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I'm afraid the Grape Ape's clutch may be going out. I am starting to notice that it disengages with very little pull on the clutch lever, but no slipping yet. I can't think of anything besides a worn clutch pack could cause this. Any ideas?

The one bright spot is that the book says that the clutch can be changed without pulling the motor. Although, it is very tight quarters.

Also, any ideas about where to order the parts would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I would check the hydraulic portion of the clutch system first. Make sure that the resevoir is full and there are no leaks. Then check for air in the system and bleed accordingly. In any case it would not hurt to drain out all the old hydraulic fluid( Dot4 brake fluid) and refill with new...............GM
 

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if it disengages with very little pull and it isn't slipping is that a bad thing?:shock:
 

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Wouldn't the reverse situation be cause for concern, having to pull the lever in all the way for the clutch to disengage? Or maybe I am reading thiis wrong.
 

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fitzal,
Normally I understand it that having to let the lever nearly out is a possible sign of worn clutch plates or faulty adjustment. The 1500 has a hydraulic clutch operation with no adjustment. It could be a hydraulic problem but I think that air in the system would give the opposite effect at the lever?

Marcus, If you pull in the clutch at 40mph or so in top gear, rev the engine and release the clutch suddenly- does that provoke a momentary slip? Could be a sign it's on the way out. ....Steve
 

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GLGREZMONKI wrote:
I would check the hydraulic portion of the clutch system first. Make sure that the resevoir is full and there are no leaks. Then check for air in the system and bleed accordingly. In any case it would not hurt to drain out all the old hydraulic fluid( Dot4 brake fluid) and refill with new...............GM
Bingo. If you have air in the line, the clutch slowly goes away, until it stops working. My son lost his clutch during a ride. Got home and we flushed and bled the system. That was 2 years ago.

For what it's worth, I flush my system, every time I change the pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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steve worth wrote:
fitzal,
Normally I understand it that having to let the lever nearly out is a possible sign of worn clutch plates or faulty adjustment. The 1500 has a hydraulic clutch operation with no adjustment. It could be a hydraulic problem but I think that air in the system would give the opposite effect at the lever?

Marcus, If you pull in the clutch at 40mph or so in top gear, rev the engine and release the clutch suddenly- does that provoke a momentary slip? Could be a sign it's on the way out. ....Steve
That is also my understanding (air in the lines giving the opposite effect). If air in the lines were the problem, I would expect the clutch to fail to disengage rather than engaging late.I will experiment to see if I get slipping with a suddent clutch release.



I will also flush and drain the fluid before replacing the clutch, just to make sure I am not missing something in my hypothesis. I will report back to the forum with my results, but it might be a while before I get a chance.



I appreciate everyone's inputs very much.
 

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A previous thread mentioned a return hole plugged in the master cylinder that caused a clutch to slip as the bike warmed up because the fluid would expand and have nowhere to go except to start to disengage the clutch.

Focus on the hydraulics, you shouldn't go through a clutch in only 60,000 miles. I have 215,000 on mine.
 

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I have to agree that a 1500 clutch would VERY rarely go bad that young.I'll betcha it is something hydraulic that's messin' with ya. jimsjinx
 

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Yeah, unless you've been drag racing with a loaded trailer in tow, the plates should be fine. It has to be something hydraulic.

My clutch is actually worn enough that it's slipping under hard acceleration, but that doesn't affect the action of the lever at all.
 

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I think you guys are right in that it shouldn’t be a disk problem. I did the test of revving the engine a little at 40 mph, with the clutch lever pulled in and letting it out quickly. I did get some momentary (very short) slipping, but it didn’t seem out of the ordinary.

Today I flushed and bled the line. I found lots of sludge in the master cylinder. Bleeding the line helped in that the clutch now works much more smoothly. We went for a nice 60 mile ride. I am still concerned that it disengages with only a short pull of the lever. Some of the clutches I have seen before have an adjustable rod at the slave cylinder that can be shortened to compensate for this, but as far as I can tell from the manual, this one has no adjustment.

I am curious about the “return hole”. I don’t know anything about that.

I think for right now, I will just keep riding and see if it gets worse. No long trips.

One bright spot is that while I was working on it today is that I found that if I had to change the clutch, it wouldn’t be that terrible. Access is much better than I expected.
 

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There is a small return hole in the bottom of the master cylinder that must be open. If you found a lot of sludge, chances may be good, the hole could be partially blocked. I use a small acetylene torch tip cleaner to open the hole up. The hole is very small, but if you have clean fluid in now, you should be able to see where it would be.
 
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