need help on finding oil leak - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-10-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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need help on finding oil leak

i have a 2008 mean streak with 8,050miles. i noticed it today and when i parked the bike it starts to drip a little and after a 10 mins the leak starts to become a pudlle no bigger then a quarter size, also it runs down the kick stand..is not coming from the oil plug. it looks like is coming from behind the left side cover. i am atempted to remove it and look but i dont know what to look for..it looks like motor oil but is too clean and the oil level is fine im leaning towards the clutch is leaking fluid in their some where...anyone come across this issue before??? any suggestions/advice i would greatly be thankful for.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 01:16 PM
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Is it motor oil or hydraulic fluid? Either way good chance it's an easy fix. You have to remove the side cover and in order to do that you'll have to remove the left foot board and both shifter pedels. Careful removing the foot board spring, safety glasses would be a good idea here. Four bolts and the side cover is off. You'll probably find the fluid leaking from under neath the clutch rod actuator. That's the piece at the back that your clutch hose is screwed into. That thick black gasket looking thing under the actuator is not a gasket, it's a plastic spacer with a weep hole drilled in the bottom. The weep hole is there so if your clutch push rod seal or actuator piston gasket goes bad oil or hydraulic fluid will leak out to notify you that it needs replacing.
Remove the three small bolts holding the actuator on and let it dangle. On the motor where the actuator was mounted you'll see the push rod sticking out and a small round black seal around it inserted into a recess in the motor. If the seal has popped out of place and is hanging on the push rod you just found your problem. You can buy a new seal at your Kawasaki parts counter for under $10. Use a socket as a setpunch to GENTLY drive the new seal in flush with the motor being careful not to drive it all the way thru the hole. Installing the seal with finger pressure only is not enough, it WILL pop out again.
Some notes here:
1) There is an inside and outside to the seal . Pay attention to how the old one was inserted when removing it.
2) The push rod has a flat end and a rounded end. The flat end inserts into the motor and pushes angainst the clutch. Put a dab of grease on it when installing. Put a little oil on the rod part that slides in the seal so the seal is not dry.
3) If the push rod surface is rough polish the part that moves inside the seal shiny smooth with steel wool. If you dont it acts like a round file and wears the new seal out.
4) Don't pull in the clutch lever with the actuator removed. If you do all the guts inside the actuator will spit out on your shop floor.

Okay, now for the other possibility. Theres another seal inside the actuator you just removed . If it leaks hydraulic fluid will drip out the same weep hole mentioned earlier. If your leak is a hydraulic leak replace that seal...also available at your Kawa dealer for under $10.

Reassemble and ride!


This all sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. It's a simple repair you can do with common tools, probably in less than 2 hours. I've done it three times now and have the whole procedure down to under an hour.

Hope this helps !

'05 1600 Classic. Black...the fastest color.
Harley Street Glide 18" front wheel
Lowered Using Honda shocks
Barons PB's, Flanders bars
Cobra True Duals
Hypercharger
Dobeck TFI
Mutazu HL hardbags
One off drivers back rest

Last edited by Windburn Bill; 11-11-2012 at 01:30 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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I did research and got pics of the job,but your detail instructions are a big help thank you for that. I am taking the bike to the dealer to see if they honor their warranty. If not I will do it my self, now as far as the leak coming from the actuator it self since its inside is it easy to get to or do all the guts have to come out?? On the other forum I was told to press the clutch lever in and zip tie it,you saying to leave it alone not to press it would I have to bleed the system afterwards??

Last edited by tony302; 11-11-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony302 View Post
I did research and got pics of the job,but your detail instructions are a big help thank you for that. I am taking the bike to the dealer to see if they honor their warranty. If not I will do it my self, now as far as the leak coming from the actuator it self since its inside is it easy to get to or do all the guts have to come out?? On the other forum I was told to press the clutch lever in and zip tie it,you saying to leave it alone not to press it would I have to bleed the system afterwards??
The service manual says to push the servo piston up inside the actuator as far as you can with your fingers than slowly pull the clutch lever closed and tie wrap to the grip. I guess this is to prevent someone from squeezing it and popping the servo piston out of the actuator. As for the servo gasket...let me look that up in the manual and I'll post what I find later. I haven't had to change the servo gasket so not real sure of the step by step.

'05 1600 Classic. Black...the fastest color.
Harley Street Glide 18" front wheel
Lowered Using Honda shocks
Barons PB's, Flanders bars
Cobra True Duals
Hypercharger
Dobeck TFI
Mutazu HL hardbags
One off drivers back rest
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 05:33 PM
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Okay, the clutch servo seal is a round gasket on the back of the piston inside the actuator (servo). The book says pump the clutch until the piston pops out of the cylinder. Theres a spring behind the piston, remove spring and piston, replace the seal, lube everything up with some DOT 4 brake fluid and put it back together.

Seems simple enough.

'05 1600 Classic. Black...the fastest color.
Harley Street Glide 18" front wheel
Lowered Using Honda shocks
Barons PB's, Flanders bars
Cobra True Duals
Hypercharger
Dobeck TFI
Mutazu HL hardbags
One off drivers back rest

Last edited by Windburn Bill; 11-11-2012 at 05:36 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yes sound very simple,like rebuilding the rear master on a buell I had. Thank you very much for the info and tips,I will let you know how it went, i will do this in the morning most likely weather permitting...you wouldn't happen to know what company makes black after market exhaust for these bike do you??
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 07:10 PM
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Nope, sure don't. Maybe a google search will turn something up. I fabbed some hangers to install Cobra true duels on my 1600 Classic. Looks good, sounds good!
Once you get into this gasket replacing thing you'll see how simple it really is. It's a good thing to know how to change the clutch push rod seal because it seems to be a re occuring problem with these engines.

Good luck with it and keep the rubber side down!

'05 1600 Classic. Black...the fastest color.
Harley Street Glide 18" front wheel
Lowered Using Honda shocks
Barons PB's, Flanders bars
Cobra True Duals
Hypercharger
Dobeck TFI
Mutazu HL hardbags
One off drivers back rest
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