Clutch Cable Leaking oil

Discussion in 'Other Service and Maintenance' started by Monty81, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Monty81

    Monty81 Member

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    Hey, I'm looking for some help, I have a 2000 sportster 1200. My clutch cable is leaking oil, can anyone tell me what to expect when I pull the cover and fix it? I'm assuming I will need to change an o-ring and setup my clutch when I'm done? Should I be concerned about the oil level in my casing? I just tightened the primary chain but still get the tapping noise once and a while, anyone who could give me some tips would be much appreciated. Thanks Monty81
     
  2. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Monty81, welcome to the HDTalking forum. While others will weigh in shortly, I guess I need some questions answered. 1) Depending on which cover you are talking about, the derby cover will not let you see very much, and being as you have a 2000 Sporty, I would remove the primary cover as one unit...then you can inspect EVERYTHING and be out only the additional $25-30 for the gasket. That way you can check the cam chain tensioner shoe, inspect for metal debris in the corners of that cover and surrounding area, and really inspect the back side of the clutch cable and how it passes thru for possible future problems best avoided now. 2) Do you have a tech manual, Torx and Hex Fastener tools, 3) Space set aside for tilting the primary cover and working on the bike from the side stand side?, 4) Do you have consumables and parts on hand that you EXPECT you will need, 5) Did you "reherse" the sequence you wanted to disassemble and inspect and leave yourself plenty of time for "multiple" trips to the dealer or indy for additional parts you may need once in there?

    If the color of the fluid, or the smell is burnt, brown in color (should be pale honey color) you will know how how far you want to go. I always start the process on Friday evening, so I have two full days to get additional parts or take the time without rushing. I use my Sporty as my daily driver, so downtime is critical to me...the cost is secondary, time and preparation are a key to successful completion of the task.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  3. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I had the clutch cable on my UC actually wear through the outer sheath of the whole clutch cable assy. It had worn through to a small hole that let fluid leak out and keep the woven cover on the outside of the cable assy wet. This was a real mystery to me, since I did not believe this was the problem, and kept trying to find a leak somewhere else. Finally realised it WAS the outer sheath leaking. Replaced the whole thing, and voila'!!

    TQ
     
  4. PetieJ

    PetieJ Member

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    Not saying that this is your problem, but I thought I might mention this as it has to do with the clutch cable leaking oil.
    Make sure the breather tube for the tranny is not plugged. If the tube becomes plugged, pressure will build up in the tranny when it gets hot and it will force oil up the clutch cable. I have seen this happen several times on older bikes.
     
  5. Monty81

    Monty81 Member

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    Hey everyone, just figuring out the site. I replaced the clutch cable on Friday night, the HD dealer gave me all i needed so that was a big help. Yeah I definatley need to buy a manual, everything went ok removing the old cable. Someone patched up the old cable with thread dope and when i tried to thread in the new cable it didn't feel right. So i tapped a bolt to the same thread as the cable and screwed it through the derby cover side to clean up the threads, I was sweating bullets but it worked. How critical is the setup on spring cable tensioner? Before I took of the cable clamp (inside the derby cover) off I counted three turns before the clamp would tighten up. I set it up the same, there is a little play.

    My primary chain has about 1/4 inch play, is that ok? My oil looked ok and didn't smell burnt. My bike shifts smooth so I hope all is good. Thanks for the help.
     
  6. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Monty81, thank you for the followup post. I usually like the clutch freeplay at the lever to be only 1/16" or so cold. The primary chain tension of 1/4" with firm pressure in the middle of the span is about right. How did the orange nylon cam tensioner shoe look. There may be a bit of grooving, and perhaps brown marks where the chain has been rubbing it (usually caused at breakin) but no heavy wear right? You did good, don't forget to get the manual though. Now ride your bike like ya stole it!
     
  7. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Last time i looked solid mount sportsters dont have a cam chain or tensioner :p

    Brian
     
  8. Burgundy9

    Burgundy9 Member

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    You guys are nothing short of the honey. I had oil dripping down my left hand today. It freaked me out and I'm thinking "just make it home and check out HDT".

    I checked my breather tube it looked fine. I pulled it off, looked down both sides, everything looked OK. Then I blew through it and all of the dried junk that was trapped in there went right into my ear.

    Nonetheless, I was happy that y'all have bailed me out once again. Many thanks to all of the contributors. Ride safe.
     
  9. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Isn't it nice to not have to depend on the dealers? :D
     
  10. Burgundy9

    Burgundy9 Member

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    You got that right Glider! Just for my own edu-ma-cation this site is the best. I swear I'm riding along and thinking "Glider knows what's happening here".