012-02.pdf

Takes a while to load as it is a graphic and text-rich PDF. It seems that, lacking a fluid leak, air in the system would be the only likely (not the only possible) cause of the behavior.

OP bridge, have you change out levers for aftermarket? Just curious.

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If no fluid leaking then it must be air in the line. Pump the lever over and over again till something happens. It should get some resistance. As soon as you feel any pressure, bleed it of air.

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The seals in the MC can go bad when sitting. When you grab the lever the seal doesn't and the lever just pulls back without pressurizing the rest of the system. A few of my race bikes do this when getting pulled out. Sometimes a good flush will clear debris that caused it and sometimes the MC needs new seals to fix.

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I did get the clutch partially working. I opened the bleeder valve and let out a little fluid, but couldn’t properly bleed it, as I didn’t have any hose. I squeezed the lever about 100 times to build up pressure, which seem to work (or it made my hand tired). I’ll do a proper bleed tomorrow. Thank you for all your help. 

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Heat would seem to be a factor. I had just shown some racer kid in a Jetta up from down on I-5 in Seattle when the lever stopped returning and the clutch drag followed. The M/C and some of the line clearly heat up, given their location. The reservoir was full to the top - which I do not think was the case prior. Did the expanded fluid feed its way back into the reservoir and a bubble of air filled the void at the slave? As the fluid cools, it shrinks. Could that vacuum be pulling some air in? I suppose. Someone fully familiar with fluid dynamics and the intricacies of the MG system might better explain.

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Makes sense, but in my case the bike had idled only a minute or two (I hadn’t ridden the bike yet), and the hydraulic line was still cool. 

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4 hours ago, bridge said:

Makes sense, but in my case the bike had idled only a minute or two (I hadn’t ridden the bike yet), and the hydraulic line was still cool. 

Am guessing that the slave might be the weak link. Either quickly in my case, or over time as in yours, air is seeping in. First time in history that something leaks into a Guzzi.

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Try zip tying the lever against handgrip overnight, and turn steering to  right. It's worked on my KTM's before. Btw, what do you consider a proper bleed?

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There is no proper sequence for hydraulics . You just have to TRY what worked last time . Since there is no last time.....

i have a (can't remember the name) hydraulic bleed kit and reverse bleed . Open the bleeder , connect hose and force fluid back through the slave up through the master and catch the fluid and air bubble(s) . You want the master to be as level as possible to get the air out .  Also , you can push the fluid from the master through the slave to get the air out too . Keep the master as level as possible too .  

Good luck & use DOT 4 fluid

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I wouldn't be happy with just bleeding the system after a failure. Consider flushing it completely. If you have a little syringe, you can draw all the old fluid out of the reservoir and fill it with new - that will reduce the amount of flushing you need to do.

FWIW, I just did this yesterday as I am getting mine back on the road. I used Motul DOT 5.1 fluid in place of DOT 4. (not DOT 5, which is not compatible). It's best to have a helper to squeeze the lever while you work the wrench and monitor the fluid. To keep the hose on the bleeder and avoid making a mess, use a zip tie.

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I do a complete flush as Scud describes but I use a turkey baster to empty the rez. Every two years. Just as the Satanic BMW tech's used to advise for my ABS Beem's. I thought I should give this a try this time .. http://pentosin.net/specsheets/Pentosin_SuperDot_4.pdf

any thoughts?

 

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